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Recipe is from the March/April 2001 issue of Cuisine. The salmon could stand on its own, or be paired with a Holandaise. The Champagne-Butter Sauce has plenty of lemon to cut the richness of the fish and still has a little sweetness from the champagne.
Oven Steamed Salmon
- 1 lb fresh salmon, center cut, skin left on (cut into 4 equal portions)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1⁄4 cup dry champagne (or dry white wine)
- 2 tablespoons low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, cold (1 stick)
- 1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
- To oven-steam, first fill a pan with 1" of hot water -- place the pan in the oven before adding the water to avoid sloshing it. Note: Be sure the pan is deep enough to hold about 1" of water without touching the fish. Preheat oven to 325.
- Position cooling rack over a baking sheet; spray with nonstick spray. Place prepared fillets skin side down, on the rack, 1/2" apart. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the rack on top of the pan in the oven: oven steam salmon 15-18 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached. Prepare the sauce while the fish steams.
- To test fillets for doneness, gently squeeze the sides -- they should spring back, not feel too soft or firm. And the color should be coral, not opaque.
- Champagne-Butter Sauce:.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute shallots in 1 T. buttter until soft ( do not bown). Add champagne, broth, and lemon juice; simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minute.
- Reduce heat to mediumlow and stir in heavy cream. Whisk in cold butter by tablespoons, stirring constantly. Do not add more until the previous piece has melted completely.
- Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the chopped chives and salt to taste. Serve immediately, or remove from heat and hold, following the instructions below.
- Holding sauce -- Transfer sauce to a bowl, then nest it in a larger bowl of hot water. Cover loosely with plastic and stir often. Don't let it get too hot (it may break) or too cold (it will solidify).