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Guest-Worthy Salmon with Asparagus and Mustard Sauce
serves 2

Working Girl Mustard SalmonINGREDIENTS



  • 2 6-ounce boneless, skinless center-cut salmon fillets

  • 1½ teaspoons olive oil

  • A handful of fresh thyme stems

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 bunch of asparagus

  • ¼ cup sour cream

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 4 teaspoons water


PROCEDURE


Place the top rack of your oven in the second highest position (one down from the top).  Preheat the broiler.


Rub each salmon fillet with ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Place the salmon on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (so it won’t stick).  Under each salmon fillet, tuck a small handful of fresh thyme stems, so you create a bed of thyme for the salmon.


Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends of each stalk.  Place the asparagus on the parchment-lined baking sheet with the salmon, and toss with the remaining ½ teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper.  Place on the rack you adjusted under the broiler for 12 to 15 minutes.  The top of the salmon with be golden-brown, and the asparagus will be crisp.


Meanwhile make the sauce.  In a small sauce pot, stir together the sour cream, Dijon mustard, and water over medium-low heat, just until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper.


I like to serve this with the sauce poured over the salmon, with the asparagus alongside, and maybe a few boiled potatoes.  Serve extra sauce on the side for the veggies.


FISH TIPS


Buying fish can be daunting.  You are looking for fish that is clear (not foggy), bright (not gray), and doesn’t smell like dead fish.  Readers have asked me for reputable fish stores.  From my experience, Whole Foods has good fish.  And in New York, I recommend Citarella, The Vinegar Factory, and Eli’s on the Upper East Side.  Don’t forget, you can ask the guy behind the fish counter to do almost anything.  So when I say boneless, skinless, center-cut salmon fillets, tell him those instructions, and he will do all the work for you.  And they won’t think you’re being difficult.


If you have guests, just double the recipe!


ON THE SIDE


The asparagus in this recipe are built in, which I love.  But if you want to add boiled potatoes, here’s how you do it:


Put small boiling potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, or fingerling potatoes in an empty saucepot.  Fill the pot two-thirds of the way up with cold water.  Put the pot over high heat, uncovered.  When the water boils, add salt.  Cook until the tip of a knife easily pierces the potato.  Depending on the size of your potato, that could take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.


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