Roasted Salmon with Ginger Crust and Potato Puree
- 4 center-cut salmon filets, 6 to 7 ounces each
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ Tbs. crushed black peppercorns
- 1 ½ Tbs. finely chopped fresh peeled ginger
- Red Wine Sauce:
- 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 3 large shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 plum tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces russet potatoes (1 or 2 small potatoes), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
Season the salmon lightly with salt, brush the top with a little of the melted butter and immediately sprinkle with the crushed pepper and chopped ginger. Drizzle the remaining butter over the top. If you wait too long, the butter will harden and the ginger and pepper will not stick. Refrigerate, covered until needed.
To prepare the sauce, in a small saute pan, melt 2 Tbs. butter until foamy. Add the shallots and garlic and saute over medium heat until the shallots are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato and cook for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Pour in the wine and vinegar, turn up the heat a little and reduce until ½ cup liquid remains. Pour in the chicken stock and reduce by half. Strain the sauce into a clean pan. Finish the sauce by whisking in the remaining 4 Tbs. of butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
While the sauce is reducing, prepare the potato puree. Place the cubed potato in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with salt and cook until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour off the water and return the pan to the stove. Add the cream and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the mixture has thickened and most of the cream is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Puree the potato with a food mill or an electric mixer, then return to the pan. Keep the puree warm over a pan of simmering water until you are ready to serve.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Ten minutes before serving, brush a baking sheet with olive oil and arrange the salmon on it in one layer. Roast until medium, about 10 minutes. The salmon should be cooked on the outside but still moist and slightly underdone inside.
Divide the sauce among four warm dinner plates. Spoon equal amounts of the potato puree into the center of each plate and place a salmon filet on top on top. Serve immediately.