Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Pan seared salmon on baby spinach with tarragon cream sauce
I found this recipe on Closetcooking and it was an adaption of a Bon Appetit recipe featured on epicurious.com, an exceedingly popular gourmet food website with millions of recipes accumulated from the finest chefs in the world. The recipe itself was tried by at least 130 people with the average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The recipe looked relatively simple, quick and didn't require an extensive list of ingredients. I decided to give this recipe a shot as salmon is one of my favourite fish and in my opinion, the best way to cook it is to panfry it so that the skin crips up perfectly. Pairing it with a delicious creamy sauce on a bed of wiltered spinach makes this dish extremely inviting and brings it up to a whole new level of fine dining gourmet experience. After skimming through some of the comments, I decided to triple the sauce and double the amount of spinach as these were the only complaints for this recipe. The dish turned out uber fantastic and the salmon seared up so that it was nice and crispy on the outside and yet it melted in your mouth. I especially loved the tarragon creamy sauce. Tarragon has an anise like flavour when raw though it mellowed out nicely when it was cooked. I also added a bit of king oyster mushrooms and garlic as recommended from one of the users as I had some leftovers and the silky smooth mock abalone texture from the mushrooms and aromatic garlic actually added more flavour to the sauce! The recipe probably will taste even better if I had white wine but since it was not available, I used chicken stock instead to deglaze the pan. I think another vital step is not to throw away all of the juices and butter from the pan after you have seared the salmon and use some of this delicious caramelized juices when making the sauce and spinach. I'll probably make this again soon once I get hold of a fresh new salmon.
Recipe for pan-seared salmon on baby spinach with tarrago cream sauce adapted from Closetcooking and epcurious.com
2 7-ounce skinless salmon fillets (I used 570g of 2 salmon steaks)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 large shallots, sliced (I used 10 shallots)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (I used 4 1/2 tablespoons of fresh tarragon)
3 ounces baby spinach leaves
I added 6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup dry white wine (I substituted with 1 cup chicken stock)
1/4 cup whipping cream (3/4 cup cream)
Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon; sauté until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in same skillet. Add half of shallots and half of tarragon and half of the garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Increase heat to high; add half of spinach and toss 30 seconds. Add remaining spinach; toss until wilted. Divide between plates.
Melt remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining shallots, tarragon and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add wine/stock to deglaze the pan then add cream and boil until sauce is thick enough to coat spoon, about 3 minutes. (I found that after 6 minutes the sauce had not reduced much so I had to thicken it slightly with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water) Season with salt and pepper. (I didn't add salt at all). Place the salmon on the spinach and pour the sauce over. Bon appetit!!!