TC Recipe: Seared Salmon and Smoked Mussels

May 15 2011

By Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny
Suggested Pairing: 2009 King Estate Whole Cluster Pinot Noir
Serves 2


Pinot Noir made with whole clusters produces a wine that is herbaceous and earthy. It provides a tannic splash in the mouth. Both of these features will stand up nicely to the rich salmon and the smoky sea flavored mussels. Additionally the herbaceous notes of the wine will enhance the anise in the pernod.

Smoked mussels can be stored in olive oil for up to a month in your refrigerator. If you do not have access to a smoker contact your local fish market about acquiring smoked mussels.


  • 2 each salmon filet, 6 oz
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter, unsalted
  • 1 lb mussels in the shell
  • 2 T anise liqueur, like Pernod
  • 2 T white wine
  • ½ lb asparagus, blanched
  • ½ each shallot, sliced thin
  • 1/8 C Italian flat leaf parsley, rough chopped


Smoking Mussels: Shuck the oysters into a brine of 1 T salt, ½ T sugar, and 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Remove the mussels from the brine and put them on a pan with a small amount of olive oil. Put that pan in a smoker and hot smoke until the mussels reach 140 degrees.

In a small sauce pot sweat the shallots in olive oil over low heat. Add the smoked mussels, Pernod and white wine. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus, parsley, and butter. Set aside.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper. In a hot sauté pan sear the salmon in the olive oil on all sides. This should put the salmon at a rare temperature. Put it in the oven or cook longer on each side for more doneness.

Place the salmon in a bowl. Cover with the mussel mix and the sauce from the pot.