Friday, November 26, 2010

Filet of Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise

Decadent!  This is a very nice, classic entree!
     Salmon and hollandaise sauce is a great old French combination.  The roasted red pepper added to hollandaise gives this recipe a modern flare.  This recipe has great eye appeal too.
     Recipe:  Very fine mince a peeled, seeded, roasted red bell pepper.
     Place the minced roasted red pepper in a sauce pan with a little bit of water.
     Simmer the minced roasted pepper till it is very soft over medium heat.
     Press the red pepper puree through a sieve into another pan.
     Add a small splash of cream to the roasted red pepper puree.
     Simmer and reduce the puree slowly till a medium thick puree sauce is formed.
     Press the creamed roasted red pepper puree through a fine mesh sieve one last time into a bowl.
     Transfer the roasted red pepper puree into a squeeze bottle.  Keep the puree warm on a stove top.
     Hollandaise Sauce Recipe:  Melt 3-4 ounces of unsalted butter in a sauce pot over medium heat.  Cook till the butter gives off a light hazelnut aroma.  Clarify the butter and discard the butter solids on the bottom of the pan.  Keep the butter warm over very low heat.
     Put 2 egg yokes in a mixing bowl.
     Add a little bit of warm water to the yokes while stirring.  (About a 1/2 teaspoon of warm water per egg yoke.)  This will make the eggs easy to control while whisking.  (Too much water added will cause the whisking process mentioned later to take way too much time.  Do not add lemon juice at the beginning of making a Hollandaise Sauce.  The sauce will be disproportionately lemon flavored if you do so.)
     Whisk the egg yoke and water in a mixing bowl over a double boiler set on medium low heat.  Constantly whisk, non stop, till till the eggs souffle (puff up) and ribbons appear in the eggs from the whisk.
     Remove the mixing bowl from the double boiler and immediately whisk the eggs while adding the warm butter one teaspoon at a time till the eggs start "grabbing" the butter.  Return the start of the hollandaise to the double boiler.  (You can not stop whisking at this point!)  Thin stream the melted butter into the eggs while whisking till the egg sauce is formed.  (The proportion of butter to eggs is 1 1/2 ounces of butter to one egg yoke!)
     Now, whisk in a small squeeze of lemon juice.
     Add a pinch of white pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt.
     The sauce should have a hint of lemon flavor and not taste like a lemon sauce.
     Place the Hollandaise in a ceramic ramekin.  Set the ramekin in a bain marie set on very low heat and stir the sauce occasionally.
     Hollandaise is a French mother sauce that is used for hundreds of recipes.  The basic hollandaise recipe never changes.
     Recipe:  Place a large (8 oz) salmon filet in a buttered baking pan.  Brush the salmon with melted butter.  Add a splash of dry white wine and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Sprinkle sea salt and white pepper on the salmon.  Bake in a 450 degree oven till it is half cooked.
     Set the salmon under a broiler to finish cooking.  (Salmon is best cooked between medium to well done for this recipe.)
     Set the cooked, hot salmon on top of the oven to rest for a minute or two.
     Set the salmon filet on a plate.
     Place oven roasted potatoes and buttered wax beans on the plate or vegetables of your choice.
     Set a parsley sprig garnish on the plate.
     The very last thing you do in most hollandaise recipes is to pour the hollandaise sauce over the entree, so the hollandaise does not break.  So have the rest of the plate ready before saucing.
     Spoon the warm hollandaise sauce over the salmon.
     Paint the hollandaise with the squeeze bottle of roasted red pepper puree.
     Spatter drops of the red pepper puree around the plate.
     The puree and the hollandaise have to be the same temperature and consistency to paint a plate like this.
     Magnifique!  Viola!  The flavors are out of this world!  The reaction this presentation gets is applause and awe.  I'll admit, this recipe is nothing new but, it still is a great entree.  I first cooked this recipe in the late 1980's while working in a French Cafe across the street from an opera house.  The restaurant parking lot looked like a Rolls Royce dealership.  We had the "high end" clientele captured.  The customers loved this salmon with roasted red pepper hollandaise entree.  Delicious! ...  Shawna

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