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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

New England Poached Salmon with Herbed Sweet Potatoes

There are many of you out there that just want something different for the Holidays or there are just a few of you who will be enjoying togetherness. This is perfect for just such an occasion. I have taken liberties with New England staples and combined them to give you a tremendously refreshing taste with the comfort us Yankees are known for. Choose the type of salmon that you enjoy. I use wild Atlantic salmon because the flavor is twice that of farm-raised, plus I just have certain feelings about farm-raised fish that I just can't quite put my finger on. Regardless, the varieties of salmon are many, from Pacific to Atlantic(which there is no difference whatsoever by the way) to Chinook, Chum, Sockeye, Coho and Steelhead, to name a few. The only discernible difference this chef can make out between any salmon is the color. Some salmon have a deeper pink color, but the taste is almost exact in every type.

When you first start making this recipe, you notice right off the smell of New England, as the marinade that the salmon is being poached in gently wafts throughout the room. And you think the aroma is nice, wait until you taste this sweet and savory recipe. Double the recipe if you are cooking for 4.

Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 2 (5-oz.) fresh, skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 cup(s) apple juice or cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 tablespoon(s) maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) minced, fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • Juice of 1 tangerine (about 1-2 T.)
  • Potato mixture:
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon(s) minced chives, dried or fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) grated tangerine zest
  • 3 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine

New England Poached Salmon with Herbed Sweet Potatoes Directions

  1. Two hours before you are ready to prepare this recipe, cut the sweet potato into 1/2-inch dice. Place them in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and gently boil until the sweet potatoes are just barely tender, no more than 4 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes in a colander and add chives, salt, pepper and the grated zest while hot, tossing very gently. Let cool in a bowl, in the refrigerator.
  2. When ready to prepare recipe, add 2 c. cider, salt, maple syrup, basil, cinnamon and tangerine juice in a large skillet. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and continue boiling for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium(so that it is just barely bubbling) and add the salmon. Let gently poach for 3 minutes, uncovered, and gently flip to cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until just done.
  3. Meanwhile, in another skillet, add the butter and melt over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potato mixture. Cook, carefully stirring to fold over and cook all sides of potato, for about 4-5 minutes or until nice heated, slightly browned but not mushy. Turn off poached salmon and 3 T. poaching liquid to potatoes. Stir gently and remove from heat. If you would like more sauce, add another 3 T. poaching liquid. Remove from heat and assemble.
  4. To assemble, remove sauteed sweet potato/apple mixture from pan and put in middle of plate. Remove salmon from [poaching liquid and place atop potatoes. Raise the heat of the poaching liquid to high and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and spoon some of the sauce on top and serve.
  5. I enjoy offering this dish with Sweet Pea-Chestnut Puree. Now how can you pass up a chance to add the New England favorite chestnut to a dinner? You can't! That's why I love to make as a side to this dish.
  6. Sweet Pea-Chestnut Puree:
    1 1/2 c. frozen peas
    10 cooked and shelled chestnuts*
    2 T. creme fraiche, sour cream, plain yogurt or heavy cream
    1 t. grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
    Salt to taste
    1/4 t. black pepper
    Bring a pot of water to a boil and then add the peas. Cook until tender, drain, and put into a food processor, or blender, and add the chestnuts, creme fraiche, cheese, and pepper. Puree the peas until as smooth as possible and check the seasoning, adding salt if you need to. Keep warm until needed.
  7. *Refer to the Article Preparing Chestnuts to learn how to cook and peel these nuts or use whatever nut you like.
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