Monday, December 17, 2007

Savory Salmon Alfredo

The flavor of this dish is Heavenly, but the fat content is ghastly. I make it once a year for guests and savor every bite…

Zest of two lemons
1 small shallot, minced
16 ounces (500 grams) heavy cream
1 stick butter (125 grams)
4 ounces (125 grams) smoked salmon, chopped into small pieces
8 ounces (250 grams) fresh salmon fillet, no skin, cut into small pieces
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

12 ounces (350 grams) penne pasta

1) Place a huge pot of salted hot water on the stove to boil for the pasta. Cover it and it will come to a boil faster.

2) To zest the lemon: Using a tool called a zester is the best way, but if you do not have a zester, then use a vegetable peeler to remove the colored part of the lemon skin only (no white pith, which is bitter). Chopped very fine.

3) Pour the cream and add the butter, lemon zest and shallot into a medium size soup pot. Set over medium-high heat, uncovered. Watch very closely-- you want the butter to melt into the cream, then begin to bubble very, very gently-- not boil! If the cream boils it could curdle and the sauce would be ruined (looking like scrambled eggs). Once it begins to bubble, turn the heat down to medium or medium low. You just want the cream to every so gently simmer and reduce (thicken).

4) When you put the pasta into the boiling water to cook, at the same time, put the smoked and fresh salmon into the cream sauce. Turn the heat up a bit to compensate for the heat decrease, as you have just added cool fish to the hot sauce. Once the sauce comes back up to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat.
5) When the pasta is al dente (just cooked-- follow package directions), drain it. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste-- it may need salt, add it pinch by pinch (I used about three pinches).

6) Toss the sauce with the pasta and serve piping hot.

Serves 6 as a main course

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