Salmon with Compound Butter and Chives
A time proven way to kick up the flavor of fish, seafood and meats is to create a compound or flavored butter infused with herbs and spices and applied in either the cooking or finishing processes. Taking some time to make ahead you can store the results in the refigerator for a week or freeze for later. But even for a quick weeknight meal the preparation time is minimal, though I believe making ahead and chilling give the flavors time to meld.
I tried out this version from Lidia Bastianich from her book, Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen included with the recipe, Shrimp Prepared in the Scampi Style (which is incredible by the way.) What I liked particularly is that the garlic and shallots are sauteed in olive oil and wine before adding to the unsalted butter and herbs. This gave a more delicate almost velvetiness to the flavors instead of the usual sharp brigthness of the genus Allium (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives etc.) is known for. For my base compound butter I left out the parsley and tarragon listed in the orginal recipe so I could mix up the herbs and spices as my mood and the meal suites.
This is a really quick meal that is really a wonderful mid-week treat or special enough for company maximizing fresh in-season salmon and ready-to-go flavored butter.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
- 1-1½ pound salmon fillet
- Fresh lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- In a small skillet, saute garlic in olive oil over medium heat until it just changes color to just golden. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook until it is reduced by half.
- Remove from heat and cool completelyin a small bowl. (If not cool, you will melt the butter!)
- Add softened butter and mix together thoroughly.
- Lidia suggests that you then your shape butter into logs on 12" plastic wrap, roll it up and refrigerate for several hours or up to a few days. Makes it easier to slice just what you need later on.
- Spray an ovenproof dish with non-stick spray and lay fillet skin side down
- Top with 4 tablespoons of the flavored butter and sprinkle with fresh chives.
- Bake for 15 minutes until fish flesh is opaque and serve with lemon wedges.
Shrimp Prepared in the Scampi Style by Lida Matticchio Bastianich