A friend remarked to me the other day that since her kids have grown and left home, she has had to totally readjust her cooking style. She used to think nothing of whipping up lasagna that would serve 10 or 12 normal humans—she knew it was only two meals for her family with two growing, hungry teenagers. Now, that same huge lasagna languishes in the refrigerator—the first time great, the second serving even better, the third time for lunch, and offering it a fourth time is a pretty good way to ensure her invitation to go out instead. And then there’s the guilt that she finally gave up and threw out the remnants. I know I’ll have the same problem soon enough.
But especially for that friend and a few others I have in mind, I have a wonderful recipe for two that is easy to make and tastes like you cooked all day. The sauce is so good; you might just want to lick your plate. And if you want to share this with friends or returning kids—it easily doubles. Serve it with a lightly dressed green salad and a good glass of wine or iced tea.
Seared Peppered Salmon with Ginger-Mushroom Cream Sauce
2 6-ounce salmon filets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1½ tablespoons butter
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 ounces fresh mushrooms (I used Shiitake), stems removed, caps sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cover the tops of the salmon filets with freshly ground pepper to taste. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Put the salmon filets in the skillet pepper side down and sear for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for another two minutes. Transfer the filets to a baking dish and put them in the oven to keep them warm while you make the sauce.
Using the same skillet, add the butter, green onions, cilantro, ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce and cook for another minute. Add the cream, bring to the boil and them simmer for 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and turn off the heat. To serve, divide the sauce onto two plates and top with a salmon filet. Garnish with a slice of lime or sprigs of cilantro.