I do not normally have a salmon dish on a weekday. Last night was an exception because we had a special guest. Vicky’s salmon with orange and ginger has become my favorite salmon recipe but it requires marinade time and I didn’t have that luxury this time. So, I did Vicky’s rice side dish (in translation below) and cooked the salmon the way I’d learned from Jacque Peppin and Julia Child’s book. I felt too embarrassed to take a picture while my guest was there and when he was gone, there wasn’t much left… I’ll post one next time I cook it.
- two salmon fillets (I prefer thinner pieces)
- 8 tablespoons salted butter
- 1-2 onions, separated in very thin rings
- 2 cups basmati or jasmin rice
- salt for the rice
- lemon zest
- chopped parsley
- chopped shallots
How to make: For the rice, bring water to boil. Recommended portion water to rice is 1 3/4 cup water to 1 cup basmati/jasmin rice but it doesn’t really matter here because I strain it. When the rice is cooked to your preferred tenderness, strain (no rinse), put back in the pot and cover. I learned from Vicky that the steam will separate the rice nicely. Combine the rice with the lemon zest, chopped parsley and shallots. Shape the rice in any small container/bowl and serve it. It’s very easy! You turn the container upside down and the rice just stays on the dish. You can’t mess up and it looks great!
For the salmon, heat a big, deep, non-stick pan. No oil or fat. Place the salmon with the skin at the bottom. Cover the pan and let it cook for approximately 10 minutes. The standard way to test if salmon is done is to check if the meat will separate easily when poked with a fork. My pan takes two pieces and my two fillets were cut in four pieces so I did a repeat. OK. Last bit, flavor some butter to pour over the salmon. To do that, just heat the butter and saute the onions and the garlic. If you do not like the onion served with your dish, you can always pour the flavored butter strained.
Notes and tips: This is a dish that I strongly prefer to serve right when it’s ready. I stored leftovers in the fridge (tiny bits, it was mostly gone!) but the next day the taste is not the same. I didn’t have shallots to mix with the rice but the dish was still great. As for the rice, you can use American brown long grain rice but, in our family, the aroma of basmati/jasmine rice has made a kitchen cabinet favorite. Our outdoors barbecue set has a cook range which I almost always use to cook the salmon because the smell is too strong and not that pleasant for the house. If you don’t have an outdoors range use whatever smell absorbing hood you have to the fullest. Finally, you can remove the skin from salmon if you want before you serve it but you don’t have to. If I remember correctly, Jacque does not remove it and neither do I.
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