Salmon – Going Old School: Cream and Mushrooms, Anyone?

Lemon-butter-honey or cream and mushrooms. Why choose? You can have both.

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Cream and Mushrooms, Anyone?

Serves: 3 • Prep Time: 10 mins • Cook Time: 7-10 mins

Honey, Butter, Lemon Tastiness

Serves: 3 • Prep Time: 2 mins • Cook Time: 15 mins

Straight from the Forq Kitchen!
by Rachel Silver


Salmon – Going Old School: Cream and Mushrooms, Anyone?

This week I decided to experiment with cooking different cuts of salmon—salmon steak, salmon filet, and salmon tail filet—to see which one tastes best; an excuse for another taste test! More on this later.

Did someone say STEAK? Yes, yes I did. Albeit fish steak, but hey. I will also be featuring some CREAM. And honey. Butter… Lemon…

And the best part? There are mushrooms in this recipe.

MUSHROOMS

MUSHROOMS

M-U-S-H-R-O-O-M-S.

Rooms of mush! (That sounded better in my head.)

When cooking this recipe, I make two sauces: the honey-butter-lemon sauce, which I pour on the salmon before I cook it on the BBQ, and the cream-mushroom sauce, which I pour over the salmon after it’s done cooking.

An interesting thing happened with this recipe. I didn’t like my first attempt. Originally I was going to add some whiskey to the cream-mushroom sauce, but the whiskey was too overpowering. I meant, not for me. But I’m being virtuous for my readers. So, I started over, with just the cream and mushrooms. It was tasty, but very heavy. Solution? Break the recipe up into two delicious options: the honey-butter-lemon option is for those who like a little flavor but don’t want to overpower the fish, and the cream-mushroom addition is for those who enjoy a more robust sauce (and mushrooms). Both are superb, depending on what you want from your dish.

The honey-butter-lemon option is for those who like a little flavor but don’t want to overpower the fish, and the cream-mushroom addition is for those who enjoy a more robust sauce (and mushrooms).

Different Cuts of Salmon

The salmon filet.

The salmon tail filet.

The salmon steak.

I must admit, I’ve never made (or eaten) a salmon steak. I’m a little nervous to attempt cooking this salmon steak (confession: I have, on occasion, been known to botch things… you know, when Parks and Rec is on and I get distracted… and then I smell smoke. Oops). But I’m partial to the salmon steak already, since it looks like the Star Trek insignia! Closettrekkie, now unmasked.

So here I go!

Mushrooms and Cream

For the rub, sprinkle coriander, salt, and pepper onto the salmon cuts. I ground my own coriander, which was pretty fun! And grinding provided incredibly fresh flavor from the spices.

For those curious to try the mushroom-cream sauce, I will prepare this now. Sauté the chopped shallots and shiitake mushrooms in butter until they release their liquids, become soft, and then get slightly crisp.

Stir in the cream, parsley, salt and pepper and simmer to reduce. This will simmer while you cook your honey-butter-lemon sauce, and while you cook your salmon.

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Honey, Butter, Lemon

Next is the delicious honey-butter-lemon sauce, which I will use for both recipe options. This might be my favorite sauce ever for salmon. Nope, it definitely is my favorite sauce ever. And it’s so easy! Because the ingredients are simple, try to find the freshest lemon possible. Meyer lemons (straight from the tree, plentiful in California…) are my preference. Instead of being woody, as some store-bought lemons are, they are juicy and squeeze like a dream. And the pulp is good, too—absolutely don’t be afraid to plop some pulp into the sauce. I encourage plenty of pulp plopping in the kitchen; saves me from getting too fancy and full of my mad skills…

Melt all ingredients together on the stove until nicely mixed together.

While it’s still warm, pour the sauce on the salmon and transfer the salmon to the BBQ. You can pour a little more sauce on the salmon at this time, too. It was literally making my mouth water and I didn’t want to waste a drop.

Now it’s time for the grilling! As always, place salmon flesh-side down on the grill. Cook each side for three to four minutes per inch of thickness, but make sure not to overcook (cooking all the way through, until the salmon flakes) the salmon. This is crucial to perfectly-cooked salmon. Cook with the lid closed for half the cooking time, then flip the salmon using a spatula. Never use a tool that will puncture the salmon, as this will release the juices and tear the salmon apart (which makes Rachel cry…). Close the lid, continue cooking, and remove the salmon from the heat before the salmon flakes. The salmon should be pink on the outside and a little red on the inside. And the salmon skin will be crispy (see my recipe devoted to salmon skin).

I’m proud I finally got the hang of grill lines! Beautiful food is much more fun to eat.

For some, this is where the culinary ‘choose your own adventure’ ends. But for those invested in that creamy mushroom sauce, let’s press on.

Back to the Mushrooms and Cream

Remove the cream sauce I previously prepared from the stove, and spoon onto salmon cuts.

Commence angelic chorus now.

The Taste Test

So what did the taste test reveal? Most prefered the traditional salmon filet. This could be because filets cut from the thicker part of the salmon generally have more fat and more flavor than the thinner sections of the salmon, like the tail. The salmon steak had more bones than the other salmon cuts, so this may have been a deterrent to its proper enjoyment, too.

Directions

Here’s how to make this delicious recipe

Cream and Mushrooms, Anyone?

Rinse your salmon and pat dry. Remove any pin bones. Rub with coriander, salt and pepper. Always wash your hands after handling raw fish!

cream_mushrooms_salmon_5

Rub the salmon with coriander, salt and pepper

Chop shallots and mushrooms, and sauté with 3 T of butter. After the mushrooms have released their liquid, become soft, then crisped up, add in cream, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer to reduce while you prepare the honey-butter-lemon sauce and cook the salmon.

cream_mushrooms_salmon_4

After the mushrooms have released their liquid, become soft, then crisped up, add in cream, parsley, salt and pepper

Melt the butter, honey, and squeezed lemon juice on the stove until mixed. Pour the honey-butter-lemon sauce onto salmon and grill salmon on BBQ.

Place salmon flesh-side down and cook with the lid closed. Flip salmon halfway through, and remove from heat just before salmon flakes—it should still be a little red inside.

Plate salmon, spoon mushroom cream sauce atop, and enjoy!

Honey, Butter, Lemon Tastiness

Rinse your salmon and pat dry. Remove any pin bones. Rub with coriander, salt, and pepper. Wash those hands!

On the stove, melt butter, honey, and squeezed lemon juice until mixed. Pour the honey-butter-lemon sauce onto salmon and grill salmon on BBQ.

Place salmon flesh-side down and cook with the lid closed. Flip salmon halfway through, and remove from heat just before salmon flakes—it should still be a little red inside.

Ingredients

Cream and Mushrooms, Anyone?

  • 3 fillets of salmon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper

Honey, Butter, Lemon Tastiness

  • 3 fillets of salmon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper

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Who’s Cooking Today

Rachel Silver

Rachel Zoë Silver, a recent Cal Berkeley graduate, has been a foodie since her first sushi at three years old. With heritage from the Pacific Northwest, she learned early how to select the best fish from the Pike Place market. Her parents, also cooks and foodies, schlepped her to the best restaurants up and down the West Coast and through Italy. Rachel was still missing her front teeth when she mastered her grandmother’s Apple Pie recipe. She is still as excited by food as she was when, at 18 months, discovered on the pantry floor, hands and face smeared brown, she declared, “Chocolate is Yum!”

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