Eric Agren opened Fuel on Lisbon Street in Lewiston in 2007. Ten years later, the French restaurant has become an anchor in the downtown dining scene.
We asked Eric to share one of his favorite recipes with Catching Health: Pan Seared Salmon with Citrus Beurre Blanc.
Salmon is highly nutritious, providing an array of vitamins and minerals, as well as being a high-quality protein source. But the big draw is salmon’s omega-3 fatty acid content. Salmon is a fatty type of fish, and that’s part of what makes it so tasty, of course!
Here’s the quick and dirty on omega-3 fatty acids:
- Omega-3s are essential fatty acids (meaning that the body cannot make them) found naturally in a variety of foods including fatty fish, leafy greens, nuts, flaxseed, olive oil and canola oil.
- Omega-3 fats have been shown to benefit heart health for both healthy people and those who have had cardiovascular disease or are at high risk for it. They slow the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels, decrease triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the blood and have anti-blood clotting and anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation in the body can lead to heart disease. Omega-3s may also be beneficial in additional areas including diabetes and stroke.
The take home message about salmon
Most of us don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in our diets, so aim to eat fish/seafood at least twice per week—particularly fatty fish. This means non-fried seafood. Both wild and farmed salmon have omega-3 fatty acids, so choose according to your preference. If you don’t eat fish at all, make sure your diet includes plenty of the other omega-3 sources.
And now, it’s time to get fancy and French with our favorite fish! (Bonus nutritional points for bok choy, radishes, carrots, and an orange-infused sauce.)
Pan Seared Salmon with Citrus Beurre Blanc
Ingredients (per dish)
- One head of baby bok choy
- 3 radishes, halved
- 3 baby carrots peeled
- Salmon fillet
Beurre blanc (makes about a cup)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 oranges
- 2 teaspoons of minced shallots
- Salt and pepper
- Butter to finish sauce
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Place the bok choy, radishes, and carrots in the water and cook until very al dente. (The carrots and radishes will take longer than the bok choy.)
Remove from the water and place in an ice bath. Drain and reserve.
Make the sauce
- Sauté the shallots in a small amount of olive oil in a saucepan over low heat.
- Juice the oranges into the saucepan, add the wine, salt, and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Whisking constantly, add one tablespoon of butter at a time until the sauce is the consistency you desire.
- Reserve over a bain marie (translation: a container holding hot water into which a pan is placed for slow cooking).
- In one sauté pan, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium-high.
- Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon, lay in sauté pan, cook on both sides until you reach the desired doneness (medium rare is our preferred temperature). Use a preheated oven (at 350) to finish if needed.
- In another sauté pan, add the vegetables and some olive oil or butter. Heat over low heat until vegetables are cooked through.
- Arrange on a plate and sauce with the beurre blanc.
A note from Diane
In our family, we have a July 4th tradition — garden fresh peas and salmon, often barbecued. Here’s our recipe.