Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Big City Salmon with Martini Sauce

We were in the mood for a light-ish kind of meal involving fish and some salad, and I found some fresh and fabulous king salmon at Whole Foods. I could have simply seared and roasted it and left it at that, but then what are all those cookbooks doing here anyway? I found an interesting sauce to try in Crescent City Cooking by Susan Spicer. In introducing the recipe in the book, she explains that years ago she created a menu of regionally-themed dishes for a Fourth of July dinner. To represent Manhattan in that menu, she developed a martini sauce with olives for salmon. That sounded like a sauce worth trying. For a side dish, I tried the zucchini and fennel slaw from the July issue of Gourmet, and that recipe is on Epicurious.

The salmon could have been grilled, roasted, or even poached, but I did my usual quick sear in a saute pan, turn, and place in a 400 F degree oven for a few minute to cook not quite all the way through. The sauce was started by reducing gin and vermouth with chopped shallots and juniper berries. Once reduced to about three tablespoons, cream was added, and that was reduced again. It was then strained into a bowl and poured back into a saucepan so just a little butter could be incorporated. Sliced pimento-stuffed olives and lemon juice were added. Meanwhile, the slaw was very quickly assembled. I thinly sliced the zucchini and fennel with a Benriner, and they were dressed with a combination of mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, and mustard.

The meal worked out great. The martini sauce was nicely flavored in a pleasantly boozy sort of way, and the juniper berries gave it a very subtle, wispy hint of pine. The olives took charge visually and brought little punches of brininess that went well with the salmon. And, even though the slaw just sat in the background, off to the side of the plate, it was more delicious than I expected. It was shown in Gourmet with salmon cakes, it was great with the salmon I made, and I can imagine it as a side with all sorts of other things too. It’s incredibly simple to prepare, and I definitely recommend it.





31 comments:

  1. that looks yumsville. will you make it for me?

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  2. What a beautiful way to serve salmon! It looks moist and delicious :)

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  3. So glad you posted this and I found you! I absolutely love Salmon thanks so much!

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  4. I voted for you and your picture very nice!

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  5. Lisa, this is a gorgeous way to prepare salmon.
    I never do anything to wild salmon because I love it just plain, but I will try the martini sauce!
    Also, I like that you sear your salmon flesh side down first. So many people do it skin side down. I do it your way!

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  6. The martini sauce sounds so rich and flavorful! The slaw sounds perfect with it. This looks like a meal from a fancy restaurant. It's beautiful!

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  7. Yum! Love the creative martini sauce!

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  8. I do love a gin martini, but I can't really handle them anymore. On Salmon, now that's an inspiration...

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  9. I'm really loving the martini sauce. It sounds really fabulous with the salmon. Perfect choice for a light meal.

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  10. That salmon dish looks fantastic! What wonderful flavors!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  11. I would love my meal every day light, if salmon involved! The sauce is so special and delicious.

    Angie's Recipes</a

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  12. Martini Sauce! Oh I would love to try that!

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  13. Martini sauce catches my eye : ) Wanna try one day too.

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  14. This looks so good! Well done :)

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  15. you compose the most eloquent commentary and take the most elegant pictures. i applaud your work, lisa, even if i'm not particularly fond of salmon in general. :)

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  16. The martini sauce sounds absolutely fabulous! I have to try it asap!

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  17. What a pleasent & apart fish dish!

    Maevellous flavours!! Apart too!

    MMMMMMMMMMM,....lovely!!

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  18. This is pure genius! I love it!!! I bet it was so flavorful!

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  19. Yummie, this salmon is just gorgeous...martini sauce, sounds so delicious! I'll definitely try it :-)

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  20. Ooooh very nice. I love the way these olives look on there...very nice.

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  21. oh yum, this looks so good, I love green olives and can just about figure how good it tastes

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  22. I love salmon. Your presentation is so beautiful and dressing the salmon with a couple of olives is genius (ie like in a martini)

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  23. everyone else said it all - I will say - give me some now!

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  24. AAHH! I have just discovered what I've been missing for so many weeks...GOOD fish! You don't find good fish like that around here in college...

    Sobbing...I want my fish...(preferably yours) T___T

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  25. Pray tell, did you have a dirty martini to go with the fab dish? ;)

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  26. It is indeed a simple and healthy dish I would go for it. They look incredibly beautiful too!

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  27. Strangely enough, for all the blog reading I do I never actually MAKE too many of the recipes that get posted, but this one inspired me and I made it last night and I can now report back: it was just incredible. The martini sauce was creamy and tangy and smooth - and I added a bit of sour cream to add pungency and cut down on the fat of the cream. We have leftover fish and that's going to be turned into fish tacos -- I with the olives and sour cream, it will be perfect inside a crunchy shell with a tomatillo salsa.

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  28. love the sound of the sauce, very creative of you.

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  29. wow!! drooling alreadyyy!1 sound heavenly delish.. loving the saucy part :o)

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  30. I've never tried to combine green olives with salmon, or any other fish. I'm intrigued now by this picture.

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  31. Being a Manhattanite, of course this caught my eye. I didn't expect the cream in the martini sauce though.

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