Every country in the world, even almost every city, has a few of its own signature dishes. New Orleans, Louisiana is no different. Known for being a melting pot of different cultures, the cuisine of this city is known worldwide for being top notch; blending Creole and Cajun flavors, to name a few. New Orleans’ seafood dishes certainly have a reputation of their own and are a treat for the taste buds. One such treat is the famous dish, Salmon New Orleans. There are many ways to enjoy salmon, but some would argue that you haven’t lived until you have tried salmon cooked this way.
What is Salmon New Orleans?
If you love salmon and if you love shrimp, this just may be the dish for you. Salmon New Orleans combines these two ingredients into one flavor-packed, nutrient-filled dish, bringing seafood dishes to another level. That’s right – salmon and shrimp together in one plate. Basically, the salmon is pan-seared and topped with shrimp in a – wait for it – Cajun butter sauce. If that doesn’t get you begging to make this dish, we don’t know what will. This recipe is super easy and pretty quick – it only takes about 30 minutes – plus you will only need one pan. This makes it a great addition to your weeknight meals when you are too tired, too lazy or simply don’t have time to cook. Let’s get to it.
- Salmon Fillet
The main ingredient is salmon fillet. Depending on how much you intend to make, you may need more than one fillet and they should be at least one inch thick. For a juicier bite, 1.5 inches is great.
- Large Shrimp
You will need 1 pound of large shrimp which should be peeled, deveined, and have the tails on.
8 tablespoons butter, which should be divided as you will need them for separate uses.
For the sauce, you will need:
- Heavy Cream
You will need at least 1 cup of heavy cream for a rich sauce. Any brand will do, just be sure to use full heavy cream.
- White Wine
This ingredient is optional, but it is a great way to add a fresh, fruity flavor to the dish. Again, any brand of white wine will do – this is all about personal preference. You will need about half a bottle, feel free to drink the rest!
Slice and dice the shallots into small pieces. You will need half a cup. The shallots will also add a bit of sweetness to the dish.
- Whole Peppercorns
One tablespoon of whole peppercorns will give a great spicy taste to the dish. Do not be intimidated by the use of whole peppercorns and do not worry about cracking them as crushed pepper will also be added to the sauce.
Mince two cloves of garlic. No dish is complete with garlic.
- Cayenne Pepper/Paprika
Just a dash of cayenne pepper is all you need to give a kick to the Salmon New Orleans. If you want a spicier dish, add more than a dash. You could also add a ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat; or 1 teaspoon of paprika.
- Bay Leaf/ Dried Oregano/ Onion Powder
You could add in all of these spices or one or a combination of any. 4 bay leaves, ½ a teaspoon of dried oregano ½ a teaspoon of onion powder are the measurements for each. Which one(s) you use will depend on personal taste and of course, what you have on your spice rack.
- Salt and Pepper
The amount you use here will depend on personal taste once again.
There will be no arguing over who has to do the dishes because all you will need is a frying pan, whisk, and a bowl. You’re welcome.
Instructions for Making Salmon New Orleans
- Mix all spices in a bowl and set aside.
- Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Place your salmon fillets in the pan, cooking them for 5 to 6 minutes on one side before flipping them over to cook on the other side for 7-8 minutes until the fillets are cooked through, browned, and flaky.
- Remove the salmon from the pan, place the fillets on a platter and cover them so that they stay warm.
Making the Sauce
- Simmer the spices, minced garlic, and shallots in half a bottle of wine until about ¼ of the wine is left. This may take some time.
- While the spices and wine are reducing, whip the heavy cream until it is thick and fluffy.
- Once the wine mixture has reduced, strain it and add it to the whipped cream
- Mix the sauce thoroughly. One way to test if it is ready is to see whether it runs smoothly down the back of a spoon. If it does, it is of the perfect consistency.
- Over medium-high heat, add the remaining butter to the pan.
- Add in the shrimp and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until opaque.
- You can either add the sauce to the shrimp or drizzle the sauce over the plated salmon and shrimp.
- Plate the salmon topped with shrimp and sauce (or drizzle the sauce over both), and serve with your favorite vegetables, potatoes or rice.
Salmon New Orleans with Stuffing
Another variation to this recipe is to include stuffing and do without the shrimp. Some may argue that it isn’t salmon New Orleans without shrimp, while others simply view it as a different version of the famous recipe. Here’s how it’s made.
- 3 Eggs
Feel free to use any type of egg you want – from organic to free range – just be sure to use the whole egg.
- Sautéed Spicy Sausage
Select whichever spicy sausage you prefer, and sauté it. You will need about half a cup.
- Chopped Onion
Remember that this stuffing will be stuffed inside the salmon fillet, so be sure to chop your onions into small, fine pieces.
- Bell Pepper
Bell pepper not only adds another level of flavor, but it is great for adding color too. Use both red and green bell peppers for a great-looking dish.
- Chopped Celery
One or two stalks of chopped celery will offer a freshness that goes well with the rich sauce.
- Shredded Crabmeat
You can use fresh or imitation crabmeat
Texture is an important consideration in any dish and breadcrumbs will bring some much-needed crunch to this meal. Don’t have ready-made breadcrumbs? Make some yourself with dried croutons.
- Make the sauce as per the instructions above.
- While the sauce reduces, whisk the 3 eggs, breadcrumbs, crab meat, bell pepper, celery, onion and spicy sausage in a bowl. Set aside.
- Place your salmon fillet on its side and slice a 2 to 3-inch incision along the length of it in order to create a small pocket for the stuffing to fit in.
- Add in about 4 tablespoons of stuffing to each fillet.
- Place the fillets in a pan and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Finish making the sauce
- Serve the salmon with the sauce drizzled over it or on the side.
Tips for Cooking Salmon New Orleans
- For added sweetness, or if you would rather do without the wine, use honey instead. The honey can be added to the butter used for the shrimp, but before the shrimp are placed in the pan. The combination of butter and honey should have a bubbly consistency before the honey is added. Honey possesses anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, so the use of honey is certainly not a bad idea – both health-wise and taste-wise. For maximum health benefits, use dark, raw honey.
- Grass-fed butter is rich in omega 3 and 6, vital for heart health and increasing “good” cholesterol. If these are particular concerns for you, you need not miss out on this tasty dish. Simply use grass-fed butter. Stay away from margarine, if possible. Take note that of almost any cooking fat, butter has the lowest smoking point. As such butter should be cooked on lower temperatures, otherwise it will start to smoke and affect the flavor of your dish.
Salmon New Orleans: Cooking is an Art Form
There are many variations to cooking salmon New Orleans; each with its unique spices and ingredients. Which one tastes better? Only you can tell. That is why it is important to remember that cooking is less of a science and more of an art form. Although you may start out following the recipe exactly as it is, feel free to paint your own canvas of flavors. You can substitute or add in what tastes good to you. Sure, some versions of this and other dishes may be epic fails, but who knows? You may strike gold and be your family and friends’ go-to for Salmon New Orleans.
- Salmon New Orleans: Healthy and Good for You! – Festivities Under Control
- Three Ways to Cook Salmon – WebMD