Saturday, April 14, 2012

Seared Salmon in Dijon Beer Broth

I hate to say it, but sometimes salmon can be boring. Or to put it this way, my preparations have become routine, expected and rote despite my love of this fabulous fish.

With luck I found inspiration at Epicurious and a recipe for Seared Wild Salmon with New Potatoes and Dijon Broth which suited both what I had on hand and my mid-week mindset. The result is an elegant flavor combination and rustic appearance, bistro style. Pleasing in depth and complexity,  the broth surprises with layers of flavor. A bit of red cider vinegar and the Dijon mustard bring bright acidity and warmth that compliments the sweetness of the seared salmon. Tangy leeks and spinach  round out this healthy meal packed with super foods.

So next time, now that salmon is in season, or you are just hungry for it think about mixing it up with this preparation. I think you'll be glad you did.

And if you like the Frenchness of this dish with the leeks, tarragon and dijon you will also want to check out the entries of April in Paris, this month's Monthly Mingle hosted by Life's a Feast author and Huffington Post contributor Jamie Schler, especially if her invitation tempts you as much as it did me.

"A Monthly Mingle strolling through the mythical streets of Paris, breathing in the luxurious scents floating out of pastry shops and bistros, the heavenly sweet mingling with the savory, will bring France to your table, masterly and memorable, creating emotions that only deepen the sensations." 
-- Jamie Schler

Seared Salmon in Dijon Beer Broth

Seared Salmon in Dijon Beer Broth
Serves 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

4 6 oz ¾” thick, Salmon fillets with skin removed
3-4 medium sized red potatoes, skin on quartered and cut in ¾” cubes
2 tbl olive oil (divided)
1 tbl vegetable oil
1 12 oz beer (I used Anchor Steam Beer)
½ cup leek, cut in half vertically and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cup low salt chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
2 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
Sea salt

Pre-cook red potatoes until just fork tender in saucepan covered in water and lightly salted (about 10 minutes) you will want them still firm and not mushy. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400ยบ
Season salmon fillets both sides with ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt.

  1. In a medium saucepan (~3 quart) add ½ tablespoon olive oil and cook leeks over medium heat until slightly soft.
  2. Add beer and vinegar, bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to about 1 cup (7-10 minutes)
  3. Add mustard, chicken stock, and tarragon leaves, bring back up to boil and remove from heat.
  4. While broth is cooking, heat large skillet over high heat, add olive and vegetable oils. Once the pan is hot add salmon fillets cooking the rounded side first until well browned, about 4-5 minutes. Turn and cook flat side another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place in 9” x 13” baking dish, flat side down.
  5. Arrange cooked potatoes around salmon pieces and gently pour prepared broth around the potatoes. (Do not pour directly on salmon, it will make it soggy). Bake in oven about 10 minutes (time will vary a bit depending on how thick your fillets are, if they are very thick 1” plus they may need to cook up to 20 minutes, monitor carefully so you do not overcook.)
  6. While salmon is baking, heat your skillet over medium high, add scant tablespoon of olive oil and wilt your fresh chopped spinach, 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve in four flat bowls dividing ingredients evenly, first place spinach, leeks and potatoes in the bowl, place seared salmon on top and pouring in broth to cover the bottom. Garnish with fresh tarragon leaves.

Cook’s Tips
Inspiration:  Epicurious Seared Wild Salmon with New Potatoes and Dijon Broth 

Monthly Mingle is the creation of Meeta K. Wolff of What's For Lunch, Honey?

April in Paris is the theme for April's guest host Jamie Schler at Life's a Feast.


  1. Oh so zingily refined and lovely! A real Paris in spring dish and one to try for an elegant repast...thanks for sharing! A sunny warm rest of the weekend here, wishing you a delightful Sunday, my friend!

  2. A bright and sunny Sunday here in CA too dear Jenn, thank goodness! And I am so glad you like this found treasure, it was such a nice change up. Cheers!

  3. Your food never ceases to amaze me in its creativity and deliciousness (a great word, right?). You are so talented in the kitchen and I wish you could pop over to france to cook for me! This dish is fabulous and maybe even better than I could get in a bistro here, I kid you not! I never cook fish as much as I love it because I never know what to do with it, but this recipe sounds so good and your redition looks fantastic! So happy to have this on my Monthly Mingle!!

    1. Deliciousness is a great word indeed Jamie! Suits this meal for sure and I would love love to cook for you in your new kitchen in the renovated law offices converted to cozy apartment in Nantes. Monthly Mingles inspire to stretch mealtime creativity and yours is going to be a delightfully creative indulgence for "April in Paris" ;-)

  4. I just wanna dive into that dish and especially that dijon beer broth...even that word makes me drool! Gorgeous colours too, love it Robin!

    1. Hey Denise! I think we were both hungry for salmon lately -- love your post on the smoked salmon wrap too. Hope things are warming up your way!

  5. That just looks lovely! I've never paired salmon with mustard before but now that I think about it sounds absolutely delicious plus I got some Dijon in the fridge so no excuses!

    1. Oh I hope you give it a try and enjoy it (especially now you have a new kitchen to prepare it in!)


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