Fish is often a scary thing for people to endeavor to cook. It's delicate, it doesn't take nearly as long, and it isn't as malleable as meat. However, I can tell you that once you start cooking fish, you won't be able to stop. There are incredible recipes out there that really showcase the fish. One Chef whose name is synonymous with fish is Chef Eric Ripert. Hailing from Antibes, France, he has truly made a name for himself particularly when it comes to fish. We just happen to have 2 of his cookbooks, one of which is:
This cookbook is fantastic. The recipes are not only relatively simple, but there's a deep understanding of where fish are sourced, the best way to tell if it's the right fish, and the most sustainable fish you can buy. Within this glorious book is a recipe for phyllo-wrapped salmon with a lemon horseradish cream sauce. This recipe calls for the following:
8 (3oz each) salmon fillets with skin and bones removed
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large basil leaves
4tbs unsalted butter, melted
4 sheets phyllo dough
1/2 cup sour cream
2tbs prepared horseradish
1tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1tbs thinly sliced chives
3tbs canola oil
First, we seasoned our salmon with salt and pepper on all sides. Next, we placed 1 basil leaf on top of one of the fillets then laid another fillet on top to form a salmon sandwich with a basil leaf between them. We repeated this process with all salmon until we had a lovely array of salmon sandwiches. Next we took 1 sheet of phyllo and brushed it evenly with the melted butter. We took 1 salmon sandwich and placed it at the end of the phyllo and wrapped it very neatly and tightly brushing the edges of phyllo with extra butter so it stuck together nicely. Then we brushed the whole wrap with butter. We repeated the process with the remaining salmon sandwiches.
The next step is to combine the sour cream, horseradish, lemon juice and zest with a little more salt. Because I'm not a huge fan of sour cream, we opted to use Lebneh which is a Middle Eastern yogurt. It gives it that beautiful tangy flavor with half the fat and a lovely robust creaminess. We mixed the chives in this at the very end.
Once we mixed this together and tasted to make sure the seasoning was to our liking, we placed it in the fridge.
Then we heated the canola oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet (we used our cast iron) we placed the salmon in the pan, 2 at time, and cooked for 4 min on each side, however, if you want to cook it for another 1-2min that is totally ok. Salmon is generally a very forgiving fish. Please note, do not cook more than that or you will end up with a dry piece of fish that does not have the same buttery texture. This cooks the salmon so that it's a lovely medium in the center of the fish. We then plated the fish and spooned the sauce over the top and enjoyed!
This was one of the best salmon preparations I've had. It was super simple, fun to prepare and delicious to eat. We will definitely be doing this again and soon!