Recipes 2009
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Prep Time: Caper Butter: 3 ½ hours; Salmon: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Comment: Often simple is best. With fresh salmon available, the compound butter, with its use of raisins, harks back to the dried fruit so popular in the Middle Ages, and the capers show the fondness of contemporary Irish cooks for Mediterranean flavors. Irish butter, with its high fat content, will add a particularly rich flavor, but regular American butter can be substituted. This recipe was adapted from chef Paul Flynn of The Tannery in Dungarvan, Ireland.

For Butter:
¼ cup raisins
1 stick Irish butter, softened (if not available us unsalted butter and add 1 tsp kosher salt)
1/3 cup capers
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped chives

In small bowl, combine raisins and ½ cup hot water. Cover and let soak 2 hours, then drain.
In food processor, combine butter, raisins, capers, and lemon zest and pulse until well combined. Stir in chives. Transfer to large sheet of wax paper and roll into a 6-inch-long log. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to develop.

For Salmon:
8 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, preferably wild
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add 4 fillets, skin side up, and sear until undersides are well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn fillets over and sear until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to serving platter and keep water. Wipe pan clean, heat remaining teaspoon of oil, and repeat with remaining 4 fillets.

Slice log of butter into 8 coins. Top each salmon fillet with 1 coin and serve immediately.

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