Mar 2, 2008

Like a fish in water...

Well, I think anyone who reads this blog will soon realize that I love fish and seafood. Those alternatives to meat and chicken that come out of the sea just do something to my senses- really they do, and I don't want to sound ridiculous when I say that they "do something to my senses". Their colours and smells just scream seasides to me, and maybe that adds a touch of nostalgia as I'm very attached to mediterranean regions...being near the beach, near the water, sunshine, etc.

So with the salmon, asparagus and basil I had just bought I thought of doing something classic but presented in a (hopefully) nice way. I'm not sure if this dish has a name, but in all my years that I've lived in France, I've always noticed a usual item that appears on most restaurant menus is salmon with pasta in a creamy-lemony sauce, and it's delicious indeed...except that... well, from my personal experience, I always found the presentation of this dish to ressemble something a baby would eat, sort of baby foodish-like. Shreads of salmon swimming in a gigantic dish of creamy pasta, like someone had to cut the fish for you because you can't do it yourself...don't know if I'm making any sense when I talk about a baby-food styled dish here. But anyway.
I went ahead and did pretty much that same classic dish, but added some basil and veggies on the side, and put some extra effort into the presentation, which I hope turned out to be appealing :-)

Recipe for salmon, tagliatelle in basil-lemon cream sauce & asparagus:

  • Salmon filets
  • Tagliatelle
  • Liquid thick cream
  • Lemon peel
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Pesto
  • Salt & Pepper to season

How to make it:

I would recommend that you start with a mise-en-place. Leave the oven on a very low heat. Remove the little "spikes" from the asparagus, cut the bottoms and set aside. Peel some lemon zest and dice very finely, set aside. Chop some basil leaves, set aside. Then bring out the salmon, dry with a clean tissue and season before cooking it. Start off by boiling the tagliatelle, and when ready set aside. Immediately after cook the asparagus and heat a pan with a dash of olive oil for the salmon. Place the salmon and cook according to your taste (I personally don't like it too raw). When the asparagus and salmon are ready, place them in the low-heat oven so they stay warm. In the meantime, heat some cream in a pan, add the lemon peel, basil, some salt & pepper and throw in the tagliatelle. Mix well until all the tagliatelle is covered with the sauce. Pull out your plate and place all items that should logically be at the right serving temparature.

If you wish to decorate the dish, you can paint a thick stripe of pesto (dip a brush into pesto and paint), and fry basil leaves and add some ultra thin lemon peels.

P.S: you can also replace the asparagus by snap peas, which are equally delicious with salmon and pasta.


Evelin said...

You should have your own TV show - 'Pimp my dinner'!:D

Brilynn said...

Beautiful presentation! That looks delicious!

Julie said...

Your presentation is stunning!

Suzanne said...

your photos are beautiful! What equipment do you use, and how on earth do you get the colors so perfect! I'm struggling with that myself.

liz said...

This is gorgeous! I love the pesto stripe addition.

danny said...

was the skin crispy? i made salmon tonight and it cooked all the way through (boo..) but the skin was super crispy!

Marianna said...

Evelin- haha, I'll let you know if that ever happens!! Thanks for your comment :-)

Brilynn & Julie- thank you thank you!!

Suzanne- Thanks so much, but quite honestly I do not use any equipment except that I try to take the photos at the right time of the day to catch some natural daylight, and then I'll edit the contrast & brightness if necessary. I'm seriously clueless about all the techniques and accessories professional photographers use!

Liz- thanks, just poke a paintbrush into a pot of pesto!

Danny- no it was not crispy...just soft enough to remove... I didn't leave this one to cook all the way through. Thanks for your comment :-)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Marianna, your food is always stunningly presented. I love looking at your dishes, they're beautiful!

And this recipe I will have to try, since I love every single ingredient you used here!

Marianna said...

Thank you so much Patricia! Sorry I havent indicated the precise quantities per ingredient bc I don't measure while cooking. Eyeball everything, that's what works best :-) For pastry however I respect quantities religiously!

Kate / Kajal said...

Such fantastic presentation Marianna. Definitely Michelin star class !!
That is such a gr8 piece of fish. I wish we could get salmon here.Or better still just pass that gorgeous plate over :)

Cenk said...

Marianna - I am speechless. What a wonderful presentation. Such bright colors. Everything looks amazing!