Fish in Red Wine Sauce

"I saw this on Nick Stellino's show and had to make it. Unfortunately I couldn't find the recipe anywhere, and he's really vague on quantities, so I sort of guessed and improvised, and it turned out awesome. quantities are fuzzy, i sort of guessed at what I used."
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Ready In:
1hr 20mins




  • Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, red pepper, celery, carrot bay leaves, herbs, and sauté for a few minutes until softened. You can also use bacon fat here -- I didn't.
  • Add red wine; reduce by ½ (this will take about 15-20 minutes, maybe). Add chicken stock; cook 35-40 minutes until “glazed” (in Nick Stellino's words -- I found that it just looked well combined and nice). It will reduce a bit, too.
  • Strain sauce; reduce some more (I found this step unnecessary; it had reduced quite a bit cooking with the stock). Combine butter and flour. In stages, whisk in the butter/flour mixture until sauce is the proper consistency (you want it to be a little thickened -- just imagine it on a plate with salmon. you will probably use all of the mixture). Whisk until butter is melted before adding more. Add just a bit of butter for a sheen, if desired.
  • Heat light olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Mix salt, paprika, onion and garlic powders. Coat one side of salmon filet with spice mix; place in pan spice side down. Sprinkle other side of fish with spice mix. Cook until seared (maybe 2-3 minutes each side, depending on thickness); salmon will have a wonderful crust. Flip and cook until other side is seared. If you like your salmon more done, you can cook longer, but the absolute worst is to have it overcooked, and it will cook a bit after you remove it from the pan. Seriously, you're not gonna die from some slightly rawish salmon. This whole searing salmon thing is not something I'd done before, and it's a fantastic way to prepare it. The fats and sugars ooze out and combine with the spice rub to make this just perfect crust.
  • To serve, coat plate with red wine sauce; add salmon filet. Add veggies -- Mr. Stellino added steamed, sauteed baby bok choy; I found broccoli works well too with that sauce. Add mashed potatoes if you're into starch. Anything else will absorb too much of the sauce. Serve with glasses of the same wine you used in the sauce.
  • Note: another thing Mr. Stellino did was to chop and fry up some slab bacon (apparently this kind he gets is as expensive as foie gras -- it made me want to eat bacon, and i am a vegetarian except for fish), and sprinkle some on top of the salmon when done. This is not necessary but might add some nice flavor.

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I like to cook things that are vegetarian (but sometimes fish), nutritious (minimize refined grains, sugars, and saturated fat), and most importantly delicious. This is important because usually when people put value on nutrition the resulting dishes taste like dirt. I don't understand why it has to be so black and white: either a dish is nutritious, or it is really good, never both. Because that's SIMPLY NOT TRUE. I have made incredibly delicious things that are, for the most part, good for you. (It's hard to always avoid adding sugar or butter, but one must compromise sometimes.) My dream is to have a gourmet vegetarian cookbook. I'll write it myself someday if I have to.
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