Salmon with Dill Sauce (and Kitchen Phobias)

I am normally pretty brave in the kitchen.  After all, if it doesn’t work, it’s not like I have to eat it.  I still might try to choke some of it down, but I always have the option of a good ol’ PB&J if it is just that bad (like the Blueberry Chicken Casserole that I made before I started this blog…uggghhh).

One food that I have remained afraid of is fish.  Part of the problem is that I don’t like many different types of fish (salmon and white fish are it pretty much).  Then, even if it is a Lauren-approved fish, if it is prepared with something that I don’t think should go with fish (cheese, tomatoes, olives, other fish stuffing), I won’t eat that either.  As you can see, I am fussy enough when someone else is making me the fish.

When I am trying to prepare it, I have the third hurdle as well.  Where do I buy it?  What cut do I get?  Will there be all of those little bones?  Is it fresh?  Will my apartment smell like fish for days?

I finally decided (after 3 years of cooking for myself and not making any fish) to face my fear and just go for it.  I saw Claire Robinson make her recipe for Crispy Skin Salmon on the Food Network and thought I would go with that concept.  How can you really mess up broiled salmon?

HINT: When broiling salmon, make sure it doesn’t stick to your oven rack.  It can be messy afterward 😦

I bought a wild salmon filet at the grocery store and went to town!  I made a few changes (as you can see in my recipe).  I replaced tarragon with dill because I couldn’t find tarragon anywhere.  My salmon is also not really “Crispy Skin” because mine had no skin on it when I bought it.  Just think of it as crispy instead!  The sauce is creamy and spicy, a perfect accompaniment to all sorts of dishes.  I bet it would be fabulous with chicken or pork too.  Best of all, because that had such a strong flavor, it drowned out any semblance of a fish smell!

Overall, I feel pretty wonderful that I found a way to make fish.  What are your favorite ways to prepare fish?  What are your biggest kitchen fears?  The world wants to know.

Salmon with Dill Sauce

  • 2 (6-ounce) pieces salmon filet, 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened and divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried Dill
  • Steamed vegetable or Rice for your side


  1. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Rub 1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter all over the the salmon. Transfer the salmon, buttered side up, to a sheet pan. Chill in the fridge to firm the butter, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the broiler to high.
  3. Place the salmon about 5 inches from the heat source and cook until the fish is cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  4. In a small saucepan over moderate heat, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, lemon zest,lemon juice, mustard and dill leaves. Divide the sauce between 2 plates and place 1 piece of salmon on top of each pool of sauce.
  5. Side with your favorite steamed vegetable or rice.  I used peas and they were wonderful with the sauce.


Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.


20 thoughts on “Salmon with Dill Sauce (and Kitchen Phobias)

  1. This looks REALLY good. Going to make it for my dad. He’s a 78yo health nut(!). So my cooking fear is the artichoke. Preparing one from scratch seems daunting and there is the removal of the choke. Why did they have to call it that?

    1. oooo artichoke! I was afraid of that too, but my boyfriend is quite the wizard with stuffed artichokes. I will have to post on those sometime. They are so easy and feel gourmet.

  2. Sounds yummy and rich. We had salmon last night. We grilled it with onions and a little olive oil in a foil packet. I don’t have many kitchen phobias but I don’t deep fry anything. Mostly because I absolutely hate the cleanup and having grease spatters everywhere.

    1. I have also recently discovered the joys of foil packets 🙂

      I have the same feeling toward deep frying. It’s just messy and, in the end, probably not worth the effort.

  3. That sauce sounds divine. I’m another in the fish fear camp. Mostly I just end up using canned. Canned wild salmon can be crushed with a fork and used about the same way as canned tuna. The bones are so soft that you can crush them in with the meat and get a nice extra dose of calcium!

    1. hmmmm I have never tried canned! Maybe that is another phobia of mine-canned fish. Perhaps I shall face it after your recommendation.

  4. That looks amazing!! We eat fish or seafood at least two nights a week, but I cannot believe I have never made a dill sauce. I love dill with seafood! And there’s no milk or cream in your recipe! I’m definitely going to try this.. maybe one night this week. Thanks!

    So many people shy away from cooking fish at home because they don’t want their home smelling like fish … but I have never had that problem. Maybe because I very rarely fry fish? I don’t know…

    I guess if I were to name my [and my family’s] favorite fish dishes they would be these:
    1. oven roasted salmon–sometimes with a brown sugar-chili powder topping and sometimes with just olive oil, s&p on top
    2. baked mahi mahi–in a roasting dish with olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, s&p that is just divine in fish tacos
    3. bits of salmon, shrimp, scallops and crab in a light cream sauce served over pasta
    4. catfish or tilapia cooked escabeche style–hmm.. I guess it’s like a spanish style sweet and spicy dish. Got the recipe from my Filipina mother-in-law. Yum I want some now.
    5. occasionally a white fish breaded with fresh breadcrumbs or panko crumbs that is pan fried [family’s preference] or oven baked [my preference].

  5. Looks very good! We have salmon occasionally as my honey likes it but I’m not into it. Just tried a new weight watchers recipe the other night for salmon and asparagus stir fried in a raspberry sauce serve with brown rice. It was very good. I am always afraid of not having enough when having guest. I tend to over do it:)

  6. That looks gorgeous! I love fish, but my husband is mostly fish-phobic. Also, if your fish smells fishy you shouldn’t eat it. Fresh fish has no “fish” smell. Fish fish fish.

    I guess my kitchen phobia is smoked things. Hate smoked salmon, smoked cheddar, smoked gouda. That flavor makes my stomach churn. My husband loves smoked things (but will only eat non-smoked salmon. Weird)

    Trader Joe’s South African Smoky Flavoring pepper blend is pretty awesome. I bet it would taste great on fish.

  7. That is a delicious looking piece of salmon…and the sauce – yum! I almost don’t want to say this…because it sounds totally cocky (and I don’t mean it that way)…but I don’t really have any kitchen phobias. I pretty march charge anything I may be apprehensive about head-on. But that’s really only because I’ve been comfortable in the kitchen for many, many years I suppose. You did a beautiful job!

    Although…I don’t “can” very often…I just find it an annoyingly tedious process. Which is sad, because I love the notion. I just don’t have the patience, I suppose.

  8. My husband and I just went to visit our first born who is 23 yr old and lives 5 hours away now. We talked about what we ate for dinner the night before my water broke and our son was born the next day. We ate salmon and dill sauce. The only difference is that it was poached and chilled with a cool dill and cucumber sauce. It was yummy and this recipe is too. Good for you to overcome your fears.

  9. I just had salmon the other day! But it was steamed on the grill…. generally though, fish I broil or I will bread it and pan-fry it. Depends if I want to be healthy or a little un-healthy :p

    My biggest kitchen fear is either slicing off a phalange in the midst of utilizing the knife OR messing the recipe up so bad that the meal is completely ruined. Nothing could be worse that making an amazing dish and promising it to others and then having it not turn out and being forced to order a pizza or chinese. Sigh.

  10. Your salmon and green peas look really delicious. My phobia? handling raw meat. But that’s what we have to do if we want to do healthy cooking from scratch and not use processed food. So you know I’m not a happy cooker… I’d rather be reading. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s