Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Salmon With Mushrooms

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Master Chef Walter Potenza, GoLocalWorcester Food Expert

Serve 4

A Portuguese recipe in which salmon is paired with a rich cream and mushroom sauce, and its simplicity is suitable for a quick meal when you are short on time. There is no wine in this preparation, but a bit of your favorite dry white would only make it taste better.


4 pieces of salmon loins (about 10 ounces each

16 medium-size white mushrooms, sliced or wedged

1 cup heavy cream

1 medium onion, minced

Juice of one lemon

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt to taste

A drizzle of olive oil

Parsley, minced to taste


Cut the loins into pieces, or purchase already sectioned from your fishmonger. Adjust the seasonings with salt, lemon juice, chopped garlic and pepper, and allow marinating for about 30 minutes.

Place the olive oil and the minced onion in a frying pan and saute over low heat until the onion start to turn slightly golden. Add the salmon pieces with the marinade and cook over medium-low heat about 7 to 8 minutes, moving with care occasionally.

Add the cream and the mushrooms, stir and cook over low heat for more 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the heat, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with white rice or any starches preferred.

Salmon info

Atlantic and Pacific salmon are both in the family Salmonidae, along with trout, but they comprise different genuses, and have slightly different life cycles. Both types of salmon are commercially fished and farmed, which is something about which environmentalists have raised concerns. Consumers can help to support healthy fisheries by purchasing wild caught salmon, or fish which has been certified by an organization such as the Marine Stewardship Council. Biologists also encourage consumers to consider expanding their taste when it comes to fish, and experimenting with new species at the dinner table.

Both Pacific and Atlantic salmon are anadramous, meaning that they are able to live in both salt and fresh water. The fish are born in fresh water, and make their way to the open ocean to live. When the salmon are ready to breed, they travel back to fresh water to spawn. The need for freshwater spawning environments makes salmon very sensitive to pollution, heavy accumulations of silt in rivers, and dams. For these reason, Atlantic and Pacific salmon are sometimes used as an indicator species to identify potential environmental issues.

Pacific salmon are in the genus Oncorhynchus, which contains numerous individual species including Chinook, Coho, and Steelhead. Unlike Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon only spawn once before they die. Each generation, however, appears to have a memory for spawning spots and traveling routes. Atlantic salmon, on the other hand, are in the genus Salmo, typified by the species Salmo salar. They are capable of breeding multiple times, and they tend to favor the same breeding spots year after year.

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking, School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well." Check out the Chef's website and blog


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