Sunday, February 13, 2011

Herb Crusted Salmon with Beurre Blanc (and kisses fondant)

After being inspired by Junior Masterchef, we took it upon ourselves to recreate a dish some ridiculous 4 year old cooked on the show.

Herb Crusted Salmon with Beurre Blanc for 3

- Salmon steak : 3 slabs
- Italian herb seasoning
- Bread crumbs : enough
- Oyster mushrooms : 1 bag
- Red pepper : 1, chopped
- Russet Potatoes : 3, dunked in hot water for ~5mins and squared
- Olive oil : copious amounts
- White wine : 1 cup
- Shallots : 2, diced
- Garlic : 1, diced
- Butter : 200g
- S&P

As the fish doesn't take long to cook, the vegetables were prepared first. We call them vegetables but there was no green at all in sight - we decided to go with roasted oyster mushrooms, red peppers and potatoes. Everything was chopped into bite size and tossed in liberal amounts of olive oil, Italian herb seasoning and S&P. Place in oven-friendly dish, roast on high for about 30 minutes. Do check on it from time to time, turning it so that the top bits doesn't burn, and also everything is cooked through just fine.

While the vegies are roasting away, prepare the breadcrumb coating for the fish. A shallow wide pan is useful for this. Mix copious amounts of breadcrumbs with the Italian herb seasoning (so that you can see enough green bits of the herb amongst the crumbs - we really don't have exact scientific measurements here). Sprinkle some S&P, and then mix in some olive oil.

Here's the fun part. Put the salmon steaks in and start coating them. Here we left the skin of the salmon on, but I suppose you could remove them. Try to ensure the entire surface area of the salmon has sufficient breadcrumb mix. With the excess breadcrumbs, pile them on the fish - we found out this will not burn into an unsightly burnt goop in the oven, if there is enough olive oil in the mixture and if the tray goes in at the bottom of the oven. Fish goes in for 10 minutes.

Rubbidy rub rub.

Welcome to Four Awesome's lesson in french cooking. We made beurre blanc (failed but more on that later), which in french means white butter. This sauce is essentially an emulsion of white wine and butter, and you may know emulsion is the chemical process by which many great sauces like Mayonnaise and Hollandaise is made.

The basic concept of emulsion is combining two liquids that do not combine naturally, in this case alcohol and butter (and in the case of Mayonnaise, egg yolk with oil and vinegar). So to make beurre blanc, we had to first reduce the white wine with shallots and garlic in a saucepan, till the white wine is 70% reduced (which we didn't). After which, cube 200g of butter (in case you didn't realize, was one freakin' block) into 5 parts. Vigorously whisk in the butter cube by cube and you should get a homogenous pale yellow sauce.

As we realized our emulsion wasn't working, we decided not to use all the butter and instead ending up with a oily winey buttery sauce. Which was still awesome anyway.

And the finished product - herb crusted salmon with failed beurre blanc and roasted vegies. YUMMEH.

Salmon does not take long to cook - after 10 minutes the salmon flakes easily and surprisingly absorbed the herbiness well. The natural juiciness of the salmon coupled with the soft crumb crust just goes so well with the decadently buttery sauce. Not to mention the dry roasted vegies in butter = win.

Kisses fondant

- Giant hershey's kisses : 1
- Plain flour : 1 tbsp
- Eggs : 2

For dessert we decided to make use of the massive Hershey's kisses bunny got for christmas. So we melted the whole damn thing in the microwave.

To the chocolate goop we added 1 tbsp of flour and 2 slightly beaten eggs which will thicken the mixture further.

We wanted to bake the mixture in 2 ramekins for 20 minutes. Alas we were alarmed with warnings that it had burnt (because it looked brown ...) and we took it out after 10. Still looks good!

The sides and the top had a nice and firm crust layer but the inside was overly lava-ey because it hasn't been cooked enough. Anyways the Hershey's trademark artificial taste was pretty strong in this one, but it was still a sinful way to end a nice home-cooked dinner :)

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