# 216 Spotlight on Crusts

Choucroute Crusted Salmon

“Choucroute” is French for sauerkraut. In this recipe, it forms a unique and delicious topping which is served with a light, cream-based mustard sauce.
Serves 6

1 14-ounce jar sauerkraut
2 slices bacon, ½ inch dice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf
7 juniper berries, crushed
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ cup white wine (Pinot Grigio)
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
6 2-inch wide center cut salmon fillets, skin removed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
5 slices Brioche bread, crusts removed, ground in food processor to fine bread crumbs
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon grainy mustard
2 tablespoons chives, cut into ¼ inch slices

1. Pour contents of the sauerkraut can into a strainer to remove all juices. Thoroughly rinse the sauerkraut with warm water. Remove all excess liquid from the sauerkraut by pressing down with the back of a large spoon, or by squeezing with your hands. Leave sauerkraut in strainer to finish draining until needed.
2. In a 1 ½ or 2 quart saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
3. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until translucent, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. With a spoon, spread the onions out evenly over the bottom of the saucepan.
4. Make a sachet by placing the garlic cloves, bay leaf, and juniper berries in a small piece of cheesecloth. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth to make a little pouch, completely enclosing the aromatics, and tie tightly with twine. Set aside.
5. Layer half of the sauerkraut evenly over the onions.
6. Sprinkle the browned bacon on top of the sauerkraut. Place the sachet on top, and then spread the remaining sauerkraut evenly over the bacon.
7. Pour the water and 3/4 cup white wine over the sauerkraut mixture, and season with salt and pepper.
8. Cover the pan and let the mixture come to a simmer. Lower the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes. Once cooked, allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
9. Preheat the oven to 425F.
10. Lay out the pieces of salmon so the widest side is facing up, creating maximum surface for the sauerkraut topping. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
11. Top each piece of salmon evenly with a ½” layer of the sauerkraut mixture.
12. Top each piece of sauerkraut-covered salmon with approximately 1 tablespoon of Brioche bread crumbs.
13. Drizzle each piece of salmon with ½ teaspoon olive oil.
14. Spray a small baking sheet with vegetable spray. Place fillets on the baking dish and cook for 8-9 minutes in the oven, or until translucent and cooked throughout.
For the sauce:
15. In a small saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter.
16. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, 3-4 minutes, being careful not to let the shallots turn brown and bitter.
17. Add 3/4 cup white wine, and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to cook until thickened and syrupy, about 3-4 minutes.
18. Add the cream and whisk continuously until the sauce is thick. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the mustard and the chives.
19. Serve the sauce with the choucroute crusted salmon.

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Copyright © 2009 Hubert Keller. All rights reserved.