Salmon and Taters with Dijon Broth
Things just ain't the same without Daddy. For one thing, we don't eat nearly as well. Not that I don't enjoy a temporary vacation from the drudgery of the kitchenette, but just because I canuse his absence as an excuse to sup on nothing but edamame, cheap Spanish red, and the dregs of Halloween candy, doesn't mean I should.
Jesus, he's only been gone two days. He'll come home to find my bleached skeleton, picked clean by the feral young.
Anyhoo, the last meal we shared was a very satisfactory adaptation from this month's Bon Apetit.
Salmon and Taters with Dijon Broth
Boil 3/4 pound of little red new potatoes for about 12 minutes, until you can pierce them easily with a fork. Drain, return to the pot to dry, then cut 'em in half.
Melt a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of canola oil in a heavy skillet over a high flame.
Season up a couple of half pound salmon filets with salt and pepper, then lay them in the skillet, after four mintues, turn 'em over and let 'em swelter for another two minutes.
Transfer the cooked salmon to a baking dish and surround them with taters.
Slice a big shallot, and boil it in a heavy saucepan with a table spoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of pinot grigio. Let it boogie for the ten minutes or so it will take to reduce itself to a half cup's worth. Breathe in those pleasantly alcoholic vapors and meditate on Anthony Bourdain's comment that the one of the few differences between a professional chef and a talented amateur is the amount of shallots they go through in a week. I think that's what he said. My mother ran off with my copy and when I went back to Zionsville this past Thanksgiving, I noticed it permanently ensconced between Maeve Binchy and When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple. (I like to think that when I am an old woman, I shall wear leather and enjoy the company of men some forty years my junior, but there's no accounting for literary taste.)
Pick up your mental machete and prepare to start bushwhacking away from Bon Apetit's preordained path with 3/4 cup of vegetable broth courtesy of a Knorr bouillion cube and slightly less than a tablespoon of dried rosemary, because Jim and Andy's, the old man produce market was unexpectedly closed (I hope this doesn't mean what I think it might mean) and Pacific Green may be the only game in town to stock poblano peppers but apparently, fresh tarragon is an unknown commodity there, and once you've hauled it 2 blocks over and 5 blocks over, closer now to home than Met Foods, do you really want to retrace your route? Hell, no. Rosemary's great. Wouldn't it be awesome if your old dried-up Christmas tree was really rosemary? Every January, you could sweep up another lifetime supply.
Oh right, the broth and the rosemary. Add them to the sauce pan.
Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon? Good, add a 1/2 tablespoon of that to the saucepan, too, and bring it just to a boil, then pour over the the salmon and the taters and put that baking dish in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Five minutes before your timer's due to go off, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy skillet, chuck in a container of baby spinach and stir fry it for a minute to wilt, then divide between two shallow serving bowls. (The only kind of salmon my children will entertain is a la Sven Holmberg, so I only made two portions, but you can double, quadruple, hell, octuple as you see fit.) Top each bowl with a salmon filet than share out the potatoes and broth and for god's sake, don't go prissing things up with a tarragon twig. Don't even wipe the rim of the bowl!