Typically, when I prepare fish, I pretty much leave it alone. A little salt and pepper, and that’s it. Because my theory is that if it’s good fish, then why cover up its delicate flavor with seasonings and sauces?
But salmon is different in my mind, with its stronger flavor. It can really hold its own. So I decided to make a meal of salmon accompanied by a dish of curried spinach and mushrooms.
When I follow Indian recipes, I use the individual spices listed in the recipes. But it’s nice to have a good curry powder on hand. After testing this one, sweet curry powder from Penzey’s, I now always have it on hand. I think it’s excellent.
However, I don’t want my curry dishes to all taste the same, so sometimes if I use this curry powder, I might add some extra cumin or cinnamon. If you have a favorite curry powder, feel free to use it for this dish!
Here is my recipe for salmon and curried vegetables.
3 tablespoons olive or tasteless oil
1 small onion, halved thinly sliced
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
White pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 salmon filets, rinsed and dried on paper towels
3 tablespoons white wine
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
In a large wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them until soft. Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat a little, and sauté them until golden.
Add the garlic, give it a stir, then add the cream.
Stir to combine, then add the spinach. Stir gently to incorporate it, then turn down the heat to the lowest setting, put on a lid, and let the vegetables steam-cook for about five minutes.
Remove the lid and stir the vegetables. You want to reduce the liquid a bit, so let them cook over low heat for a few minutes. Then add the curry powder, white pepper, nutmeg and salt. Stir well, then set aside.
Heat the butter in a skillet over high heat. When the butter is browned, add the salmon, skin-side up and turn the heat to medium.
After five minutes, turn the filets over and lower the heat to its lowest setting. The salmon should be nicely browned.
Season the salmon with salt and white pepper. After another five minutes, the salmon should be cooked through, yet still tender in the middle; do not overcook them or they will be dry. The timing, of course, depends on the thickness of your salmon filets.
Remove the filets to a plate and heat the butter remaining in the skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the wine and a little turmeric, about 1/4 teaspoon. I added turmeric mostly for a little color.
Reduce the wine to just about one tablespoon, then add the cream. Reduce the cream sauce until there’s about three tablespoons left in the skillet and remove the skillet from the heat.
To serve, place the warm vegetables on the place and top with a salmon filet.
Then divide the cream sauce between the two servings.
The curried salmon was perfect with a pinot gris.