Fish… not fishing this time. Just fish… Not just any fish mind you. No my friend I am not talking about haddock. I will not work to entice you with cod or flounder or scrod. (What exactly is scrod??? I digress) I came here to talk to you about the one, the only… beautiful, beautiful salmon. If you are one of the poor souls that pronounces the “L” in the word salmon, please don’t. Thank you. Anyhow, you may think you know how to cook salmon. You do not. Sorry. All the soy sauce, ginger and honey mustard you can muster will not help you. This salmon dish is both tantalizing and comforting at the same time. Like an autumn hug from your fat mamma is this salmon recipe.
My friend Christina passed this on to me a couple of years ago and people LOVE it. I love it! YOU will love it. My in-laws say it is the best salmon they have ever tasted. (Keep in mind they are British and that my mother in law does her salmon in a zip loc bag, in the microwave. No joke) Seriously, this dish is ridiculously delicious. I make extra sauce and I serve this fish with basmati rice and grilled asparagus. Oh man is it good. Let’s get one thing clear, if you are not going to use the heavy cream stay home. Fat free half and half??? 2%????? Who are you people anyhow???? It’s a little tiny bit of heavy cream. You will be fine. (maybe) You will however NOT be fine using farm raised salmon. You want that salmon to be as wild as this blogger.
So here it is, Molly Wizenberg's Cider-Glazed Salmon and I believe it was first published in her book A Homemade Life. For once in my life I have actually always made it exactly as the recipe says to. I don’t see or taste any room for improvement. Go nuts!
For this recipe, you'll need a large 12-inch skillet with a lid. The pan should be large enough to hold the salmon without crowding and to provide plenty of surface area for boiling down and thickening the sauce.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a large, heavy skillet, combine the butter, shallot, and cider. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove and discard the shallot.
Place the fillets gently in the pan, adjusting the heat so that the liquid just trembles. Spoon a bit of the liquid over them, so that their tops begin to cook. Cover and simmer very gently. The fillets will cook for 8 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness. To test for doneness, make a small slit with a paring knife in the thickest part of the fillet: all but the very center of each piece should be opaque. (It will keep cooking after you pull it from the heat). Transfer the cooked salmon to a platter, and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
To prepare the glaze, raise the heat under the pan to medium-high, add a pinch of salt, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced by about two-thirds. It should be slightly thickened and should just cover the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the cream. Stir well to combine. Return the heat to medium-high and boil, stirring frequently, for a few minutes, until the mixture darkens to a pale golden caramel--like those Brach's Milk Maid caramel candies, if that helps--and is reduced by one-third to one-half.
Place the salmon fillets on 4 plates and top each with a spoonful of sauce. It should coat them like a thin, loose glaze. Serve immediately.
Note: If you'd like to make this for only 2 people, halve the amount of salmon, but not the sauce quantities.