Saturday, March 23, 2013

Salmon Filet Cutlet with Sauce Mornay, Indienne Tomato Herb Creme Potato


     This Salmon Filet Cutlet with Sauce Mornay, Duplex Indienne Tomato Herb Creme Potato and Rapini entree was one of many fish specials du jour that I cooked at the Le Cordon Bleu campus Technique Restaurant last autumn.  This classic old fashioned entree was sold to a customer, and a fellow employee snapped a few pictures of it.  The executive chef preferred simple classic presentations, so my fish specials were designed within those guidelines.  This is a good example of a 1980's style, clean looking, clutter free fine dining entree presentation.
    It is not often that a chef school restaurant gets a cook with plenty of experience on the cooking line.  Honestly I had no intention of doing my final six week externship at the school restaurant.  I was working at a historic luxury resort in Death Valley and car reliability problems forced me to work closer to home in Las Vegas.  The deadline was closing in for completing my externship, so I volunteered at the Technique restaurant.  I had fun working there, because I had some freedom to create.  I also was able to bring a few forgotten old recipes back into the limelight. 
     The creme potato in the pictures is a bit difficult to see in detail.  There are two shades of flavored potato.  The yellow color is indienne creme potato (curry creme) and the pastel orange color was a tomato herb flavored creme potato.  The two potatoes were placed in separate pastry bags, and the piped out of one shared star tip.  
     Since mushroom peelings help to flavor a supreme sauce, a peeled fluted portobello mushroom cap is a nice choice of garnish.  A classic mornay sauce is made with a supreme sauce and not a bechamel sauce.  Sauce supreme is a secondary sauce made from a veloute sauce that is thickened with white roux, instead of blonde roux.  For mornay, chicken veloute or white veal veloute is used to make the the supreme sauce.  Whitefish veloute is almost never used to make supreme sauce for mornay.  
     Generally, a sauce is not supposed to be poured over pan fried food, but partially pouring sauce over breaded fish and schnitzel was stylish in the 1980's and 1990's.  Breaded salmon is never thought of as being traditional.  If the salmon is very fresh and it has a mild flavor, then it can be breaded.  Stronger tasting salmon has to be poached, roasted, char grilled or broiled.  High quality northeast coast farm raised salmon is a good choice for this recipe.  Very fresh Alaskan salmon is another good choice, because the Alaskan fishery is well managed.

      Chicken Veloute:
     A white roux is used in place of a blonde roux, when making veloute for a sauce suprême.  The roux should not be a light tan blonde color.  
     This recipe makes 3/4 cup to 1 cup of veloute.
     Heat a small sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/3 ounces of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour, while stirring with a whisk.
     Constantly stir, till the roux cooks to a pale whitish golden color.
     Add 2 cups of French chicken stock.
     Raise the temperature to medium/medium high heat.
     Whisk the sauce occasionally as it comes to a gentle boil.
     When the sauce comes to a gentle boil, reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add a tied bouquet garni of:
     - Leek
     - Celery
     - 1/2 of a small bay leaf
     - 1 small prig of thyme
     - 2 parsley stalks
     Gently simmer and reduce the sauce for 35 to 40 minutes, so the roux flavor is no longer pasty tasting.  Reduce the sauce, till it becomes a thin sauce consistency.  There should only be about 1 cup of veloute sauce after the reduction is completed.
     Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a container.
     Add 1 pat of unsalted butter, while whisking.  (Monte au beurre.  This will keep a "skin" from forming on the veloute.)
     Set the veloute aside.

     Supreme Sauce:
     Place 1/2 cup of veloute sauce in a small sauce pot.
     Add 1 peeled trimmed sliced mushroom.
     Add 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of creme fraiche.  
     Note:  Modern creme fraiche is a mixture of 50% sour cream and 50% cream.  Only add enough creme fraiche to turn the veloute into a white color. 
     Place the pot over low heat.
     After the sauce heats, simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
     Whisk the sauce, till it becomes smooth.
     Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a container or second sauce pot.  Keep the sauce warm over very low heat for immediate use. 

     Mornay Sauce:
     Place 1/2 cup of dry white wine in a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Bring the wine to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.  
     Add 3/4 cup of the sauce supreme.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a very thin sauce consistency.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of grated gruyere or emmentaler (swiss cheese), while stirring.
     Stir till the cheese melts into the sauce.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a thin sauce consistency.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
     Add milk if the sauce becomes too thick.

     Duplex Indienne Tomato Herb Creme Potato:
     This recipe makes about 3 to 4 portions.  Piping through a duplex pastry bag requires some extra potato.
     Place 10 ounces of peeled russet potato in a sauce pot.  (2 medium size potatoes)
     Cover the potatoes with cold water.
     Boil the potatoes over medium high heat till they become soft.
     Drain the water off of the potatoes.
     Mash and rice the potatoes.
     Divide the potatoes into two separate small mixing bowls.  
     Keep the potato bowls warm on a stove top.
     • Indienne Creme Potato:
     Add 2 pats of butter to the mashed potato in one of the bowls.
     Add 1 pinches of garam masala.
     Add 2 pinches of turmeric.
     Add sea salt.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream.
     Whisk the potato till it becomes smooth.
     Place the indienne potato in a star tipped pastry bag.
     Keep the pastry bag warm on a stove top.
     • Tomato Herb Crem Potato:
     Add 2 pats of unsalted butter to the potato in the second mixing bowl.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground thyme.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground oregano.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground sage.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of tomato puree.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of tomato paste.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream.
     Whisk the mixture, till it is blended.
     Place the tomato herb potato in a pastry bag that has no metal tip attached.
     Flatten both pastry bags.
     Pick the cloth up on one side of the star tipped pastry bag to create a hollow tent in the bag.
     Slide the pastry bag with no tip inside the star tipped pastry bag.
     Twist the pastry bag ends together as one to seal the duplex pastry bag.   
     Keep the pastry bag warm on a stove to or in a pan that is set in a warm bain marie.

     Fluted Mushroom Garnish:
     A mushroom has to be firm an fresh, or it cannot be fluted!  Save the peelings for making stocks.
     Peel 1 medium size portabella mushroom.
     Remove the stem.
     Scrape the gills off with a spoon.
     Either use a paring knife or a sharp channeling tool to flute the mushroom cap.
     Heat a saute pan over medium low heat.
     Add 3 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add the fluted mushroom cap.
     Gently saute, till the mushroom becomes tender, and till a few golden brown highlights appear.
     Season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Keep the sauteed fluted mushroom garnish warm on a stove top.

     Salmon Filet Cutlet:
     Select a 6 ounce flat tail piece of skinned salmon filet or butterfly cut a thick filet, so it is an even thickness. 
     Season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Place 1 egg in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 pinch of minced chive.
     Add 1 pinch of minced oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of mince Italian parsley.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Dredge the salmon in flour.
     Dip the salmon in the egg wash.
     Dredge the salmon in medium fine French bread crumbs.
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 pata of unsalted butter.
     Add enough vegetable oil, so there is 1/4" of oil in the pan.
     Heat the oil to 360º.
     Pan fry the salmon on both sides, till it become a light golden brown color.  Only flip the salmon once.
     Place the salmon on a roasting pan.
     Roast the salmon in a 325º oven, till the center of the salmon becomes fully cooked.  (A probe thermometer should read 145º.)

     Salmon Filet Cutlet with Sauce Mornay, Indienne Tomato Herb Creme Potato:
     Place the salmon filet cutlet on a plate.
     Squeeze and pipe the duplex indienne tomato herb creme potato on the plate so it looks nice.
     Spoon a streak of the mornay sauce partially over the salmon and onto the plate.
     Place the fluted mushroom on the sauce on top of the salmon.
     Serve with a vegetable of your choice.
     The entree in the photos was served with sauteed braised rapini that was flavored with garlic, sea salt and white pepper. 

     This is a nice classic simple way to serve salmon.  Salmon Filet Cutlet with Sauce Mornay was popular 25 years ago and as I found out recently, it still impresses customers in today's age.  Yum!  ...  Shawna 

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