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Butterfly Salmon

This is a very easy and versatile dish. You may leave out the shrimp and caviar for a simple week day meal, or add them to make it fancier. Best served with “rice” potatoes. See explanation below.

Butterfly Salmon

Servings 8


  • 2 salmon filets preferably center pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Fresh ground white pepper
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons oil

Garnish Ingredients

  • 16 large shrimp cooked
  • Red caviar

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cubes fish bullion
  • 3 dl dry white wine
  • 6 dl creme fraiche: nowadays creme fraiche can be found in most stores; if not available, the closest substitute is 3 dl fat free half and half + 3 dl sour cream
  • A pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt


  • From the salmon fillets, cut 8 pieces, about 2 inches thick.
  • Take each piece, skin down, and slice right through the middle, carefully not to cut through the skin. This way, each steak opens in butterfly shape. Put salt and pepper on each steak.
  • Set oven at 425F.
  • Fry the onion lightly in 2 tablespoons of butter, until translucent.
  • Add the tomato paste, and let it cook with the onion for just a half a minute.
  • Add the wine, and crumble in the fish cubes.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it cook until it reduces to about half.
  • Add the creme fraiche and cook while whisking with a hand beater. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  • Whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter and sift the sauce which is now ready.
  • Up to here, you can prepare 3 – 4 hours before serving.

At the time of serving

  • Brush the salmon with oil, and put them on a buttered oven sheet.
  • Bake for 6 – 10 minutes, depending on thickness of the steaks.
  • In the time being, warm up the shrimp with 1 tablespoon butter and ½ cup water in a covered small pot. Do not let them boil, or they will be dry and chewy.
  • Set the salmon steaks on the serving plates, pour a little of the sauce on each, and garnish with 2 shrimp and a teaspoon of caviar each. Take the rest of the sauce to the table.
  • This dish is best accompanied by “rice” potatoes: once you boil the potatoes, you put them through a gadget called a potato press. Do not mash them; just leave them as they fall in the pot.


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