Friday, January 24, 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Salmon with Mushroom Sauce


There are some dishes which we return to again and again, each time surprised by just how good they are.  Did we really make that?  Was it as simple as it seemed?  And so tasty.  So gourmet-seeming!

Will talks about having a dinner party for friends and serving them this Bacon-Wrapped Salmon with Mushroom Sauce.  I resist in part because the dish does involve using the broiler, and I try not to make dinners for guests which could have the potential to set off smoke-alarms.  But I probably hesitate also because I’d be afraid that our guests would see how simple this delectable dish is and thus would be much less impressed with the final product.

We got this recipe from a Food & Wine issue years ago, and it’s a dish we love so much that I’ve cut out that page from the magazine and saved it in a binder of our go-to recipes.  They called it “Broiled Bacon-Basted Salmon with Mushroom-Oyster Sauce.”  It’s a mouthful, so, to each other, Will and I refer to it as “that bacon salmon dish that we like.”  Click here for the recipe.  It’s a good one, so keep it safe.

Having made this dish several times, I can tell you that there are some things we do differently: Namely, we cut up the salmon fillet before broiling (for cleaner cut and presentation), and we would never think about NOT eating the broiled bacon (?!).

So, here’s our version to version 4.

Ingredients:
4 fillets of skinless salmon (about an inch thick, and each weighing about 5 oz.)
6 slices of bacon, 4 slices cut in half, and the other two cut in ½ slices
8 oz. mushrooms (we use cremini and shitake), sliced about ¼ inch thick
3 T chopped parsley
3 T chopped chives
2 t chopped garlic
¼ cup oyster sauce (mixed with ½ c hot water)
Optional: Pinch of nutmeg and 1 T cold butter (See Note)

Step 1:
Prepare the salmon by lightly salting and peppering the fillets.  Then wrap each fillet with 2 half-slices of bacon such that you have alternating inch of exposed and bacon-wrapped salmon.  (See picture at top and bottom.)  Then pre-heat the broiler and place the salmon (in a roasting pan) into the broiler, with the top of the salmon about 6 inches away from the heat.  You will cook about 6 minutes and then turn the pan around for another 6 minutes so that the salmon fillets will roast evenly. 

Note: Since you are using a broiler, make sure that you are very careful with the time.  Don’t let this smoke/burn!


Step 2:
Cook the remaining 2 slices of bacon (cut up into ½ inch slices) until almost crisp, and then add all the mushroom slices and sauté for a few minutes—all over medium-high heat.  Then add all of the parsley, 2 T of chives, and the garlic.  After incorporating the herbs and garlic, mix in the oyster sauce mixture and cook a bit to thicken the sauce.

Optional: Food & Wine has you using a pinch of nutmeg and incorporating 2 T butter into the sauce.  I could go either way with this.  Will’s not a huge nutmeg fan, and the oyster sauce is pretty strong anyway so it’s not clear that this step really does anything.  And while I incorporate cold butter into French pan sauces, I’m not sure the mushroom-oyster sauce needs it—or is much improved by it.  I’m not by any means discouraging you from adding the nutmeg and the butter (and I usually do add both), but I wouldn’t be too worried if I skipped that step.


Step 3:
Remove salmon from the broiler, spoon mushroom sauce next to the salmon, and serve all with some brown rice (to sop up the extra mushroom sauce).  To make it pretty, by all means sprinkle the remaining chopped chives over the entire dish.

Now there’s an elegant dinner!



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