Try the king of all fish this Lenten season (March 10, 2011)

Some people refer to salmon as the king of all fish. I’d be the last to disagree.

Salmon has been the monarch of the sea around our house for generations or so I’ve been told and it has been served in so many forms – salmon salad, salmon cakes, grilled salmon, baked or poached with parsley potatoes – that its infinite variety and adaptability have been hard to ignore.

Salmon is always a major course at the traditional winter party at my house in Lakewood. This is a night when friends we’ve known for decades and relatives we’ve known all our lives, travel in from all over New Jersey and Delaware to sit a while, talk, enjoy each other and feast.

This version of poached salmon evolved over these winter fests with input from my sister-in-law, Kate, a really wonderful cook, who concocted the dressing, and very good friend, Mary Tierney, who provided the poaching method that captivated everyone’s taste buds at this year’s get together.

Served with boiled parsley potatoes and a green salad, I think you’ll enjoy this salmon recipe as much as we all did.

– 1 medium, sliced onion
– 2 medium chopped carrots
– 2 chopped stalks celery
– 2 whole peppercorns
– ½ cup white wine
– 1 large salmon fillet or 4 individual portions
– 1 cup plain yogurt
– 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
– 1 tsp. cider vinegar
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1 scallion, well-chopped
– salt, pepper, freeze dried or fresh dill to taste

For the salmon – in a 10-inch skillet with enough water to come two inches from the top, combine the onion, carrots, celery, peppercorns and white wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Cover the skillet and simmer for five minutes then remove from the heat and let it stand until the fillets are cooked through.

Upon removing the salmon, I place it gently on a plate bottom side up and remove the skin by sliding a sharp knife under the skin. It removes very easily at this point. Then I turn it over gently once again and set it aside while making the dressing.

For the dressing: combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic and scallion in a bowl, mix well and dust with dill.

Serve warm or chilled with the dressing on the side so that diners can help themselves.


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