Poached Salmon With Cucumber and Dill
Enjoy this low carb Poached Salmon with Cucumber and Dill entree for a light lunch or a refreshingly cool dinner during the heat of the summer.
So, I have an admission to make. I’m not a big fan of salmon. OK, I’m more like a fair weather fan of salmon. Where salmon is typically enjoyed pan seared, grilled or as lox on a bagel, I prefer my salmon either poached or hot smoked. I know, I’m weird. This inclination is probably a throw back to the influence of my Uncle Vic. Just about every holiday party that he hosted, he served a side of hot smoked Alaskan salmon. When I was younger I really didn’t know what I was eating, but a good portion of what I ate back then surely has influenced my palate in my later years.
Whatever the influence may be, this light and refreshing Poached Salmon with Cucumber and Dill is just what the dog days of summer called for.
Let’s Make It
The first thing we need to make is the tasty liquid the salmon is going to be poached in. This liquid is what we chefs like to call a court bouillon, aka “short broth”. What makes a court bouillon different than a vegetable stock is the addition of acidulated ingredients like lemons, vinegar or wine.
While we get the court bouillon going, we will keep the salmon nice and cold in the fridge. Next, lets get a large stainless steel wok or non reactive medium to large stock pot. To the pot we will add the celery, onions and carrots all rough chopped. Next, cut and squeeze the lemons in the pot and then throw the lemons halves in as well. To that we will add the wine, herbs, salt and pepper and then fill the pot with just enough cold water to cover the vegetables so they will loosely float.
Bring bouillon to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer to extract all the flavors for about 30 minutes. Onions should be translucent and liquid slightly cloudy.
While the bouillon is doing its thing, is the time to prep the salmon. About that salmon, lets talk a bit. I try to buy wild caught, pacific salmon. Pacific salmon will contain more of its healthy fat, which means more flavor. It’s also a more responsible and sustainable choice verses its Atlantic cousin. It’s somewhat hard to find wild caught, pacific salmon, but the choice to buy Pacific over Atlantic is well worth the flavor and good stewardship. Whatever salmon that is available to you, choose a filet that is bright in color, smells of the ocean and is moist, but not slimy.
Back to prepping the fish.
For poaching I like to cut small, roughly two-3 ounce pieces. For this I lay the filet flat on a cutting surface that has been lined with a few layers of plastic wrap. If you don’t saw away at the salmon, the plastic wrap helps protect your cutting surface from absorbing the aroma of the fish. Draw your knife up the middle of the filet, lengthwise and then cut across the filet in 2-3 inch pieces.
Once the bouillon has simmered for 30 minutes and the salmon is cut, it’s time for the fish pieces to go for a warm swim. Add the salmon pieces to the court bouillon, making sure they are completely covered, and let simmer for 5-7 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and let sit for about 20 minutes.
After the salmon has completed it’s time out, move salmon to a glass or stainless steel bowl to chill in the fridge overnight. This overnight soak will allow even more of the bouillon flavors to work their way into the flesh of the salmon.
The Next Day
It’s best to make the cucumber dill salad the day you plan on serving the salmon. This will ensure that the cucumber retains its crisp texture and refreshing flavor.
To make this salad I used a mandolin to jullienne the cucumber. If you don’t have a mandolin, you can simply slice or half moon the cucumber.
To the cut cucumbers add the dill, sour cream, sugar, salt and pepper. To accentuate the flavor of the poached salmon even more, a squirt of fresh lemon juice in the cucumber salad would go a long way.
Ok, so the salmon has been sitting over night and the cuc salad is all mixed. Time to plate. Line a plate with some paper towels so you can pat the salmon pieces lightly before placing on your plate. Top the Poached Salmon with the cucumber and dill salad and a spring of fresh dill along side a nice composed spinach and red lettuce salad.
You could also serve the Poached Salmon with Cucumber and Dill with a nice herbed cous cous or steamed jasmine rice. Enjoy!
- 3 medium Lemons cut and squeezed in pot
- 3 ribs Celery rough chopped
- 2 medium Carrots rough chopped
- 1/2 medium Sweet Onion rough chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 each bay leaf
- 1 cup White Wine Pinot Grigio
- TT Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- 2 lbs Pacific Salmon
- 1/2 large English Ccumber
- 1/4 small Sweet Onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp sugar
- TT salt and pepper
Start the court bouillon In large wok or medium to large stock pot add cut and squeezed lemons, rough chopped vegetables, herbs, wine water and salt and pepper. Bring to boil and then let simmer half an hour.
While court bouillon is simmer, prep the salmon by placing flat on a cutting board lined with a few layers of plastic wrap. Cut salmon down the middle lengthwise and then cross cut into pieces approximately 2-3 inches wide.
Place salmon in simmered court bouillon and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Pull from heat and let rest for 20 minutes. Remove salmon and court bouillon to non reactive bowl or pan and refrigerate overnight.
Slice or juillienne cucumber.
Add sour cream, sugar, thinly sliced onion and salt and pepper, (lemon juice optional) and mix.
Pull salmon from cooled court bouillon and place on paper towels to pat dry.
Place on plate and top with Cucumber Dill salad
Serve with Spinach Salad or starch of choice.