In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Forty-fifth Post ~ Maple Rosemary Salmon

Perhaps it's the fact that I'm going to Alaska in 91 days (but who's counting). Perhaps it's the fact that Panera just started a new line of salmon dishes and I'm smacked in the face with 5-foot tall salmon billboards every time I drive past one. Perhaps it's the fact that I just plain love salmon. For whatever reason, tonight's meal happens to be a salmon fillet.

I went to Wegmans tonight after the seafood shop was closed. I found salmon fillets from Canada packaged in twos. I only wanted one. I happened to see one of the guys who works the seafood shop passing by, so I asked him if it would be okay to freeze one of the fillets.

:: PAUSE ::

This is the reason I love Wegman's. They will happily cheat themselves out of a larger sale in the name of good food. Customers know that they're not going to get taken to the cleaners - food is too important to these people.


So the guy's eyes widened for a split second in horror, and then he cringed. "Weeeeell... I guess you could... How 'bout I just package one of these up for you?"

Sold. So I left with a 6 oz. farm-raised salmon fillet from Canada.

I was in the mood for an easy meal, so I bought some "Take It" (rather than "Make it") Wegman's vegetables. Although they were yummy, I must say it was a rather pointless purchase, as I was more than satisfied with this generous salmon fillet and glass of wine. Here's what you'll need to make tonight's salmon:

~ Salmon fillet (preferably skin-off - this fillet came pre-skinned; if it's not, you can usually ask the fish seller to do it for you)
~ Maple syrup (the real stuff -mine's from a NYS maple syrup artisan who makes probably the best bottles of this liquid gold that you can get anywhere in this world.
~ Powdered ginger
~ One sprig rosemary
~ Salt (to taste)
~ Sweet white wine
~ Olive oil


It is my opinion that most restaurants over-cook fish; salmon in particular. Now, I know I love sushi, but I'm not expecting my fish to come out raw - but I'm not expecting it to be dry and "fishy" tasting, either. The way I'm going to suggest cooking salmon takes some time, but it's worth it. And it's a pretty -hands-off technique - aside from flipping it once, there's not much to do but let it cook on very low heat. Cooking salmon this way will create a tender, moist, flavorful piece of fish that is not at all "fishy." I think most people who say they don't like salmon have had it where it's overcooked and too strong tasting.


So prep your pan by rubbing it down with the olive oil. Start the pan heating. Unwrap the salmon, and cover all sides of it generously with maple syrup. Place it skinned-side down in the pan. Sprinkle some ginger over the top of it and press a sprig of rosemary into the top. Let it cook on very low heat until it is cooked halfway up. Carefully turn it over. Continue to cook on very low heat until the edges are a beautiful "salmon pink" and the very, very center is a shade darker. Turn it one more time and add a very small amount of sweet white wine (I'm talking 1-2 tablespoons, here) and let it gently simmer. Turn off the heat while you get your side on the plate and your wine poured.

I paired tonight's dinner with Vetter Vineyard's Victorian Chautauqua - one of my long-time favorites. It's sweet without being cloyingly so, and it compliments the maple syrup in tonight's meal. Usually, I pair salmon with a red wine, but this recipe makes the salmon so light and mild, it's overshadowed by a red. A nice light sweet white brings out all the flavor you'll need.

Here's to an easy supper!

Yours in the love of good food and wine,

The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.