A nice healthy salad with an appealing flavor!
There is two methods of poaching. One method is to add an item to cold poaching liquid and then bring the liquid to a boil. This creates an exchange of flavor. The poaching liquid is usually served along with the poached item using this method or a sauce is made with the poaching liquid.
The second method is to place an item in hot poaching liquid. With this method, only the item being poached gains flavor and there is minimal flavor released into the poaching liquid.
Flavored poaching liquid is usually called a court bouillon. Court bouillon is a short broth that is not complex. Court bouillon is simmered for about 30 minutes, so the aromatic additives can release there flavor, before adding an item to be poached.
Court bouillon is usually only seasoned with a few traditional ingredients, because the court bouillon can be used to make specific classic recipes after the poaching is done. Aromatic mirepoix vegetables or just onion is in many court bouillons. A bouquet garni of leek, thyme, parsley and bay leaf or just 1 bay leaf is added. Whole black peppercorns and sea salt are always added. Garlic is an option. Lemon is usually added. White wine is optional. These are the items that can be in a classic court bouillon. Nothing else!
Many times the court bouillon is simply discarded after poaching. Adding an extra herb may render the court bouillon useless for traditional classic applications. For example, by adding fennel seed, a court bouillon is useless for most classic applications. When in a French kitchen, every item is prepared with specific ingredients for a reason. As a cook, trying to be creative by adding a flavor of personal taste will result in a French chef putting the cook back on potato peeling duty!
Sometimes a fume' (clear whitefish stock) is used for the liquid in a court bouillon for fish or seafood. This type of court bouillon is usually served as "en fume'" or as an accompanying fume' after straining or clarification.
After poaching, if the recipe does not call for the court bouillon to be retained, the court bouillon can optionally be saved to make a light sauce or soup at a later time. When poaching six fish filets in a court bouillon, a small amount of nice tasting broth is created and it is a shame to let it go to waste.
Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium high heat.
Add 4 cups of water. (Add enough water to cover the fish filet with about 2" of liquid!)
Add 1 bay leaf.
Add 1 small handful of onion slices.
Add sea salt and a few black peppercorns.
Add 1 whole garlic clove.
Add 1 small squeeze of lemon juice.
Bring the court bouillon to a boil.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Gently simmer the court bouillon for 30 minutes.
Add water is necessary to keep the original level of liquid.
Note: The vinaegrette, and the salad set up plate can be prepared while the court bouillon simmers! Be sure to boil 1 hard boiled egg to be used as a garnish later in the recipe.
Masago Vinaegrette Recipe:
This vinaegrette is a loose emulsion. I will write about the different types of vinaegrette consistencies in another recipe. A loose emulsion is nice for a salad like this one!
Capelin roe is Japanese masago. Masago is commonly used for sushi making. It has a light gentle tasting fish roe flavor.
Place 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil into a small mixing bowl.
Add 4 teaspoons of rice vinegar.
Add black pepper and sea salt.
Add 1 small squeeze of lemon juice.
Add 1 pinch of minced Italian parsley.
Add 1 tablespoon of capelin roe.
Stir the ingredients together to make the vinaegrette.
Boston Lettuce Salad Set Up Plate:
Place a mound of Boston lettuce leaves on the center of a plate.
Place a few peeled cucumber slices around the lettuce on the plate.
Place a few plum tomato wedges around the lettuce on the plate.
Sprinkle some very thin julienne sliced carrot over the lettuce.
Set the salad set up plate aside.
Ocean Perch Poached en Court Bouillon:
Raise the temperature of the court bouillon to medium/medium high heat.
When the court bouillon comes to a gentle boil, place a 5 to 6 ounce ocean perch filet in the court bouillon. (Leave the skin attached to the ocean perch filet.)
When the perch becomes fully cooked, set the fish on a plate.
Pour 1 ounce of the court bouillon liquid over the poached perch to keep it moist.
Allow the poached ocean perch to cool to almost room temperature
Salad of Ocean Perch Poached en Court Bouillon on Boston Lettuce with Masago Vinaegrette:
Set the poached filet of ocean perch on top of the mound of lettuce.
Set a thick slice of hard boiled egg on the perch.
Stir the masago vinaegrette.
Spoon the masago vinaegrette over the egg, perch and salad.
As many of my readers have noticed, I do leave room for further garnishing in many of my recipes. Adding micro sprouts or a sprig of mild leafy herb would give this salad a nice personalized touch!
Poached ocean perch has a very light and delicate flavor. The capelin caviar is very mild tasting too. This is a nice light summer salad that tasty and healthy! ... Shawna