Salmon Fillet in a Bay Leaf Cream

This is a delicate summer dish. New potatoes make a perfect accompaniment, together with either really freshly picked peas or broad beans or frozen petits pois. Ask your fishmonger to fillet and skin the salmon for you.

Ingredients

  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • 50 g/2 oz plain flour
  • 300 ml/½ pint white wine
  • 300 ml/½ pint double cream
  • 2 teaspoons dried or bottled green peppercorns
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • about 675 g/ lb tail piece of salmon, filleted and skinned
  • good handful fresh dill
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Method

Melt the butter gently in a heatproof casserole on top of the stove. Then remove from the heat and stir in the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the white wine, followed by the cream. Season with salt and a little black pepper. Return to the heat and bring up to bubbling point, stirring all the time. Continue stirring the bubbling mixture for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Then stir in the green peppercorns and bay leaves, cover and barely simmer over the lowest possible heat for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile slice the salmon evenly across at 5mm-1.25cm/¼-½in intervals.

Add the sliced salmon to the sauce, cover again and continue to simmer very gently for 5-10 minutes, until the salmon is lightly cooked through but still a darker pink in the centre — the time will depend on how thickly the fish has been sliced. Check the sauce for seasoning, chop the dill roughly and add it to the dish just before serving.

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