Friday, April 10, 2009

Salmon and Sorrel Troisgros

The fella made this the other day when he took a half day. When I came home the house smelled divine. Of course that tends to happen when heavy cream is involved. It was nice to take a night off from cooking. Not to mention priceless to come into the kitchen to see the fella clawing at his remaining hair looking totally baffled, the kitchen a mess asking me, “Why are these flipping directions so complicated?” If he didn't before, now he knows what I've been going through. Happily for us both the Boulud cookbook that has been causing us both so much frustration went back to the library this evening. He's been good to us but it's time to move on.

For such a seeming simple recipe this meal really puts you through the paces. It has a fussy sauce. It requires the use of a sieve on said sauce. And it requires keeping the sauce edible while thin cutting slippery pieces of salmon. The fella cheated and used full thickness salmon when I assured him he didn't need to impress me with fish mongering skills at this point in our relationship.

Sieving off the solids in the sauce creates a really creamy but delicate sauce. Somehow it managed to be both delicate and decadent at the same time. The crisp perfect asparagus probably helped even out the naughtiness of the cream. Though I do have to admit at this point in the diet I've lost my ability to feel guilty about eating a meal with a pint a cream per serving. I figure with all I have to deny myself it's the least Montignac can do to allow me some heavy cream.

I also found perhaps the best wine to pair with this dish. The Aveleda Fonte Verde screams spring to me. It's tart and full of green apple flavors not to mention a semi sparkling feel on the tongue. Yet there is the sweetness of tropical fruit in there too. And at about $7 it's a wine I can afford to buy every spring to brighten my spirits as the long grey days drag on before summer actually appears. The added bonus was it was just what this sauce needed, the tartness of the wine accented the cream and the sorrel.

Salmon and Sorrel Troisgros

1 teaspoon butter
2 medium white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped, rinsed and dried
1 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces sorrel, washed, dried and cut into very thin strands (baby spinach marinated in lemon juice for a couple minutes works as a good substitute)

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat, then add mushrooms, shallot and white wine. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil while keeping a close eye on the pan. Boil until wine is completely evaporated.

Lower the heat to the lowest possible setting. Pour in the cream and let cook very slowly for about 15 minutes, until the cream is thickened enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Using a metal sieve or cheese cloth, strain the cream sauce off of the vegetables into a bowl or another saucepan.

Add the sorrel (or spinach) to the cream sauce and put saucepan over medium high heat. Bring cream just to a boil and then remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

2 center cut salmon fillets about 1 inch thick and skinned

Using a long thin knife, slice each salmon in half horizontally, creating two wide thin pieces of fish. It should look like the salmon version of scallopini.

Coat the bottom of warm dinner plates with the sorrel sauce and keep warm as fish cooks.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with enough oil to keep fish from sticking without frying it. When pan is hot, slip in the fillets. Cook for no more than 2 minutes, then flip the fish to cook the other side for another 10 to 30 seconds until fish is warm yet still pink at center without being raw.

Serve immediately by placing warm fish in the center of the sauce covered plate.

Original recipe from Cafe Boulud Cookbook.

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