Saturday, August 27, 2011
Salmon over Shallot and Blue Cheese Grits with Balsamic Glaze
I didn't expect to love this combination so much. It may be my new favorite. Reducing balsamic vinegar is like trying to raise a child from start to finish in 15 minutes. If you leave it alone for half a second, it will scorch and become unusable so keep a watchful eye. The upside is when reduced correctly and poured over the blue cheese grits and salmon, it is pure magic.
Salmon with Balsamic Glaze over Shallot and Blue Cheese Grits
Glaze, via Giada Delaurentiis:
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed or chopped
In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and garlic to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thick, about 12 minutes. DO NOT LEAVE IT ALONE AS IT CAN BURN AND BECOME A STICKY, RUINED MESS IN SECOND. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Shallot and Blue Cheese Grits:
2 TB butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup quick grits
1/2 cup packed blue cheese
2 TB Parmesan
2 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Fresh thyme, from 3 stalks
Salt and pepper
In a medium lidded pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, sauteing for 5 minutes or just until softened and becoming pink. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, stir in the grits. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook, stirring every so often for 7-8 minutes until the grits have cooked and absorbed the liquid. Reduce the heat to low if not already on low, and stir in the blue cheese, parmesan, cream cheese, oregano and thyme. Once melted in and blended, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Four 6-ounce center-cut salmon fillets, skinned
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the salmon on the baking sheet. Drizzle both sides of the salmon with the olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
To serve, add grits to a plate to make a 'bed' for the salmon. Add the salmon over the top and drizzle with the glaze letting the grits absorb the excess. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.