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Salmon with Sorrel Sauce

Saumon à l'Oseille: a classic French recipe for serious eaters. Yes, it includes a rich cream sauce made with wine, shallots, egg yolks and butter but so delicious that you should treat yourselves once in a while. We made this recently with fresh sorrel harvested from a friend's garden. Pierre credits the famed Troisgros restaurant in Roanne, France with this version.

INGREDIENTS

1 3- to 3 ½ pound boned, skinned salmon fillet
¼ cup chopped shallots
4 cups fish stock
1 ½ cups dry vermouth
1 cup dry white white
2 ¼ cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fish glaze (optional -- see note below)
¼ pound fresh sorrel, thick stems removed, cut into very fine shreds, chiffonade-style
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
Juice of ½ lemon
Flour for dredging
½ cup butter (or clarified butter)

PREPARATION

1. Cut the fish on the bias like smoked salmon into 1/4-inch thick slices. Flatten gently with a flat mallet. Refrigerate.

2. In a deep skillet or pot, combine the shallots, fish stock, vermouth and white wine. Cook over high heat for about 45 minutes until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.

3. Add 2 cups cream, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and stir in the fish glaze, if used. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes.

4. Add the sorrel to the cream mixture and bring to the boil. Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 of cream. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the yolk and cream mixture. Swirl in the 2 tablespoons butter. Season with lemon juice. Keep the sauce warm but do not boil or it will curdle.

5. Dredge the fish slices lightly in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

6. Heat the clarified butter in one or two large skillets. When it is very hot but not smoking, add the fish slices. Cook for about 1 minute on one side until golden brown. Turn and cook for about 1 minute on the other. Serve the fish with the sauce spooned over.

Note: Fish glaze is a long-simmered reduction of fish stock. The stock is cooked over many hours until it becomes a thick gelatinous, lightly browned mass, like thick, smooth caramel. It is a classic foundation glaze in French kitchens.

YIELD

6 servings