Yes, this poached salmon is that good. Yes, the sauce which goes with it is too. Yes, anyone can make this successfully. And given what you’re paying for a nice, thick slab of salmon, you may as well get all the bang for your buck you can.
This recipe is quick. The expensive ingredient is the salmon. The rest of it is classic, doable in less than twenty minutes (!), and so delicious. Buckle your seat-belts, ’cause it’s the law. The poached salmon is so simple you could do it on a train, in a box, with a fox….
Awesome Poached Salmon
For the court bouillon (trans: quick stock):
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 stalks of celery, scrubbed and broken into two or three pieces
2 carrots, scrubbed and broken into two or three pieces, and halved longwise (take the tops off if they look at all manky)
1 large, or 2 small, leeks, split, washed well and cut into thirds crosswise
2 bay leaves
1 handful of parsley, stems too
1 cup of fish, veggie or chicken stock
1 cup of dry white wine, can be sparkling or rosé
1 oz, 30 ml, 2 TBSP soy sauce
For the salmon:
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs, 560 g to 675 g, thick salmon steak–make sure all the bones are out
For the sauce:
all the remaining court bouillon
1/2 – 3/4 lemon
the white part of the leek from above, after cooking
1 rounded TBSP, 20 ml, prepared mustard– I like Dijon, but use what you’ve got
3 oz, 90 ml, or so, extra virgin olive oil
pepper to taste
In a large stainless steel frying or sauté pan with a heavy bottom, put all the court bouillon ingredients. Bring them to a boil over medium high heat. Lay your salmon steak on the veggies. Slap a lid, a cookie sheet or a length of aluminum foil over the pan and turn the heat to medium low. Let the salmon cook about 12 minutes. If your steak is thinner, or you like it pink in the middle it could take less time. If your steak is very thick, or you have a thing about parasites, then you might cook it longer. When the salmon is done to your liking, pull it out and set it by to cool (or if you want it hot, throw it into an oven on your lowest setting)
Fish out all the veggies, save the leeks–the parts which were white and pale green, discard the rest. Crank the heat way up and reduce your court bouillon to 2/3 cup or 150 ml–approximately. While the court bouillon reduces, throw the leek you saved into the bowl of a food processor. Add the mustard and lemon juice and let ‘er rip until you’ve got a smooth product. Pour in the court bouillon reduction when it’s ready.
Slowly to start, drip the olive oil in drop by drop. Quickly increase to a thin trickle. Make the trickle a thread. Use up the oil, and check the seasoning. Does it need pepper? Another drop of lemon juice? A shot of hot sauce (’cause you are who you are)? Do it. And serve immediately with sauce on the side.
I like this with a baked potato (which has to start the second you think the word ‘dinner’) and steamed broccoli which will cook nicely well after you have the salmon going in the pan.