Monday, June 21, 2021
Salmon and Corn
Salmon and Corn
Salmon and corn work in harmony for the ultimate summertime compilation. The salmon is lightly shallow poached without ever seeing the heat of the oven. This method coagulates the proteins of the side of the salmon in contact with the pan, while leaving the top half rare. A thin slice of smoked salmon is cut in the exact shape of the salmon portion and carefully placed atop the salmon to create a unique contrast between the fresh and smoked salmon.
The bountiful harvest of corn in the summer provides chefs with an opportunity to capitalize on the inherent sweetness of the plant. Lightly coat the ears of corn with oil and season thoroughly with salt. Grilling corn is an outstanding way to elevate the humble ingredient to new heights. Char the corn lightly and evenly around the circumference and then remove the kernels from the cob. The charred kernels will be cooked through in the finishing stages of a sweet corn risotto. Slice the cobs in chunks to maximize their surface area and cover with water in a pot to make a delectable corn stock. The amount of flavor extracted from just the cob of the corn alone is truly a remarkable phenomenon. This stock will be the base cooking liquid for the sweet corn risotto.
While some of the kernels will be charred and folded into the finished risotto, the majority of the kernels are to be simmered with the cobs in the creation of the corn stock. Not only will this process fortify an otherwise delicate broth, it will provide the ability to turn the kernels into a luxurious puree when fully cooked in the corn broth. This puree will be folded into the risotto towards the end of cooking—to preserve its fresh flavor—thereby enhancing the corn flavor and elevating the risotto to another level.
To begin the risotto, aromatics are sweated, providing the rice with a lovely flavor base which it will absorb and further develop. Leeks and celery are used as a base to this risotto since the idea of a corn chowder typically requires these aromatics as a base. While risotto is not as hearty or decadent as chowder, it carries a distinct richness in its preparation that lends well to similar flavor profiles. Once the aromatics are sweated out in butter, a natural partner for corn, risotto rice is added and coated in the fat. The incredibly sumptuous corn stock is added in batches, each time allowing the rice to fully absorb its bountiful flavor. Once the rice begins to tenderize, the charred corn shall be gently folded into the intoxicating mixture. The corn puree will bring a beautiful sheen and brightness to the risotto, not to mention an unmatchable boost in flavor. A final addition of butter and crème fraiche will enhance the richness and depth of flavor in this incredible risotto.
The final component tying the two incredible ingredients together is a reduction sauce. Corn stock is
reduced until becoming an amazing glacé and combined with an aromatic fumet (fish stock). This mixture is again reduced and finally mounted with a touch of butter to create a luxurious broth poured around the salmon and risotto. This wonderful summer treat will surely excite palates and satisfy sophisticated appetites.