Poached Salmon With Steamed Asparagus And Hollandaze Sauce

Poached Salmon With Hollandaze Sauce Salmon
Photo: Matt Sativa

Poached Salmon With Steamed Asparagus And Hollandaze Sauce
Yield: 4 portions
Difficulty: medium

It may seem that poaching salmon is kind of like boiling a T-bone steak. Well, if you poach the fish correctly, you allow the flavor of the salmon to shine alone, as the star of the show. This is one of those delicate dishes that derive no benefit from any Maillard reaction, (the brown crust you get when searing protein). This is a celebration of clean delicate flavors in which the salmon, asparagus, and buttery sauce all work together to create a memorable experience.

4 x 6½ oz. skinless salmon fillets
2 punnets of fresh asparagus
4 portions mashed potatoes
5 oz. butter melted
1 carrot chopped roughly
1 stick of celery chopped or half a bunch of parsley including stalks chopped
1 oz. canna-butter melted over extremely low heat
4 large or extra-large egg yolks
1½ Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. dry white wine (use extra lemon juice if you do not consume alcohol)
1/3 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cracked black pepper (from the grinder)

Fill a frying pan or saucepan about 2/3 full of water.
Bring this to a boil and then turn the temperature down until the water has a slow simmer.
Add the carrots and celery to the simmering water and season lightly.
Carefully place the salmon into the simmering water
Poach the salmon for about 10 minutes or until just done. Overcooking will result in dry fish.
To prepare the hollandaze sauce, place a double boiler on the stove and bring the water to a boil.
Turn the temperature down so the water simmers.
In the top bowl of the double boiler, add the lemon juice, wine, and egg yolks.
Whisk continuously over the double boiler until the yolks start to thicken a bit.
If you do not whisk continuously, the eggs will curdle and you will have scrambled eggs, so whisk.
Once the mixture has lightened in color and thickened a little bit, slowly pour the melted butter into the eggs. Whisking continuously. Make sure the butter you have added is incorporated before adding the next bit. If the water is boiling too much, remove the double boiler from the heat and continue with the recipe.
Once all the butter has been added, do the same thing with the canna-butter. Slowly and steady wins this race.
Once all the butter has been emulsified, remove the top bowl, and keep somewhere warm. You cannot reheat this sauce so, try to keep it somewhere warm.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring the double boiler water to a boil again and add in the asparagus stem side down (it is clean water so no need to waste it).
Cook for about 2 minutes and then remove from the water and allow to dry.

To plate:
Pipe the mashed potatoes neatly onto the plate.
Arrange the asparagus neatly onto the edge of the mashed potatoes.
Place the salmon onto the asparagus and potatoes.
Drizzle with the high hollandaze sauce.
Enjoy your meal.

Pro tip:
If your sauce is breaking and the butter is separating, add a teaspoon of hot water and whisk. Continue adding warm or hot water a teaspoon at a time while whisking and your sauce should emulsify again. You are welcome.
As always, keep the sauce away from any little fingers (or large ones for that matter).