I prepped this meal in my mind many days ago, basing it around some really good salmon I got on sale last week. I popped it in the freezer, then pulled it out for today. It was only as I was assembling the meal this afternoon that I realized what a balanced, nutritious, and almost downright wholesome party I had crafted. We had cheesecake with various homemade sauces for dessert, but a slice won't kill you. Balance in all things. :)
Here's what we had:
- Chilled poached salmon with lemon tarragon mayonnaise sauce on the side
- Greek Orzo Salad (orzo, artichokes, kalamatas, cucumber, feta, onion with lemon vinaigrette)
- Pomegranate glazed brisket
- Celery, Cranberry, Blue Cheese Salad
- Mile High New York Cheesecake with various sauces and toppings.
The links are for the recipes that inspired tonight's dishes, although I had my own little tweaks and adjustments, of course. That salmon? That's the easiest part, and one of the treasures of my repertoire. It is so easy to make that we ate it all summer, sometimes with salmon, and sometimes with trout. I might even like the stronger flavour of the trout better. Hard to say. Here it is, for your enjoyment.
Super Simple Poached Salmon
2-3 pound salmon filet
Place the salmon in a pan that will hold it. If you'd like a glorious presentation, use a roasting pan and leave the salmon in a single piece. It's not a crime to cut it, though, if you need to. Fill the pan with cold water to cover the salmon, then put a lid on or cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bring to a boil (if you're using a roasting pan, you might need to put it over 2 burners) then turn off the heat and let it sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. Check for doneness by using a fork to open up a center section. It should be firm and pink and not shiny. Carefully transfer to a platter, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for several hours, until thoroughly chilled.
That's it. Bring it to a boil during breakfast, put it in the fridge when you clean up that morning meal, and it'll be ready for dinner. Easiest fish EVER.
1/4 tsp dry mustard or 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp dried tarragon or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced, divided
1 cup oil [I used 3/4 cup peanut and 1/4 cup olive]
fresh ground pepper
Put egg, mustard, salt, half the lemon juice and half the zest in the bowl of a food processor. Turn on to mix, and with mixer running, slowly, even drop by drop, add oil to the mixer. I have some notes on this here. Continue adding oil until fully emulsified, thick, and combined. Season with additional lemon juice and pepper, to taste. I made mine rather tangy. I suggest making it when you make the salmon so it has time to sit and rest and meld and yummify. If you'd prefer it as a sauce, you could thin it down with milk or cream, but I suggest doing it when you make it, as mayonnaise is a little obnoxious to thin with a stirring spoon.