This is for you.

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs I

Because chances are, you ate a billion fun sized candy bars for dinner last night and need a… real meal. I mean, maybe you didn’t, but we sort of have this mutual relationship of sorts and kind of, I don’t know, get each other?

I just have a feeling. It’s like ESP for sugar.

Maybe you didn’t eat a bunch of candy but instead chewed on an entire tiny box of orange tic tacs for dinner. I haven’t done that in a loooong time but was super tempted when I saw some in the check-out line yesterday which reminded me of how I’d beg my mom to buy them then I’d literally pop ’em like candy. Like I’d actually take down an entire container of those in one day when I was younger. It’s not like anyone believes that those little orange gems are breath fresheners anyway.

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs I

Regardless of what you ate last night, don’t you sometimes just need a MEAL? I wish I had a better description to explain what I’m talking about, but you know when you have those days where snacks turn into dinner or bowls of cereal are consumed and then you just can’t take it anymore and NEED a meal? Your meal may be different than my meal, but whatever it is, it needs to be filling and balanced. And preferably not consist of cheese and crackers and wine. Only. (That can be the appetizer, yes.)

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs I

It seems like ages since I’ve shared a recipe for my favorite fish, but that’s simply because there are many that I love oh so much. I make one of them on a weekly basis which is saying a lot since I get bored, like, five minutes before something even happens. Next week I hit 30 so maybe I’ll grow out of that? Huh. One can dream.

So, two weeks ago my dad ordered a salmon dish for lunch that was covered in some sort of cream sauce and a light sprinkling breadcrumbs, and it just looked fabulous. In true Jessica-fashion I could not stop thinking about it.

Sidebar: you really don’t ever want to do anything in Jessica-fashion. But you probably already know that.

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs I

Instead of broiling my salmon like I often do, I seared it for a few minutes which left it crispy on top but buttery inside. In the same skillet, I used some low-fat evaporated milk and a bunch of other delicious things to whip up a super fast and light cream sauce which was, um… amazing. I have a serious mustard addiction. Well, I have an addiction to all things tart, briney and somewhat bitter (vinegar, pickles, olives… get in my face), but mustard is the most severe by far. I actually have a mustard COLLECTION.

And now you know more than you ever wanted.

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs I


Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs

Yield: serves 2-4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


1 pound salmon filet
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 small shallot, diced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard


Prepare breadcrumbs first by heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and adding 1 tablespoon of butter. Add in 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, then stir in bread crumbs well, tossing for a minute or two until the mixture is combined and slightly golden. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season salmon with salt and pepper, then place in the skillet (skin side up, if the salmon has skin) and cook until opague in the center and golden on each side, about 5-6 minutes for salmon that is 1-inch thick. If you use salmon with skin, simply cook it skin side up the entire time. Remove salmon and set aside, then add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, shallot, garlic, and sage. Stir well to coat then cook for 1-2 minutes until sizzling, then add in white. Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing it to bubble and slightly reduce, then whisk in milk and mustard. Continue to whisk and cook while milk bubbles on the sides and thickens, stirring for a minute or two. Taste and season additionally or whisk in a bit more dijon if desired.

Serve salmon immediately, drizzled with dijon cream and then top with breadcrumbs. Serve with rice, potatoes, vegetables or salad!

[recipe inspired by... my dad's lunch.]

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs I

Eat up.

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123 Responses to “Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs.”

  1. #
    Heather@SugarDish(Me) — November 1, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    I think I need this. Or sooooomething like it. Because I am on a serious sugar overload. Like I think the Halloween candy actually might have damaged my taste buds.


  2. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — November 1, 2012 @ 7:16 am

    I’m like with tic-tacs but I loved the mint flavored, something about those white tic tacs, I think it was the smell. I LOVED the vanilla, mint smell of tic tacs. So Weird! Your salmon dish looks amazing!! I have to bookmark it for making later!


    • Jessica — November 1st, 2012 @ 9:08 am

      OMG… was obsessed with those. I think because my mom bought them in huge packs from Sam’s Club or something… and she always had them in her purse. They smelled so perfect but then you ate them and they WEREN’T vanilla. Lies.


  3. #
    thyme (sarah) — November 1, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    What a sweet and funny post to read with my morning coffee. Yes, you got me, many fun-sized candy bars were consumed last night. With a 16 year old son whose lips starts to droop when he realizes all of these younger kids will have loads of candy…we sort of do our own festive indulging just to feel like youth isn’t completely over. Love the mention of the tic tacs. I used to collect those little boxes for all sorts of treasures. I had no end of happiness with flipping those little lids open and closed, open and closed. I stopped because the description on Twitter of the salmon sounded so good. Must eat protein from now on. All candy bar leftovers are in the trash!


  4. #
    Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers — November 1, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    Oh man, that looks good! I don’t even like salmon, but I’m trying to like it. I think this will help. ;)


  5. #
    Ashley — November 1, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    Our taste buds come from different planets. I loathe mustard but LOVE fennel seeds. I’m glad that doesn’t come between our friendship.


  6. #
    Kim in MD — November 1, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    My power is back on this morning and I am so excited to see what you have cooking up, Jessica! Trick-or-treating is postponed in my community until Friday night, due to lack of power. I didn’t open the candy bag, so I didn’t eat any (aren’t I good?). Friday night? That’s will be a different story! This salmon looks amazing.


    • Jessica — November 1st, 2012 @ 9:07 am

      Oh so glad you are safe, Kim! Ours was rescheduled to Saturday because we just have had nonstop rain. Blah!


  7. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — November 1, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    My husband decided that “fun size” candy is not fun at all, since it is way smaller than when we trick-or-treated as kids! :)


  8. #
    Erin@LawStudentsWife — November 1, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    If this is what post-holiday candy detox looks like, please let’s incorporate king sized candy bars once a week (though I’m not sure how I’ll squeeze in that fab PB chocolate cake you posted yesterday). I’m obsessed with mustard too (3 kinds in the fridge right now), and that sauce looks d-lish. Thanks for sharing!


  9. #
    Rodzilla (@RodzillaReviews) — November 1, 2012 @ 8:33 am

    Oh how I love crispy fish skin, and panko on the other side? Damn.


  10. #
    Amy W — November 1, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    By “mustard collection” do you mean, like, in addition to the usual yellow mustard, honey mustard, dijon mustard, dusseldorf mustard, chipotle mustard, and sweet hot mustard you also have 12 different kinds of spicy brown mustard?

    Because Ihavenoideawhatthatslike.

    P.S. My favorite is the kind we have with unground mustard seeds.


    • Jessica — November 1st, 2012 @ 9:06 am

      YES. I made the best dish with that a few weeks ago that I still need to share. So good.


  11. #
    Abby@ Totes Delish — November 1, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    I lovelovelovleolove the tart combo you are talking about, yuuuum!!!


  12. #
    Elizabeth H. — November 1, 2012 @ 8:49 am

    It’s like we have ESPN or something!

    I took salmon out to thaw before I left for work this morning and will need to consume this pronto. Substitutions for evaporated milk so that I don’t have to make a special trip to the store (where I would inevitably buy ALL the leftover sale Halloween candy. It’s dangerous territory)? I’d love your ideas. Thanks!


    • Jessica — November 1st, 2012 @ 9:06 am

      You can definitely use regular milk, but something like half and half or cream would be best! The evaporated just tends to be”creamier” so you can make it lighter.


      • Elizabeth H. — November 2nd, 2012 @ 11:33 am

        I used what we had– 1/2 skim milk and it turned out beautifully. Thanks again!

  13. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — November 1, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    We are on the same wavelength! I just posted salmon on my blog too! Love me some omega 3’s.


  14. #
    elizabeth @ chronic venture — November 1, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    yummm. is there anything better than a perfectly cooked piece of salmon? that sauce looks just divine!


  15. #
    deva at deva by definition — November 1, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    I love mustard in a creamy sauce like this. it’s the only way I can get The Boy to try it!


  16. #
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots — November 1, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    salmon is my favorite, this has my name written all over it!


  17. #
    Erin @ The Food Doctors — November 1, 2012 @ 9:14 am

    You know me so well!

    My dinner last night definitely consisted of 3 mini candy bars, 2 glasses of wine, and crackers covered in drunken goat cheese. I need this salmon, like ASAP.


  18. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — November 1, 2012 @ 9:44 am

    i really don’t know if i could be drooling more. HOLYYUM.


  19. #
    Noemi — November 1, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    This salmon looks soooo good. I definitely know what you mean about a real meal sometimes. It’s just necessary, since caramels and Reese’s are not quite a balanced meal. I just have to say that I am already looking forward to what you’ll post for your birthday next week! We share the same birthday,so November 7 is always a day to look forward to!


  20. #
    purelymichelle — November 1, 2012 @ 10:43 am

    mmm love salmon!! this looks wonderful


  21. #
    Jessica — November 1, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    I love salmon. Maybe because it’s pink, maybe just because it’s delicious. No one will ever know. And I am confident when I say I never have less than 8 types of mustard in my fridge at all times.


  22. #
    Lacy — November 1, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    that dijon cream sauce looks unreal. #want


  23. #
    HeatherChristo — November 1, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    Beautiful, and if it cancels out the candy, I am in.


  24. #
    Christine — November 1, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Thy will be done…. in my kitchen. Looks great, can’t wait to make this Jessica.. and just a sidebar about all things vinegary. We buy the huge bulk sized jars of dill pickles at Costco on Saturdays, and they are gone by the following Saturday. I think that comes out to like 3 WHOLE pickles per person, every day.


  25. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 1, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    The hubs would love this one! I am loving the dijon cream and the pour shot. I could put that sauce to use in so many ways and recipes!


  26. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — November 1, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

    Oh my God yes.


  27. #
    Brenna — November 1, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    ugh. I feel so much better about myself knowing that I am not the only person who is obsessed with vinegary/briney things.


  28. #
    Sharla — November 1, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    3 fun size boxes of milk duds is not dinner? CRAAAPP!! Can’t wait to try this – salmon is my fave too!


  29. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — November 1, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    These photos are amazing! The dijon cream is just perfect looking


  30. #
    Eileen — November 1, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I could use a real plate of dinner. :) (And we didn’t even give out candy!) This salmon sounds so good–and sage cream sauce definitely gets my vote!


  31. #
    Amy — November 1, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    Never was like that with tic tacs, but I did beg for luden’s cough drops then eat them like candy. The wild cherry. Yum. does luden’s even come in any other flavor?


    • StinkMomBomb — November 2nd, 2012 @ 7:56 am

      Yum Ludens!!! It was like taboo to bring these to school bc they’re nothing like a real cough drop!!


  32. #
    Lisa Pallone — November 1, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    I have been reading your blog for about three months. The food is fabulous and I find your commentary laugh out loud funny! Now I see that we have the same birthday. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. (Though we are a generation apart!)

    P.S. thirty isn’t half bad, though forty is better :)


  33. #
    Carie — November 1, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    Do you mean to tell me that you can make a box of orange tic tacs last a day? You have more will power than I.


  34. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — November 1, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    Forget the salmon, I just want a meal of mustard cream garlicky breadcrumbs.

    My boyfriend collects both mustards and hot sauces. He is like…REALLY into sauces. Do you know about this mustard? Its one of our favorites:


  35. #
    Tom @ Relish — November 1, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

    keep up the great process photos! So fresh to see these…


  36. #
    JulieD — November 1, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

    looks beautiful! It took awhile but I’m liking dijon mustard more and more!


  37. #
    Ruby — November 1, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

    Salmon is my favorite fish! That salmon dish looks stunningly beautiful!


  38. #
    allison — November 1, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    have you tried the trader joe’s whole grain dijon mustard? i die. i may or may not eat it by the spoonful sometimes.


    • Erin R. — November 2nd, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

      Trader Joe’s is opening here in exactly two weeks! This mustard is on my grocery list. Thanks, Allison.


  39. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — November 1, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

    Yes!!! I was just roaming around my house thinking….I need to make a real meal. I’ve only eaten TWO fun-size candy bars today and and quite proud of myself. (I’m sure that makes up for the 16 billion I’ve eaten BEFORE today.)

    Anyway…we love salmon. This is going on my grocery list for next week. :)


  40. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — November 1, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

    This looks delicious! Great recipe!!


  41. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — November 2, 2012 @ 12:00 am

    This could not come at a better time. While I didn’t eat Halloween candy yesterday, I did stuff my face with guacamole and bacon wrapped crab stuffed jalapenos at a Latin American restaurant. Sooo, fattening in a different way. Pinning this to make soon!


  42. #
    StinkMomBomb — November 2, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    Kroger has the most lovely Lavendar Mustard (there I said it!). I’ve been craving salmon for months and it’s one of the few dishes I require my husband to make. Usually though I eat it in a horseradish dill cream sauce (with mustard of course!!)


  43. #
    Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen — November 2, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    OMG – this looks incredddible.


  44. #
    Erin R. — November 2, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    Woohoo! I have a mustard addiction, too! I ought to be through my bottle of dill mustard this weekend and then I’m going to try out Patio Daddio’s Carolina Bold Gold recipe. Dang, that salmon looks good. And yes, after a holiday binge I always just want an egg or an apple or something CLEAN in my stomach.


  45. #
    Elizabeth @Food Ramblings — November 2, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    looks scrumptious!


  46. #
    Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — November 2, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    Yes, I did eat a bunch of candy last night! I could use this for sure! I love your photos!


  47. #
    Colette @ JFF! — November 2, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    Holy cow. That looks so good! I’m making this tonight!


  48. #
    melissa — November 3, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    i made this last night for dinner guests. it was DIVINE. i even garnished with sage leaves to make it look like i’m a gourmet chef. which i’m NOT. i love your blog and it’s the first one i check on my google reader everyday, to see if there is some kind of sweet i can Pin and/or make immediately. Usually i’m intimidated by actual meals that require fresh ingredients and more than boiling water or turning on the oven, but this one was not too hard, and totally worth the prep. served with basil parm orzo and steamed broccoli. . . ended up using the extra dijon sauce and breadcrumbs ON the broccoli! thanks for making me feel like i can do anything now!

    p.s. i used whole milk in the sauce and then threw in some corn starch to thicken a bit.


  49. #
    Jolene ( — November 3, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    This looks soooo delicious! I will definitely be trying this recipe. Thanks for sharing!


  50. #
    Mary Cottingham — November 3, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight. Awesome! Toasted a few toasted pine nuts in with the leftover shallot and garlic, then wilted some spinach in it. Served the salmon over grits. That sauce was fantastic! Thank you!



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