Salmon and bacon are made for each other. A really easy way to cook them together is to put fresh basil leaves on top of a salmon fillet, cover with bacon strips and lots of freshly cracked black pepper, and cook in a hot (preheated) broiler. The salmon comes out moist and perfumed with basil and the flavors of the bacon. As perfect as that is, this dish, which adds basil mashed potatoes and red onion sauce, is my new favorite.
Chop the basil stems, and moisten them with
Take the salmon out of the dish and wipe off the basil stems, saving them to put on the fire when you are grilling the salmon. Flatten the pieces of salmon slightly with the palm of your hand, and then with your hands form a
Put the onions in a saucepan with the thyme and
Blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for 1 minute, pushing the leaves under the water surface so that they do not blacken. Drain and refresh under cold water for a few seconds, and then puree immediately in a small blender with
Cook the potatoes and mash them through a ricer or food mill into a saucepan. Add the milk and beat it into the potatoes until just incorporated. Then whip the cream and fold it into the potatoes, and keep warm over a double boiler, for no longer than the time it takes to cook the salmon.
Grill or broil the salmon, turning once, for 3 to 4 minutes each side. Heat the onion sauce and whisk in the remaining
Mix the oil and lemon juice together and dress the herbs, season, and put the herbs on top of the salmon.
Serve with a warm spinach salad, and a sauce of sabayon made with fish stock and flavored with
On the mashed potatoes: Use bell pepper purees, red, yellow or both (separately), to flavor the mashed potatoes, and accompany the basil-flavored ones. Or use basil mashed potatoes side by side with ones flavored with mushroom hash.
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