The name sounds fancy, the recipe is simple, but the taste is fantastic! Crème Fraiche, a staple in French cooking, is simply “fresh cream.” It is a cultured cream used in much the same way as sour cream in the United States – but with much more flavor and smoother quality.
Where Can I find Crème Fraiche?
Crème Fraiche is usually found in supermarkets in the fresh cheese section, but may be pricey. It is very easy to make your own and have a ready, inexpensive supply at home.
Yields: 2-4 Servings
1 pound wild salmon fillets
4 Tablespoons butter (melted)
1-2 fresh lemons.
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup Crème Fraiche**
Fresh dill sprigs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
Homemade Crème Fraiche*
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk or plain yogurt
Preheat oven or grill to 450 degrees. Line baking pan with foil, for easy clean up.
Prepare salmon by placing skin side down on baking sheet. Spread melted butter over salmon. Sprinkle with salt, fresh ground pepper, and seasonings of choice* Squeeze 3-4 Tablespoons of lemon juice over salmon prior to cooking
If roasting salmon, top it with a dollop Crème Fraiche prior to cooking, roast for 12-14 minutes or until thickest part of fillet flakes easily with a fork. If grilling, cook until thickest part of fillet flakes with a fork.
Serve Crème Fraiche as a sauce over top. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill, Dijon mustard, and lemon slices. Serve over your choice of rice and vegetables.
Homemade Crème Fraiche
Stir together, cover lightly and allow to culture at room temperature 12-24 hours. Refrigerate about a week.
*For a great homemade seasoning blend try brushing salmon with 1/4-cup brown sugar, 1/4-cup vinegar, 1/2-cup chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1/4-teaspoon red pepper, salt and pepper to taste pureed in blender
**Crème Fraiche will continue to thicken in the refrigerator and the longer it stores the more tart it becomes.
Crème Fraiche is less likely to curdle when heated so it becomes a great substitute for sour cream in cooking recipes. Stir a little sweetening in and serve over fresh fruit.