Salmon with Butter Sauce


Butter Sauce:
2 large shallots, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 pounds center-cut salmon fillets with skin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fresh parsley sprigs, to garnish


To make the sauce, combine the shallots and wine in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Stir in the creme fraiche. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, lifting the pan from the heat occasionally to cool the mixture and adding each new piece of butter before the previous one has completely melted. (The sauce should not become hot enough to liquefy.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm in the top of a double boiler while you prepare the fish.

To cook the fish, sprinkle the fillets with the thyme, salt, and pepper. Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet. When the foam subsides, add the fish, skin side up, and cook for 2 minutes. Then turn and cook the other side for about 1 minute. Serve with the butter sauce and garnish with parsley.

Note: To make creme fraiche, combine 1 cup whipping cream with 1 teaspoon cultured buttermilk. Heat to 85 degrees F. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours, until thickened. Store in the refrigerator.


4 servings

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