Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Saffron Poached Salmon

I know this sounds a little strange, but I made Ina Garten's recipe for mussels (which is insanely good) and had some salmon I had to cook up. Not wanting to dirty yet another pan, my clever husband suggested poaching it in the sauce, and holy cow is it good! Saffron is so rich-tasting, it feels like a special treat. I made a side salad of mixed baby greens to go with it; the next time, I browned potatoes, which we prefer. Here is my version (esp leaving out the tomatoes!) Serves 4

1-1.4 lb wild caught salmon, skin still on, cut into 2 equal size filets
1 tsp saffron threads
1/3 c EVOO
1 c minced shallots, about 6-7
6 large cloves garlic, minced
2 big handfuls flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 rounded tsp thyme leaves, about 3 large sprigs,
2 c un-oaked Chardonnay or any dry white wine*
1.5 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Soak the saffron threads in 1/4 c very hot water for at least 15 minutes while you prep the veg.

Heat the EVOO in a dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the shallots for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Add the saffron threads and steeping water, and the rest of the ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Add the salmon, immediately reduce to simmer (you don't want to boil the fish!), cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes, depending on how done you like your salmon. If you're not sure, just use a fork to gently separate it in the center of the filet. Since you're poaching it, it won't matter if it separates.

Remove from poaching broth with a spatula & cut each piece in half on a serving plate for a total of 4 pieces. Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the shallots, garlic & parsley and pile them around each salmon filet.

I diced some Yukon Gold potatoes and browned them in leaf lard (you could use EVOO, bacon fat, or duck fat) as a side dish, and ohhhh man! The potatoes soaked up the extra saffron broth on the plate and it's indescribably good.

* * * * * * * *

*Here's the scoop on wine and raisins from Dr. J, who created the GARD diet:
The GARD - The Glutamate & Aspartate Restricted Diet 
Hi Kyrah. The problem with wine and raisins are their fluoride content, with grapes being one of the two plants in nature that concentrate fluoride (tea plants being the other). Using wine for cooking and eating raisins in moderation shouldn't be a problem but drinking wine regularly and eating lots of raisins as snacks on regular basis is probably not the best idea for those suffering from neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy, MS, Alzheimer's, memory loss, etc.)

That said, I would not use an oaked (aged in oak barrels) wine; Headache in a Glass. It will say on the bottle whether it was aged in oak, or a stainless steel barrel.

Ina Garten is brilliant. She really is. If you want to try her original recipe for mussels, it's in her Barefoot in Paris book and also here Ina's mussels in white wine

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