Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Simple, elegant and fast-- Fresh poached salmon with Dijon Cream Sauce
I am so blessed to live on the Monterey Peninsula of California. I have lived here since 1963, within a 30 minute drive radius of Carmel, Pebble Beach, Big Sur and the Salinas Valley. My commute to work, each morning, is a scenic drive past Driscoll strawberry fields, Fresh Express lettuce fields, cattle ranches and then along the coast of Highway 1-- with a panoramic view of Monterey Bay, Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf and then Carmel Hill. Seriously, not a morning goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars for where I live.
Monterey has a beautiful Fisherman's Wharf, so fresh fish is easy for me to buy. That's exactly what I did on Tuesday night. While I try to cook on a budget, I splurged on some gorgeous fresh salmon filets for $13.99 a pound.
I was inspired to buy the salmon by one of my most frequented food blogs, "Phoo-D'". Her recipe (and lovely photos, I might add) for poached salmon with Dijon Cream Sauce hit the taste buds in my imagination. I make a delicious seared and roasted salmon, but I smacked myself in the middle of my forehead. Poached salmon! Why didn't I think of that?!!
Other than buying fresh salmon, I had all of the ingredients that I needed, for this recipe. I keep a bottle of sauvignon blanc in my fridge because I enjoy cooking with wine, and I'm a huge fan of pan sauces.
As elegant as this dish looks, it was so simple to make. Believe it or not, I actually made an additional dinner recipe for the next night's meal! I will post that dinner, tomorrow.
I have beautiful chives that are coming back to life in my herb garden and fresh lemon thyme-- this was set into my pan with the white wine. I simply laid the salon filets and the lemon slices on top:
Covered and poached for 8 minutes, they were perfect!
Just like the recipe said (and I did not tweak a thing), I removed the salmon, added heavy cream and reduced it a bit-- then the Dijon....
I was thrilled to find freshly picked asparagus, locally grown for $2.49 a pound. At the last second, I decided to forgo the lemon risotto I planned to make, because I was tired and it was a weeknight. Instead, I went with my fool-proof crash potatoes.
I cracked open a bottle of Beringer Reserve Chardonnay 2006 that complimented the dinner perfectly. My husband, son and I felt as though we had dined at a fine restaurant-- and I didn't have to do the dishes. How wonderful was that?!