salmon with red wine butter

it's a dreary day here in Portland. that kind of day where you just want to curl up inside on the couch with a good book and all the windows open so you can hear the rain dancing on the streets. the kind of day that begs for an outstanding meal, or at least something to satisfy your belly and linger on your tongue. the kind of day that begs for a nice, big glass of red wine.
I can not even remember the last time I purchased and cooked any seafood at home. it's always a little over my budget to pick out a few nice pieces of fish, therefore we usually save seafood for special occasions or when we're eating out. but yesterday while I was making the big list for our trip to the grocery store, I decided I really wanted to cook some fish. and salmon it was.
when I first discovered this recipe, I half intended to make it exactly as it was written. though, when I went to the grocery store, I didn't make it home with some of the vital ingredients, therefore I had to substitute with what I had on hand. I substituted cranberry juice for the orange juice and regular chunky tomato sauce for the tomato paste. and to be perfectly honest, it turned out fantastic. next time I'll allow for left overs, as I sit here, mouth watering, eating my boring PB&J.

Salmon with Red Wine Butter
adapted from Gourmet, September 2004
makes 4 servings

:: for red wine butter ::
I halved the original recipe because I ended up with a LOT of left over butter.
1/2 cup full-bodied dry red wine. I used an extra dry Cab from Sonoma.
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (3 to 4)
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

• combine wine, shallots, juice, vinegar, tomato paste, and bay leaf in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan and boil over moderately high heat until mixture is thick and jamlike and reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes.
discard bay leaf.
• transfer mixture to a small bowl set in a bowl of ice and cold water and stir until cold to the touch, about 5 minutes.
• remove from ice water and stir in zest, butter, salt, and pepper with a rubber spatula until incorporated.

:: for salmon ::
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 (1-inch-thick) salmon fillets (each about 1/2 lb)
2 tablespoons olive oil

• preheat broiler. line rack of a broiler pan with foil.
• pat fish dry, then brush both sides with oil (2 tablespoons total) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
• broil fish about 5 inches from heat, turning over once, until just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes total.

• Top each fillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine butter.

• serve with the same wine you cooked it with.
• if wine isn't your thing, or you're like me and you'd rather wash down your meals with a beer, I paired this last night with Sierra Nevada Harvest Fresh Hop Ale. and it was pretty darn tasty.

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Anonymous Lauren said...

Do you know that you were the first person to show me how to make chicken fajitas? I visited you the summer before freshmen year at FSU...and you showed me how to cut the chicken, vegetables and toss it all together in the pan...simple now, but i remember thinking...wow, alyson is such a good cook!

May 23, 2008 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Aran said...

sounds good right now... a good movie and some salmon. i like that.

May 23, 2008 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger alyson. said...

yes! salmon, red wine, and a good movie sound fantastic. think I'll be heading to the rental store tonight!

May 23, 2008 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

this looks so yummy. looks like I'm going to be heading to Pike's market for some fresh salmon this weekend!

May 23, 2008 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

oh my gosh. your pear pizza made me drool, and this looks delicious, too. i love salmon recipes :)

May 26, 2008 at 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

that looks really divine. i love salmon.

May 29, 2008 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger Fifi Flowers said...

YUM! Love your food postings! Making me hungry at 7:30am for salmon... I don't think the kids and hubby would go for a breakfast like that though ;)

May 30, 2008 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Y said...

Sounds delish. And left over red wine butter can't be a bad thing.. Perfect for more future salmon dishes :)

June 1, 2008 at 2:44 AM  
Blogger Tartelette said...

Saveur has a salmon recipe with red wine sauce this month and it left me hesitant but after reading your post, I am all in!

June 3, 2008 at 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Sophie said...

I'm Sophie, Key Ingredient's Chief Blogger. We would like to feature this revised recipe on our blog. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)


June 5, 2008 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Enchanted Royals said...

This is obviously way past the fact, but my girlfriends and I made this tonight. It was, as you clearly know, fantastic. Because there were only three of us and thus large amounts of leftover red wine shallot butter, we also put the butter on some sauteed mushrooms. All in all, holy crap, A+.

February 27, 2009 at 1:41 AM  

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