Pan Seared Wild Salmon by Chef David Darugh

Pan Seared Wild Salmon by Chef David Darugh
We are featuring recipes from Rabun County’s Four “Best Chefs America 2013.”  With 4 “Best Chefs America” practicing their skills it is helping to make Northeast Georgia a culinary destination extraordinaire. This recipe for “Pan Seared Wild Salmon with Charleston Gold Laurel Aged Rice & Béarnaise Sauce” is by Chef David Darugh of Beechwood Inn.

Entrée: Pan Seared Wild Salmon with Charleston Gold Laurel Aged Rice & Béarnaise Sauce, by Chef David Darugh
Some pairings are made in heaven and Salmon with Anson Mills Charleston Gold Rice is one. This heirloom rice from South Carolina is an elegant perfumed long-grain rice that has been stored with wild red bay laurel leaves for three years yielding wonderful aromatics.
4 fresh wild salmon fillets (skin-on) each about 5-6 ounces
1 Tbls Balsamic glaze
1 Tbls olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground peppercorns
½ tsp toasted and ground cardamom seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely diced
½ cup dry white wine
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Do not remove the skin from the fillets. Marinate the salmon fillets in a small dish in the refrigerator for several hours with balsamic glaze, olive oil and seasonings. Bring the salmon to room temperature. Heat a skillet large enough for the fillets over high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Once the skillet gets hot, reduce to medium high, add fillets skin side down. Cook until skin is well browned and the bottom part of the filets turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Turn fillets over. At this point the skin should be easy to remove with tongs. Salt and pepper the filets after you remove the skin and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the shallots. Turn the salmon over one more time and sear briefly, until desired doneness is reached (presentation side is now up). When the fish is done, it should still show traces of bright orange and be glassy when you peek inside the fillet with the tip of a paring knife.
Remove salmon from pan and keep warm. Continue to cook shallots and add the garlic. Increase heat to high and add lemon and wine. Cook until reduced by 1/3, about 3 minutes. Place sauce in a small bowl and keep warm.
Pair this with Anson Mills No-Peak Laurel Aged Charleston Gold Rice
Béarnaise Sauce Recipe
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
4 peppercorns, crushed
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
Heat the butter in a saucepan just to melt. Boil shallots, garlic, tarragon, and peppercorns in vinegar and wine in a saucepan over medium heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Strain into the top of a double boiler. Add egg yolks and whisk together. Place the top over the bottom of the double boiler containing simmering water. Whisk constantly. When the yolk mixture begins to thicken and get creamy, turn off the heat but continue to whisk. As the mixture cooks the eggs will get frothy and increase in volume and will thicken. Take care not to overcook. Take the pan off the hot water and slowly drizzle in the melted butter while whisking. Whisk in the salt and cayenne. Yield: 1-1/2 cups
To Plate
Drizzle the plate with Béarnaise Sauce. Using an ice cream scoop place a scoop of rice just off the center of the plate. Place Salmon leaning on the rice. Add grilled asparagus spears and beet stars. Drizzle the wine sauce over the salmon and rice and top with micro-greens. We added an edible Nasturtium as a garnish.
Learn more about Beechwood Inn and its Chefs at