Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

by formerchef on May 23, 2016

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

You may think, “Red wine with fish? Isn’t that a no-no?” Not in this case. Salmon is a fish with robust flavor and it stands up well to a red wine, especially the light bodied fruity notes of Pinot Noir. Most of the wild salmon sold in the US comes from the Pacific Northwest which is also where pinot noir grapes grow well.

This is an emulsified sauce similar to the classic buerre blanc, but in using red wine, it is a buerre rouge. Take care to never let the sauce come to a boil and always whisk in very cold butter, a small amount at a time, over a very low heat, so the sauce does not break.

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

Wild salmon season traditionally begins in May and runs through September or October. If you have the change to buy wild salmon (as opposed to farm raised Atlantic salmon), do yourself a favor and buy it, even though it’s a little more expensive. it’s worth it. If you are wondering why, please read this from a post I wrote a few years ago for Wild Salmon with Quinoa, Dandelion Greens and Parsley Pistachio Vinaigrette:

Think of it as the difference between an animal raised on a farm, kept in a pen, fed a diet of processed feed, antibiotics and colorants vs. one which has had the freedom to follow its natural path, eating the same food its ancestors have for thousands of years with nothing else added.

Salmon are anadromous fish, which means they are born in a fresh water river, migrate out to the sea, and when they are ready to spawn, they swim back upstream to procreate in the exact same spot they were born. In order to do this, they feed and fatten themselves up for the journey because they need to expend a ton of energy to get upstream. It’s at this point that the fishermen capture them, at the mouth of the river, when they are at the absolute peak of their existence. While it may sound sad to capture an animal in the prime of its life, many are allowed to get through to continue the cycle of life.

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces salmon
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce
  • Yield: 8 fluid ounces, serves 4
  • 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1Ccup Pinot Noir wine
  • 1/3 Cup red wine or berry vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup weight dried cherries
  • 1 Tablespoon cream (optional)
  • 12 Tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted cold butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (see #8 below).
  2. To make the sauce:
  3. In a small heavy bottomed sauce pot, add the wine, vinegar and shallots. Cook over medium heat to bring the liquid to a simmer then reduce the heat to low.
  4. Simmer on low until the liquid is reduced to a syrup. Take care not to allow it to burn near the end of the reduction.
  5. Whisk in the cream. Then slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon of cold butter, one at a time, until it is all incorporated and the sauce is a creamy emulsion. Season the sauce with the salt and pepper.
  6. Keep in a warm place on the stove top while cooking the salmon.
  7. To cook the salmon:
  8. Place the pieces of salmon on a plate skin side up. Pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Heat a large sauté pan and then add the oil. Using long tongs, gently place the salmon in the hot pan, skin side down. Depending on the thickness of the fish cook for about 4-5 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Gently turn the fish over and cook the flesh side of the fish.
  10. If the pieces of fish are very thick, you may want to finish cooking them in the oven (assuming it is in an oven-safe pan). Finishing in the oven will allow the fish to cook move evenly. You’ll want to allow about 5 minutes of cooking time for each inch of thickness of the fish.
http://www.formerchef.com/2016/05/23/pan-roasted-salmon-with-pinot-noir-cherry-sauce/

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Cherry Sauce

I have to note, this recipe has a special place in my heart because a long time ago, when I was first a professional chef, this was on the menu of my restaurant. So the dish is a little traditional/old fashioned, but I think sometimes certain flavors transcend trends and this paring of salmon and pinot noir is one of them.

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Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

by formerchef on February 23, 2016

Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

It’s February. Have you given up on your New Year’s resolutions already? If your answer was, “I gave up on on January 3rd”, you are not alone. I’ve stopped making resolutions all together because they were always the same; eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, stop eating brownies (see how well that worked?). I can do it for a while, and then I fall off the wagon and it all goes to hell in a pastry-laden, couch-potato-fueled, hand basket. Sound familiar?

I wish I had the answer, but I’ll say up front, I don’t. All I can say is, keep trying. Fall off the wagon, and then get back on and keep going. Last year, as I moved one year closer to another milestone birthday, I realized I had to do something about my health and my weight. I’d gained enough on my trip to Italy over the summer that I was no longer comfortable in my work clothes and and as I get older it gets harder and harder to lose even a couple of pounds. Supposedly, the average American gains a pound a year after age 25, and let’s just say I’m right on target to be “average” and I’m not happy about it. So what’s a girl to do?

I’ve found that what works best for me is a balanced diet of whole foods (no fast food, little processed food, and not a lot of sugar) with an emphasis on low carb meals (which in Italy was my undoing). I recognize this isn’t for everyone, but it seems that I’m most successful at losing and/or maintaining my weight when I eat like that. The problem is, after a month or so (or truthfully, Every.Single.Day) I start to crave bread, pasta, and potatoes. My biggest weaknesses are French fries and anything chocolate. Again, I have no answer, except to eat those things in moderation and when it comes to bread, in the whole grain form as much as possible, which lowers the overall net carb intake.

So here I am,  back on the wagon, galloping toward a trip to Paris next month. When I travel, I typically allow myself to eat whatever I want while I am there. Baguettes and pain au chocolat for breakfast? Why, of course! Calories don’t count when you are out of the country, right? So I need to be prepared.

Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

This salad is one I made for myself regularly last year when I successfully lost about 7 lbs in 2 months. It’s packed with protein and satisfying because it has a ton of savory flavor. It’s also deliciously low carb, and fairly low fat if you leave out the mayo and only use nonfat yogurt. I’ve eaten it on top of a lettuce salad as shown in the photos, wrapped in big lettuce leaves like a burrito, and just by itself for a quick snack. It also makes an awesome sandwich on whole grain bread.

Feel free to switch out the type of olive; I use regular California black olives because they are mild and just a bit salty, but you could use green olives or a stronger dry cured black olive if you want (start with less and taste). Also, olives are pretty much carb-free. If you want to make the recipe more low fat, replace the mayonnaise with low fat mayo or all yogurt. If you want to make it more low carb, go with all mayonnaise.

I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below and let me know. What are some of your favorite low carb meals? Do you watch what you eat when you travel? Are you trying to eat healthier now, and if so, how?

Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 10 ounces

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces boneless and skinless chicken breast, roasted and chopped
  • 1.5 ounces black olives, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, small diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1.5 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Chop the chicken into small, bite sized pieces. Place in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Dice the celery and chop the green onions and olives. Place in the bowl with the chicken.
  3. Add the mustard, mayonnaise and yogurt to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Serve on top of mixed greens, wrapped in lettuce, or on a sandwich.

Notes

Please taste before adding any additional salt. The olives are salty and are usually enough.

If you want to make the recipe more low fat, replace the mayonnaise with low fat mayo or all yogurt. If you want to make it more low carb, go with all mayonnaise.

http://www.formerchef.com/2016/02/23/chicken-salad-with-olives-and-dijon-yogurt-dressing/

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Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

Chicken Salad with Olives and Dijon Yogurt Dressing

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