Orange sauce: wow on a plate.

“What is that great sauce?” How many times have you heard that in a restaurant? That mystery liquid drizzled over your entrée, that glistening pool under your chicken, your steak, your roasted vegetables. The right sauce can elevate the most plain dish to wow on a plate.

My orange tree is loaded with big, juicy, incredibly sweet oranges. Fresh-picked every morning, they provide us with a dense, rich juice unlike any I’ve tasted.  Perfect for a sauce.

Seared Salmon Fillet with Orange-Rosemary Sauce

Serves 2

2, 4-6oz salmon fillets, skin off

3T canola or other flavorless oil

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 medium shallot, chopped small but not minced

1, 2″ sprig of fresh rosemary, smashed

1C freshly squeezed orange juice, seeds removed

2 pats unsalted butter

In a medium, regular skillet (not non-stick), heat 2T of the oil over medium-high heat. Towel dry the fillets, then season with salt and pepper. Place the fillets in the skillet, give each a quick quarter turn to prevent sticking. Depending on size/thickness, saute 2-3 minutes, then turn and repeat. The fish is done when it’s opaque all the way through…don’t over cook.

Remove the fillets to a plate, wrap in foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining oil to the pan, swirl to coat. Add the shallots, stirring to prevent them from burning. When softened and translucent, add the orange juice and rosemary sprig. Turn the heat up to high, and reduce the juice to by at least half…you’re looking for a light syrup consistency. Lastly, add the butter and stir until fully incorporated.

When ready, plate the salmon. Remove the rosemary from the sauce, then dress each fillet with the pan sauce, passing the rest on the side.

Note: substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the salmon for another great dish.

Orange pic courtesy: me.

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, Arizona. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2011

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