Thursday, April 21, 2011

Poached Salmon with Bourbon and Maple

So, I thought I'd share a recipe that we made at school the other day.  It is kind of hard right at the moment to really share what we are doing as the only lab class I have is Foundations, and honestly I don't think I need to tell you have to cook eggs or make a salad, nor is any of the stuff we are working on particularly, well, delicious. But I had to share this poached salmon with a bourbon-maple reduction that blew the brain clear from my skull, where it ended up somewhere amongst the fluorescent lights and the ceiling, dripping on my now frightened classmates.  Something about the flavor pairing with the shallots and the bourbon-maple just works.  I've never poached salmon before and we did two dishes last week, the other, a Salmon Confit that was edible, but this piece turned out with a much better texture.  I am not sure if the texture derived from a full immersion in oil is something that my tongue wants to know. I might share that later, but for now make this and put it on a salad. Your salad will get off the plate, slap you a high-five, and leap towards its demise.

Poached Salmon with Bourbon and Maple


1 lemon
2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 medium shallot, sliced thin (about 3 tablespoons)
3/4 cup water
4 center-cut skinless salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped chives

1.       Cut lemon into eight to ten 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange lemon slices in single layer across bottom of a skillet, 12 inch works well. Whisk bourbon, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, and shallot together in small bowl. Add bourbon mixture and water to skillet.
2.       Place salmon fillets, skinned-side down, on top of lemon slices (to prevent salmon from coming into direct contact with bottom of pan). Set pan over high heat and bring liquid to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 11 to 16 minutes (You're looking for 125 degrees inside this soon to be happy dead fish) Remove pan from heat and transfer salmon and lemon slices to paper towel-lined plate and tent loosely with foil.
3.       Return pan to high heat and simmer cooking liquid until slightly thickened and reduced to 2 tablespoons, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat; whisk in butter and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4.       Season salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Using spatula, carefully tilt salmon fillets to remove lemon slices. Place salmon on serving platter or individual plates; spoon sauce over top and devour.

I just realized how absurd our instructions are for this class (I tried to condense, but left
a few because it is 1 in the morning and I just got done with a 14 hour day, yes, I'm lazy
now). It is kind of like when you go to McDonalds and it the coffee cup says "Contents
are Hot." No, shit.

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