Poached Salmon with Cucumber Raita
Gently simmering salmon in a flavorful white-wine broth is a classic cooking method that gives the fish a delicious flavor and a delicate texture. Serve this hot or at room temperature. Raita, the cooling condiment served in India, makes a superb sauce.
- 1 1/2 quarts water
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 9 sprigs parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated
- 1 3/4 cups plain yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 2 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1. In a large deep frying pan, combine the water, wine, vinegar, onion, carrot, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves, and 2 1/4 teaspoons of the salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
- 2. Meanwhile, in a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the cucumber and the remaining teaspoon salt. Let sit for 10 minutes. With your hands, squeeze the cucumber and discard the liquid. Put the cucumber back into the bowl and add the yogurt, garlic, mint, and ground pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- 3. Add the fish to the liquid in the pan and bring back to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, until the fish is just barely done (it should still be translucent in the center), about 4 minutes for a 1-inch-thick fillet. Remove the pan from the heat and let the fish sit in the liquid for 2 minutes. Transfer to plates and, if you like, remove the skin. Serve the salmon warm or at room temperature. Top with the raita and then sprinkle the raita with the paprika.
- Wine Recommendation: To match the acidity of the yogurt and the richness of the fish, look for a white that blends crisp acidity with good body. Try a pinot gris from Oregon or a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.
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