Chef's Recipe

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Poached Sole and Salmon Braid

For a pretty presentation, press a portion of saffron rice or brown rice into a ramekin and unmold it off center onto the plate. Place the fish alongside and surround it with steamed asparagus or haricots verts.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound carrots, trimmed, divided
  • 3 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, washed, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 12 ounces sole, cut into 8 (4-inch-by-1-inch) strips
  • 12 ounce salmon fillet, cut into 8 (4-inch-by-1-inch) strips
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 strips orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup light cream


Preparation

  1. Set aside one carrot and one leek. Cut the remaining carrots and 2 leeks into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a large pot with water just to cover, boil the cut carrots and leeks until the carrots are tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain (reserving the cooking water) and transfer the leeks and carrots to a food processor fitted with a steel blade; puree. Transfer to a saucepan and stir in some of the reserved cooking water for a looser consistency; set aside. (The carrot and leek puree can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
  3. Cut the reserved carrot and leek into thin strips about 2½ inches long. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the carrot and leek and sauté until the leek are tender, about 5 minutes; season with salt and white pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a glass or ceramic bowl, gently toss the sole and salmon with the lemon juice (the lemon juice will help firm up the flesh of the fish slightly so it will be easier to weave.) Set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Cut four 5-inch squares of parchment. Place a square on your work surface and on top of it weave 2 sole strips and 2 salmon strips into a simple lattice. Season with salt and white pepper and set aside. Repeat with the remaining parchment and fish strips
  6. In a skillet large enough to hold two portions of fish, bring the orange juice, wine, vinegar, shallot, orange zest, garlic, and thyme to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil, shaking the skillet, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add 1 cup water, return the mixture to a boil, and carefully add two portions of fish right on their parchment paper base (keeping them on the parchment will make handling easier). Immediately reduce the heat to low and poach the fish, partially covered, at a bare simmer until just opaque inside, 6 to 8 minutes.
  7. With a large slotted spatula, transfer each portion of fish (discard the parchment) to a separate plate; cover and keep warm. Repeat the poaching process with the remaining two portions of fish.
  8. Boil the poaching liquid until reduced by half; strain it through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup. Meanwhile, separately reheat the reserved carrot and leek puree and the reserved carrot and leek strips. Stir the cream into the carrot and leek puree and just enough poaching liquid to thin the mixture to a sauce consistency. Return to a simmer and season with salt and white pepper.
  9. To serve, spoon the sauce over the fish and top it with the sautéed leek and carrot strips.

 

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