If you are looking for a fancy yet easy complete meal for your next date night, this is it. It was another one of those dishes that I had out at a local European restaurant and just had to figure out how to recreate it at home. My Mom appears to have figured it out! She’s been making this dish for roughly a year now, and it’s about time I got around to blogging it. It’s a five-star meal loaded with flavor, but it’s so simple to make.
I love the balance of textures going on in this dish. You’ve got a layer of ultra-crispy potatoes on the bottom, topped with a layer of creamy leeks, followed by tender salmon with grainy mustard and a crunchy topping. It’s to die for! I don’t eat fish very often, but I’ll make an exception for this dish because it’s just too good.
It’s been a bit of a rough week having to only eat soft foods since my oral surgery. I felt like a puppy sitting at the table, longingly staring at everyone else’s plates while I ate overcooked Mac ‘n’ cheese and smoothies. Luckily, I’m almost back to normal! Crunchy foods, I’m coming for ya (soon). Can I also say, WHY do people feel the need to share with me everything that went wrong during/after their oral surgery procedures?! I went to a cooking class last night and I told one of my fellow classmates that I just got my wisdom teeth out. His response was “Not to scare you or anything, (at which point I should have told him to stop talking), but when I got mine out they healed up just fine and then a week later I got an abscess and my whole neck swelled up and it was a whole thing and $2000 I’m still dealing with the aftermath.” Gee, thanks. I’m glad you shared your completely non-helpful tidbit about the horror following your surgery. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen to me!
Ok, sorry for that little tangent. Just know, if you had a bad experience following a medical procedure, it’s probably best not to tell someone who just had said medical procedure done.
…But back to the food. The reason you’re here reading this. When I do splurge to eat fish, I like to get the highest quality, most sustainable fish I can get. The salmon used in this recipe was wild Alaskan Coho Salmon, and I would definitely recommend the Coho over Sockeye, if you can find it.
Disclaimer: This recipe is easy, but it uses quite a few pots and you have to attend to each component of the dish. I would highly recommend reading through the entire recipe before starting so that you can have your prep work done and make it a less stressful event!
Dijon & Herb Crusted Salmon with Creamy Leeks & Crispy Potatoes
2 lb Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon
1/2 cup grainy dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Zest of one lemon
For the potatoes–
2 large potatoes, diced
2 Tablespoons butter
For the leeks–
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the leeks in thin rounds and place in a medium bowl. Fill the bowl with water and allow the leeks to sit for a few minutes, to allow any gritty material to sink to the bottom of the bowl. Drain and set aside.
- To make the potatoes: In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, fry the potatoes in the butter and season with salt and pepper, stirring only occasionally, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- To make the creamy leeks: In a small pot over medium heat, melt the 2.5 Tablespoons butter. Slowly whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the milk and fresh nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper. Allow this mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Throw in the sliced leeks and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- While the leeks are cooking, cut the salmon into 4-5 pieces. Divide the mustard evenly between the salmon pieces and smear a generous amount on the top of each piece.
- In a small bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, 1.5 Tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon zest, and chopped parsley. Divide the crumb mixture evenly between the salmon pieces and firmly press the crumbs into the top of each piece. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, fry the salmon (skin side down) in the remaining 1.5 Tablespoons of the the olive oil for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake the salmon for 12 minutes. Then, turn the broiler on high and broil for 3-5 minutes, but check frequently to make sure the salmon isn’t burning!
- Serve each plate with a base of crispy potatoes topped with the creamy leeks. Top this with a piece of salmon and a lemon wedge.