Alder-Planked Salmon with Egg Sauce

Be sure to buy untreated cedar or alder planks. Soak the planks thoroughly in water so that you don't run the risk of a flare-up in the oven.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

For the salmon:

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 cedar or alder planks, or 2 untreated cedar shingles or shims (available at lumberyards), about 5 inches wide and 12 inches long, soaked at least 2 hours, or overnight, so as not to flame up

Olive oil

For the Egg Sauce:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1 teaspoon minced shallots or scallions

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup fish stock, chicken stock or low-salt canned chicken broth

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely grated or chopped

1 teaspoon fresh chives, optional

1 tablespoon Californian sturgeon caviar, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add shallots and saute 1 minute. Season with a pinch of salt. Add lemon juice, wine, stock and cream. Simmer over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
  3. Lower the heat and whisk in the remaining butter 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece when the previous one is almost melted.
  4. Add hot sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, into a bowl. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Mix together the mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Brush the top of the salmon fillets with the melted butter. Season both sides with the mustard mixture and set aside.
  6. Put the soaked shingles in the oven, directly on the racks, for about 3 to 5 minutes until the wood is lightly browned on top. Carefully take the shingles out of the oven and place them on a heat-proof surface.
  7. Turn on the oven broiler.
  8. Immediately brush the shingles with a thin layer of olive oil and lay the salmon fillets, skinned side down, on the browned side of each shingle. Place the shingles under the broiler and cook the fish for about 5 to 7 minutes, until firm but not dry. Remove the fillets to a platter or serve directly from the shingles.
  9. Just before serving, stir the parsley and grated eggs into the reserved warm egg sauce. Fold in chives and caviar if using. Top the fillets with the egg sauce and a sprinkling of chives, and a dollop of caviar if using.

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