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Salmon with Anchovy-Garlic Butter

This easy, tasty recipe comes from Melissa Clark, and appeared on April 3, 2015 in the Food section of The New York Times.  

Melissa had this to say about it: "Minced anchovies and garlic add a complex salinity to seared salmon, enriching and deepening its flavor. The anchovies and garlic are mashed into softened butter, which is used in two ways: as a cooking medium and as a sauce.”

"Used to cook the salmon, the butter browns and the anchovies and garlic caramelize, turning sweet. When stirred into the pan sauce, the raw garlic and anchovies give an intense bite that's mitigated by the creaminess of the butter.”

As she said, you can omit the anchovies: "it will be a different dish, but with salmon, garlic and butter, you really can't go wrong.”

Photos by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times.

Salmon with Anchovy-Garlic Butter
Total time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 anchovy fillets, minced (use any of our varieties)
1 fat garlic clove, minced (or 2 small ones)
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (6 ounce) skin-on wild salmon fillets (sockeye, silver, or king)
2 tablespoons drained capers, patted dry
1/2 lemon
Fresh chopped parsley, for serving
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mash together butter, anchovies, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt about half the anchovy butter. Add fish, skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes over high heat to brown the skin, spooning some of the pan drippings over the top of the fish as it cooks.
  3. Add capers to bottom of pan and transfer to oven. Roast until fish is just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and add remaining anchovy butter to pan to melt.
  5. Place salmon on plates and spoon buttery pan sauce over the top.
  6. Squeeze the lemon half over the salmon and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve.
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