Pierre's Salmon with Sorrel


Serves 4

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Pierre Troisgros, one of only three French chefs whose restaurants have received three stars in the Michelin Guide for more than thirty consecutive years.





pounds salmon




tablespoon peanut oil, for pounding




cups Fish Stock




medium shallots, finely chopped




cup dry white wine, preferably Sancerre




tablespoons dry vermouth



1 1/4

cups crème fraîche




ounces sorrel leaves (about 1 quart tightly packed), washed, stemmed, and large leaves torn into two or three pieces




tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces




Freshly squeezed lemon juice




Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper



1.   Choose the thickest center section of the fish. Using a flexible boning knife, cut apart the two fillets, and carefully remove skin.



2.   With pliers, pull out the tiny bones hiding in the center of the flesh. They can be found by running fingers against the grain of the fish. Divide the fillets in half horizontally to make four pieces weighing about 6 ounces each.



3.   Lightly oil two pieces of parchment paper with peanut oil. Lay one piece of parchment on a flat surface. Place fish on parchment. Top with second piece of parchment. With a wooden mallet or the side of a cleaver, gently flatten so each fillet is of equal thickness.



4.   In a medium saucepan, combine fish stock and shallots. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to a glaze, 10 to 15 minutes. Add wine and vermouth, and continue to cook until bright and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add crème fraîche, and boil until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Pass through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pan.



5.   Add sorrel, and cook for 25 seconds. Remove from heat. Add butter a little at a time, swirling or stirring with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated (be sure not to break up sorrel leaves). Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.



6.   Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon on one side (the less presentable side) with salt and pepper. Place in pan, seasoned side up. Cook 25 seconds, turn, and cook 15 seconds more. The salmon must be undercooked to preserve its tenderness (it will continue to cook in the finished sauce).



7.   Distribute sauce among four large plates. Place salmon, seasoned side down, on plates. Season with salt. Serve immediately.








Note: This recipe has been adapted from ¿The Nouvelle Cuisine of Jean & Pierre Troisgros¿ by Jean and Pierre Troisgros. Translation copyright ©1978 by William Morrow & Company Inc. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow.