Salmon has been popular in French cooking since the Middle Ages, when it was commonly prepared potted, braised or salted, or as an ingredient in ragouts, soups and pâtés. French bistros today prefer to concentrate on its naturally distinctive flavor, often choosing to serve it either steamed or poached. This delicate sabayon sauce adds the wonderfully mellowed flavor of fresh garlic to this simple preparation.
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
- 8 cloves garlic
- 4 salmon fillets, about 5 ounces each, skin removed
- Salt to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground white pepper to taste, plus 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 4 sprigs fresh chervil
Place the potato and add water to cover generously in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil until tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. While the potato is boiling, put the garlic cloves in a separate saucepan, add water to cover and boil until very soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and white pepper to taste and set them aside until you finish preparing the sauce.
Drain both the garlic cloves and the potato. Place in a food processor fitted with a metal blade or in a blender. Add the lemon juice, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, the 1/4 teaspoon white pepper and the warm water. Process or blend on high speed just until smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds. Add the olive oil and blend for another 15 seconds to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside, covered.
Place the salmon fillets on a steamer rack over (not touching) gently boiling water. Cover and steam until the salmon is firm, pale pink and opaque throughout when flaked with a fork, about 5 minutes.
Place a fillet of salmon in the center of each of 4 warmed plates. Pour the sauce directly over the fillets, dividing it equally.
Sprinkle each dish with an equal amount of the chopped parsley or garnish with a chervil sprig. Serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
358 calories; 23g total fat; 78mg cholesterol; 355mg sodium; 10g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 30g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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