• 4 (5 ounce) salmon filets
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

A dish that is worthy of a special occasion but actually simple to make

Tales of the Dinner Belle

By Brenda Stanley

Quick weeknight meals are a must for busy people, but when you want something for a special occasion, my salmon with bacon vodka cream sauce is a delicious choice.  It take a little more prep time to put together, but it’s actually a simple and quick dish to make. The salmon is cooked in bacon drippings and the sauce is a combination of cream, tomato sauce, and just a hint of vodka (which is optional). It’s rich and satisfying. I love the fresh flavors of basil and lemon and with a salad, this meal is not only full of flavor, but an elegant dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Belle’s Salmon with Bacon Vodka Cream Sauce

4 (5 ounce) salmon filets

2 slices bacon

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ cup chopped onion

1/4 cup vodka

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/3 cup heavy cream

¼ cup water

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

In a large rimmed fry pan, cook the bacon until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon leaving about 2 tablespoon of the bacon grease in the pan.  In the same pan, place the salmon filets skin side up and cook over medium high heat for about 3 minutes or until you see pink half way up.  Turn and cook another 3-4 minutes or until the filets are pink (don’t overcook). Remove the salmon to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  In the same pan, over medium heat, cook the onions and garlic until soft. Move the pan off of the burner, and carefully add the vodka. Return the pan to the heat stirring to lift up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the vodka reduce by half. Add the tomato paste and cook until it breaks down a bit. Add the heavy cream and water and stir to combine and thicken up a little. Add the bacon and lemon zest. And cook a minute long. Add the basil, salt, and pepper.  Top each salmon piece with the sauce and serve immediately.