It’s Friday it’s fish day again!
The today recipe has a historical background, this combination of flavors, salmon and sorrel, was brought to Belgium in the late 1970’s by the Troisgros brothers, based at Les Fréres Troisgros restaurant in Roanne, France. The three Michelin starred chefs produced simple dish of gently panfried, thinly sliced salmon sitting on herbed sorrel cream sauce, and a new classic was born!
For me the beauty of this dish is that it will see you through the spring (and summer) months as both ingredients are readily available.
Wild salmon is with us from early spring to late summer (early autumn?). If you find the wild salmon hard to come by, then simply replace it with the regular salmon or trout.
Young sorrel leaves are at their best from early March, the herb itself carrying a natural lemon flavor which can be helped along with a squeeze of the fruit itself. Instead of frying the fish, the thin slices will be plated cold, ready to be oiled and then quickly warmed under a hot grill. The plates can be dressed with the fish well in advance!
Serves for four as a starter: 450 g wild salmon filets, pin-boned, knob of butter, 1 dessertspoon of groundnut oil, coarse sea salt, twist of black pepper
For the sauce: 100 ml dry vermouth, 150 ml salmon stock, fish stock, 2 tbs double cream, 25 g sorrel leaves, 25-50 g butter diced squeeze of lemon juice
Directions: Slice the salmon thinly, 3-4 mm thick. Place an open 15-18 cm flan ring on the centre of each heatproof serving plate and carefully arrange the fillet slices to cover the space, creating a circle inside the ringe. Remove rings, cover the fish lightly with cling film and refrigerate until needed.
To make the sauce, boil together vermouth and fish stock until reduced in volume by half to two thirds. Add the cream and return to simmer. Add the créme fraiche and whisk with the stock (It will be in loose, not over-creamy)
Preheat oven and grill. Gently wash and pick the stalks from the sorrel leaves. Shred these, just before serving.
Melt the knob of butter in a frying pan with the groundnut oil. Remove the cling film from the fish plates and brush each portion with the buttery oil. The plates can now be placed in turn under the preheated grill for just a minute or two to warm the tops of the slices. To continue this process, place the warmed plates on a lower shelf of the oven to retain the heat. While warming the wild salmon, reheat the sauce, season with salt and pepper and whisk the butter (if using). Just 30 seconds before serving, add the shredded sorrel leaves and squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the rich lemon herb flavor. To serve, brush the wild salmon again lightly with the buttery oil (if needed) to leave a shiny finish…Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and a twist of black pepper, and then spoon the sauce around the salmon!
(I have tried this dish with sea trout and it worked very well!!)