Magazine article Sunset

Salmon with a Twist

Magazine article Sunset

Salmon with a Twist

Article excerpt

Five classic pairings updated to sauce summer's coolest fish

Salmon, a fish so colorful we've adopted its name as a hue, has flirted with scores of flavor mates through the years. The best of these have become classics. Lemon, of course, and dill. Cucumber. Red onion. Garlic. And even a few noncitrus fruits-fresh berries, for example.

For stunningly simple summer meals, start with poached salmon and serve it with a sauce that expands on one of the classics. With just a few twists, flavors leap to new (but comfortable) heights. Marinated artichokes add compatible texture and taste to a roasted garlic aioli. Orange juice lends a sweet tang to a red pepper relish. Watercress and yogurt revitalize a cucumber sauce. Mangoes take on a rich smoky flavor from dried chipotle chilies. And a creamy mustard-dill sauce gets a jolt from green peppercorns.

All of these sauces-and the salmon-can be prepared hours ahead. Just pull your sauce of choice and the salmon from the refrigerator, and the main course for dinner is ready in minutes.

Lemon-poached Salmon

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 45 minutes, plus at least 30 minutes to cool

NOTES: If poaching salmon up to 1 day ahead, cool, cover, and chill. Serve the fish cold.

MAKES: 4 servings 1 onion (1/2 Ib.)

1 carrot (1/4 lb.)

2 celery stalks (including leaves)

2 cups dry white wine

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet with skin (maximum 1 in. thick)

Sauce (choices follow)

1. Peel onion and carrot, and rinse celery; cut vegetables into '/a-inch slices. In a 4- to 5-quart pan, combine vegetables, wine, lemon juice, and 1 quart water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, rub your fingers over salmon to find any bones; pull out and discard. Rinse fish and cut into 4 equal portions. Add to simmering liquid and return to a simmer. Cover pan, remove from heat, and let stand 13 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift out 1 salmon piece. It should be opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test). If not, return to pan, cover, and let stand 3 to 5 minutes longer. If fish still isn't done, set pan over low heat and cook about 3 minutes.

3. With a slotted spoon, gently lift salmon from poaching liquid and arrange in a single layer on a flat plate. Reserve liquid for other uses or discard. Let salmon cool at least 30 minutes. Serve, or cover airtight and chill until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

4. Pull off and discard salmon skin. Set 1 piece of salmon on each plate. Serve with sauce and garnish as suggested. Per serving: 286 cal., 53% (153 cal.) from fat; 31 g protein; 17 g fat (3.3 g sat.); 1.3 g carbo (0.3 g fiber); 95 mg sodium; 90 mg chol.

Sauce choices

Roasted garlic atoll with artichoke hearts. With a sharp knife, cut 1 head garlic in half horizontally. Rub cut cloves with olive oil (about 1/4 teaspoon total). Set garlic, cut sides down, on a sheet of foil about 12 inches square; seal. Bake in a 350 deg oven until garlic is soft when pressed, about 1 hour. When packet is cool enough to handle, open and squeeze garlic pulp from peel into a food processor; discard peel. To pulp, add 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, Iia tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves, and 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel. Whirl until smooth. …

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