Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Poaching Salmon again! With Arugula, Snap Peas & Avocado Sauce….


Poaching Salmon again!  With Arugula, Snap Peas & Avocado Sauce….
Poached salmon with arugula, snap peas, and avocado sauce
I am at it again….just could not resist poaching one more salmon fillet and building another very healthy sauce around it. Try to get all fillets about the same size so they poach evenly. The process is unchanged from the two previous postings: “Poached Salmon with Tarragon Sauce & Fingerling Potatoes” and “Poached Salmon with Peas and Morels” – both in May 2012. This recipe is great cold or room temperature and would be a fabulous lunch or picnic! Chill the wine – this is a one-course meal.

Recently a reader requested substitute for salmon – she loved it, but her husband did not. There are many fish that poach easily and well: halibut, mahi mahi, orange roughy, artic char & turbot. It is best to have a hefty boneless fillet to cook comparably - but if worried it will fall apart in the poaching liquid - you could wrap in cheesecloth, tie off the ends, and poach. The timing depends on both size and type with fish fillets thick fillets 5-12 min, thin fillets 3-6 min. If you are a beginner in this arena, the best way to make sure you don't overcook fish is to keep your eye on it. Fish changes color as it cooks. Most types of fish turn from translucent to opaque, or from bright to pastel. Also, don't be afraid to touch the fish. Especially when you poach fish, you need not fear getting burned. Gently put the flat part of the first joint of your forefinger on the fish. Don't use your fingertip; it might not be sensitive enough. Cooked fish should be firmer and more resilient, not too soft or overly flaky.
  • 4 – 6 oz center cut salmon fillets
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 20 fresh Tarragon leaves (divided)
  • 1 C dry white wine
  • 2 C stringed trimmed sugar snap peas or snow peas
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted
  • 1 C plain low-fat yogurt (prefer Greek)
  • 2 Tb fresh lime juice (or more)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 C arugula
  • 20 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tb minced shallots
  • 1 Tb & 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 Tb thinly sliced fresh chives (Hint: I use scissors to cut them!)
  • 4 lime wedges


Season the fish with salt and pepper.  Place in a dish and scatter 10 tarragon leaves over the fish.  Let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or in refrigerator for up to an hour.
The perfect salmon!
Salmon with tarragon leaves
The first step is to poach the salmon, which guarantees a moister fish compared to the barbequing or broiling. In a deep skillet bring 1 C dry white wine, 2 Tb kosher salt and enough cold water to cover the salmon by ½”. Bring all to a simmer over medium heat covered.  Once simmering, immediately reduce temperature to medium-low, uncover, and gently poach salmon until just cooked through and barely opaque in the center, about 6 minutes, depending on thickness. Using a spatula, carefully transfer to a plate and chill.

Cook 2 C sugar snap peas in a pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peas to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let cool; drain and leave on paper towels to dry. Cut larger snap peas in half on a diagonal.
Boiling the snap peas
Scoop the flesh from 2 avocados into a food processor or blender. Add 1 C yogurt, 2 Tb lime juice and 1 tsp ground cumin; puree. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lime juice, if desired.
Avocado sauce
 Spoon about ½ C avocado puree into the middle of each plate. Mix remaining 10 fresh tarragon leaves, sugar snap peas, 4 C arugula, 20 halved grape or cherry tomatoes, and 1 Tb minced shallot in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tb olive oil, season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss; divide among plates. Top with salmon and 2 Tb sliced chives; drizzle each fillet with ¼ tsp olive oil. Serve with lime wedges.

Gorgeous greens
The final product!
 Salmon can be served with both red and white wines – but this summer cool dish featuring a poached salmon would best match with a white wine: a buttery California Chardonnay, a wonderful German Riesling or your favorite Sauvignon Blanc.  If a red wine is a must – I would recommend a young Oregon Pinot Noir.

Larue


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