Monday, January 18, 2010

No Regrets/Asian Salmon + Farro Hash

I have a confession to make, I may have a very real crush on the man who sold me this piece of salmon on Saturday. It was the perfect first encounter, I flirted just enough to get the very best piece of fish and he oh-so-kindly acquiesced. As I walked away from the fish counter, he winked and reminded me to always maintain my sense of humor. Gently batting my eyelashes I stopped, looked at him and said, "I'll be seeing you very soon."

The truth is, I probably will be seeing him soon if only because I finally found a decent piece of fish in Montreal and now I want more. Montreal is notorious for it's shortage of good fish; this combined with my 'fish snobbism' and aversion to supermarket fish means that I rarely get to eat it. Well, my new crush at the Jean-Talon Market (gosh, I wish I remembered his name) has definitely changed that. The piece he sold me was so fresh, flaky and tender that it would have fared just as well with a simple preparation as it did with the Asian marinade I used. Clearly he and I are meant to be; this is the stuff of fairy tales I tell you.

Although I am still busy recounting the details of my 'moment' with the fish guy, let me tell you a little about the recipe I used. I got this recipe from Ina Garten, who got it from Eli Zabar, the owner of several fantastic gourmet markets and stores in New York City. True to form, this recipe is no let-down; the panko crust, which absorbs the tangy, spicy, garlicky flavors of this simple marinade hugs the slightly undercooked, perfect piece of salmon. Add a side of farro, spinach and wild mushroom hash and dinner starts to get really racy. So here's my suggested game plan, go shamelessly flirt with a fish vendor, come home with the best piece of salmon and make this recipe the same day, while the fish is at its freshest. You will definitely regret neither the flirting nor the dinner. I have a feeling if you choose to go all out and also make the hash, you won't regret that either.
Eli's Asian Salmon
adapted from Ina Garten
serves 4

21 oz center-cut salmon fillet (1 1/2 inches thick)
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. toasted (dark) sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp. chili paste
1/2 c. sliced scallions (2 scallions)
1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3/4 c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1) Place the salmon in a 9 x 9" glass baking dish.
2) In a mixing cup, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, chili paste, scallions, garlic, and ginger. Pour 1/3 of soy sauce mixture over the salmon fillet. Sprinkle the panko evenly over the fillet. Pour the rest of the soy sauce mixture evenly over the panko. Be sure to soak the panko completely and if any runs off, spoon back onto the salmon. Set aside for 15 minutes, leaving all the sauce in the pan.
3) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Roast the salmon for 18 to 20 minutes, or for about 12 minutes per inch at the thickest part of the salmon. The internal temperature will be 120 degrees F on a meat thermometer when it's done. Remove from the oven, wrap tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Mushroom, Spinach and Farro Hash
adapted from Food + Wine
serves 6

3/4 cup farro
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion thinly slice
2 c. sliced wild mushrooms
3 c. baby spinach
1 heaping tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1) In a medium saucepan, cover the farro with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the farro.
2) In a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When it shimmers add the onion and caramelize slowly, 10-15 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and sautee for 5 minutes until soft. Turn off the heat.
3) Before serving, turn the heat back on and add the farro and spinach, stir together until warmed through and the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add more salt or pepper to taste.


Jac said...

What a perfect day that must have been! Asian food, cute market boy and a clean piece of fish...
Looks fabulous!

Anonymous said...

yum yum yum!

Sarah said...

daddy and i love your flirty ways and definitely want to make this recipe! we love salmon!