Pan Seared Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce

I know… I’ve been away. I wish I had a better explanation for you than not being particularly inspired by any recipes as of late, but alas, sometimes it’s just easier to eat out or turn to trusted house favorites during busy weeks. Last night we broke our runt with a damn tasty meal that caused a fiesta in my mouth. Yes, I am serious… a fiesta.

If you have not noticed, we like salmon. So much so, that we often cook the same recipe over and over again. I decided it was time for a new twist on this staple fish and low and behold, folks, we have found another winner! Perfect for a light summer meal, this smoked paprika coated salmon was earthly, moist and jam packed with flavor. Topped with a lovely lime “butter” emulsified sauce (I substituted olive oil in place of an entire stick of butter), the smokiness of the fish balanced perfectly against the tart zing of the drizzled sauce. Paired with a refreshing roasted corn and tomato salad (recipe coming soon) and grilled asparagus, this effortless meal whipped up in no time, but your guests don’t have to know that!

With Fall rapidly approaching, it’s time to squeeze in as many last minute summer meals as possible. Before you know it… I will be talking about pumpkin bread!

Makes 6 servings

Lime Butter Sauce

1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted or 1/2 cup olive oil (I went with the lighter option and it was delicious)

Salmon

6 (6-oz) pieces center-cut salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick) with skin
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest

To make the lime butter, purée garlic with lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. With motor running, add melted butter and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.

*Note: Lime butter sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Stir before using.

To make the Salmon, warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Season the salmon pieces with paprika, salt and pepper. Sear the skin side down, about 3 to 4 minutes on the first side. Flip the fish and continue cooking until medium-rare, about 2 to 3 minutes more depending on the thickness of the fish. Sprinkle fillets with zest and top each with 1 tablespoon lime butter sauce.