Are you a lover of salmon? I think this is one of those foods that elicits a strong reaction....you either love it, or you hate it. I happen to fall on the love side. Mr. B? Not so much. This recipe changed his mind!
I've been making a similar recipe sans the anchovy for quite a while. It involved melting butter directly in the pan in the oven, then adding the salmon, flesh side down on a bed of dill and baking until almost done. Flip the fish over and finish baking. Voila'! Delish. But then I ran across this Melissa Clark version and was like, "Damn" why didn't I think of anchovies???
Ahhh anchovies. Another one of those love/hate foods. My bestie's husband HATES them! Or so he thinks. I've been hiding them in dishes for years.....my bolognese, salad dressings, chili, etc. and he's been none the wiser. And after reading this article I'll be doing it even more! They add that umami, or extra savoriness, that makes a good dish great. I like to smash them into a paste along with garlic and salt and add them early in the cooking process.....usually right after the oil/butter heats up. Mellows out that "fishy" taste. The anchovies will dissolve right into the fat and you'll never see them again!!
That's exactly what happens here.
I've made this for just the Mr. and I, for family gatherings, dinner parties....EVERYONE raves. It will become your go-to salmon. I promise!!
Here's the recipe:
Salmon with Anchovy-Garlic Butter
Melissa Clark - NYTimes
3 tablespoons butter (I use about 3/4 tbsp for each fillet)
4 anchovies (one per fillet)
1 fat clove of garlic (or 2 smaller ones)
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-8oz) skin on salmon fillets
2 tbsp drained capers, patted dry
Fresh, chopped parsley for serving
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mince the garlic and the anchovies, then together with the salt, with the side of your knife smash them all together into a paste. (If you're not sure how to make paste, this video will help) Season the salmon with freshly ground pepper. (Don't add additional salt....along with the salt in the paste, the anchovies are also very salty)
Heat a large ovenproof skillet (I use cast-iron) over high heat until very hot. Add the butter. When melted and starting to brown, add the anchovy/garlic/salt paste. After about 30 seconds, add the salmon - skin side down - and cook for about 2-3 minutes until the skin is nice and crispy. Flip the fish to flesh side down and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until fish is just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. During the last couple of minutes of cooking, add in the capers.
Remove the pan from the oven, place the salmon on plates, spooning a little of the melted butter and capers over each fillet. Give each fillet a big squeeze of lemon and garnish with the parsley. (The lemon is important here...salmon is rich on it's own and adding the anchovies and butter will only heighten that. The acid in the lemon helps to cut through some of that richness.)