Basque Stage Candidate Post

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About every couple of months I like to do a little spring cleaning in the old refrigerator to avoid any expired foods and clear room for seasonal foods. This time the lucky candidate to be prepared with the remaining ingredients in the refrigerator is a nice piece of fresh Atlantic salmon. While going through my inventory I took out some rainbow chard, fresh organic baby carrots, an onion, some homemade pickled beets and a bottle of sweet Reisling. These ingredients are the beginning of a beautiful dish, but it was missing something. So I grabbed some Japonica rice. Oh, right…Japonica rice, of course. I would be lying to you if I said I was familiar with Japonica, however my mother is the queen of obscure grains and left this bag at my house a few weeks ago. It is somewhat similar to forbidden rice with short grain black rice, however Japonica also includes a medium grain mahogany grain rice. It comes out looking like a very dark mahogany shade and looks great against bright colors.

I cooked the rice in some chicken stock and added a little butter (never hurt anybody). I then blanched the rainbow chard in boiling, salted water to soften and bring out the color of the stalks. Once they were soft enough, I shocked the chard in ice water to stop the cooking process. I repeated the same process with the carrots and moved on to the salmon. As usual, fresh salmon really does not need too much seasoning so the only seasoning it gets is salt and pepper. I quickly pan seared the fish and deglazed the pan with the rest chicken stock. Next I added the carrots and their greens to the pan and let the salmon poach in the liquid until firm. I felt like the dish was lacking some acidity so I thinly sliced a half of an onion, sweat it in a pan and deglazed with the Riesling. I let the Riesling reduce and added a little of the pickled beet juice for color and flavor. Lastly came the plating and the inhalation of this dinner. The chard and carrots were a nice and tender texture but still kept their form. The chard was lightly coated in the juice that the onion was cooked in and the salmon had the slightest bit of “pink” in the middle. Man I love spring cleaning…

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About gregacinapura

Culinary Graduate 2012
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