Just one thought for today…
Thanks VPeng for the quote here from LP Jacks.
Salmon and French Lentils
I’ve had this dish a few times before, and so decided to recreate this French bistro classic at home. I slightly deviated from the original recipe, but I hope you enjoy. The creamy/buttery (but not mushy!) French lentils are perfect against the salty-tangy salmon. The lemon really helps bring some contrast. Next time, I think I will also add some chopped capers to the herb butter, just for some additional brightness and zing. Also, here’s a secret – I used dried herbs (heaven forbid!), and it still turned out great! Of course, fresh is better, but if you’ve only got dried- then don’t let that stop you. Also, the following measurements are guidelines, please adjust to your own taste. Enjoy!
4 (6-ounce) pieces skinless salmon fillet
2 tbs unsalted butter
salt and pepper
For herb butter:
5 tbs unsalted butter, softened
2-3 tsp dried tarragon
3-4 tsp REAL mustard (not French’s, but something good like Edmond Fallot’s Dijon)
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
3-4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
1 c French green lentils
4 c water
1 shallot, finely diced
7-8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 to 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
For herb butter: stir together all ingredients with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
In a heavy saucepan, bring lentils, water, and 3/4 tsp salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain lentils.
While lentils cook, in a skillet, melt a pat of butter and saute shallots and mushrooms until the shallots are fragrant and the mushrooms cooked all the way through. Add lentils to the pan, along with 1-2 tablespoons of the herb butter, stirring to incorporate everything and ensuring the butter is all melted. Remove from heat, then add a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, but keep warm.
Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total). In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter plus a spoonful of olive oil (to prevent butter from burning), then place salmon in pan. Allow to cook for 5 minutes (until a golden crust forms), before turning just once for another 2 minutes, Salmon overcooks very easily, so better to err on the side of medium than well. Remove salmon from pan and top with a spoonful of herb butter over a bed of French lentils.
And while you enjoy the meal, here’s a picture of my baby – Alfred.
Thanks for joining me and catch you next time.
ps. If you haven’t already seen it, my friend Kari highly recommends watching Avec Eric on Hulu, a cooking show by Le Bernardin Chef Eric Ripert – I looove him and his approach to food. The show itself is really well done – really high quality cooking show (unlike some things you see on FoodNetwork these days) – incredibly organic and informative and (as Ripert likes to say), a true homage to pure, unadulterated food – food as it should and was meant to be.