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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Salmon with Red Wine Sauce and Wild Rice

Combining two households can result in some "favorite furniture" being put aside in a spare room. Such was the case a few years ago - a dining room table and chairs that had been a part of six residents in five different cities over three decades were relocated in order to make room for a larger dining room set.

I was growing tired of the "country looking" oak table in our dinette (are they still called dinettes?)and my husband actually did not like it, so I decided to revive my old friend - the round mahogany table. It blends very well with its surroundings and adds a french feel to the area. So to mark our first meal on this table in this space I wanted to prepare a special dinner. So I shopped for a couple of bargain plates and table linens, because some times it is all in the presentation, or so someone said. As it turns out my husband thought it was the best salmon I ever made. I don't totally agree with him, but I'll take the compliment.

First course: Pureed Gazpacho
. I had about two cups of gazpacho left from a batch I made two days earlier. At a recent dinner in Philadelphia we were served a liquid gazpacho in slanted glasses, which I thought was pretty "cool." I am not sure what was in "Mica's" mix, but I put my gazpacho in the food processor with a splash of sherry and blended until it was a drinkable texture. I served it in newly purchased tulip glasses, with stuffed olives along the side.

Entree: Salmon with Red Wine Sauce. Using the pan that I sauteed the mushrooms and onion in for the rice, I deglazed the pan with red wine and then added chicken broth, and stirred in french demi-glace. After reducing the liquids I added fresh ground pepper and fresh thyme. I seasoned the salmon with black pepper and brushed half and half on the top. Thomas Keller uses canola oil when cooking salmon and I like his one-side cooking method so I heated the oil and then placed the salmon, half and half side down. This time I did flip it because as I was lifting the salmon it started to slide off the spatula quick action of flipping it was better than seeing it land elsewhere. (Physical grace is not one of my attributes but I am quick!)

The sauce was poured over the salmon after plating.

Wild Rice with Mushrooms. While the wild rice was cooking in half water and half chicken broth I sauteed shitake and crimini mushrooms and white onion in olive oil. Prior to serving I added the rice to the mushroom/onion mixture to blend the flavors.

Side: Broccoli. The broccoli was microwaved in about a fourth of a cup of chicken broth.

Wine: Hook and Ladder Cabernet Franc


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