Saturday, January 8, 2011

Salmon Beurre Rouge

Our friend Jon Jividen, Chef extraordinaire at 12th St. Cantina and Catering came through with a great way to uphold two of Philly Food Lovers' New Year's Resolutions, numbers 2 and 3 to be precise:    Eat More Fish and Experiment.  He shares his Salmon Beurre Rouge recipe, which is pretty spectacular.

Says Jon:    "Back in the day, when 'Real men didn't eat quiche' and to serve red wine with fish would have been blasphemy, I set out to shatter the red wine/fish rule; (being the culinary rebel that I am).
All who tried the dish became converts and it was featured on the menu of a restaurant that I was working at in San Diego at the time. It is quite simple, wickedly delicious, and what it does for salmon is beyond anything I have tried since."

Now we readily admit that this is not a low cal/low fat dish, but it really is worth the calories.


For the Salmon:
6 to 8 pieces of skinless boneless salmon fillet – (6 – 7 oz. each)
Kosher salt and coursely ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream

For the Beurre Rouge:
1 bottle red wine (your choice) Merlot, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Bordeaux
1 Pound Sweet Butter (4 sticks) – softened to room temp
1 Shallot, finely minced
Salt & Pepper to taste

Season salmon pieces on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper.
Place salmon pieces in bowl and add cream. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the beurre rouge. Pour bottle of red wine into large shallow sauté pan and add minced shallots.
Place wine on medium heat and simmer. While wine is reducing, transfer fish to a rimmed cookie sheet. Place pieces closely together, pour any reserved cream over salmon and place in preheated 425 – 450 degree oven, uncovered.  Bake 7 – 10 minutes.

When wine has reduced to almost a thin syrupy consistency;  remove from heat
and add a bit of kosher salt and black pepper. Whisk in the softened butter in stages... about ¼ lb at a time. Finished sauce should have a velvety texture and should coat the back of a spoon. When salmon is done, transfer  serving platter, pour beurre rouge over and serve immediately.

NOTE:  Pomegranate seeds or capers make an excellent garnish and a few sprigs of fresh chervil or chopped chives will add more ‘eye candy’ to the dish.

No good meal is complete without a good wine, so we asked our friends at Philly Wine Finder to advise on a pairing for this rebellious repast.  At first glance, they recommended an Oregon pinot noir, which is a standard red choice for fish.   But the Philly Wine Finders are nothing if not thorough and thoughtful; after perusing the recipe and considering Chef Jon's taboo-smashing intent, they switched gears.  Their recommendation:

Kenwood Zinfandel, available at 12th and Chestnut and the Society Hill stores.

Bon Appetit and Cheers!

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