Fancy Fish: My poached salmon with warmed cucumbers in a white cream sauce.
A surprisingly light, almost airy, sauce spooned over succulent and tender poached fillets of salmon, served with soft and flavoursome cucumbers. This dish has the potential to become my all-year favourite. It is the perfect meal to serve on a hot summer day. Or for a fancy dinner to impress some important people. The best bit is, that although seemingly complicated my poached salmon with warmed cucumbers in a white cream sauce requires almost no work apart from hollowing out cucumbers and stirring a sauce and is done in little more than 15 minutes. This is classy feel-good-food like it should be.
I realize that it is not sunday. I realize it with every fibre of my tense body and every rearing synapse of my brain (which is for the sake of accuracy obviously part of my body). I know I am much too early. But I can’t help it. In a few minutes I will leave to a dreadful place. A place without internet. Holidays with the boyfriend. On a small island. Very nice and cozy. With a beach and stuff.
So this is why today’s post will have to remain very short. Just one thing be said: you can never have enough sauce! That’s why instead of poaching the fillet of salmon I use here in stock and then later serving it with a few spoons of sauce, I poach it in the sauce. Directly. It’s a very nice dish. Promised. The sauce is surprisingly light, almost airy. The fillet incredibly moist and succulent. And the soft cucumbers make for a very interesting vegetable. They are tender, refreshing and are surprisingly flavoursome.
My poached salmon with warmed cucumbers in a white cream sauce.
Salmon fillet Light chicken stock Single cream Salt Pepper Cucumber Flour Butter Dill
I serve rice with this dish – make sure to have it ready when you are serving this. Heat up some high quality (preferably home-made – but I understand that not everyone likes to procrastinate with making stock) chicken-stock. Vegetable stock would do just as fine. The amount of stock depends on the pan you are using and the number of things to poach. I use about 750 ml of stock for four fillets that nicely fit together in a pan. Bring the stock to a simmer, but don’t let it come to a boil. Add about 200 ml of single cream. In a little bowl take about 2 tablespoon of flour and knead it with one tablespoon of butter. This will help to thicken your sauce. Once you added the flour-butter-ball to the sauce, stir until everything has dissolved. Allow the sauce to thicken before you lower your fillets into the simmering liquid and give them about 10 minutes to poach. At no time should your sauce start to cook.
In the meantime peel two larger cucumbers, half and, using a spoon, get rid of the seeds. Slice into half rings and add these to the stock, after about 5 minutes.
The salmon should retain a little bit of translucency, this will not only ensure that your fillets stay juicy but also that they don’t fall apart too easily. Just be careful when taking them out of the pan after about 10 minutes (or more if necessary). Your sauce might need a bit more thickening with another butterball. Or some seasoning. Arrange rice, the soft cucumbers and the salmon on a plate and be generous with the sauce – after all, that’s why we made so much. Add as much chopped dill as you like and enjoy the light summer delight.