Pretty much everybody knows salmon is good for you. Loaded with healthy omega 3’s, salmon is easily one of the best protein choices you can consume and serve your loved ones. Definitely choose wild salmon as it is infinitely better for you and has much more flavor.
Finding cedar planks used to be rather difficult. I used to have to order them from specialty shops. No longer the case, you can now find cute little cedar planks at just about every store that sells seafood.
Simply soak the planks according to the package directions, place them on your preheated grill, add your seasoned piece of fish, and grill like normal.
Instead of just serving your fish as is, top it with a compound butter. Again, don’t be intimidated by this fancy sounding name. Compound butter is just butter flavored with various things — usually fresh herbs. Whatever you flavor your butter with, the secret is butter, not margarine or other substitute.
4 pieces salmon, preferably wild
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cedar planks, soaked according to package directions (usually overnight for best results)
Compound butter (recipe follows)
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place salmon on cedar planks and place planks on hot grill. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Close grill and cook salmon until just cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how hot your grill gets. Remove from grill and place on platter. Top each piece of salmon with a generous pat of compound butter. Tent with foil and allow to rest for a few minutes.
2 sticks salted butter, softened
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped (remove stems)
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
Place softened butter in a bowl. Add dill, chives and shallots and thoroughly combine. Place some plastic wrap on your work space and spoon the butter mixture onto the plastic wrap. Mold the butter into a cylinder and wrap it up firmly. Refrigerate until firm.
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If you really want to impress someone, serve them this dish. Poaching salmon is pretty much foolproof — the secret is the court bouillon, a fancy cooking term for flavored broth. Hollandaise sauce seems intimidating because you do have to watch it closely or it will curdle. But don’t let that stop you.
Poached salmon with hollandaise sauce
1 quart water
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 pieces salmon, preferably wild caught
Hollandaise Sauce (recipe follows)
To make court bouillon, combine water, vinegar, onion, carrot, celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt and peppercorns in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain and discard solids. Pour court bouillon into a large, wide skillet and bring to a simmer. Carefully add salmon in one layer and poach in gently simmering water until salmon is just cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove with slotted spatula and place on platter. Tent with foil until serving with hollandaise sauce.
A few tips: Use a stainless steel bowl over barely simmering water — don’t let the bowl touch the simmering water. You can also use a double boiler if you have one. Hollandaise sauce is difficult to “hold,” so plan on making it right before you serve the salmon.
2 egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
In a stainless steel bowl, vigorously whisk together egg yolks with lemon juice until thickened. Place bowl over barely simmering water in a small sauce pan. Continue whisking and slowly drizzle in melted butter. Look for sauce to double in its thickness. Whisk in cayenne and salt and serve.