Olive Oil Poached Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce and Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Summertime is a culinary gold mine; all the fresh local
produce that’s available this time of year inspires cooks to create colourful,
seasonal dishes that are healthy and flavourful.

As summer approaches, it is a good idea to start thinking
towards lighter, healthier meal options that are packed full of local fruits
and vegetables. After all, we only have a season to enjoy this produce at its
peak, and then it’s gone for another year.

Today I will show you how to make a simple, elegant summer
meal- olive oil poached salmon with a creamy beurre blanc sauce, accompanied
with pan-roasted cherry tomatoes. Although this meal is good on its own, it can
also be paired with many of your favourite local ingredients; steamed
asparagus, broccoli, fiddleheads or sautéed spinach all work nicely with this
dish.

When preparing this meal (or any meal, for that matter), it
is important to think of the timing involved. For example, the tomatoes are
small and ripe and therefore take hardly any time to prepare, while the
poaching process for the fish takes significantly longer. As usual, I recommend
having everything ready to go before you begin cooking.

For those of you that don’t know what a beurre blanc sauce
is, it is a creamy, tangy white sauce that goes very well with fish. It is a
classic sauce, served with fish in fine dining restaurants everywhere. While it
may seem complicated at first, it isn’t hard to master and is an impressive
finishing sauce for seafood.

Poaching a piece of salmon will take anywhere between 15
minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of the fish and the amount of
poaching liquid. A good rule of thumb is to provide one 6 oz piece of fish to
each of your dinner guests. My recipe today will call for four 6 oz pieces of
salmon- enough for four people. You can easily add more fish to accommodate
larger numbers.

I hope you enjoy my olive oil poached salmon with pan
roasted cherry tomatoes! I know your dinner guests will love the fresh, Mediterranean
flavours of olive oil, lemons and tomatoes.

Eat well, live well, be well!

For the salmon:

You will need:

2 L olive oil

6 large shallots, peeled and sliced

2 oz fresh basil, torn

½ onion, sliced

1 fresh Bay leaf

2 oz thyme

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

4 6-ounce boneless darnes of salmon

1/2 lemon

Beurre blanc (see below)

Mehod:

  1. Preheat oven to 170F. Place olive oil in an
    ovenproof dish and add the shallots, herbs, onion, and some salt and pepper.
    Place in the oven and allow the oil to steep for up to two hours.
  2. Season the salmon with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle
    with the juice of the lemon, and place in the oil. Ensure that the oil fully
    covers the salmon. Poach the salmon in the oil in the oven for approximately
    20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 60C
    (140F). When the salmon is done, it will have the appearance of being between
    medium-rare to medium. Remove the container from the oven but leave the salmon
    in the oil.
  3. Remove the salmon from the oil, directly onto a
    plate with paper towel. Drain thoroughly and remove the skin from each darne.
  4. Drizzle more lemon juice on the salmon and
    sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle with the beurre blanc sauce, and
    serve  with vegetables.

Beurre Blanc Sauce

You will need:

½ fl oz white wine

2 fl oz white wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

½ shallot, finely minced

½ tbsp heavy cream

1 lb whole butter, cut into very small pieces and chilled

Method:

  1. Combine the white wine, white wine vinegar,
    salt, and shallots in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Reduce the mixture
    until the bottom of the pan appears dry (this is called au sec, which means dry
    in French; the sauce will be too thin if there is liquid in the bottom of the
    pan!). Reduce the temperature to low.
  2. Add the cream to the pan, which will help
    stabilize the sauce.
  3. Over a low heat, whisk in the butter a few
    pieces at a time. Make sure that you don`t add too many pieces of butter at one
    time (start by adding only 2 pieces at a time), and make sure they are
    thoroughly incorporated into the sauce before adding more. If you have a
    thermometer, try to keep the sauce between 43C (100F) and 49C (120F). Continue
    to whisk, making sure the sauce doesn`t break.
  4. As the sauce thickens, you can begin adding more
    pieces of butter at a time, eventually up to 5 or 6 pieces at a time. Just make
    sure you whisk continuously, and don`t overload the pan with too much butter atone time. If you do, the sauce will break.
  5. Once all the butter has been incorporated,
    immediately remove the sauce from the heat and save for service. Whisk every
    once in a while to maintain its consistency.

Pan Roasted Tomatoes with olive oil, lemon and basil

You will need:

2 oz basil, chopped finely

Juice of ½ lemon

40 locally grown, ripe cherry tomatoes (10 per person)

2 fl oz olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss together all of the
    ingredients.
  3. Place into the hot skillet, and allow to cook
    until the tomatoes become soft and tender.
  4. Remove tomatoes from heat, and finish with a
    squeeze of lemon juice and some more salt and pepper.
  5. Serve immediately.
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