Last time around, M and I did our Seattle re-immersion dinner with some killer local salmon.
We bough the whole fish, got it filleted, and froze half, but even after seriously porking out, we had a pretty good hunk of leftovers, so what to do?
Cold salmon with lemon? Salmon salad? Salmon and scrambled eggs? All winners, but after looking over our fish, we thought it was a bit dry; the skinny end was left, strangely enough, and with a new stove we aren’t used to, we’d hit it a bit hard. That helped lean our recipe decision toward something moist and rich. here’s our variation on a classic Alfredo
3 Cups whole Milk
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons AP Flour
1 1/2 cups flaked salmon
1 Cup diced vine ripe Tomato
1/2 Cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Juice of 1 small Lemon
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Thyme
Sal de Mer & Grains of Paradise to taste
Melt butter in a 4 qt sauce pan over medium heat, and allow to brown slightly.
Add flour and blend thoroughly, allowing to heat through until it starts to bubble.
Slowly add milk, taking care to maintain blend; in other words, don’t break the roux. Heating a mixture of flour and butter takes advantage of the elastic nature of the bonds created therein, and is truly the heart of a good roux. Done classically, you heat, stir and add with painful slowness, and truth be told, that’s what it takes to create and hold the fantastic variations made from this simplest of combinations. When done right for home work, the flour-butter mix will look and feel like a batter, and as you slowly add the milk, it starts to look like mashed potatoes, or maybe thick custard. Add a little milk, let the mix heat through, add a little more, and with care and patience, you’ll have a lovely cream sauce.
Once the basic sauce is done and heated through, it’s time to add your goodies. Note that for the cheese, M went with the grated Parm and some rind too, since it’s a fave of ours. Cheese is added first and allowed to melt through.
Now throw in the salmon and tomato, and finally the seasonings, and adjust to taste.
Turn the sauce down to low and allow it to blend for a bit while you prep the pasta. We went with locally made, dried fusilli, since it has nice surface area and little grooves in the outside surface that are really great at holding sauce. Boil well salted water, add a bit of olive oil and throw in your pasta. When it’s on the chewy side of al dente, pull it off the heat and drain, but don’t rinse. Throw hot pasta into a bowl along with a tablespoon or two of the pasta water, then add your sauce and toss.
We served ours with a nice little salad of local greens and sourdough toast points, and you can too!