When it comes to selecting a healthy fish, Copper River salmon is an excellent choice. The high oil content contains Omega-3 fatty acids which lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies have also shown that this valuable fish oil can help fight rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, migraines, and breast cancer. It is also packed with protein and essential amino acids.
Not only does Copper River Salmon have some important health benefits, but its high oil content also attributes to it's wonderfully rich taste and it's tender and moist texture. It can be prepared in a variety of ways. Whether roasted, grilled, or seared, this flavorful fish has never disappointed me.
However, you do have to be attentive while preparing it as you don't want to overcook it. That really goes for any fish and meat in general. Salmon can vary in thickness so it's difficult to pin down the exact time it needs to cook but experts suggest your salmon should reach an internal temperature of 130°. So keeping an eye on that is your best bet. The goal with pan searing this fish is to start with a large pan with very high heat. You will place the salmon skin side down to start and your goal will be to create a nice, crispy crust that is delightful to eat.
After the salmon is cooked, I like to make a nice butter rosemary sauce to go on top. It provides a nice, rich finish and is easy to make as well. The sauce requires some dry white wine. I have often heard you shouldn't cook with a wine you wouldn't want to drink so needless to say, you may want to choose your wine carefully. I used Acrobat Pinot Gris 2013 as it is a dry white wine, good for fish, and the price was right. My husband didn't have any trouble at all finishing the bottle...so there you have it. But use whatever wine you would like- it's just my suggestion if you needed one.
This is a fairly easy recipe, however it is a multi-tasking one so that is where the challenge comes in. The salmon needs your attention as it cooks quickly so they key is to be organized before you start cooking. If you are familiar with my Herb Butter Basmati Rice recipe, I basically cooked that for a side but used quinoa instead. You could make that before you even start cooking the salmon and just leave it on the stove top to keep warm while the salmon cooks. That would save you some stress. I also steamed some kale which doesn't take but 3 or 4 minutes, so that should be done when the salmon is complete. Otherwise, you will have cold kale. So let's get started!
For the fish:
4 6oz Wild Copper River Salmon, skin on
2 Tbs coconut oil
fresh ground pepper
For the Rosemary Butter Sauce:
6 Tbs grass-fed butter, cut into individual tablespoons
3 Tbs shallots, minced
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup dry white wine
sea salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
For the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 Tbs grass-fed butter
2 Tbs fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
1 Tbs fresh chives, minced
1 Tbs shallot, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
For the steamed kale:
1 bunch of kale, stems removed
1. Prep all of your herbs, spices, and produce. Then get your salmon fillets ready. Pat them dry and sprinkle them with some salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Start the quinoa. Place the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to sit for another 5 minutes. Then stir in the butter, herbs and spices. Place the lid back on the pot to keep warm.
3. Heat your coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. You want your oil to be very hot before placing the salmon in the pan. Once your oil is hot, place the salmon in the pan, skin side down. You should hear them sizzle. Cook the salmon without moving them. The skin should be browned and crispy and the salmon should be cooked halfway through. Then gently flip the salmon over and cook until it is barely opaque in the center. Remove the filets from the pan and set on a serving plate.
4. Now you will start your rosemary butter sauce. Before you do though, start heating some water to prepare your steamed kale as you will do that last and it will only steam for about 3 minutes. So, onto the butter sauce. You will use the same pan you used to cook the salmon in. Remove any excess oil or fat left from the salmon. Over high heat, add the wine, shallot, and rosemary. Cook and stir until the wine has almost evaporated, 4-5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Then stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
5. Your water should be ready for your kale so place the kale in your steaming basket over boiling water and steam for 3-4 minutes. Your kale should be bright green in color and tender, but not mushy. Immediately remove the kale.
6. Place the kale on a plate. Top with a salmon filet and pour some rosemary butter sauce over the salmon. Then scoop some of the quinoa on the side. This recipe serves 4.
*Note, you can substitute any kind of salmon you want in this recipe.