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swirl and savor

Seared Salmon With Cilantro Lime Butter

Beth Ribblett

We picked up a piece of salmon yesterday for dinner and were too tired to do anything very creative or time consuming after the past two weekends of Jazz "Festivites". This is simple and delicious as the butter melts into the salmon and infuses it with such an amazing flavor. It literally takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare (depending on thickness of your fish) and I think you'll be really happy with the outcome. The creaminess of the Novellum Chardonnay from the Catalan region of France worked well with the fatty fish and is a joy to drink alone as well. See my wine of the moment for more info.

Serves 4

For the fish:
* 2 lbs salmon fillets (skin on)
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* salt and pepper
* pinch of cayenne pepper
* 6 oz. good, rich beer

For the butter:
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
* big handful of fresh cilantro roughly chopped
* 1 lime zested and juiced, reserve 2 tablespoons of juice
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Whisk together olive oil, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Coat flesh side of fish heavily with oil mixture and set aside while you make the butter.
3. Put the butter in a small mixing bowl and, using a rubber spatula, mix in the cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, salt and cayenne. Spoon the mixture into a small bowl and refrigerate.
4.Get your skillet nice and hot and sear the fish skin side up on high heat until just after fat begins to seep from salmon flesh.
5. Flip the fish and again wait for the fat to seep from the sides. Add the beer and continue to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Fish should be almost cooked through, and very moist.
6.Plate the fish and garnish with a sprig of cilantro, lime wedge and big spoon of the butter and serve immediately.