We hosted a big charity dinner the other night which of course meant it was an opportune time to try out a new recipe. Luckily, I had done enough research on this one to trust it would work…and it was just the first course of dinner, so if something happened I had three more courses to fall back on. I knew I wanted to poach this salmon in wine instead of just water or butter, and had opened a bottle of very dry, Brut Cava for use on D:The Broadcast that morning so decided to use it, knowing the bright acidity and citrus notes would add a nice flavor to the herb, shallot and lemon filled poaching liquid. From start to finish it took about 10 minutes…and the flavor was out of this world. Served chilled on top of a simple, chilled baby pea, fresh mint, wasabi cream with a bottle of Adelsheim Auxerrois, a very crisp and lively white wine….delicious.
Cava Poached Salmon with Sweet Pea, Mint and Wasabi Cream
6 4 ounce salmon filets, skin removed
3 cups Cava or other sparkling wine (still white wine will also work)
1 cup water
2 lemons – 1 zested and sliced into thin rounds, 1 cut in half
1 shallot, thinly sliced into rounds
4 springs each fresh parsley, fresh dill and fresh thyme
10 whole peppercorns
Salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons wasabi paste (to your taste)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1/3 cup heavy cream
Add the cava, water, lemon zest and rounds, peppercorns to a wide, shallow pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, add the olive oil and garlic to a sauce pot over medium low heat and saute for 2 minutes. Spoon into a food processor with the juice from 1/2 lemon, wasabi paste, mint, basil, cilantro and a good dash of salt and pepper. Being to puree, adding a tablespoon or two of water or white wine if it is too thick. When almost smooth add the cream in and puree until very smooth. Adjust the seasoning to your taste, pour into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When the poaching liquid comes to a boil add the remaining fresh herbs and reduce to a simmer. Season the salmon generously with salt. Place the filets into the poaching liquid, it should come about halfway up the side of the fish and poach for 3 minutes. Flip over and poach for another 3 minutes on the other side. Removes from the poaching liquid with a spider to let the liquid drip away. Place on a plate and refrigerate for at least and hour. The fish will still be a bit medium rare in the center, how we like our salmon. Let cook another 2 minutes if you like it more well done. To plate, spoon a heaping spoonful of sauce on the bottom of a serving dish. Place a slice of salmon on top and finish with a slight squeeze of fresh lemon.