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La Belle Cuisine - More Fish Recipes

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Slow-Roasted Salmon with Red Wine Risotto,
Wild Thyme, and Tiny White Asparagus



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"You have a finite number of mouthfuls in your life.
I want to make every one count."

~ Chef Charlie Trotter


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Slow-Roasted Salmon with Red Wine Risotto,
Wild Thyme, and Tiny White Asparagus

Charlie Trotter's Seafood
Charlie Trotter's Seafood

by Charlie Trotter, 1997, Ten Speed Press

“In this dish, the salmon is covered with wild thyme and sits on a bed of braised celery as it slowly roasts at 225 degrees. The result is a highly aromatic piece of
fish that is so smooth it literally has no texture as it melts in your mouth. Thus,
the contrast of pairing it with the pungent red wine risotto is all the more
dramatic. This dish is extremely satisfying, true good-for-the-soul food. The
Veal Stock Reduction and tiny white asparagus finish the dish with a touch
of elegance that nicely elevates the overall preparation.”

Serves 4

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced Spanish onions
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1 cup Red Wine Reduction (recipe follows)
1 cup roasted woodear mushrooms, chopped (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper
Four 3-ounce pieces salmon, skin removed
4 stalks celery, peeled and cut into long, thin strips
1 1/2 cups fresh thyme
1 cup tiny white asparagus
1/2 cup Veal Stock Reduction (recipe follows)

Method – Sweat the garlic and onion in a medium saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the Arborio rice, stir to coat with the onion
and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the Red Wine Reduction and continue to cook over medium-low heat while gently stirring constantly. Once the rice has absorbed the Red Wine Reduction, add the remaining 1/2 cup, stirring constantly. After all of the Red Wine Reduction is absorbed,
add 1/4 cup additions of water until the rice is just cooked. (It should be al dente, yet creamy.) Fold in the roasted woodear mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the celery
strips on a small sheet pan, creating a rack for the salmon. Place the salmon on top of the celery and cover with 1 ¼ cups of the fresh thyme. Roast at
225 degrees [F] for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just done. Remove from
oven, cut the celery into a small dice, and fold into the red wine risotto.
Quickly sauté the asparagus in a small pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon
of butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Warm the Veal Stock Reduction in a small saucepan.

Red Wine Reduction
Yield: 1/2 cup

1 Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
One 750-ml bottle Burgundy
2 cups Port
1 cup chicken stock

Method – In a medium saucepan, caramelize the onion, carrot, celery,
apple, and garlic in the grapeseed oil. Add the Burgundy and the Port and simmer over medium heat for 2 hours. Strain and place in a small saucepan with the chicken stock. Continue to simmer over medium heat for 1 hour,
or until reduced to 1/2 cup.

Roasted Mushrooms
Yield: about 2 cups

3 cups assorted wild mushrooms, cleaned (such as shiitake, cremini,
black trumpet, hedgehog, portobello) [in this case, woodear mushrooms
are specified]
1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion
1 clove garlic
1 sprig thyme or rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup mushroom stock or water
Salt and pepper

Method – Place the mushrooms in an ovenproof pan and toss with the
onion, garlic, thyme or rosemary, and olive oil. Add the stock or water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 325 degrees [F] for
30 to 40 minutes (some mushrooms may take more or less time), or until the mushrooms are tender. Remove from the oven and cool in the cooking juices.

Veal Stock Reduction
Yield: 1 1/4 cups

10 pounds veal bones
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 leek, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 bulb garlic, cut in half
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/2 cup tomato concassée [peeled, seeded and diced tomato]
4 cups dry red wine (such as Burgundy)

Method – Place the bones in a roasting pan and roast in the oven at 450 degrees [F] for 2 hours, or until golden brown. When bones are browned, caramelize the carrots, celery, onion, leek, and garlic in the grapeseed oil in
a large stockpot. Add the tomato concassée and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze with the red wine and reduce until most of the wine has been cooked out.
Add the browned bones and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer over medium heat for 8 hours. Strain through
a fine-mesh sieve and simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes, or until it
coats the back of a spoon. Extra reduction can be stored in the freezer for
several months.

Recommended substitution – Cod, lobster, scallops, red snapper, swordfish, tuna

Wine Notes - The development of Sangiovese in California vineyards has been
rapid and exciting. The variety has a personality distinct from its forebears in
Tuscany. The best producers are avoiding overoaking and overextracting, thus
pushing forward the sour cherry and earthy tones that make Sangiovese as fine a variety for seafood as it is for meat. The supple fruit from the young Sangiovese vineyards at Swanson, Shafer’s “Firebreak,” or Staglin’s “Stagliano” makes
these wines good companions for this meltingly delicious approach to salmon.
Thyme is a Sangiovese-friendly herb, and the risotto harks back to the grape’s
Italian origins.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Charlie Trotter Feature
Salmon and Sorrel Troisgros

Index - Fish Recipe Archives
Recipe Archives Index

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