April 2014

Cornmeal Crusted Salmon With Basil Mussel Broth

Show: Chef At Home   Chef: Michael Smith   Category: Main Course

Ease of Cooking: Easy  
Yields: 4 Servings  
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A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason, this is also an account of what happens when I make this dish, so you'll understand each step. Of course when you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don't like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

Mussels are widely available and yield a wonderfully rich broth when steamed; they travel with their own sauce! The broth can be flavoured with just about anything - basil in this case - and makes a perfect accompaniment for any other fish. Cornmeal makes an easy crisp crust for salmon that won't fall off.


Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of mussels, de-bearded
  • 1 cup of Riesling or other white wine
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of prepared basil pesto
  • 1 cup of fine cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 six-ounce salmon filets, skin off
  • 3 tablespoons of corn oil
Methods
  1. Put mussels in a large pot over medium-high heat with the wine and cream. Cover with a tight fitting lid to capture the steam and cook until they open, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Let cool then shell the mussels and reserve the meat. Toss the shells.
  3. Strain broth into a clean saucepan, add pesto and reheat just before serving.
  4. Place cornmeal, paprika, salt and pepper into a re-sealable plastic bag and shake, coating each piece of salmon well. Try not to use a coarse cornmeal; it won't adhere as well to the natural moisture of the fish. The bag cuts down on clean up!
  5. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat then add the corn oil. It should completely cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer, more than a film. Too little and the fish won't sear. Don't worry it won't absorb the oil, better too much than too little!
  6. Add the crusted salmon filets and pan-roast for 5 to 6 minutes per side.
  7. Place the reserved mussels back into broth and heat through. Position a piece of salmon in middle of a warm bowl.
  8. Ladle some of the broth and mussels over it.
Tags: seafood


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