Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hot Summer Night II

A year or two ago, my friend AT introduced me to Steven Pratt's book Superfoods Rx: fourteen foods that will change your life. "I don't follow this slavishly," she said, "but I try to keep these foods in the house and I find that we naturally eat them more frequently." Reading the book re-energized me to think about nutrition, and I do try to keep the fourteen foods (and the additional 20 foods in the follow-up SuperFoods HealthStyle ) in mind.

Wild salmon is one of the super foods, and according to Pratt, should be eaten 2-4 times per week. I don't eat salmon even once a week, but I do try to pick up wild salmon when I'm passing the fish counter. I was looking for a new way to cook the most recent salmon purchase, and my trusty copy of The Hay Day Cookbook (now out of print) had a lovely-sounding recipe for a hot hot day.

I had about a pound of salmon, so made a partial recipe of the court bouillon to poach it. I halved the sauce recipe, knowing that I'd have extra. Canned green chiles come in very handy; I usually keep a bunch frozen in a Ziploc and take out just as much as I need.

The verdict:
This was very very good, and I'll no doubt make it again. I thought it was just the touch for summer - a good make-ahead dish that won't heat up the kitchen (since you make the court bouillon and poach the salmon ahead of time, ideally in the cool part of the day). The sauce was elegant and surprisingly creamy - although low in fat. I used regular whole milk yogurt, because we had a bit left in the fridge, but I'd like to try non-fat Greek yogurt. the leftover sauce was good the next day with citrus-y broiled chicken breasts.

Cold Poached Salmon with Avocado Sauce

Source: The Hay Day Cookbook by Maggie Stearns

1 four-pound fresh salmon (gills removed), poached* in Court Bouillon,** skinned and chilled
1 head leaf lettuce, washed and dried
1 lime, cut in wedges
1 T onion, finely chopped
1 T green chilies, seeded and finely chopped (can use canned, which I did)
1 very ripe avocado
1/3 cup plain yoghurt
2 T lime juice
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 T olive oil
1 T fresh coriander (cilantro)

1. Arrange poached salmon an a serving platter that has been lined with curly lettuce. Garnish with lime wedges.
2. In a food processor, process the onion and green chilies until smooth. Add avocado and yoghurt with the lime juice and process 1 minute. Turn into a bowl and beat in salt, pepper, and olive oil a little at a time. Stir in coriander and refrigerate for ½ hour. Serve in a sauce boat topped with a little more chopped coriander.

*Poaching fish:Place in roasting pan, add hot Court Bouillon just to cover, seal with aluminum foil and bake at 375° until tender, approximately 10 minutes for each minute of thickness. Remove from broth while hot.

**Court Bouillon: the classic mixture for poaching fish is 2 cups of white wine, 2 cups of water, 1 stalk of celery chopped with its leaves, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot, 1 bay leaf, 10 peppercorns, and a little salt, simmered together for ten minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

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