Salmon: Swedish-Style Poached Salmon with Mustard Sauce

posted by LynNY 03-31-100 5:47 AM

Swedish-Style Poached Salmon with Mustard Sauce

1 lb. piece of thick (1" or so) salmon fillet with skin on
1 quart water
1/2 Cup dry white wine (optional)
1 medium onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
2 whole allspice berries
3 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Fresh dill springs for garnish (optional)
Mayonnaise (optional)
Mustard Sauce (optional, see below)

In a sauce pan broad enough to contain the fillet without crowding, bring the water, wine, onion, allspice, peppercorns and bay leaf to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes to develop flavors.

Meanwhile, rinse the skin side of the salmon under cold running water, taking care to rinse off any loose scales. Wipe all surfaces of salmon gently with damp paper towels, and pat dry. Place fillet skin side down on a flat surface and, feeling with a finger tip for bones, use a tweezer to pull them out. Pull in the direction of the lay of the bone, so as not to tear the flesh.

Bring the poaching liquid to a brisk boil, carefully lower the fish into it still skin side down, and immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer fish covered for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Remove from heat and let stand covered in poaching liquid. When cool, may be lifted from poaching liquid and refrigerated for serving chilled later, or may be served right away, warm or at room temperature.

To serve, divide fish into 4 equal portions along natural grain lines and lift free of skin with broad spatula. Discard skin.

Poaching liquid may be strained, cooled, and stored in the freezer for future re-use. If saving it, discard the onion and seasonings. It develops richer flavor with each re-use. I re-use mine up to 5 or 6 times, boiling it briskly for a few minutes before putting in the fish. It defrosts in about 5 minutes in the microwave on high. (Be sure to label and date the container.)

Garnish each serving with a dill spring, if desired. If serving chilled, pass mayonnaise for diners to use as a topping if they wish.

Serve with steamed rice or baked potatoes, briefly cooked fresh spinach or asparagus, and a salad of sliced tomatoes or pickled beets.

If serving warm or at room temperature, consider passing Mustard Sauce in lieu of mayonnaise.

Serves 3 or 4.

Mustard Sauce

1 Cup fish poaching liquid
1 Cup half-and-half or light cream
1 to 2 tsp. grainy mustard (such as Grey Poupon Country Dijon), to taste
2 to 3 green onions, finely chopped, including some of the green tops
Salt and white pepper to taste

Combine the poaching liquid, cream and mustard in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and boil, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half and thickened to desired consistency. Stir in green onions and
season to taste with salt and white pepper, adding a bit more mustard if desired.

Pass at the table in a small pitcher to pour as desired over warm or room temperature fish servings.

Makes about 1 1/4 Cups sauce.

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