Oil-poached Wild White Alaskan King Salmon with Rhubarb Crème Fraîche

Recipe courtesy Chef Adrian Diday, Bear Track Inn, Glacier Bay, Alaska

4 6-ounce white King salmon fillets, skin on, from shoulder (tails cook faster)

¼ cup olive oil

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic

4 stalks rhubarb, peeled and chopped in 2–3-inch pieces

1 quart simple syrup

1 quart crème fraîche

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Place salmon, olive oil, bay leaves, and garlic in a heat-resistant Ziploc bag.  Put the bag into 105˚F water, being careful not to break the bag (Chef Diday uses a pasta strainer to keep it away from the sides of the pot), for 6–8 minutes (flip half way through) or until the desired degree of doneness is reached.

Poach the rhubarb in simple syrup for 3−5 minutes, then strain out rhubarb, reserving the simple syrup. Allow the rhubarb to cool completely, then purée it in a blender until smooth. If it is not blending well, add some of the simple syrup until you get it smooth.

Place the crème fraîche in a medium mixing bowl, and allow to come to room temperature. Add the rhubarb to the crème fraîche until you like the way it tastes. Add Kosher or sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Serves 4.

The Pairing

“I like a very full wine with this salmon,” says Chef Adrian Diday, of Bear Track Inn.

“With its round fruit flavors, the 1999 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet goes extremely well with the tasty trinity of fat, acid and salt in this dish. Also, the astringency of the crème fraîche really works to balance the fruit in the rhubarb, and all the flavors meld and harmonize well with the rich middle of the wine.”

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