Weeknight meal: pan-roasted salmon, celery root purée, ginger-braised celery, swiss chard, and smoked turkey broth

I had smoked a turkey breast a while ago and ended up making some stock from the remaining bones and meat, which turned out to be a great idea.  The idea was to always have it with fish; I think I would have preferred to have halibut, but the halibut at Whole Foods didn’t look too good, and in hindsight I wish I would have purchased the flounder instead of the salmon.  But the salmon worked fine.

If I were to make this again, I think the dish could use a little bit of acidity, either in the way of pickled ginger or lemon zest.  Some crunch would be nice and could be achieved by leaving the skin on the fish or by deep frying some shallot or something.  And I wish I would have garnished the bowl with some of the tender and yellow celery leaves, thus having three different representations of celery in the dish.  All in all it’s still a pretty good dish that I’ll probably again in some way in the future, albeit with some changes.

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Aside from the stock, everything here can be made in about half an hour, so if you have that hanging around, it’s really quite a quick dish that’s perfect for the middle of the week.

To begin you’ll need some smoked turkey stock, though you could probably take some chicken stock and simmer it with some smoked bacon (or even bonito flakes) to achieve something close.

For the celery root purée, peel and dice a celery root, cover it in water in a pan, add a sprig of thyme, season with salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 or so minutes until the celery root becomes tender.  Purée in a blender with some of the boiling liquid and a little half and half.  Season with more salt and white pepper and keep warm.

To braise the celery, thinly slice a couple of stalks on the bias, add to a small pan with half a cup or so of chicken stock and a one inch piece of ginger; simmer until the celery is tender, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

For the chard, chop it into one-to-two inch pieces, heat a pan over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil and sauté until wilted, seasoning with salt and pepper.

For the salmon, heat a cast-iron pan over high heat, season both sides with salt and pepper, add vegetable oil to the pan and sauté for a few minutes, flip over and depending on the thickness of the piece of fish you have, either place in a 500°F oven or just continue to cook on the stove top for a minute or two, until it’s cooked medium-rare.

To serve, spoon some of the celery root into a large bowl, on the other side place some of the chard.  Place a little of the braised celery over the top and place the salmon on top of this in the center.  Ladle some of the seasoned broth around and enjoy.

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