Sugar-Seared Salmon with Cream Sauce

I clipped this super easy salmon recipe from the Star Tribune's Taste section some time ago.  It is certifiably delicious and when the price of fresh salmon is reasonable we eat this for dinner frequently.

The original recipe called for clam juice, and for some reason I happened to have that in my pantry when I first started to make this dish.  Well, now I don't so I substitute white wine and it tastes just as good.  Maybe better.

Sugar-Seared Salmon with Cream Sauce
Adapted from a recipe in The Star Tribune
Serves 4

2 Tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
4 Tblsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Mix together the sugar, salt, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl.  Cut the salmon into 4 equal-sized pieces, if necessary. Brush the salmon with water to moisten it and apply the sugar mixture to all sides and rub it in evenly.

Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Add the salmon and cook on both sides until crusty on the outside and just opaque in the center.  (A probe thermometer should read 145 degrees at the center of the fillet to ensure doneness.)  Transfer the fillets to a plate and keep warm.

Add the wine and the cream to the skillet. Boil until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, scraping up browned bits, about 4 minutes.  Spoon the sauce over each piece of salmon. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.