Saturday, November 22, 2008

Salmon Braised in Pinot Noir with Mushrooms


In my last post, I noted the challenges of keeping a well-stocked pantry and how it is always a triumph when I am able to prepare a gourmet meal with ingredients I have on hand. In this regard, last night’s dinner was a triumph.

As four o’clock came around yesterday at work, my mind began to wander from spreadsheets to what I would cook for dinner. With cold weather rolling in, my fridge is always stocked with a supply of fall vegetables that go so well in braised dishes: carrots, leeks, and celery. I also had a pack of cremini mushrooms on hand that I had picked up on a whim at the grocery store last weekend. I searched for a way to use at least some of the ingredients I had on hand, and I came across this recipe from for salmon braised in Pinot Noir. The ingredients:

  • Salmon: would have to buy on my way home from work
  • Salt and pepper: on hand (duh)
  • Butter: in the fridge
  • Celery: in the fridge
  • Carrots: in the fridge
  • Leek: in the fridge
  • Tomato paste: in the fridge
  • Pinot Noir: on hand (surprisingly)
  • Bay leaf: in my pantry
  • Thyme: in the fridge (random Greenmarket purchase)
  • Chicken broth: in the freezer
  • Heavy cream: in the fridge

Could it be? A moderately complex meal that would only require an easy trip to the seafood market to pick up a couple of fillets of salmon? A triumph!

Unfortunately, I found the sauce slightly bland, so the meal was not a triumph on all levels. However, my girlfriend loved it, so I still put it in triumph territory. Perhaps this was the first step to keeping a well-stocked pantry…

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