Stews and braises featuring fish and vegetables are ideal for nights when you want something a little lighter yet still satisfying, and quicker to make than a meat stew.
This salmon, braised for half an hour or so in an herby broth, is among a variety of recipes, including soups, stews, pot roasts and side dishes, featured in the Best of Fine Cooking: Comfort Food (Taunton Press), a newsstand-only special issue of Fine Cooking magazine.
“Braising the salmon infuses its flesh with the flavors of the aromatic vegetables and the wine,” the editors say. “Once you get the hang of this simple technique, you can experiment with your own herb and vegetable combinations.”
Braised salmon steaks with cilantro
The preparation and cooking time is about 30 minutes.
4 salmon steaks (about ½ pound each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Press on the salmon steaks to feel for the pin bones and remove them with your fingers or with pliers if they’re stubborn.
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the steaks until just browned on one side; flip them, and brown the other side.
Remove the salmon from the pan; drain off the fat. In the same pan, cook the onion, carrots and garlic over medium-high heat until soft and slightly golden, about 7 minutes.
Add the wine and 3/4 cup water to the pan to deglaze it.
Put the salmon back in the pan, cover, and cook until done, another 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the salmon from the pan, leaving the liquid and vegetables in the pan. Taste the sauce and, if necessary, boil for a few minutes to reduce it to intensify its flavor.
Add the cilantro and parsley to the sauce. Swirl in the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the vegetables over the salmon and spoon the sauce over all.
Makes 4 servings.