This is one of those great fool-proof dishes that all home cooks love. It is easy to make with consistent results every time. Plus, nearly everyone likes Mexican food making this an ideal party dish. Fresh salmon fillets are baked in the oven with butter and lime zest, then topped with a luscious sauce of sour cream, roasted jalapenos, ground cumin and lime juice. I like to roast my own jalapenos when I have time but you can use canned to make life easier. Just be sure to use a high-quality brand. This wonderful dish goes just as well at fancy dinner party as it does at an informal lunch.
Salmon with Jalapeno-Lime Crema
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4 large jalapeno peppers
1-1/2 pounds salmon fillet, cut into 4 equal pieces
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lime zest
salt and pepper
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
freshly chopped cilantro or chives (optional)
lime wedges (optional)

Cooking Instructions

Roast the jalapenos under a broiler, a couple of inches from the heat source, turning frequently, until well-charred on all sides. Place the peppers in a paper bag and seal shut or place in a bowl and cover with a dry towel (this will allow the peppers to steam slightly making it easier to remove their skins.) When cool enough to handle, peel the charred skins off of the peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Slice into thin strips lengthwise and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the salmon fillets in a buttered baking dish, skin side down. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small dish in the microwave. Mix the lime zest and melted butter together and brush over the salmon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in the oven until almost opaque (about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.)

While the salmon is cooking, prepare the sauce. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the roasted chili strips and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream and heavy cream and stir until heated through, without letting it come to a boil. Stir in the lime juice, ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste.

When the salmon is cooked, transfer to plates and drizzle each piece with the sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro or chives and serve with lime wedges if desired.

Makes 4 servings



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Roasting your own chilies can be time-consuming and may seem like too much effort, especially for a busy weeknight. You can substitute canned roasted jalapenos to make life easier. Just be sure to use a high-quality brand. Or, you can use fresh jalapenos and simply cut them into strips and cook them in the butter long enough to soften them. They will have a stronger flavor but will produce an equally delicious sauce.

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