Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Salmon, Sorrel Sauce "Ast Hampto"

Here it is again, the
comprehensible season
at its brightest best.

I love my sorrel plant.
In March .. their tart
bite reassures me that
one day summer will be
here. By April, there's
a more luxuriant quanti-
ty of leaves, each one
coming to a point at the
top, broadening toward
the center, then dipping
down as the tips more or
less take on the shape
of an arrow. The stem
that runs up the center
of the leaf and the side
veins are visible and
delicate .. Because its
tartness is so pronounced
sorrel is good at bright-
ening foods .. cream and
sorrel are divine togeth-
er, so you might combine
them .. think about sal-
mon with sorrel sauce, 
the oil-rich pink fish
swimming in a tart green
pool of brightness.

   3 1/2 cup sorrel, de-stemmed
   2 shallots
   1/3 cup white wine  see below
   1/3 cup fish stock
   2 tbsp vermouth
   1 1/4 cup crème fraîche
   juice of 1/4 lemon
   s & p

   Rinse the sorrel in running water,
     slice the leaves as in a chiffonade
   Pour the white wine, stock and vermouth
     into a saucepan and add the shallots.
     Reduce over medium-low heat until al-
     most fully evaporated.
   Add the crème fraîche and slowly bring
     just to a boil to obtain a creamy tex-
     ture, swirl in the sorrel leaves and
     remove from heat after 60-90 seconds.
     Taste, then finish with salt, pepper,
     and increments of lemon juice.

   For the salmon, select best quality fil-
   lets (up to 4) and pound flat between
   oiled parchment paper. Season only one
   side of each filet with s&p. Sear the un-
   seasoned side for 30 seconds and the sea-
   soned side for 20.

   Avoid any garnish, pink peppercorn excepted,
   and serve promptly. Do not relegate this to
   a chafing dish. Winter is over.

   Present with a classic Loire Valley-sourced
   Chenin Blanc, modestly chilled. The earthi-
   ness obtainable in this wine grape in this,
   its home region, underlies such a seamless 
   intermingling of subliminal sweetness and
   acidity as to offer a gps of the wine's ori-
   gin as well as the dish's own ingredients,
   distinguishing the nature of "Ast Hampto"
   sorrel sauces, potages, pesto, and salads.
   On the palate, an alla breve element, so
   in keeping with the season of the herb, 
   avoids shallowness with stirring vivacity.



Deborah Madison
Vegetable Literacy
  Sorrel: Rumex acetosa
  pp. 103-7 et passim
Berkeley, 2013©

Petit Larousse Cuisinier
Zachary Townsend
[Adaptation and
    wine suggestion, rmbl]
Éditions Larousse, 2010
John T. Wiley & Sons, 2012©

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