One of the best ways to experience French culture is by shopping at the outdoor markets and specialty shops found throughout France. The vibrant colours and aromas are sure to please the senses. Listening to the vendors and shoppers speaking en français provides a very practical French language lesson for visitors. Your outing is even more exciting if you’re on a mission to find ingredients for a meal, like this salmon dish.
Shopping for your ingredients à la française
After picking up some fresh vegetables, pop into a poissonnerie (fishmonger) to select some fresh salmon fillets. Next, head down to the local cave à vins (wine shop) for some rosé wine. One of my favourites is Tavel. This wonderful AOC wine from France’s southern Rhone wine region pairs nicely with the salmon. Remember to pick up some Pernod as well. Next, hit the patisserie (pastry shop) for a fancy French dessert or two. Finally, breeze through the outdoor marché aux fleurs (flower market) for a fresh bouquet for that finishing touch to your presentation.
Selecting and preparing the salmon
I like to use fresh salmon fillets for this recipe. You can either choose two 6 oz. fillets or one large one that’s about 12 oz. or roughly 350g. If you’re using one large fillet, then cut it into two portions when preparing it. This will ensure that it cooks evenly and that each portion gets glazing on all sides.
The freshest fish will have little to no fishy aroma when you unwrap it. Also, what’s nice about using fresh salmon is that it will cook and flake more evenly. And it should be more tender and moist when cooked to the ideal doneness. For me, that’s when the salmon has just turned opaque. For food safety, make sure the thickest part of the salmon reaches 145°F.
Assembling the dish for baking
Preparing this dish is very simple. After getting all of the ingredients ready, preheat the oven to 400°F. Next, grease or apply cooking spray to a shallow baking dish. Place the salmon, skin-side down in the centre of the dish. Arrange the roasted red peppers around the salmon in the baking dish. Several brands of marinated roasted red peppers are available. If they’re too large, just slice them up to make it easier to fit them into the baking dish.
Next, drizzle the Pernod liqueur over the salmon and peppers. Top the salmon with thin dabs of butter. Then, sprinkle with salt, pepper and anise seeds. It’s now ready to pop into the oven. Just make sure your side dishes are close to ready since the salmon cooks quickly and you don’t want to overcook it. I like to give the salmon a check for doneness just before the cooking time is up.
Roasted potatoes and butter-braised Brussels sprouts make nice sides for the plate.
Salmon with Pernod
- 12 ounces salmon fillet (or 2, 6 oz fillets)
- 1 cup marinated roasted sweet peppers
- 2 ounces Pernod (or other anise flavoured liqueur)
- ½ tsp fresh ground pepper (or to taste)
- ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 1½ tbsp butter
- ½ tsp anise seeds
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Rinse the salmon fillet(s) then pat dry with a paper towel. If you have one large fillet, cut it in half, lengthwise.
- Place the salmon pieces, skin side down in the middle of a greased baking dish, then arrange the red peppers around the salmon.
- Drizzle the liqueur over the salmon and red peppers.
- Top the salmon evenly with thin slices of butter.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper and anise seeds.
- Cook uncovered for about 10-12 minutes for average thickness fillets or about 3-5 minutes more for thicker ones.
- Carefully remove the fillets from the pan and arrange on serving plates. Drizzle the remaining pan liquids over the salmon. Serve immediately.
NutritionPer serving Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 4g | Iron: 4mg
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