Wednesday, July 25, 2007

That's Almost Magic: Plate Cooked Salmon

You absolutely have got to try this recipe from Jeremiah Tower. The premise is delightful: take heated dinner plates, thin paillards of fish, a tasty broth and garnishes of flavored cream. Brush the hot plate with butter, add the fish, top with the hot broth and by the time you've put the finishing touches on the dish, the fish is perfectly cooked.

I know. It sounds crazy. But it's terrific because the fish retains it's fresh flavor and is cooked just to the point of flaky perfection with no chance of drying out, the bits of ginger and garlic floating in the broth hand the fish a few zippy compliments just before the jolt of chipotle cream hits you, lending its smokey goodness to the mix. It's simple to execute, lovely to look at and does a complex little quickstep on your tongue.

I've never tried this recipe with any of the suggested variations...we've been so happy with the salmon and chipotle...but the method does cry out for all sorts of interpretations; kind of a "sky's the limit" sort of thing. The only adjustment I've made to the recipe is to use a good organic vegetable broth instead of the fish stock. When you have something as splendid as a fresh piece of salmon in front of you there hardly seems a need to introduce a generic fish flavor. The broth acts as a nice supporting player to the other veggies in the dish, without stepping on any toes.

To accommodate The Child's "not too 'picy" issues, I make a cilantro cream for hers, just whizzing up a big handful of roughly chopped cilantro with about 1/2 c. of heavy cream & a pinch of salt, then gently heating it as directed. I make that first and don't bother rinsing out the blender before making the chipotle cream. Seems to me that any bits of cilantro that are clinging to the sides are going to be more than happy uniting with the chipotle.


Anonymous said...

ooOOoo! Even I can't screw this one up. Thanks!

Lorraine said...

It would be impossible to screw up this recipe. And oh my lord, the flavor. Plus, you get to say, "Careful, hot plate" as you serve. That always makes me laugh, like I work in a Mexican restaurant or something.

Jon said...

"without stepping on any toes. . ."

You are my FAVORITE food writer!

MHP would love this dish because of the moist factor. She doesn't do un-moist food, you know.

Lorraine said...

And you, Jon, are the most supportive darling thing. Seriously. Wind beneath my wings and all that.

And not only would MHP like this dish, she could so make it herself. It is sooooo simple!