Tournedos of Copper River Salmon with Caramelized Turnips and Sea Urchin Sauce
Ingredients1/2 pound baby turnips or small regular turnips, trimmed and peeled 4 tablespoons unsalted butter Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper 2 teaspoons sugar 1 pound salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
Sea Urchin Sauce 1/2 cup dry vermouth 1 teaspoon minced shallots Pinch of minced fresh thyme 1/2 cup Veal stock 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled 2 lobes sea urchin roe Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Garnish Beet Oil Minced fresh chives Flatleaf parsley leaves
Procedure For the salmon: If using bite size baby turnips they can be left whole, but halve or quarter larger turnips so they are uniformly sized. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat until melted and foamy white. Add the turnips with a good pinch each of salt and pepper and toss well. Cook for about 2 minutes, then sprinkle the sugar over and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the turnips are tender and nicely caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and set aside, then reheat before serving.
Using a thin, sharp knife, cut away the dark flesh from the skinned side of the salmon fillet, then butterfly the salmon: With the knife horizontal to the work surface, start near the thinner belly side of the fillet and cut toward the opposite, thicker side of the fillet—cutting about 1⁄2 inch from the far edge (not all the way through). Fold the top half of the fillet open (like a book) to create a flat piece of fish with a fairly even thickness. Turn the entire fillet piece over so that the cut surface is now face down. Roll the fillet up snuggly, beginning at the thinner belly side. Set the cylinder on the work surface, seamside down, and securely tie the fish cylinder at four evenly spaced intervals with kitchen string. Trim the ends of the cylinder if necessary so they are very even. Cut between the strings to make 4 tournedos of even size; the string should be in the center of each tournedos. Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
For the sauce: Combine the vermouth, shallots, and thyme in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat and boil until reduced by half, 23 minutes. Add the veal stock and boil until reduced again by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Decrease the heat to mediumlow and whisk in the butter so that it melts creamily into the sauce. Whisk in the sea urchin roe and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (The sauce may be strained and/or pureed if you prefer.) Keep warm over low heat.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large ovenproof skillet over mediumhigh heat until it is melted, medium brown in color, and slightly nutty smelling. Add the salmon and cook until nicely browned, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the salmon is mediumrare (still translucent in the center), 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a warm plate, remove strings from each tournedos, and keep the fish warm. Warm the caramelized turnips over medium heat
To serve, arrange the caramelized turnips to one side of warm plates. Carefully transfer the salmon tournedos next to the turnips and spoon the sea urchin sauce around. Garnish the plate with dots of beet oil, sprinkle minced chives over the salmon, and add a small sprig of flatleaf parsley.