At Little River Cafe, our poached Salmon was a constant favorite. As with the leg of lamb, it seemed that less was more: Salmon doesn't deserve being masked with sauce or over-prepared. After working on his boat, Jacques would go to the Noyo harbor and choose every fish by feel, since the first secret to good fish is absolute freshness.
With salmon, a simple preparation and sauce is always best.
Start with impeccably fresh fish, and let your ingredients shine, as follows:
Prepare a court-bouillon of one cup dry white wine, 1 quart water or light fish stock, one onion and one carrot, both chopped, several parsley stems, 1 tsp. sea salt, a sprig of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried, 1 bay leaf, and 6 peppercorns. Bring to boil and simmer 1/2 hr.
Strain it into a deep flat pan or fish poacher, bring to boil and gently add Salmon fillets or steaks of 1/3 to 1/2 pound per person. Adjust heat to keep it just at the simmer point while they poach, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small pan floating in the poacher, melt for each fillet: 3 Tbsp. sweet butter, with the juice of one-half lemon, 1/2 tsp. CLOUDS BLEND HERBS, and some finely-chopped parsley. When the salmon flakes with a fork and has just become opaque in the thickest part, remove, drain well, and serve on a warm plate with the lemon-butter sauce. Very simple, very good.