Monday, August 2, 2010

Salmon, Leeks, and Butter

Baby Fennel and Leeks Braised with Vermouth and Cream
Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon with Minced Shallots and Garlic
Beurre Rouge with Tarragon and Fennel Seeds

For the leeks and fennel:
Thinly slice one leek and one small fennel bulb per serving.  Heat a small sauce pan and add a bit of butter.  Sweat the leeks and fennel for a few minutes, then add a hearty splash of white vermouth (and, heck, make yourself a martini while you're at it).  Add one sprig each of marjoram and thyme, then cover the pan and let the vegetables melt.  Once the liquid is mostly evaporated, remove the herbs, add in heavy cream just to cover and let reduce, uncovered until thick.  Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.

For the beurre rouge:
Take one cup of red wine, one thinly sliced shallot, a few peppercorns, two sprigs of tarragon and perhaps a teaspoon of fennel seeds and bring to a simmer.  Reduce until the wine is syrupy and infused with flavor.  Strain your reduction and set aside.  Directly before serving, warm the reduction and whisk in some room temperature butter, one teaspoon at a time, until the mixture is thick and you have at least two tablespoons of sauce per person.  Season with salt.

For the salmon:
Take one four to six ounce fillet per person and remove the skin and bones if needed.  Rub the fish with olive oil, minced shallot, minced garlic and salt.  Place on an oiled sheet pan and roast at 400F until cooked to your desired temperature.  I usually cook mine for six to eight minutes. 

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