Want to know how to turn St. Patrick’s Day into a night of romance? Serve some Poached North Atlantic Salmon with Irish Butter Sauce for dinner! This poached Atlantic salmon recipe, the centerpiece of Chef Diane Brown’s romantic St. Patrick’s Day menu, aka Romancing the Blarney Stone, showcases one of Ireland’s most beloved products, salmon.
How to poach salmon
For those unfamiliar with culinary techniques, the process of poaching sounds intimidating. But you’ll be pleased to learn that poached salmon utilizes one of the easiest cooking methods, particularly for a delicate food like fish.
Poaching is simply a cooking technique for cooking something in liquid. In this North Atlantic salmon recipe, the fennel is poached along with the salmon. The trick to successful poaching is to keep the water temperature low, below 205 degrees F is recommended, to avoid agitating the item being poached.
Once you get the hang of the technique, you’ll be poaching eggs every weekend so you can make this recipe for Red Wine Poached Eggs.
The poached salmon sauce
In this Irish salmon recipe, the poached fish is treated to a bath of Irish butter sauce. This sauce is a delectable emulsion of quality, Irish butter whisked into a mixture of white wine and shallots, then finished with salt and pepper to taste. A fish sauce really doesn’t get better than this! Just be sure to use unsalted butter and add your own salt at the end. (It is better to control the amount of salt in your dish. You can’t do this when the butter already has added salt.)
The recipe calls for Irish butter, which you can shop for using the link above. If you can’t find Irish butter, use another European butter or grass fed butter, which have higher butterfat than most American butters.
In addition to the aphrodisiac of salmon, this dish features fennel. Fennel has been held in regard as an aphrodisiac since the times of ancient Rome. Learn more about fennel’s aphrodisiac side.
This Atlantic salmon recipe is only part of the menu
This Atlantic salmon filet recipe is part of a full menu of Romantic Irish recipes, meant to be served as a St. Patrick’s date night or any romantic evening. Since both fennel and salmon have a history as aphrodisiac, this recipe is well-suited to an evening of seduction. For the full experience, be sure also to try the Black Velvet cocktail recipe and the Irish Potato Soup with Stout that are meant to pair with this salmon dish.
North Atlantic Poached Salmon with Irish Butter Sauce
- 2 8- oz North Atlantic Salmon filets
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 head fennel coarsely chopped
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 1 Tbsp white wine
- 2 Tbsp very cold, unsalted Irish butter cut into cubes
- Salt and pepper
- Squeeze of fresh lemon
- 1/4 tsp chopped parsley
- Fill a medium-sized saucepan half full with water, salt and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the water to a gentle simmer, add the fennel and fish. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn off and keep fish in water while you make sauce.
- Put shallots and white wine in a small saucepan, bring to boil and cook until wine is almost cooked off and shallots are dry.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter one cube at a time, butter will start to thicken.
- Season with salt, pepper and lemon.
- Serve over the poached salmon and garnish with parsley.
Diane Brown is author of The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations For Lovers
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