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Poached Salmon Filets with Fresh Green Herb Sauce

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Recipe by: Chef John V.

Description: The method of cooking called "poaching" can be applied to fish, shellfish, chicken, meats, vegetables and fruits. It is a shallow method of cooking where the food item is simmered in a flavored broth with the addition of very little or no fat. It is healthier than sautéing, has a delicate flavor and may be served hot or cold. It is a perfect summer method because you can cook your item without getting the kitchen all heated up. You can also cook items days in advance and then eat them chilled with various salad ingredients if you like.

Serving size: 2
Preparation time: about 30 minutes

Amount/Measure/Ingredient: (The poaching liquid)

1/4 cup chopped onion 
1/4 cup chopped celery 
1 Tbsp. chopped shallots 
1 quart water
½ cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 slices lemon
2 parsley stems
2 tsp. salt
8 peppercorns, whole not crushed
1 bay leaf, small, about the size of a nickel
1 tsp. butter, softened
2 salmon filets, center cut, skinless and boneless---about 7 ounces each

Fresh Green Herb Sauce
(This recipe may be doubled)

1 Tbsp. basil leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh chives
1 Tbsp. scallions, chopped
1 Tbsp. tarragon
2 Tbsp. spinach leaves
4 Tbsp. scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar


Salmon---In a large stainless steel or non-stick skillet add the vegetables, water, wine and seasonings and simmer 10 minutes. Simmering means boiling very slowly.
Butter the bottom of a casserole dish in which you will poach the salmon. Place the salmon filets on the buttered area, pour the simmering liquid through a strainer onto the salmon. 
Place the casserole on low heat, return to a simmer and cover. You may also cover it with parchment paper and the casserole cover but never aluminum foil because an acidic reaction might occur and create a metallic flavor to your dish. Simmer gently about six minutes. 

Remove the salmon carefully and drain well, dabbing dry with a paper towel and serve with the following recipe for green herb sauce. Two tablespoons of sauce per portion of salmon is a good amount. Additional accompaniments of mashed potatoes topped with chopped chives and crisp cooked green beans makes a nice accompaniment. Extra lemon juice isn't needed because it is already in the sauce.

Sauce--- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until totally smooth. Scrape out of the bowl and refrigerate until needed. You may make this sauce up to 3 days in advance and it will still keep its fresh herb taste.

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