This recipe is simple, delicious, very elegant, and great for dinner parties. You can substitute the salmon with halibut or monkfish. Remember to buy wild fish only.
2 pieces of salmon 5-6 oz each
1 small fennel bulb, with root removed and thinly sliced
1 small-medium onion, thinly sliced
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled, sliced, and julienned (thin strips)
2 oz ginger liquor, I like to use Domaine de Canton -- they make the prettiest little 50mL bottles, drink what's left, use it as a vase
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 oz good quality chicken broth
2 oz heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and start preparing your vegetables. Salt and pepper both sides of salmon, some people like the skin, some don't; have your fish monger remove it if you don't. Place in a saute pan, non stick is ok and place in heated oven in center rack while you do your creamed fennel. The skin will cook without having to sear it. Salmon will take about 15-20 minutes; if you like salmon on the rarer side, check it after 15 minutes. You can remove the skin after salmon is cooked as well.
Heat oil on medium-high in a non-stick pan and add sliced fennel, onion, and ginger with a generous pinch of salt. Lower heat to medium and sweat for approximately 7-10 minutes. Adjust heat if it starts to brown. "Sweating" is to soften the vegetables without adding color. Add the ginger liquor, cook for a minute or two and then add the 4 oz of chicken stock, stir, cover, and continue to soften the vegetables over medium heat. This only takes about 5 minutes or so. You can judge by tasting a piece of fennel and if it is soft or has a bite, adjust your cooking time. Stir occasionally until stock is almost absorbed and vegetables are soft.
When veggies are softened, the salmon should be just about done. Test the temperature with your handy dandy digital thermometer or pinch the salmon with your fingers; there should be some spring to it, meaning it will be about medium. Remember less time for medium rare. Remove from oven and tent with tin foil while you finish your fennel.
Add 2 oz of the heavy cream to the fennel, salt and pepper to taste, stir to incorporate. Place desired portion in center of plate and place 1 piece of salmon on top. Accompaniments can be rice, roasted potatoes, and a salad.