Semiahmoo Resort recipe: Winter citrus salmon


Our winter citrus salmon recipe features seared salmon, orange crème fraiche, caramelized January king cabbage and citrus pesto. Your senses will thank you when they taste the bright citrus flavors that highlight delicious wild-caught salmon. We’re lucky to have access to some of the world’s best wild salmon here in Whatcom County – paired with winter fruit and earthy cabbage, this seasonal take on a Semiahmoo staple is the perfect dish for your next dinner party.

Start with putting together the seasoned salt, orange crème fraiche and citrus pesto, then move on to the salmon and cabbage and watch it all come together.

Seasoned salt:

• 2 tablespoons coriander

• 2 tablespoons cumin

• 1 tablespoon fennel seed

• 2 teaspoon white pepper

• 6 tablespoons salt

1. Toast spices and finely grind, mix with salt.

Orange crème fraiche:

• ½ each cara cara orange, zest and juice

• ½ cup crème fraiche or full-fat sour cream

• 1 tablespoon tangerine agrumato

• Kosher salt to taste

1. In a small mixing bowl combine the crème fraiche, orange zest and juice and a pinch of salt.

2. Whisk to combine.

3. Drizzle in the tangerine agrumato and continue whisking to emulsify.

4. Season to taste with additional salt as necessary.

Caramelized cabbage:

• 1 January king or savoy cabbage

• ½ cup neutral cooking oil (no olive oil here)

• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 2 tablespoons seasoned salt

• 4 cups chicken stock

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Remove the loose outer leaves from the cabbage and cut into quarters (or eighths if the cabbage is on the larger side).

2. Heat an adequately sized Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over high heat until the pot is almost smoking. Add the neutral oil, followed by the cabbage. Sear the cabbage until it is almost black (a little bit burnt is okay). Using tongs, carefully turn the cabbage and sear the other side.

3. Remove the pot from heat, add all remaining ingredients, cover the pot with a lid and bake for 15 minutes (turn the cabbage over halfway through baking to ensure an even cook).

4. Once cooked through (use a toothpick or skewer to check the tenderness), remove the lid and allow the cabbage to cool completely in the pot before removing.

Citrus pesto:

• 1 lemon – zest, juice and

• 1 lime – zest, juice and

• 1 orange – zest, juice and

• 1 grapefruit – zest, juice and

• ½ cup basil, minced

• ½ cup parsley, minced

• ½ cup mint, minced

• ¼ cup olive oil

• 1 tablespoon honey

• 4 tablespoons pickled mustard seeds (optional)

• Kosher salt, to taste

1. Place everything except the olive oil, pickled mustard seeds and citrus supremes into a food processor. Blend until combined.

2. Slowly drizzle the oil while the machine is running to emulsify.

3. Transfer the sauce to a small mixing bowl, dice the citrus supremes and aggressively whisk them into the herb mixture.

**Supremes – is a fancy word for citrus segments without membranes, steps as described below:

1. Start with a very sharp knife. Trim the fruit’s ends, creating a flat top and bottom. Set a flat side on the cutting board.

2. Slice off the peel and pith following the shape of the fruit.

3. Set the fruit on its side, cut toward the center along the membrane, make the same cut on the adjacent membrane to release the segment. Repeat.

4. After removing all of the segments from the membrane, squeeze what remains in your hand to extract the juice.

Putting it all together


• 6-8 ounces wild caught, skin-on king salmon filet

• 1½ tablespoons seasoned salt• 4 ounces butter

• ½ each lemon, for squeezing

Salmon cooking and plate assembly:

1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.

2. Allow salmon to come up to room temperature, season liberally with seasoned salt.

3. Sear salmon skin side down in a very hot cast iron pan.

4. Add the butter, once bubbling and beginning to brown, spoon the butter over the flesh side of the fish. Repeat this process until the fish is cooked to your desired doneness. Squeeze the lemon over the cooked fish.

5. Carefully remove the fish from the pan and allow it to rest skin side up while you assemble the rest of the dish.

6. Add the cabbage to the hot, buttery salmon pan and place in the 500°F oven.

7. Spread 3 tablespoons of the orange crème fraiche on the bottom of your plate.

8. Place the hot wedge of cabbage down and the salmon next to it.

9. Spoon some butter left over from cooking the fish/cabbage over the dish.

10. Finish the plate with a couple heaping spoonfuls of citrus pesto, freshly picked mint leaves, a drizzle of tangerine agrumato and flakey sea salt.

Semiahmoo Resort offers dining options at Packers Kitchen + Bar, Great Blue Heron Grill and Seaview Café. 


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