In a former life, I owned a fish market. In addition to selling fresh fish, we offered prepared foods to take home - a radical concept at the time - and this dish was prepackaged with instructions. It's a rich, bright dinner party meal that whips up in less than 10 minutes and never fails to impress. Best with the first sorrel of the season. Sorrel is one of the easiest herbs to grow (note: invasively so) but this sauce guarantees it a home in my garden. - MrsWheelbarrow —MrsWheelbarrow
Test Kitchen Notes
MrsWheelbarrow's salmon with sorrel has all the markings of professional training; the unexpected beauty behind this dish is that it can be executed from start to finish in under 30 minutes by even a relatively new cook. Once the herbs are chopped and the salmon sliced into two-bite slivers, all that's required is a quick broil (it barely took us 30 seconds to cook our salmon through) and an almost equally brief spell in a hot pan for the sauce. The result is an elegant, balanced dish that we'd pull out for a dinner party, or just a weeknight dinner we were looking to make a little special. A note: if you can't find sorrel, you can substitute baby spinach. - A&M —The Editors
Prepare the Sauce
Prepared Salmon - see below
fresh sorrel leaves, chopped rough
chives, with flowers if possible
salt and pepper
Prepare the Salmon
beautiful, wild, center cut salmon (Alaskan King is my preference here, but any wild caught salmon will do)
Adjust an oven rack to be at the very top of the oven. Preheat the broiler. Warm the plates (very important) in a sink of warm water, your extra oven (ha), or remove them from the just run dishwasher.
Prepare all ingredients and stage. This dish comes together quickly and you don't want to be scrambling. Hold back the chive flowers, if you have them.
When the oven is ready, start the sauce. In a large, wide skillet, melt the butter until it starts to toast. It should be golden brown. At this point, put the salmon under the broiler.
Add the sorrel, chervil and chives to the butter and coat quickly. Allow them to wilt a little, and then pour in the cream. Bring to a boil and reduce just until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, remembering you have seasoned the fish.
The salmon should now be ready. (2-3 minutes) Watch it carefully the entire time it's in the oven -- it could take you as little as 30 seconds, depending on your oven.
Dry the warm plates. Place four medallions per person on each plate and decorate with the sauce, being very generous. Sprinkle chive flower petals and serve with crusty bread.
Prepare the Salmon
Slice the salmon into thin medallions. A flexible salmon slicing knife is my choice, but any long thin knife will work well. It must be very sharp. Slice on a slight angle cutting away the skin as you go. Aim for 16 pieces.
Place the salmon on a sheet pan lined with parchment and very lightly oiled. Brush the tops very lightly with oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish.
PS I like to put the salmon skin under the broiler, too. Salt well. It's a delicious cook's snack.