Pan Seared Salmon w/ Lemon Caper Butter


It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Fish is the perfect end of the week dinner since it is versatile and whether you bake, grill, or pan sear it, it cooks up fast.  I love the delicate taste of salmon and it pairs especially well with a simple lemon and butter sauce.  I prefer salmon steaks but you can easily substitute filets and reduce the cooking time by five minutes.  And because salmon is a (healthy) oily fish, it is virtually impossible to overcook it so you are guaranteed to end up with a flaky and moist dinner.  Pair the salmon with this basic lemon caper sauce adapted from Martha Holmberg’s Modern Sauces, add a grain and a vegetable and you have a complete dinner in a flash.


For the fish:

4 salmon steaks

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and garlic powder evenly over both sides of the salmon steaks.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.  When the oil shimmers, carefully place the salmon in the pan taking care not to move the steaks while a crust forms.
  • Cook the first for 6 minutes then carefully flip each steak.  Cook for an additional 6 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through to your liking.

Serves 4

For the sauce:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced red onion

1/2 cup cold butter

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained, and minced

2 tablespoons fine lemon zest

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Place the  lemon juice, vinegar, and onion in a small saute pan.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Reduce the temperature and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the juice has reduced to approximately 2 tablespoons.
  • Add the butter in one piece and use a wooden spoon to swirl it throughout the pan. Stir the melted butter into the lemon juice until a creamy mixture forms.  Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Stir in the capers and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve immediately over the top of the salmon steaks.

Yields: 1/2 cup


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