Eight ingredients. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a weeknight feast for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our "8 & $20" feature. We hope it adds pleasure to your table.
Poached salmon has a bit of a retro vibe, no? To my mind, it seems more a posh in-flight meal on Pan Am or a menu item for a ruffley Molly Ringwald-era bridal shower. But when a recent heat wave put the broiler off limits and a friend brought back fresh-off-the-boat Copper River salmon from a trip to Seattle, the combination proved to be serendipitous.
If you like, you can enhance the poaching liquid with aromatics, such as sautéed onions, carrots, mushrooms, herbs and spices. However, there is something to be said for keeping it clean and simple and letting the flavor of the salmon shine through—especially if you’ve gone through all the trouble of getting (and paying for) wild salmon.
This recipe is a good example of how the preparation method can influence a wine pairing. Salmon and Pinot Noir, for instance, are a go-to match among the yes-you-can-pair-red-wine-and-fish set, but here, with the light tangy sauce and delicate poaching, a zippy white made more sense. A white Bordeaux, made of mostly Sauvignon Blanc, with some oak age was just the ticket. It had the weight to match up with the fish, but the citrusy elements to align with the sauce.
Pair with: Château Guiraud Bordeaux White Le G 2009 (88 points, $19)
Total Time: 25 minutes
Approximate Food Cost: $39
1. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and cook until tender, around 20 minutes. Strain the potatoes, dress with a few tablespoons of olive oil and set on the table.
2. Bring 3 inches of salted water to a boil in a large sauté pan, then reduce to a low simmer. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, then carefully slide the fish into the liquid and poach until the fish is cooked through, around 10 minutes. You should be able to pierce the flesh of the fish with a sharp knife without much trouble. Remove the fish from the liquid and place on serving plates.
3. While the salmon is cooking, mix the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and cucumbers with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture over the cooked salmon and serve. Serves 4.
J G Avedesian — Indian Wells,California, USA — June 15, 2011 12:34pm ET
Russell V Meyers — State College, PA — June 23, 2011 4:32pm ET
Jennifer Fiedler — New York, NY — June 23, 2011 5:11pm ET
Paul Gardner — San Jose, Ca. — June 23, 2011 6:51pm ET
Jennifer Fiedler — New York, NY — June 24, 2011 12:40am ET
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