Classmates in culinary school, Krista Painter and Amy French are also friends who cook together for fun. At Pike Place Market, when the bounty of summer is at its peak, they snap up the freshest blackberries and salmon to make this festive dish. The berry sauce should be nicely balanced between sweet and tart; judge the amount of sugar to add by the sweetness of the fruit.
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
2 1/2 cups blackberries, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
6 salmon steaks (1 in. thick, 6 to 7 oz. each)
Salt and pepper
How to Make It
In a food processor or blender, combine wine and 2 cups berries; whirl until puréed. Rub berry mixture through a fine strainer into a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan; discard residue. Add shallots, ginger, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bring berry mixture to a boil over high heat, and stir often until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and more sugar to taste (see notes).
Rinse salmon and pat dry. Coil belly strips of fish into center of steaks and secure each portion with a small skewer (such as the kind used for trussing turkeys).
Lay salmon on an oiled grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook fish, turning once, until opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 7 to 10 minutes.
Set a salmon steak on each of 6 warm plates (remove skewers if desired). Spoon berry coulis (if cool, stir over high heat until warm, about 1 minute) equally over steaks. Garnish with remaining 1/2 cup whole berries; add salt and pepper to taste.
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