Monday, August 9, 2010

Salmon with Fennel and Pernod

I love the smell of the toasting fennel seeds, in fact this whole recipe makes the house smell terrific, which is always a good start to any dinner.  I served it with a bottle of Marsanne Roussanne, from Cline and a little music by Taken By Trees.  Dinner can't get any better than this.

Salmon with Fennel and Pernod
2 servings

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1 large fennel bulb with fronds; bulb quartered, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; 2 tablespoons fronds chopped, divided

2 salmon fillets, 6- to 7-ounces each
2 tablespoons Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur

Stir fennel seeds in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Transfer seeds to small bowl; cool.  Mix in butter, shallots, and 1 tablespoon fennel fronds; season butter mixture with salt and pepper.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter mixture in same large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add sliced fennel bulb and 1/4 cup water to skillet; cover and cook until fennel is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.  Uncover skillet and saute' until fennel begins to brown, about 2 minutes.  Transfer fennel to plate.

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.  Add 1 tablespoon butter mixture to same skillet and melt over medium heat.  Add salmon; cover and cook 5 minutes.  Turn salmon over; add 1/4 cup water to skillet.  Cover and continue cooking until salmon is just opaque in center, about 5 minutes longer.  Slide salmon to 1 side of skillet; return fennel to skillet.  Add Pernod, 2 teaspoons butter mixture, and remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds; stir to heat through.

Divide fennel mixture between 2 plates.  Top with salmon; spoon remaining butter mixture over salmon.