Friday, April 11, 2014

Zesty Ginger-Garlic Salmon Poached in White Wine

This simple salmon recipe features a nice balance of bright and zesty flavors that will delight the palate and the nose. The higher the quality of your ingredients -- e.g., fresh vs. frozen salmon, fresh raw ginger & garlic vs. jars or tubes, a decent wine you'd enjoy sipping with your dinner -- the better the flavors in the finished dish. But even if you use frozen fish and prepared ginger or garlic -- which is all I had at the RV when I first came up with this recipe -- it will still be tasty and satisfying to the senses.

Please don't prejudge my Ginger-Garlic Salmon by this photograph, which doesn't display the dish's true colors -- in real life the deep pink of the salmon provides a lovely contrast to the pale creamy yellow of the onions and garlic and the earthy brown of the mushrooms. I garnished with lime zest for this photo, which added a nice counterpoint to the warm pink color of the fish. Unfortunately my inexpensive, old camera and poor excuse of photo-editing software failed to capture the richness and vibrancy of the real colors.

This recipe is for two servings -- you can double it to serve four. Pair it with cooked rice or noodles, and complete the meal with a salad or cooked green vegetable such as stir-fried bok choy or steamed broccoli.

2 6-oz salmon fillets
2 Tbs Asian stir-fry oil (or vegetable or peanut oil)
1 small onion, peeled & trimmed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 baby bellas or other small mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp very finely minced ginger (or ginger paste)
1 tsp herb blend for seafood, e.g., Tennessee Whiskey Lemon Pepper & Herb Seasoning
1/2 cup white wine (something not too dry)
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional garnishes: Grated citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit), finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a wok or deep, large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the onion into quarters and then slice each quarter as thinly as possible. Likewise, slice the garlic as thinly as possible, ideally paper-thin (a very sharp chef's knife makes this much easier). Stir-fry the onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften and become translucent. Add mushrooms & ginger and stir-fry another 2 to 3 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften. Stir in the herb seasoning and wine, bring to a gentle simmer, then add salmon fillets. Cook at a simmer, turning once, until salmon just barely flakes when a fork is inserted in the thickest part of fillets. Plate the salmon, taste the sauce for balance (it should have reduced a bit during cooking), season with salt & pepper to taste, stir and serve over the fish.

Zestfully yours,

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