Dinner Tonight: Sautéed Salmon With Potatoes and Creamy Anchovy Sauce

Dinner Tonight

Your source for quick recipe every single week day.


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

My wife was not looking forward to this one. That's to put it mildly. Salmon with anchovy sauce and boiled potatoes? Even writing it out sounds strange. But trust me, it somehow all works beautifully together. Even my wife cleaned her plate.

So where did this come from? Consider this a combination of the old and new. Not quite sure what todo with some salmon fillets, I flipped open my copy of Escoffier's 1903 tome, Le Guide Culinaire. Though I had no chance of finding a quick weeknight meal buried in the fine print, I knew there would be some flavor combination I'd never considered before. That's exactly what I found with recipe 1665 (Darne de Saumon à la Danoise), which pairs poached salmon with "plain boiled potatoes and Sauce Bâtarde finished Anchovy Butter." Now, Sauce Bâtarde is actually one of the simpler sauces in the cookbook to whip up, but it still requires lots of whisking and a liaison of egg yolks, so I looked elsewhere for an easier creamy anchovy sauce.

I found my answer in Modern Sauces by Martha Holmberg, which features a recipe for a creamy anchovy-caper vinaigrette. It's easy. Just toss everything in a food processor, turn it on, and you're done. Though robust and salty, thanks to lemon juice and heavy cream, it doesn't taste the least bit fishy. It's almost like a funkier version of hollandaise, and it pairs exceptionally well with the salmon. Interestingly, Holmberg even writes that the sauce goes well with boiled potatoes. She's right.

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