I have never traveled to Denmark though I have always wanted to go. My sister lived there for a period of time and sent us goodies on occasion.
Foodies know that when it comes to finding authentic, superior tasting products origin matters, and in this post for Honest Cooking I was sent the highest quality Nordic farmed salmon available, praised by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, arguably the world’s most influential arbiter of seafood sustainability, along with a wedge of award winning blue cheese to inspire a Denmark influenced recipe.
In an age of all you can eat, all year round, Danish chefs are leading the way in a new wave of gourmet thinking. Slow food over fast food and locally-sourced produce over food shipped from every corner of the planet. That’s the essence of New Nordic cuisine, a sustainable, healthy and delicious trend that has taken Scandinavia by storm, and has spread to food markets and the general public as well.
In Denmark, delicacies such as langoustine, wild salmon, seaweed, foraged berries and musk ox are popular restaurant menu items, and young Danish chefs have breathed new life into the famous open sandwich, Smørrebrød, which dates back to the 19th century. These heaped rye bread treats were popular with everyone from farmers and factory workers to the lavish urban elite, one hundred years ago.
Calling on my New Orleans background for inspiration, I decided to blacken the salmon, and whipped up a blue cheese cream sauce to top it with. The fish remains moist and flavorful, and the blue cheese makes this dish sublime. I used the leftover cream sauce in house-made mashed potatoes the following day. It was the perfect side to go with our steak.
Nordic Blackened Salmon topped with Danish Blue Cheese Crème Sauce
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for frying
4 (6-ounce) portions skinless and boneless salmon fillets
Blue Cheese Sauce:
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, black pepper, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Season each piece of fish by massaging the rub on both sides.
Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted, quickly add the fish and cook about 2 minutes per side, only flipping once.
Transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook.
For the sauce:
Place the white wine into a medium saucepan and reduce it by half. Add the heavy whipping cream and allow it to reduce. Add the blue cheese and whisk until smooth. Serve on top of the salmon. Use the leftovers in mashed potatoes.