Living on an Island, on the West Coast of British Columbia, we are so appreciative of the availability of Fresh Wild Fish and Shell Fish.  I am sure most of you have heard of the amazing millions of spawning Sockeye Salmon in recent weeks.  Record numbers, not seen in over 100 years!  You never know how mother nature will work.  I do love Salmon, although, my favorite, which I have mentioned before is Coho.  Coho is stronger than a Spring Salmon, but not as strong tasting as Sockeye. It is right in the middle, and so delicious.  In all of these years that I have been cooking Salmon, I have never pan seared salmon fillets before, I have always relied on the oven to cook Salmon.  Wow. This dish was unbelievably delicious.  I wish I could give you the "time frame" of pan searing these fillets, but I was so into cooking it, making sure not to overcook the fillets, I lost track of time.  The best advice I can give is based on the thickness of your fillets, watch them like crazy.  I had one fillet that was thicker than the other.  And you know how you always end up with one end of the fillet being thin?  Once it is opaque, turn the fish so that the thin part is up the side of your pan, no longer in direct heat. I seared the fillets, skin side down, and flipped once for a short time just to bring some color to the fish, then flipped back to the skin side to finish cooking.  Once you see the fillet looking opaque through the center, it is done.  Even if it still looks a little pink, take it off the heat, transfer to a platter and cover in tin foil.  There is nothing worse than over cooked fish.  And trust me, it will be cooked, and any trace of pink will be beautifully cooked, and more important - MOIST.

2 Coho Salmon Fillets
about 3/4 cup Calico Scallops
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 minced shallots
2 minced garlic cloves
1 rounded tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tblsp. fresh diced Tarragon
1/2 a glass of  White wine
Heat up a pan on medium high heat.  Add in a few knobs of butter, then the salmon fillets.  Fry the fillets skin side down until the middle gets a little opaque.  Flip to the other side, just to brown a little bit, then turn the fillet over to the skin side down, continuing to cook until the fillet is opaque.  Transfer to a platter and cover in tin foil.
Add another knob of butter to the pan turning the heat down to medium.  Add in the Calico scallops, and juice of 1/2 a lemon, tossing to cook - maybe 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl, cover with tin foil.  Turn the heat down to low medium and add another knob of butter to the pan, adding in the shallots and garlic, sauteing to sweat out.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then the 1/2 glass of wine, and Dijon mustard scraping up any brown bits.  Drain any liquid from the bowl of shallots into the pan, simmer, reducing the liquid to half.  Then turn off the heat, adjust salt and pepper, and add in another knob of butter, swirling in the pan to lightly thicken.  Add in the minced tarragon, stirring, then place the scallops over the salmon, and pour the sauce over the entire dish. Serve right away while the sauce is piping hot.

Ina Gawne
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October 19, 2010