Herb-Crusted Salmon with Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus & Balsamic Sauce


Prep time
30 minutes
Cooking time
30 minutes
Total time
1 hour


1 lb
Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced for Mashed Potatoes
cold water to cover potatoes
1⁄2 c
3 T
Butter, cubed
1⁄3 c
Balsamic vinegar
1 T
heavy cream
3 T
Butter, unsalted, cut into cubes
12 U
stalks asparagus, cut off woody ends
water to cover asparagus for cooking
Water with ice, to cover asparagus after done cooking
1 T
1⁄2 c
panko (herbed Japanese breadcrumbs)
1⁄4 c
fresh herbs, mixed and chopped (chives, thyme, Italian parsley)
3 U
6 ounce salmon filets, no skin
2 T


Mashed Potatoes
Put potatoes in a pot of salted water. Cook until soft but not falling apart. Drain potatoes and return them to pot. Heat on low flame/low heat to evaporate moisture but not enough to brown. Rice the potatoes into a bowl. (Note: a ricer is like a giant garlic press that you push potatoes through. It makes them nice and light.) Heat milk. Pour into bowl with riced potatoes. Add butter. Mix with a spoon or spatula, not a whisk. Add salt and pepper. To keep warm, place potatoes in a double boiler over warm water and cover with a piece of buttered wax paper, parchment paper or the wrapper from the butter. To reheat, the potatoes can be reheated in the microwave or oven.
Balsamic Sauce
Put Balsamic Vinegar into a pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce it by 1/3, which takes only a minute. Add heavy cream. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, then remove from heat. Whisk in butter, a little at a time. This will cause it to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. To keep warm, keep on top of stove or put into thermos. Note: As the sauce sits on the stove it will continue to thicken; if it gets too thick, add a little warm water, not hot or cold water.
Bring water to boil. Add salt, then add asparagus. Count to ten. Take asparagus out of boiling water and put it into an ice bath to stop it from cooking. Make sure the asparagus is totally submerged in the ice bath. Drain the asparagus and set aside. To reheat, put a pot of water on and bring to boil then turn down to simmer. Add butter and asparagus. Do not leave asparagus in for more than 30 seconds. Note: Do not put the cooked asparagus in the oven or it will dry out.
Put breadcrumbs and herbs in food processor. Process until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Pour breadcrumb mixture onto plate. Press seasoned fish onto crumbs. Crumbs will stick. Put oil into a non-stick sauté pan and heat to medium high. Place fish, crumb side down, into the pan. Cook for approximately 1 minute. Flip and cook for another minute. Finish the fish in the oven at 500 °F for 4 to 5 minutes. Note: Since the pan will be placed in the oven, use a non-stick pan with a metal handle. Do not use a pan with a wooden or plastic handle.
Plating the meal
Place heaping spoonfuls of mashed potatoes in the middle of the plate. Top with the herbed fish placed crumb-side up. Place asparagus to side of fish in the mashed potatoes. Drizzle the sauce around the outside of food (not on it), framing the food.