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A chunk of poached salmon generously slathered with homemade tartar sauce is only slightly more difficult to prepare than boiled water. Photo by Fran Hill.
A chunk of poached salmon generously slathered with homemade tartar sauce is only slightly more difficult to prepare than boiled water. Photo by Fran Hill.

In Hot Water

Apr 25, 2012

After blogging for almost 6 years, I had come to the point where I not only accepted, but embraced the fact that I am only a “sometimes blogger.” I had decided that I didn’t need to adhere to a publishing schedule. It better suited my style to just blog when I had something to say or an excellent recipe that I had to share RIGHT NOW. I was OK with that. I hoped that my readers were, too. If not, there were lots of other bloggers out there that were regular posters. I couldn’t be everything to everyone all of the time. To make it work for me, I had to do what I loved in a way that I loved doing it.

Then, South Dakota Magazine approached me about doing submissions for this website. It has been an excellent opportunity to expand my audience, but threw a wrench into all that Zen. The magazine has a schedule. I *had to* find something to say on a regular basis.  And, more importantly, I had to prep and photograph more recipes that were worth sharing. Yikes. There goes my carefree blogging.

This week, I felt like I was in hot water. There are a lot of things going on in my life, and I lost track of the days. Suddenly, this deadline was hitting me upside the head. Thankfully, I knew just what to share. A recipe that specifically calls for hot water would be perfect, no?

Poaching salmon is one of the easiest preparations for this firm, meaty fish. Homemade tartar sauce isn’t difficult, either…and sooooo much better than jarred stuff. If you can boil water, you can make this, even under the pressure of a deadline. Hot water is a good thing, this time.

Poached Salmon with Homemade Tartar Sauce

(adapted from Rachael Ray) 

1/2 cup mayonnaise
Juice and grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 large dill pickle, finely chopped (I am lucky enough to have a stash of delicious, homemade garlic dills from a friend.)
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
2 dashes hot pepper sauce
4 salmon fillets, 1-inch thick
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, pickle, chives and hot sauce; cover and refrigerate. Cut four sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, large enough to cover salmon to make a foil pouch. Place each salmon fillet on a sheet and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil over the salmon to enclose, then and press the foil on the cut sides to seal. (You need a waterproof pouch.)

Carefully drop the packets in the boiling water, cover and cook until the salmon is just firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer each packet to a plate and carefully cut open. Serve with the tartar sauce. Serves 4.

Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and two dogs reside near Colome.


08:16 am - Fri, April 27 2012
Hmmmm Fran....kinda the way you fix lutetisk...only you don't need to wrap lutefisk in foil...just pop the beautiful piece of white cod in boiling water...and when the water reboils...just lift it out with a slotted spoon or spatula...salt, pepper, and plenty of melted butter....And you could tell Laura that one could maybe save the lutefisk water in a little bottle....and it could be a fantastic mosquito repellent. Just a thought.
08:24 am - Fri, April 27 2012
Laura said:
Grant - My main issue with lutefisk water as mosquito repellent is that it's sure to be a powerful Norwegian attractor. I might end up with more Norwegians than I know what to do with. My butter supply is limited, after all.I'm a little worried about what it might do to the skin, too. My dad moves dirt for a living, and one would swear that the grease and dirt embedded in his hands would never come out...then lutefisk season rolls around. One lutefisk-cooking session and they're lily-white and spotless. I am not exaggerating.Fran - the salmon looks DELICIOUS. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
10:14 am - Fri, April 27 2012
Ja Laura....Uffda....I didn't even give thought to the problems that could be created by the application of Lutefisk Water as Mosquito repellent....You'd most likely rid the area of mosquitoes...but then? A garden full of Norskies? And then the next thing, you'd have a garden full of rutabagas and potatoes then. Uffda Meg..we do live in a complicated world.

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