Wild Salmon

Wild Salmon with Gazpacho Sauce

Makes 6 servings.       

Wild salmon has a very short season from late spring until autumn. I love this dish which is really easy to prepare even though it appears complicated. You can adjust how rare or cooked you like the fish by adjusting the searing time. The piquant sauce enhances the flavor and gives the dish a tasty and pretty look. Both the fish and the sauce can be prepared ahead of time.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2¼ pounds center cut wild salmon fillet, skinned with no brown spots showing
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

PREPARATION

  1. Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Cut the fish to into 4x2 inch pieces, or any other shape that you prefer.
  3. Wrap each piece in foil and fold the ends.
  4. Heat the oil until smoking in a very heavy-iron skillet large enough to fit the fish. Place the salmon in the skillet and sauté over high heat, turning the fish with tongs for 1 minute on one side and 1 minute on the other side (the salmon will be seared on the outside and rare in the center). If you like it more well done, sauté it longer.
  5. Remove with tongs to a plate and open the foil packets, which stops it from further cooking.  Let cool before removing the foil. I like this method of wrapping the fish with foil and sautéing it because you have more control of how the fish will look. And there is virtually no clean up.

INGREDIENTS FOR GAZPACHO SAUCE

  • 1/3 cup homemade mayonnaise (Recipe follows)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, approx
  • 3 Kirby cucumbers, peeled, ends discarded, cut into large pieces
  • 3 plum tomatoes, rinsed, cored, cut into large pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR GARNISH

  • 1 English cucumber, rinsed, dried, ends discarded, diced.
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Snipped chives with scissors

TO MAKE THE SAUCE

  1. Place mayonnaise, lime juice, cucumbers, tomatoes salt, pepper and cayenne into a Vitamix. Process until very smooth. Season to taste; the sauce should be spicy.
  2. (Without a Vitamix you can puree the sauce in a blender, but you will have to strain it.)

GARNISH

Season the cucumbers with rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.           

TO SERVE

Spoon the sauce in center of individual plates, place the fish on top.  Garnish with the diced cucumbers and chives. 

INGREDIENTS FOR MAYONAISE

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

PREPARATION

  1. Combine the olive oil and vegetable oil in a measuring cup (the spout of the cup makes it easier to control the slow pouring).
  2. Remove the plastic knob from the cover of the blender.
  3. Place the egg, mustard and salt in the blender. Turn on the blender and after a second, add the vinegar. Pour the oil in a very low stream. As the mixture begins to thicken, add the oil more quickly.
  4. One word of advice:  keep the blender running from the beginning of the process to the end, when all the oil has been added. When finished, transfer the mayonnaise to an airtight container and refrigerate.