As summer draws towards a close, I must admit this dish is one of my desperate attempts to have a lovely cold supper that makes summer evening entertaining so deliciously simple. Fortunately the 90 deg F continue to reign and so does my effort to keep things summery and cool.
So last weekend, when we had our friends over and it seemed liked the perfect opportunity for a lovely laid back cold supper without all the fuss and bustle that usually preludes a dinner party. It also helps when you’ve known folks a long time and they’re more like comfortable flannels than uptight ‘spanx’!
The menu was very simple, cold poached salmon with a lovely cucumber topping which is just the perfect combination. A side of green beans salad with a tarragon vinaigrette that I’ll be posting next and is a total must have for your menu rotation, gratin dauphinoise and plum clafoutis for dessert. Voilà!
A great bottle of wine and a flow of nice conversation and the evening was near perfect.
But I digress, and back to the salmon. Inspired by Julia Child, I worked the recipe a little differently to poach the salmon in a court bouillon rather than plain water. The stock is best made the night before or morning off to cool off before use.
I found using my poaching method yielded perfect results, where I begin with a room temperature stock poured over the salmon fillets, allowing the temperature to slowly rise for the next 15 minutes or so to a bubble and then 4-5 minutes at a simmer and it’s done.
Julia Child has the right of it when she proclaims, the poached fish should be springy when touched, if it flakes, too bad!
Not forgetting that the internal temp continues to rise as the fish sits at room temp and then finally chilled in the fridge on a ready to serve platter hours ahead, it really since simple elegance at its best.
Which brings us to the cucumber sauce. You really ought to resist the urge to turn the sauce into Tzaziki which I love, but Julia’s chopped up cucumbers in sour cream with red wine vinegar is simply divine and need no gussying up.
So by all means, do resist!
I hope you’re inspired to cook up this lovely meal as summer is fast running out the front door and but for the heat, it's nearly fall!