Thursday, January 19, 2012

RECIPE - Salmon with Sorrel Sauce (Salmão ao Molho de Azedinha)

As mentioned in our most recent post, the sharp acidic bite of sorrel (azedinha in Portuguese) perfectly complements fatty proteins, as the acid cuts into the richness of the protein and prevents the dish from seeming over-rich. This recipe, from São Paulo chef Fred Frank, is a perfect example. Salmon is a fish that is high in fat (but remember - it's the good kind of fat, Omega 3) and is often served with acidic sauces to reduce the sensation of fattiness. Citrus juices and sour berries are common sources of acid in salmon dishes - here the acid is provided instead by sorrel leaves.

Sorrel can often be found in better quality supermarkets and natural food stores, and it can easily be grown in most areas of Europe and North America.

The recipe calls for fish stock and includes instructions on making the stock. If you have access to fish stock or have some in the freezer, omit the portion of the recipe for making fish stock and substitute an equivalent quantity of your own.

RECIPE - Salmon with Sorrel Sauce (Salmão ao Molho de  Azedinha)
Serves 4

For the fish stock:
8 cups ( 2L) water
2 lbs (1 kg) fish bones, from firm-fleshed white fish (NOT from salmon), well rinsed
1/2 cup thin slices of carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup sliced leeks (white part only)
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For the sorrel sauce:
1 cup (250 ml) fish stock (save extra for another use - best to freeze)
1 cup (250 ml) creme fraiche or sour cream
1 large bunch sorrel, stems removed, leaves shredded finely
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt and white pepper to taste

For the salmon:
4 pieces salmon, steaks or 3" slices from fillet
salt and white pepper to taste
extra-virgin olive oil to taste
In a stock pot or large sauce pan, heat the oil, then add the carrots, celery, onion and leeks and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened but not browned.  Add the water and fish bones, bring to a boil, and cook at a slow boil for 20 minutes, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, then drain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, pressing down on vegetables and bones to extract the flavors. Reserve,

In a medium sauce pan combine the creme fraiche or sour cream and 1 cup of the fish stock. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce by about 1/3. Meantime melt the butter in a small fying pan, then add the sorrel and cook for a few minutes, until the leaves wilt and take on a bright color. Mix the sorrel into the sauce, add salt and white pepper to taste and reserve, keeping warm.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then grill or broil just until done and nicely browned.

Serve the salmon, dressed with the sorrel sauce immediately. May be accompanied by mashed potatoes, a potato gratin, noodles, or soft polenta.

Recipe translated and adapted from Nossa Panela Brasil.

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