Sunday, May 29, 2011

Braised Salmon with Orange Fennel Cream

After watching Top Chef Canada I was inspired to do some cooking. I know I haven't been consistently blogging on you my precious food-blog but I've had reasons for not doing so... basically, this past month I haven't really had any time to whip up any dishes that I haven't blogged about before. What are the reasons? I dunno... lack of creativity, lack of time, lack of money to pay for good quality ingredients to cook with? Potentially all of the above :P

But anyways, I decided that today would be different. I was going to make something delicious, relatively nutritious and something that would get my passion for cooking all fired up again. So, here is what resulted...

Braised Salmon with Orange Fennel Cream

- 4 salmon fillets, seasoned with salt and pepper for at least 30mins
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp chopped onion
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tbsp fresh parsley)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 cup milk
- Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan and add in the garlic, chopped onion, fennel seeds and parsley. Cook over medium-high heat until fragrant and onions begin to caramelize.
2. Place the salmon fillets in the pan, flesh-side down. Sear this side for about 1 minute, then turn over. Ensure all fillets are evenly spaced in the pan, or cook 2 at a time to avoid over-crowding. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
3. Add in the butter, stirring until well incorporated with the pan drippings. Place the sliced onions on the bottom of the pan, then return the salmon back to the pan, laying them on-top of the onion slices.
4. Mix the orange juice and vinegar and pour over the fish, then cover the pan for 3-4 minutes to allow the salmon to braise. Watch the fish closely, and ensure that you do no cook it until too dry.
5. Once cooked, remove salmon from the pan and set aside. Make a roux by adding flour to the pan drippings, and mixing it into a smooth paste. Slowly pour in the milk while continuing to stir the paste and cook the sauce over medium heat until thick (it should coat the back of a wooden spoon). Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

I decided to serve my fish on a bed of garlic-parsley mashed potatoes, with a small dollop of salad greens. The sauce was ridiculously good, and I think it would even have made a nice pasta sauce. Next time I will definitely make this and eat it with some penne and seafood or something along those lines.
Here's a picture of the salmon without all the frou-frou sauce and salad :P

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