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Salmon with Sauces

Note:  We have so many salmon favorites, the editor decided to split them up into "main dish" and "salmon with sauces."   Herbs are the foundation of each sauce recipe.  Tandoori uses garam marsala and remoulade sauce calls for tarragon.  The dill and basil sauces are so similar they might be interchangeable.  See also Salmon Dishes for other sauces.

Unless otherwise indicated, oil is whisked into other ingredients.

1.  Salmon with Basil Creme Sauce

Note: Don't restrict this dish for the summertime, when fresh basil is  available. Use basil butter  for sautéing vegetables and fish, then add remaining ingredients. Serve over rice with some green peas. 

For the sauce:

1 1/2 T unsalted butter
3 shallots, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cp dry white wine
1/3 cp light cream
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cp fresh basil
1/4 cp fresh parsley
1/4 t white pepper and salt to taste

1. Saute shallots and garlic in basil butter for about 5 minutes.
2. Add liquids, herbs, and seasonings and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, til
mixture is reduced by half.

For the salmon:

1-2 lb salmon fillets
1-2 T basil butter
1 garlic, minced

1. Saute garlic in basil butter.
2. Cut salmon into serving pieces and place on broiler.
3. Broil 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of fillets.
4. Place fillets over rice and top with sauce.

2.  Tandoori Salmon

Note:  See Seasonings for more on Garam Masala.   Source:  Washington Post, Julie Sahni

8 4-6 oz salmon fillets
1 T vegetable oil

For the marinade:

1 T ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 T garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 T lemon juice
1 t garam masala*
1/4 t salt
pinch ground white pepper
3/4 cp plain yogurt

1. Mix ginger, garlic, and lemon juice with spices.
2. Combine with yogurt and mix till smooth. Pour over salmon.
3. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Skewer fillets lengthwise and place on a rack over aluminum-lined pan with slight lip. Roast 5-6 minutes. Turn Fillets and roast 4-6 minutes more.

* If you need to make your own, garam masala is a mixture of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves. Tandoori is normally made in a clay oven, but grilling or baking as above is an acceptable substitute. Most Indian restaurants don't have them either!

3.  Creole Vinaigrette Sauce

Stunning with with Leeks Vinaigrette and Grilled or Poached Salmon.  Recipe makes only 1/2 up, so double recipe for serving with both.  I don't have Creole mustard, so I mix Dijon mustard with a teaspoon of Creole seasoning.

2 T tarragon vinegar
1 t Creole mustard
1/4 t ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 t salt
6-8 T olive oil

4. Swedish Mustard Sauce

Source:Mystic Seaport's Seafood Secrets Cookbook, ed. Ainslie Turner

Note: This recipe is so flexible that I am now using it for Salad Vinaigrettes and Rolled Chicken Washington, or, as a glaze for vegetables (our favorites: leeks, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower,limas). It has been trimmed down in sugar and oil measurements. Next time, I will try honey as a substitute for sugar.
2 T brown prepared mustard (we use Dijon)
1 t dry mustard
5 T sugar (recipe calls for 1/4 cp)
1/4 cp vinegar
1/4-1/2 cp salad oil (recipe calls for 3/4 cp)
pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
white pepper

5.  Cucumber Sauce

Note:   The original recipe is for Lentils With Cucumber Sauce, but fits so well with salmon that it is included here.  It calls for 2 T fresh mint and no yogurt. Mint can be very bitter if not freshly picked, so it is optional in this recipe.  

2 med cucumbers (about 7" long), seeded and chopped
1/4 cp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cp lemon juice
2 T salad oil
2 T thinly sliced green onion or shallots
2 T freshly picked mint (optional, or use dried mint)
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T plain yogurt


1. Combine all ingredients, blending thoroughly.
2. Chill, overnight if desired.