Let’s Get Wild !
Poached Salmon and Dill Sauce
In the essence of spring, I find that fish is usually a topper on my shopping list this time of year. However, since my first moment of matrimony, I have had to compromise. I am a lover of all seafood, if it swims, I’ll eat it. My beloved, on the other hand, has a far more narrow approach to foods from the sea…swordfish, shrimp, crab, or mussels. That’s it, period. No matter how many times I have tried to dress up fillet of sole, monkfish stew or stuffed red snapper, it’s always the same…nice, but no dice. Oh, did I forget to mention that the man actually fishes for fun. See my frustration?
I can be quite the little bulldozer when I set my mind to something and I was determined to broaden that man’s horizons (at least where seafood was concerned J).
I knew whatever I was going to try it had to; not be oily, not be weird (blowfish was definitely out of the question), it had to be flavorful, and wouldn’t make my house stink for a week. (That last part was more for me actually)
I remembered an article I had read about Wild Salmon. It’s supposed to be the NEW THING in food. Hmmm, I normally turn my nose up when food is the “chic of the week” but this article had some good things to say. Such as, how salmon has become less flavorful over the last few years due to farming. How a more controlled environment had dulled the color slightly and made the fish a little more generic. To clear something up, I don’t think that farmed fish is bad, I actually prefer to know that the fish I eat comes from intentionally clean waters, but I understood what they meant. Salmon was good, but I had never considered it to be very special. It was a great staple for me as far as fish went, but Hub never seemed to show much interest. They did have me a little curious, what would he do if I went ‘Wild’?
I did a little research and found out that ‘Wild’ or ‘West Coast’ salmon is actually quite attainable; it can be found this time of year in most high-end supermarkets and gourmet food stores. I went to chat the nice fishmongers’ ear off. He promised me that I would taste the difference and boy was he right. The salmon he showed me was the reddest I had ever seen and smelled like clean, salty air. He showed me a 3lb. boneless fillet and recommended poaching to get the truest flavor; the dill sauce was my idea.
So, on I went with my pretty red fish packed in ice and to make my dinner great enough to dazzle even my husband, or at least blind him into trying something new, was fresh veggies and dill.
Now, I realize that I am a little over the top when it comes to kitchen stuff, so I will admit that yes, I do have a salmon poacher. HOWEVER, that does not mean that one is needed to poach salmon. In reality it just means that some people have more junk in their kitchen cabinets than others. If you have one, by all means, use it. All you really need to poach salmon is a lidded pot deep enough to hold enough water to cover the fish. In addition, for those of you that have no interest in searching out special salmon, don’t think twice, this recipe is just as good with your basic, everyday type, found at the supermarket. The key is the poaching liquid and the cooking method. This recipe will work with salmon steaks as well as a whole, cleaned fish.
Poached Wild Salmon
Rinse salmon well and place it in your pot along with:
Enough water to just cover the fish
1 ½ Cups White Wine
2 Large Onion – sliced into thick rings
2 Lemons – cut in half
3 Cloves Garlic – smashed whole with the skin on
4 Black Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
½ Tsp. Kosher Salt
Cover, place over high heat and bring to a boil.
As soon as the liquid boils, remove the covered pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 – 12 minutes. The fish should be flaky and moist.
Remove the salmon from the liquid and set aside.
If you are going to serve the salmon cold, cook it the day before and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Serve with a refreshing creamy dill sauce.
Refreshing Creamy Dill Sauce
1 Cup Mayo
¾ Cup Sour Cream
¼ Tsp. Kosher Salt
1 Clove Garlic – chopped fine
¼ Cup Fresh Dill – chopped fine
2 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice (approx. 1 lemon)
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour.
You can make the sauce the night before. It will stay in an airtight container for up to three days.
FYI, not only did my husband love this recipe, but he even asked me to make something out of the leftovers so that he could eat it again the next day! Toss your extra salmon with a little mayo and a spoonful of the dill sauce. It’s great on hearty bread with a slice of ripe tomato.
Preheat Oven to 420°
1 Large Head of Cauliflower – intact
(1 Tbs. Magic Oil – in place of butter if you like)
4 Tbs. Butter – sliced into pats
½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Leaving the cauliflower whole, remove all the leaves and rinse it very well.
Steam the whole head in a large pot of salted water and cook until tender, about 8 - 10 minutes. Check for doneness with a long knife or fork, the cauliflower should still be slightly firm but still tender; you don’t want it to fall apart or be mushy.
Remove the cauliflower from the pot and place it on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with a little bit of Magic Oil. Or, place pats of butter all over the top. Sprinkle the entire head with the grated cheese.
Put the cauliflower in the oven for 5 minutes. If the cheese is not brown and bubbly enough for you, put it under the broiler until the cheese is golden brown, bubbly and yummy.
Serve the whole head of cauliflower on a large platter and cut wedge slices.