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Story - Food

Jan 14, 2019 2:59 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Enjoy Salmon Two Ways

Jan 14, 2019 3:33 PM

Because salmon is rich with Omega-3 fatty acids that are known to slow cognitive decline and reduce Alzheimer’s risk, it’s a very healthy fish to eat at least once every other week.

Whenever possible, purchase organic or wild-caught salmon found in most fish markets.

A saltwater soak (brine) improves the look of roasted (or poached) salmon, minimizing the white protein called albumin that appears on the surface of cooked fish. If you are on salt-free diet, don’t brine your fish. Roasting the fillets on a bed of fennel and leeks enhances each bite of salmon. This recipe is perfect for a large dinner party.

Searing is the fastest method to cook salmon fillets with a sauce for a small group. A spoonful of refreshing scallion and cucumber sauce complements salmon beautifully.

Serve barley pilaf with scallions and your favorite steamed green vegetable to complete the main course for dinner one night this week.

Bon appétit!

Seared Salmon With Scallion, Cucumber, And Dill Sauce(Serves 4)4, 5- to 6-ounce fillets of wild sockeye salmon with skin on

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Kosher salt for searingFor the sauce:1 tablespoon extra virgin olive or avocado oil

1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced

About 1/2 cup chopped peeled cucumbers

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 2 tablespoons dry vermouth

About 1/4 cup total chopped fresh mint and parsley leaves

Juice of half a lemon or more to taste

1 teaspoon unsalted butter, or more to taste

4 wedges of lemon for garnishTo prepare:Sprinkle pepper on the salmon. Meanwhile dust a heavy skillet over high heat with kosher salt. When the pan is very hot, the salt will “pop.” Add the salmon, skin side down and sear, pressing down with a flat spatula until the skin is crisp and brown, about two minutes. Turn and sear the other side until done according to personal preference. (About 30 seconds for rare, one minute for medium, and one and a half minutes for well done.) Timing depends on the thickness of the fillet. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while making the sauce.

With a double thickness of paper towels, wipe out the excess salt and oil remaining in the skillet, but do not wash the pan.

Place the skillet over moderate heat, lightly coat the bottom with oil, add scallions and sauté briefly, add cucumbers and sauté about two to three minutes. Add herbs, salt, pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add vermouth, bring to a boil, add half the lemon juice and cook until the sauce is reduced. Taste, swirl in butter, and adjust the seasonings.

Spoon about a tablespoon of sauce over the salmon, garnish with lemon, and serve at once.Brined & Roasted Salmon With Leeks & Fennel(Serves 4)For the brine:

4 cups cold water

2 tablespoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon sugar

4, 5 to 6-ounce center cut fillets wild organic salmon with skin

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 leek, white parts only, washed and cut into julienne

About 1/4 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced

About 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Juice of one lemon

About 2 tablespoons dry vermouth

4 wedges of lemon for garnishTo prepare:Make the brine about two hours before roasting. In a bowl, add water, salt, sugar and whisk together until dissolved. In a shallow non-reactive dish, add the salmon and pour the brine over the fish. Let stand at room temperature for one hour. Remove the salmon, rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the salmon skin side down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for one to two hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the paper with oil and scatter leeks and fennel over the oil. Place the salmon, skin side down over the vegetables. Sprinkle pepper on the salmon, drizzle vermouth, lemon juice, and a few drops of olive oil over the fish.

Roast, until the fish is done according to personal preference, count about eight to ten minutes per inch of thickness.

With a spatula, lift out the fillets of salmon along with the leeks and fennel underneath and transfer it to a warm plate. Spoon about a tablespoon of the cooking liquid accumulated in the bottom of the pan on each fillet, garnish with lemon, and serve at once.Barley PilafServes four with leftovers for salad or soup1 cup pearled barley

3 cups good quality chicken stock or water

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch scallions, trimmed, white and green parts chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Options: Chopped fresh parsleyTo prepare:In a saucepan over high heat, add barley and stock or water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the barley is tender and has absorbed all the stock, about one hour.

Taste, add olive oil and if the barley is still uncooked, but stock has been absorbed, add more stock and cook until tender.

Stir scallions and parsley (if using) into the barley, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Can be done ahead and reheated.

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