#107 Salute to Salmon

Thinly Sliced Salmon Baked in Tender Corn Pancakes with Watercress Sauce (Yields: 6 servings)

For this recipe you will need:

Corn Pancake Batter:
• 3-4 ears fresh young corn, husked
• 3 eggs
• 2 tablespoons flour
• Salt & pepper, to taste
• 8 oz Salmon fillet
• 4 tablespoons Caviar, such as whitefish, salmon or sturgeon
• Salt & pepper, to taste
• Watercress sauce (see note)

• 30 blanched asparagus tips, about 3 inches long, fanned
• 30 1/2-inch-wide slices tomato, fanned
• 1 tablespoon sour cream
• Salt & pepper, to taste
• 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

To prepare the batter, bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add the ears of corn and boil for 8 minutes. Quickly remove the corn and plunge into a pan of ice water. Drain thoroughly and cut the kernels from the cobs (you should have about 2 cups). Reserve 3 tablespoons of kernels for garnish.

Transfer the corn to a food processor and add the eggs, flour, salt and pepper. Pulse briefly, keeping the texture of the batter a little chunky. Pour the batter into a small mixing bowl and set aside.

Slice the salmon evenly and thinly into 6 scallopines, using a very sharp knife at a 30-degree angle. Spread out the salmon on a work surface and top each scallopine with 1 teaspoon of caviar. Fold the scallopines in half so the caviar is sealed inside the salmon. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Ladle 1 ½ tablespoons of the batter into the sauté pan for each pancake, cooking 3 pancakes at a time. Top the batter with a scallopine of salmon and ladle additional batter over the salmon to barely cover it. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown on one side, then turn and cook to 2 to 3 minutes longer until golden brown on the other side.

Remove from the pan and keep warm while cooking the remaining 3 pancakes.

Ladle the watercress sauce in the centre of each serving plate, spreading it into a wide circle. Place a pancake on the sauce and garnish each serving with 5 asparagus tips and 5 tomato wedges dipped in the sesame seeds, arranged like spokes around the scallopine. Place 1 of the reserved corn kernels between each asparagus and tomato wedge. Season the sour cream with a little salt and pepper and dollop 1/2 teaspoon on top of each pancake. Place the remaining caviar on top of the seasoned sour cream, sprinkle with chives and serve.

Watercress Sauce
• 1 small bunch Watercress, stemmed
• 1 teaspoon virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
• 2 tablespoons Dry White Wine
• 1 tablespoon cream
• Salt & pepper, to taste

To prepare the sauce, bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil and blanch the watercress leaves for about 3 – 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Refresh the leaves under cold running water. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and sauté the shallot over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until it turns a light golden colour. Deglaze with the white wine and reduce until the pan is almost dry. Add the reserved watercress blanching water and the cream, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.Add the blanched watercress leaves. Transfer to a blender and puree for 1 minute, until smooth and light. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

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Copyright © 2009 Hubert Keller. All rights reserved.