Salmon has long been known as one of those "wonder" foods that has an overwhelming number of health benefits, most notable being the omega 3 fatty acids that are so good for the heart. Sadly, there have been concerns lately about the potential danger of eating farm-raised salmon which may contain high levels of PCBs and dioxin. To be on the safe side, stick with wild salmon or limit consumption of farmed salmon to no more than once per month. In this easy dish, salmon is coated with a flavorful almond-herb crust and then seared to seal in all of it's wonderful flavor. A delicate lemon-leek cream sauce finishes the dish. This is one of those dishes that will make you feel like a gourmet chef but really involves very little effort to prepare. This is the perfect dinner for spring.
Almond-Crusted Salmon
Oven-Roasted Baby Potatoes and Garlic
Asparagus Fries
Chilled White Wine


4 tablespoons butter
2 medium leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup toasted almonds, chopped or lightly ground
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cooking Instructions

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very tender (about 10 minutes.) Increase the heat back to medium and add the lemon juice. Stir until the liquid evaporates (about 1 minute) and then mix in the cream. Simmer until slightly reduced (about 2 minutes.) Remove from heat and cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce back into the same saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the almonds, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper together on a plate. Place the flour on another plate. Sprinkle the salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Dredge the salmon in the flour, shaking off the excess. Lightly brush one side of the salmon with some of the beaten egg. Press the brushed side of the salmon into the almond mixture, pressing lightly to adhere. Arrange the salmon, nut side up, on a baking sheet.

Melt 1 tablespoon of remaining butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in each of 2 heavy, large skillets over medium heat. Add half of the salmon to each skillet, almond-coated side down, and cook until the crust is browned (about 5 minutes.) Turn the salmon over and cook until the salmon is opaque in the center (about 5 minutes.) Transfer the salmon to plates, almond-crusted side up.

While the salmon is cooking, reheat the sauce over medium heat. Spoon the sauce around the salmon and serve.

Makes 6 servings



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elliemay's blog

You can make the sauce up to 2 days in advance. Simply cover and refrigerate until needed. You will most likely need to thin the sauce down a bit when you reheat it so be sure to have some stock, white wine, or more cream on hand when you do.

You can bake the salmon in the oven if you prefer. Lightly oil a baking sheet and place the salmon, with the almond coating already on, onto the sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, broil on high for a couple of minutes to brown the crust.

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