Allo bonjour! This is my friend Michael's recipe. He's made it for me and a couple of friends, and I have since made it twice for family and friends. It sounds complicated but is a bit easier than you would think and is well worth the effort. You get to stretch your culinary skills with this one and try your hand at slow-boils, sweating, proper sears, and emulsion sauces. Also, the beet risotto is the centrepiece of this meal. It is quite unique, but delicious, and it makes a great accompaniment to all kinds of seafood and some bird dishes. Marry this dish with a dry white, such as a Chablis or a Riesling. Also there is nothing sustainable or development friendly about this - it's probably quite indulgent in that sense. Bon appetit!
Pan-seared Salmon Fillet, Beet Risotto, and Brown butter Béarnaise sauce. (serves 4)
For the Risotto·
One Bushel fresh beets·
1-2 large Spanish onions·
Arborio (short grain) rice·
Chicken stock (16oz)·
8-10 garlic cloves·
For the Bernaise·
3 egg yokes·
Splash of white wine
For the Salmon·
4 Salmon Fillets (SKIN ON) bones removed, nice and fresh.
To start· Peel and cut the ends off of the garlic, then in a small sauce pan cover in oil and bring to a boil. As soon as the oil boils, remove from heat and let stand in the oil while you prepare everything else.· Cut off the stems of the beets and place in a pot with lots of cold water. Add a touch of salt, but the water shouldn’t taste salty. As soon as the water boils, turn it down and leave at just beneath a boil. It will take about a hour, and they’ll be finished when you can push the skin off with your bare hands.o
When they are finished drain and peel them by hand. If you have latex gloves they will aide in preventing a lot of red fingers. Finish peeling and push off the tips of the beets (it will all just slide off) and cut into a dice and reserve.· In the mean time, chop the parsley, tarragon and grate the parmesan.· The tricky part is the caramelized onionso Peel and remove the tips of the onion and cut in half from tip to tail. Cutting across the poles (if the tips are the south and north poles, you’re cutting lines of latitude).o Do this very slowly and carefully, they don’t need to be hyper thin, just all equal, otherwise some will burn in the pan and others will be under cooked. If you get thick pieces near the end just throw them out.§
Do the same for the shallots.o Bring a large sauté pan to high heat and line with generous amounts of oil. Place the sliced onions in the pan and move around quickly (If you tilt the pan away from you when you place the onions in, you won’t get splashed with oil). Continue on high heat until there is lots of steam rising, and they start to turn translucent.o Turn heat to low, and stir occasionally. If the pan becomes dry, add more oil, and continue as such until they turn a nice cark brown, but are not dried out.o Finish with a slab of butter and remove from heat. This will take about 45-60 min.·
Bring a pot to a rolling boil. Add rice· Stir and taste often, it is finished when it is just under al dente. As soon as the crunch is gone from the rice remove it from the heat and run under water till it is both cool and not sticky.
To make the risotto.· Heat a sauté pan, err on the side of smaller than you think you’ll need.· Place beets, garlic cloves, and sautéed onions into pan for around 30 seconds. Spinkle with salt and pepper· Add 4 oz of stock per person, (16oz) and when it boils add the rice. You want to do the rice by and use just enough to add texture, use less than you think you need, the rice is just for structure.· Stir and reduce until when you tip the pan towards you there is about a tablespoon of liquid for each person.· Remove from heat add in a helping of parmesan, and a 8 thumbed sized chunks of brie. Fold the risotto over the cheese· and let stand in a warm place. IE beside the stove.
To make the dirtiest secret of sauces·
This is the most taboo way to make what is known as an Emulsion sauce. So to start,· In a small pan with some oil heat the shallots, but don’t let any color get on themo
Deglaze with wine and let the wine reduce to a bare amount, remove from heat.· In a small sauce pan, place the butter whole into it and get on high heat. Don’t touch it.o It will melt and then start to bubble, you want this. You want to actually burn the butter slightly. It will be ready when it “foams up”, believe me you’ll know when it happens as it will appear it is going to come over the top of the pan.o Remove from heat and skim the foam on the top of the liquid. What we want is the clairified butter in the middle. You don’t want stuff at the bottom either.·
Now the taboo part. Get out a food processor. Place the egg yokes in and let it rip. Let it go for a good 3 min, and it will actually cook the eggs perfectly in there. Slowly add the butter, very slowly to the spinning mix. Then add the shallots and wine, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Go easy at first on the salt as when it stabilizes it will be stronger.·
Take out of the processor and manually add the tarragon, otherwise in the machine it will turn your sauce green.· Keep in a warm place
For the salmon· Bring a pan big enough for all the fillets to fit to as hot as you can get it. Line it with some oil and bring the oil right to the smoke point.· Lightly salt and pepper the fillets and get them in the pan flesh down skin up.· If you shake the pan as you drop in the fillets they won’t stick.· Get as much color on them as possible without anything going black. When you reach that point, “kiss” the fillets on the sides for 5-10 sec and then place skin side down and place in oven at 400-475fTo complete·
Heat the risotto to eating temp and reduce out any remaining liquid as it’s a dry risotto,·
Add in the parsley and with a soup spoon place little by little onto each plate in a pile· Take the salmon out of the oven and place on the risotto· Spoon on the sauce and have at it.Of note,· Taste the risotto and sauce as you make them, if they need something, then correct it, the cheese you get, or the water content in the beets can all be variable along with a number of other things.· Serve with a nice dry white wine, like a sauvignon blanc or chardonnay· Enjoy this with friends, people you want to be with, not people you are obliged to be with. The effort will be more appreciated.