Friday, February 19, 2010

Poached Salmon in an Herbed Orange Sauce

I find it exciting to sample new fruits and vegetables. The other day in my supermarket, they were offering a different type of orange called a Cara Cara Navel, so I had to give it a try. It's flesh is dark, almost as dark as a Blood Orange, and its juice has a slight tang to it. It's really quite lovely and there are no seeds! Since citrus of any kind pairs beautifully with salmon, I created this elegant, delicious recipe using my delightful new discovery. It may look fancy, but this meal is extremely quick and easy to prepare, although do remember to marinate the salmon for at least an hour before to obtain the best and most flavorful results.

Also, I'd like to point out, that this would be perfectly delicious made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts but, if you're like me and looking for more ways to bring Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, stick with the salmon.

Poached Salmon in an Herbed Orange Sauce
(Makes 2 servings)

1 large or 2 smaller oranges (navel, blood orange or Cara cara navel)
2 center-cut salmon fillets, about 6 oz. each (or chicken, if you prefer)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Herb rub (I used a Nantucket blend)*
¾ cup fish or chicken stock
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese

1. Zest one orange and set aside. Cut 4 thin slices off one end of the orange and reserve for a garnish later. Squeeze the juice from the remaining orange(s); set aside. (You'll need at least 5 tablespoons of juice.)

2. Take the herb rub and sprinkle over both sides of the salmon fillets. Press with your hand until it is well adhered. Place salmon fillets in a zip-lock plastic bag. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the olive oil, 2 tablespoons orange juice and half of the orange zest. Pour into the plastic bag and seal, trying to remove as much air as possible. Massage the bag until the oil mixture coats the salmon well. Place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour. Before poaching, allow salmon to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

3. Mix together 3 tablespoons orange juice and stock. Pour into a small skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove salmon from marinade; discard marinade. Place fillets into the simmering liquid and cover. Poach for about 6-8 minutes or until salmon is flaky and no longer pink in the center (do not overcook). Remove salmon to a dish and cover with foil to keep warm.

4. If necessary for a smooth sauce, strain poaching liquid and return to pan. Remove cover from skillet and raise heat to high. Boil poaching liquid until reduced by half (takes about 5-10 minutes). Whisk in the mascarpone cheese and stir until melted. Continue reducing liquid until there's about 1/3 cup remaining and it has thickened slightly. Add remaining orange zest and stir. Remove from heat.

5. To serve, arrange two orange slices on plate, top with a salmon fillet and pour half of sauce over the fish. Repeat with remaining salmon and serve immediately.

*The herb blend I used was a mixture of dried rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, black pepper, onion powder, ginger, and lemon peel. You can easily make your own, if you do not have a purchased blend.

Nutritional Information per serving: 366 calories, 10 g carbohydrate, 19 g total fat, 4.9 g saturated fat, 1.3 g fiber, 43.3 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010

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