Baking slowly at a low temperature is a technique Michel Richard uses to ensure that salmon, tuna and swordfish will stay moist and still cook evenly throughout. He suggests that, except for cepes (porcinis), fresh mushrooms should be sauteed immediately after slicing to seal in their juices.
The sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. The mushrooms can be sauteed at any time during the day the salmon is to be served. Cook the fish just before serving. Adding a teaspoon of sugar to the hot pan while searing the fish will give the fillets a crisper, caramelized exterior.
- For the sauce
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup (2 medium) finely minced shallots
- 2 cups low-sodium veal broth or stock, store-bought or homemade
- 1 cup fruity dry red wine, such as pinot noir or merlot
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 sprig large thyme, or 2 tablespoons dried and crumbled thyme
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 ounces cleaned, trimmed and sliced or quartered shiitake mushrooms, or other mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- For the salmon
- 4 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets, pin bones removed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
For the sauce: In a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat, bring the vinegar and shallots to a boil. Add the stock, wine, garlic and thyme. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced to 1 cup. Remove from the heat. Cover and set aside. (This can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated.)
In a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat, combine the peanut and sesame oils until they are smoking. Add the mushrooms and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the soy sauce, stirring to combine. Transfer to a bowl; cover loosely and set aside.
For the salmon: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the salmon and brown lightly for 1 minute; turn and brown on the second side for 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the salmon is just opaque throughout. Remove pan from the heat and cover loosely with aluminum foil while you finish the sauce.
To serve: Rewarm the sauce over medium-high heat. Discard the thyme sprig, if using, and add the mushrooms, stirring gently to coat with the sauce. Place a piece of salmon fillet in the center of each of four plates and spoon the sauce over until completely covered. Serve immediately.
From chef Michel Richard.
Tested by Cindy Loose.
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