Citrus citrus citrus! Fall is the start of citrus season and I couldn't wait to get my hands on some beautiful greens, yellows, reds and oranges. I always enjoy the bright aromas and acidity of these little fruits and thought what better way to celebrate their flavors than with a vibrant sauce featuring grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime juices.
Here are some tips on picking good quality citrus produce:
- Feel how heavy the fruit is. The heavier, the better -- it means there is more water content!
- Look for thin smooth peels. Don't pick the ones with the thick porous skin, the ones that are as smooth as a baby's bottom are the best! Or else you're stuck with a thick rind and less fruit. (That is no bueno)
- Avoid any fruit that feels soft or mushy, more than likely it is rotten on the inside.
- Smell the fruit. A sweet aroma usually means a stronger and sweeter citrus flavor.
If at all possible, use wild salmon opposed to farm-raised. Wild salmon is more flavorful but if it is not readily available farm-raised is a perfectly viable alternative.
I found this wonderful recipe from my Chanterelle cookbook and changed a few things. It was a cumin crusted salmon with citrus butter but I didn't have cumin so I left it off and used coconut milk in place of the heavy cream. I also cut down half the amount of butter and still got great results.
Ingredients for Salmon and Coconut Citrus Butter
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (I used coconut milk)
- 1/2 lb of unsalted butter (I only used 4 tbsp)
- kosher salt
- pinch of sugar, if necessary
- 4 x 6 oz salmon fillets, at least 1 inch thick, skin and any pin bones removed
- coarse black pepper
- 3 tablespoons of canola
To make the citrus butter, combine the wine and citrus juices in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. This process should be watched over closely, because of the high sugar content it can burn easily. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, making sure it is completely incorporated before adding more. Season with salt if it lacks taste and sugar if it is too tart. You can keep the sauce at room temperature for up to an hour and reheat at a low heat just before serving.
Take the salmon fillets and place them on a clean, dry surface. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil and turn the pan to coat the bottom with oil, allowing it to heat for a minute or two. Place the fillets, skin side down for 2 to 3 minutes then turn the fillets over and cook the other side for the same amount of time or until the desired level of doneness is achieved. The thickness of the cut may affect cooking time so please adjust accordingly.
Spoon a mound of mashed potatoes into the center of the plates. Drizzle with the warm citrus butter around the potatoes and top with a salmon fillet.