Poached Wild Salmon with Peas and Morels
- 2 6–8-ounce center-cut wild king salmon fillets (each about 1 1/2-inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces fresh morels; sliced, stemmed shiitake; or other mushrooms
- 1/2 cup shelled fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or 2 pea tendrils
Place salmon, skin side down, in a large high-sided skillet. Add wine, 2 Tbsp. salt, and cold water to cover salmon by 1/2". Cover pan and bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, uncover, and gently poach salmon until just cooked through and barely opaque in the center, about 6 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer salmon and 2 Tbsp. poaching liquid to a plate; tent loosely with foil.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup salmon poaching liquid and peas and simmer until peas begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Add cream and bring sauce to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Using a spatula, transfer salmon, skin side up, to paper towels. Gently peel off and discard skin. Invert salmon onto serving plates and spoon mushroom sauce over. Garnish with chives.
Nutritional ContentOne serving contains: Calories (kcal) 840 Fat (g) 57 Saturated Fat (g) 30 Cholesterol (mg) 250 Carbohydrates (g) 17 Dietary Fiber (g) 3 Total Sugars (g) 4 Protein (g) 43 Sodium (mg) 5900Reviews Section
20 Delicious Spring Menu Ideas for Restaurants
It’s that warm, wonderful time of year again. Consumers look forward to the end of winter and welcome the sunshine of spring. They’re ready to get out of the house, and that puts them on track for eating out more often. Take advantage of this upswing in attitudes with spring menu ideas for your restaurant.
Give your customers renewed reasons to enjoy your dining room. Flex your creativity as a foodservice professional with timely menu engineering. From spring lunch recipes to desserts that celebrate the season, open up your opportunities to put an extra bounce in business.
Northern exposure / With local wild salmon scarce, Alaskan varieties are swimming into markets. The trick is knowing how to cook them.
1 of 8 SALMON08_026_cl.JPG_Alternative salmons, whole fish to show differences in size and markings._Event on 5/25/05 in San Francisco.__Craig Lee / The Chronicle__MANDATORY CREDIT FOR PHOTOG AND SF CHRONICLE/ -MAGS OUT Craig Lee Show More Show Less
2 of 8 Salmon recipes. Spring salmon and sorrel soup. Food styled by Ryan Miller. Event on 5/27/05 in San Francisco. Craig Lee / The Chronicle Craig Lee Show More Show Less
4 of 8 Salmon recipes. Sauteed salmon with morels and peas. Food made by Ryan Miller. Event on 5/27/05 in San Francisco. Craig Lee / The Chronicle Craig Lee Show More Show Less
5 of 8 SALMON08_072_cl.JPG_Alternative salmon, left-right: Sockeye, King, and Coho._Event on 5/27/05 in San Francisco.__Craig Lee / The Chronicle__MANDATORY CREDIT FOR PHOTOG AND SF CHRONICLE/ -MAGS OUT Craig Lee Show More Show Less
7 of 8 Comparing Alaska Salmon (per 3.2 ounce serving). Show More Show Less
Unless you're willing to spend a day on a sport-fishing boat or know a generous recreational fisher, you're not likely to get any of the wild king salmon that's swarming in the waters off our coast this month.
Traditionally, June is the month when California king salmon practically swim themselves into seafood cases, but this year, we've put on the brakes.
For all intents and purposes, the local salmon run has dried up. Regulations forbid the commercial landing of wild California Pacific salmon from the usual fishing grounds off the Northern California coast for the month of June. If you've already weaned yourself off farmed Atlantic salmon and have been saving yourself for local, wild salmon, you might have hunger pangs for the rest of the month.
So, what's another way to get those beneficial omega fats?
Alaska may well have the most well-managed fisheries of all sea-bound states, one that was put in place to protect the livelihoods of traditional, subsistence fisher families of that state. As a result, the salmon from the relatively clean waters are protected, healthful and tasty. The fisheries are sustainable.
"Farmed Atlantic salmon is not an alternative I'm willing to use," says Diane Morgan, author of "Salmon: A Cookbook" (Chronicle Books, 2005 $24.95). Her objections have to do with the coastal and genetic degradation of intensive salmon farming, the high PCB concentrations in the fish, the use of colored feed and the overall unsustainable practices of large-scale farmed salmon.
Virtually all ecological guides for sustainable seafood give thumbs down to farmed Atlantic salmon, the generic moniker for the breed of salmon (Salmo salar) that is farmed throughout the world, from Europe to North and South America.
"Alaska is the way to go," Morgan says. "It has abundant salmon stocks, and it has the best managed fishing practices of anywhere in the world. I look to them for high-quality salmon."
Some would argue it isn't particularly sustainable to put salmon on a truck or plane, and ship it 4,000 miles to the Bay Area. Others would say that in the big picture of sustainability, this is a minor sin. After all, it is American salmon, and buying it supports independent Alaskan family fishers.
One way to keep the Alasaka salmon fishery sustainable is to expand our taste for the different varieties, and not focus exclusively on king salmon. The high prices of imported king salmon may well steer you to other salmon, anyway.
There are five major varieties of commercially landed Alaska salmon (see accompanying list). Until recently, many of the so-called minor species were processed into canned salmon. Now, however, they're available fresh, and if you cook them carefully they are excellent eating fish.
Much of the Alaska salmon is frozen at sea and is shipped frozen, then thawed by either the wholesaler or the retailer. Morgan prefers to thaw these fish at home herself. Because the fish are frozen soon after catching by a method that minimizes cell breakdown, "there's almost no runoff," she says, meaning there is very little liquid from thawing. However, if a frozen fish is thawed and spends several days in a retailer's fish case, run-off is plentiful and the flesh can lose its smooth texture.
For that reason, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute advocates cooking fish while it is frozen. But tests in The Chronicle's kitchen yielded uneven results, probably because the quality of frozen fish varies. (For example, some salmon are frozen before they go through rigor mortis, and cooking a piece of frozen fish that is close to or in rigor mortis results in toughness. ) Buyers this summer are likely to find last season's frozen kings from local and Alaska waters, as well as frozen kings from this year's catch.
It's important to cook fish as soon after thawing as possible, and usually for less time than one cooks fresh fish.
The more fat in the salmon, the higher the flavor and the easier to cook. "Fat makes the fundamental flavor difference between salmons," says Jay Harlow, an East Bay seafood cooking teacher and editor of the seafoodmonitor.com. Lower-fat salmon can firm up in seconds and easily overcook. A thin piece of salmon that's low in fat can turn from silky smooth to firm to inedible within seconds.
Whether you fry, bake, broil, grill, poach or roast, it's critical that you know if the salmon has been frozen and how much fat it contains (see accompanying chart). In addition, be aware that salmon can vary depending on what time of year and where it is caught.
When we poached the five varieties of thawed Alaska salmon in The Chronicle test kitchens, cooking times were extremely short. A 1 1/2 -inch thick piece of Alaska king was cooked to our liking -- medium to slightly rare texture -- in just over 3 minutes, the sockeye and coho in about 2 and the pink in just over 1 minute.
Morgan advises cooks to use the cut-and-peek method. "Take a knife and cut into the thickest part of the flesh," she says. "It should just begin to flake and be still moist." More experienced cooks can do it by feel -- when the flesh feels almost but not quite firm to the touch, "but you have to learn the feel," she says.
"As we discover these other salmon, we're going to start to appreciate them," says Dale Sims, vice president of CleanFish, which distributes Alaska salmon. Alaska's huge size means different seasons for each region with each species.
Besides the highly touted and renowned Copper River salmon, there are many others. People are going to learn that "God didn't make bad salmon, he made different salmon," Sims says.
Alaska's king salmon catch makes up a little over 3 percent of its total salmon catch so it makes sense to buy try the other species, says Sims. Sockeyes average 22 percent of the total Alaska salmon catch chums, 11 percent coho, 3 percent and pinks, 63 percent. If for no other reason than supply, pinks and sockeyes should be the most affordable. From the sustainability viewpoint, it also makes sense to cook various types of salmon. Know the right questions to ask before you buy the large variety of salmon that may begin to show up in your fishmonger's seafood case.
-- If frozen, is it this year's or last year's?
-- If frozen, how long has it been thawing? Is it possible to buy it frozen?
-- How much fat does the variety contain?
The answers will likely affect how much you pay and definitely affect how you cook it. Most independent fishmongers will likely offer some varieties of Alaska salmon besides king. They may be willing to order others depending on how the California salmon season unfurls.
Harlow also suggests other alternatives, including arctic char, a wild and farmed fish with a pale pink flesh that closely resembles trout. When farmed, it generally comes from closed systems, which doesn't harm the environment. In the winter, there is steelhead, a cousin of salmon that's caught by hook-and-line.
Many salmon lovers will approach the seafood counter wanting to follow their hearts, which means buying wild king, says Sims. But when the prices is $11.99 or $14.99 per pound and the large-scale industrial grade Atlantic farmed is $5.99, they listen to their heads.
Luckily, there are some alternatives.
Here are the Alaska salmon species you're likely to see in stores this month, as well as one brand of farmed Atlantic salmon that has several redeeming and sustainable qualities.
-- King, or Chinook (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha): The largest of the Alaskan salmons can be found frozen, thawed or fresh. Its flesh is generally slightly darker in color than the California king you're used to. It has a high fat content and tender texture, but it's slightly firmer and stronger in flavor than California king.
-- Sockeye or red (Oncorhynchus nerka):This is the most brilliantly red of the salmons, and can be found frozen, thawed or fresh. It has almost the same amount of fat as king salmon, but is smaller, more streamlined and thin- bodied in shape, so it cooks faster.
-- Coho or silver (Oncorhynchus kisutch): Frozen, thawed or fresh, and normally less expensive than kings or sockeyes, coho makes a good substitute for king. It has a slightly lower fat content, so should not be cooked as long.
-- Chum or keta (Oncorhynchus keta) Frozen, thawed or fresh, they may begin to make appearances in local markets if the local harvest continues to stay depressed. Normally harvested for canning, chums have less fat and a paler color. Chums may be preferred by those who like a meaty chomp to their fish. Harvested from July to October in Alaska. Do not confuse with Alaska "silver brite."
-- Pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha): This is the smallest Alaska salmon, at one time intended solely for canning. Its flavor and firm texture resemble trout. That firm flesh is due to a lower fat content, which also means that this fish is very easy to overcook. It has become trendy in some restaurants to serve whole, small "pinks" the way farmed trout is served.
-- Loch Duarte: CleanFish, a San Francisco company, began importing Loch Duarte salmon from Scotland last winter. Farmed in the northern part of the country in low-density pens which lie fallow for one year, the fish are bred from regional Scottish wild stock and not genetically modified.
Know your salmon before you cook, says Aqua chef Laurent Manrique
Fat content affects flavor because fat is the major flavor carrier. Fat, like marbling in beef, turns out a tender or tough piece of meat depending on how long you cook it.
Most frozen fish lose quite a bit of moisture when thawed because of cellular breakdown.
Other factors -- how the fish was handled after it was caught, whether it's left on the bone and with the skin on before cooking, for example -- also affect taste and cooking method.
At Aqua restaurant in San Francisco, executive chef Laurent Manrique and chef de cuisine Peter Armellino test and confer over salmon recipes before the dishes make it onto the menu.
When I met with them the third week in April, they were testing new recipes, in anticipation of the local salmon harvest in May. In the back kitchen, their dedicated fish-cutter extraordinaire Gilberto Ramirez, whom Manrique brought with him from Campton Place three years ago, was "breaking down" whole fish, including Alaska king salmon. One of Aqua's secrets is that fish are usually brought in whole, then custom cut.
Armellino prepared four dishes, and at 11 a.m., he and Manrique sat down to taste them. In April, they were preparing to switch from Alaska king to California king now, in June, they will have to switch back again.
"We will have to adjust the cooking processes because of the content of fat," Manrique says.
With Northern California salmon, a dish of thin-sliced salmon escalopes served with violet mustard will be grilled because that treatment works better with them.
Manrique also adjusts the amount of acid in another dish, a carpaccio of tissue-thin salmon because of the fat content, the local salmon needs less of the assertive yuzu, a Japanese citrus, but the Alaska salmon will need more.
Rather than grill, he will slow-roast the fatter Alaska king, and he will up the lemon juice in the Carpaccio slightly for the Alaska fish.
But the bottom line, Manrique says, is that each fish -- not just the variety of fish -- is different and reacts differently to heat and seasonings. The fish demands utmost attention while it is cooking.
Jay Harlow, editor of the Seafood Monitor online, likes sockeye salmon for this dish. If fresh morels aren't available, you can substitute a mix of dried morels and commercial brown mushrooms. Reconstitute the dried morels by soaking them in cool water for about 2 hours. One ounce of dried morels will reconstitute to half a pound.
1/2- 3/4 pound morels, or 1 ounce dried morels and 1/4 pound brown mushrooms
3/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and stringed
2 tablespoons minced green onion
Sprig of fresh thyme or pinch of dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dry Madeira or sherry
4 diagonal slices salmon fillet, 4-6 ounces each
1 tablespoon mild olive or peanut oil
Slice the morels in half lengthwise and brush off any debris wash only if absolutely necessary and drain thoroughly. If using brown mushrooms, slice 1/4-inch thick.
Blanch the peas in lightly salted water until crisp-tender and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms begin to color, then add green onion, thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. When the mushrooms begin to release their liquid, add the wine and soy sauce and cook until nearly dry. Add the cream and peas, bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
Meanwhile, season the salmon lightly with salt and pepper and heat the oil in another skillet (preferably nonstick). Saute the salmon over high heat until nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
Transfer the salmon to a serving dish or individual plates. Taste the mushroom-pea mixture, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and spoon it around the salmon. Garnish with more fresh thyme if desired.
PER SERVING: 415 calories, 30 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 25 g fat (11 g saturated), 119 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
This recipe, from Jay Harlow, relies on absolutely thin slices of salmon -- king, sockeye or coho -- which is why it's critical not to overcook. With Alaska king salmon, it takes about 90 seconds. (Other types take less time.)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Handful of fresh fennel tops (reserve some for garnish, if desired)
1 heaping teaspoon coriander seed
1 scant teaspoon white peppercorns
2 medium zucchini, or 1 zucchini and 1 yellow summer squash
1-1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet (king, coho or sockeye)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cut off the root end of the leek and cut the white part diagonally into 2- inch sections set aside the white parts for now. Slice the leaves coarsely and wash well. In a deep 12-inch skillet, combine the leaves, wine, vinegar, fennel tops, parsley, salt, coriander and peppercorns. Add water to a depth of 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
While the stock simmers, peel the carrots and slice diagonally about 1/8- inch thick (adjust the angle so the oval slices are about 2 inches long). Stack a few slices and slice lengthwise to make pointed julienne strips. Add the carrot trimmings to the stock. Slice the zucchini the same way, but discard the trimmings.
Split the leek bottoms lengthwise and cut into thin julienne strips drop into a deep bowl of water to wash and lift out when ready to use.
Skin the salmon fillet and remove pin bones. Starting parallel to the collar cut, slice the salmon diagonally into 2- to 3-ounce portions, 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Lay the portions out on a sheet pan, season lightly with salt and pepper and allow to come to near room temperature.
Strain the vegetable stock and return it to the skillet. Add the julienne vegetables and simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to warm plates or a serving platter.
Keeping the stock at a simmer, add as many salmon slices as will fit and cook just until heated through, about 90 seconds each, then transfer to the plates. Remove all broth from the skillet except for 1/2 cup reserve remaining stock for another use. Taste the stock and correct seasoning if necessary. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and swirl in the butter. Spoon over the salmon and vegetables and serve. Garnish with fennel or chervil, if desired.
PER SERVING: 400 calories, 33 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 24 g fat (9 g saturated), 119 mg cholesterol, 137 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
We used the pink salmon, although Diane Morgan, author of "Salmon," says all varieties work just adjust the cooking time.
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How to Store Morel Mushrooms
The key to safe storage is to keep moisture away from morels you want them cool and dry, so store them in the refrigerator. Place your morels in clean paper bags, about 8 to 12 ounces of mushrooms per bag. Limiting the amount in each bag keeps the mushrooms from crushing each other, and breaking the honeycombed caps. You can expect to store morels for up to a week, but they will lose quality and moisture the longer they are left uneaten. Check on the bag if it looks wet, change it for a clean, dry bag. If one morel goes bad, remove it so it won&rsquot contaminate its friends.
2 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed and stems peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.
Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic and lemon zest. Brush the asparagus evenly with the oil, turning the spears to coat well, and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the lemon wedges around the asparagus.
Roast until the asparagus is tender and just turning golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a warmed serving platter and drizzle with the pan juices.
Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze, Sugar Snap Peas, and Pea Tendrils
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce*
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger, divided
- 6 6-ounce salmon fillets with skin
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
- 3 cups pea tendrils** or pea sprouts** (about 6 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Coat with nonstick spray. Whisk chili sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon ginger in small bowl. Place salmon fillets, skin side down, on prepared sheet. Spoon chili sauce marinade over and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Spoon any marinade remaining on baking sheet over salmon fillets. Broil salmon without turning until browned in spots and almost opaque in center, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness of fillet.
Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in wok or heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and minced garlic stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add sugar snap peas and stir until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, rice wine, and pea tendrils and stir just until wilted, about 1 minute. Drizzle with sesame oil.
Place 1 salmon fillet on each plate. Spoon warm pea mixture over salmon fillets and serve.
Vive la France
I was a bit shocked when our friend Robert said he was bringing his 'mother' along to our cottage in Dorset. But he meant the starter for his wonderful sourdough bread, which he bakes daily. It's a breeze as long as you keep the cycle going with a bit of the dough you've already fermented.
Finding decent English bread requires persistence no matter where you live, and finding a coarse, airy bread suitable for bruschetta is doubly difficult. Citizens of London and Leeds can treat themselves to the wheaten delights of Harvey Nichols Foodmarkets (London 020 7235 5000 Leeds 0113 204 8888), where a huge range of ciabattas is complemented by long-fermented sourdough from Poilne (also see below). This is what Henry Harris, chef at the Knightsbridge store's Fifth Floor Restaurant, prefers for bruschetta. 'It's dense, malty and earthy,' Harris eulogises, 'and the richness doesn't turn to sogginess.' He puts almost anything on it, from morels to quails his favourite is grilled cherry tomatoes with feta.
Harris also recommends Clare Latimer's Favourite Brown Bread Mix, which is a soda bread and only requires the addition of water and an egg. Latimer thinks customers like it - 'because they don't have to get their hands dirty' - she also sells lots of it by mail order from her catering business, Clare's Kitchen (020 7586 8433), at £2 for a 500g bag. Harris thinks it's brilliant with cold poached wild salmon, peas and minted mayonnaise. Latimer suggests Irish farmhouse cheddar with homemade chutney and slices of tomato.
You might as well make the pilgrimage to Poilne - the famous Parisian bakery has set up an outpost at 46 Elizabeth Street, London SW1 (020 7808 4910). The shop is equipped with vast brick ovens, fiery furnaces burning oak and beechwood. The intense heat gives the sourdough its formidable crust and the woodsmoke its dreamy flavour. Here, it costs £2.90 per kg, which means around £2.20 for half an enormous loaf that keeps a week if you plan to toast it (rather less steep than Harvey Nichols's £5 a half). Poilne will post it to you if you can't make the trip.
In Norfolk, people signing up for three-day residential cookery courses at Morston Hall (Morston, Holt, Norfolk 01263 741 041, next course 5 November) have a good chance of getting their baking skills under control. Chef Galton Blackiston's favourite for bruschetta is focaccia with onion, rosemary and olives, which he says, is 'very rustic'.
The Weekly “Avocado”
My current favorite things:
1. Anything neon. (my green nail polish last week was amazing, along with Vieve’s hot pink!)… I want this color next!
2. Taking a bath with byNieves bath salts… they are super detoxifying and invigorating.
3. Over indulging. It really is necessary in life sometimes. Try this:
4. My slow cooker. Love making slow cooked chicken, beef and pork… so easy and endless possibilities.
5. Watching sister’s baby belly grow a little every day.
6. And last, but not least AVOCADOS in my morning smoothies. Serious.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Poached Salmon with Tarragon Sauce & Fingerling Potatoes
|Poached Salmon with Tarragon Sauce & Fingerling Potatoes|
- 2½ C dry white wine
- 2½ C water
- 3 to 3½ lb salmon fillet, about 1½” thick, with skin
- 2 bunches of fresh tarragon
- large bunch of chives
- 1 large shallot .
- ¾ C fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
- 1 C Best Foods (or Hellman’s) lite mayonnaise
- ¼ C unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
To serve: Spoon sauce onto 6 plates and arrange some potatoes in a circle overlapping slightly, on top of sauce (see pic at the top of this recipe). Arrange salmon on top of the potatoes. Garnish with optional additional chopped parsley or chives or with diagonally cut sugar snap peas. This can all be done one day ahead, served warm or cool room temperature. It would be a great picnic meal!
Watch for the next poached salmon recipe with peas and morels next week. And, enjoy this one now!