I hope everyone had a great time bringing in the New Year. I will kick off 2013 with a great tasting and easy to prepare salmon dish. It actually ended up being a Swedish/Italian fusion of flavors. But before I give you the recipe, let me tell you about some of the fun things I did last month and what inspired me to cook this dish. December was a very busy month for me filming the online cooking show “Neighborhood Chefs“, which I am executive producer of. I often get to meet many interesting chefs and home cooks during our tapings and December was no different. While on Facebook I became good friends with Mats Melander, a cook from Sweden who competed in the Swedish TV version of “Masterchef”. He introduced me to two more great cooks from his country, Christer Söderberg & Per Ehrlund. These guys were set to pay a visit to Brooklyn to compete in a food competition. How could I pass up a chance to have them cook in our NC’s kitchen?
The chefs arrived bright and early with a ton of enthusiasm and plenty of jokes. They seemed to enjoyed their stay in NYC, heck, Per Ehrlund even got married while they were here! They also arrived with some gifts for me from Sweden, Salma salmon and Vasterbottensost cheese. The cheese was some of the best I have ever tasted. It had a taste similar to a high quality Cheddar cheese. The cut of fish here is the belly loin, and it was so good that I could not stop eating slices of it before it was even cooked! Anyway, the chefs did not disappoint, as they went on to cook some fabulous food and kept us in stitches with their comedy while doing so.
I also got to see another great chef make his second appearance on the show, Chef Shehu Fitzgerald from Staten Island, NY. Shehu is a well-traveled cook with a skill level much higher than your average chef. He proved this on the popular Food Network TV show “Chopped”. He blew away the competition in all three rounds to become one of the show’s champions. He has opened a restaurant in his neighborhood called “The Phunky Elephant” which I have also visited. For the taping he quickly prepared 5 dishes from his new menu. Wow, I was impressed! We were also visited by Chef Eddie G from Coast2Coast cuisine. Chef Eddie G and his partner JR travel the country filming at different Locations. They often take over local restaurants and create coastal dishes from around the world in an entertaining and educational food show, it is a high quality program focusing on travel and brand recognition. Although we did not get to see him cook on the show this time, Chef Eddie and I look forward to working together in the future, so stay tuned! And as if this wasn’t food overload already, the next day I attended the food competition at the Brooklyn Brewery.
This competition was called “The Food Experiment World Wide Tour” and it is sponsored by the Brooklyn Brewery. This was the day the championship round was being held, so I knew we were in for a treat. They toured 15 cities such as Brazil, Berlin, Mumbai, London, Madrid, and Casablanca just to name a few, and it came down who could make the best “Bite” in Brooklyn, NY. One thing that caught my eye when I got there was, “All you can drink Brooklyn beer” Woohoo, I am in heaven! The competitors were all set up at different stations and putting out those “bites” fast and furiously. I managed to taste most of them (except the pork) and they were all very good. We had the opportunity to interview quite a few of the contestants that afternoon, and the fun I had there that afternoon was amazing. We also had a chance to interview the two guys that put this event together, Theo Peck and Nick Suarez. In the end, my Swedish friends did not win the big award, but Per took home the Spirit Award and a lot of love from American foodies, which was evident by how busy their station was throughout the day. The big award went to One World One Kitchen with his “Jewel Crusted Shrimp”. I must say that I bought in 2013 with a bang, and I am looking forward to a great year in food. Thank you to everyone I have had the chance to meet and work with last year! 🙂
Now, on to the recipe. Keep in mind you don’t need to use Caviar for this dish, I used the caviar because it was something I purchased from a Swedish specialty shop. This recipe can be paired with anything from pasta to steamed vegetables. I chose to pair it with spinach fettuccine tossed with fresh spinach and mini San Marzano tomatoes. Bon Appetit!
4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, also, an additional a few sprigs for garnishing
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
caviar (Optional, for Garnish)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly oiled broiler pan, place salmon fillets. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes or to your desired doneness. Salmon will turn reddish-pink when it is done.
While that is cooking, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter until it melts. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the mustard, dill, pepper, parmesan cheese, and the remaining salt. Remove from heat.
Cut the remaining butter into pieces, add to the sauce, and whisk until incorporated and creamy. Place the salmon on individual plates, spoon the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with additional dill and Lumpfish roe and serve.