Sear-roasting is a great technique for cooking any firm fish. But the real star in this dish from chef Michael Brisson is the saffron-horseradish cream sauce, which can just as easily pair with swordfish, striped bass or softshell crabs. Serve the salmon over warm grains or wilted greens.

Serves 6

For the saffron-horseradish cream sauce:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 to 10 threads saffron (add more if you like; you’ll need less if saffron is fresh)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons diced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch ground white pepper

For the salmon:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil (enough to coat the pan generously)
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon (preferably wild), cut into 4 6-ounce pieces (preferably evenly shaped)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • Micro greens for garnish

To make the sauce:

Put the wine in a medium saucepan and heat until very warm. Remove from the heat, add the saffron, and let steep, 30 to 60 minutes.

Return the pan to the heat and add the shallots. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, add the horseradish, stir (it will bubble up a bit), and cook until you just begin to see the bottom of the pan. Add the heavy cream, the salt, and the pepper, and bring to a simmer (watch carefully, as the cream will bubble up). Cook until reduced by half or just a bit more, or until the mixture clings to the back of a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes. Pour the sauce through a fine-meshed strainer, pressing down on the solids with a spatula or spoon. Return the sauce to the pan and keep warm over very low indirect heat. Taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if you like.

To cook the fish:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil in a large (11 to 12-inch) ovenproof nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the salmon filets (pretty side down) and cook without disturbing until very nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the fish over with tongs and cook the other side for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and spoon or pour off any excess oil.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of mustard on each salmon filet.

Put the sauté pan into the oven and bake until the salmon is semi-firm, about 8 minutes.

Arrange the salmon on each of four plates (over or next to any accompaniment). Pour the sauce over half of and around each filet. Garnish with micro greens and serve right away.

This recipe first appeared with this article.