Cook for your mom on Mother’s Day
Tribune Media Services
Fresh fish, whether cut in fillets or whole, makes a quick and deliciously simple main course, especially for those who are pressed for time. The recipe for Roasted Salmon Fillets Topped with Mustard Herb Butter is a good example.
A busy cook can prepare the flavorful topping, a pleasing combo of butter, mustard and sesame oil paired with rosemary and thyme, a day in advance. Shortly before serving, the fillets are dotted with pats of the butter and then popped in the oven for a quarter of an hour or less. A little creme fraiche is stirred into the remaining butter to lighten its texture and balance its sweetness. Then dollops of this tempting herb-scented mixture are mounded atop the bright, coral-hued salmon as a garnish.
As sides, asparagus, fresh peas or sugar snaps could be offered along with buttered red skin potatoes or a cucumber watercress salad tossed in a lemon and olive oil dressing. Such a menu would be short on the time needed to assemble but long on the pleasure it delivers.
Roasted Salmon Fillets Topped with Mustard Herb Butter
Mustard Herb Butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature plus extra for baking sheet
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄8 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 salmon filets, 6-7 ounces each and about 3⁄4 inch thick
3 tablespoons creme fraiche (available in the dairy section of many supermarkets)
Rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)
For Mustard Herb Butter, use an electric mixer on medium speed to cream the butter until smooth. Beat in the mustard, then the rosemary, thyme, salt and several grinds of black pepper. Reduce speed to low and beat in the sesame oil. (Butter can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature so that butter is softened and malleable before using.)
Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and butter it.
Arrange salmon, skin sides down, on pan, and salt and pepper them. Pat half of the mustard herb butter in small pieces over tops of salmon fillets. Bake fillets until opaque and flesh flakes easily, 12 to 14 minutes. (Roasting time will be shorter for thin fillets, longer for thick ones.)
While the fish is cooking, stir the creme fraiche into the remaining mustard herb butter and gently combine.
To serve, place each fillet on a dinner plate and top with some of the reserved butter. If desired, garnish with rosemary sprigs.