Perfectly seared salmon is something to be proud of, but add in a rich classic French emulsion and you’ve reached a new peak of culinary perfection! #TeamFeedfeed was in London getting a behind the scenes look of life as a culinary student at Le Cordon Bleu, which involved a demo of one of the dishes the students had to make: Salmon Ballontine with Champagne Beurre Blanc. While we’re not going to whip up a fish mousse and poach it rolled up in strips of salmon, we ARE going to make a Champagne Beurre Blanc to add tang and decadence to seared salmon fillets.
If this is your first time in emulsion city, let’s break it down. First up, you’ll make a gastrique, which refers to reducing Champagne and vinegar with shallots and peppercorns until almost completely evaporated before whisking in lots of cold butter. The result? A luscious sauce with the perfect balance of richness and tang!
Pick up some salmon and challenge yourself to step up your dinner game!
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- 2 cups Champagne
- 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar, or white wine vinegar
- 1/ 2 teaspoon crushed, plus more freshly ground to taste whole black peppercorns
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 4 (8 ounce) salmon fillets
- Kosher salt, as needed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- chopped, for garnish Fresh parsley
In a medium saucepan, combine the champagne, vinegar, peppercorns and shallot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to about ¼ cup liquid, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the salmon with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet and cook, starting skin side down and flipping once, until golden brown and cooked medium, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
Once the champagne mixture is reduced, turn heat to low and slowly whisk in the cold butter until a smooth sauce forms. Season with salt, then spoon over the salmon. Garnish with chopped parsley, then serve.