Salmon with Vodka & Lemon Sauce
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To prepare the salmon:
Make a spice mixture with the salt, pepper, onion powder and paprika.
Sprinkle gently over both sides of the salmon fillets.
In a nonstick sauté pan, bring the olive oil to a sizzle over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat to low and add the salmon fillets. Cook exactly 2 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the softened butter to the fish to baste and glaze it.
To prepare the Vodka and Lemon Sauce:
In a saucepan, add the olive oil and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to sizzle.
Add the carrot, celery, white onion, garlic, dill, capers, tomato sauce and agave nectar. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring well, for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the vodka and reduce by half (about 2 to 3 minutes), then add the clam juice, chicken stock and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the whipping cream. Stir well and cook the sauce, covered, over low heat for 45 to 50 minutes.
Strain the sauce, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and add a slurry made of 2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Stir well and reduce by a third (about 5 to 6 minutes), then reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce, uncovered, for 10 more minutes.
Bring the sauce to a boil and add 3 tablespoons of softened butter. Turn off the heat and incorporate the butter in the sauce, stirring well.
Serve the salmon in a dish, topped with the vodka and lemon sauce, and garnished with parsley. Enjoy with radicchio and spinach sauté and fried capers (below).
To prepare Radicchio & Spinach Sauté with Lemon Zest & Garlic:
In a 12-inch sauté pan, cook the oil over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until it starts to sizzle.
Add the lemon zest, shallots and garlic, and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
Add the radicchio and cook, stirring well, for 1 more minute. Add the salt and the pepper, and stir well.
Turn off the heat, add the spinach, and mix all the ingredients together, stirring well. Serve at once.
CHEF’S TIP: Alternatively, once you have finished cooking the radicchio, place the spinach in a large stainless-steel bowl and pour the lemon zest-and-garlic mixture over it. Mix well, and serve at once.
To prepare Fried Capers:
Cook the olive oil over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until it starts to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the capers, and fry, stirring well, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Let the capers cool on a dish lined with a paper towel. Serve while still warm.