Chilled, moist salmon served with a salad – preferably dressed in genuine salad cream – makes a very delicious entrée on a hot day. Somehow a poached piece of this coral coloured fish is also rather more posh than grilled salmon. Why is that? I have no idea but for whatever reason, serving poached fish demands real napkins while grilled can be served quite acceptably with a paper version.
I thought I had been poaching salmon for years but, as I think about it, I realize I have, in fact, been coddling salmon. While poaching requires gently cooking a food in liquid at just below the boiling point, coddling is even more gentle.
When coddling, the cooking liquid is brought to a simmer and then the food is added. Immediately the pan is covered and the heat is turned off. The fish cooks in the liquid very gently. It’s the exact same method that I use to hard cook eggs in their shells. The results are wonderful so why not give it a try yourself this week?
Dana’s Coddled Salmon Tips
1. Bring the cooking liquid (court bouillon, fish stock or even clam juice will do) to a boil.
2. Add the fish and return to a gentle boil.
3. Remove pan from heat.
4. Cover tightly.
5. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish is cooked to desired doneness.
6. Remove fish immediately if serving fish hot.
7. If serving fish cold, place pan in an ice bath to cool quickly. Refrigerate.
8. Remove fish from cooled juices only when ready to serve.