just me

Poached Salmon with Polenta

In Breads / Grains, Fish on January 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Oh, the colors! The textures! The flavors!

Okay, so, I never cook salmon. Not by design, but I’m not such a huge fan of it that it immediately comes to mind when I crave seafood. However, it was on sale the other day, and the fish guy was nice enough to cut me a fresh piece off of the fish. I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. Who couldn’t do with a bit more Omega acids in their diet? I forget which ones are the good ones – 3’s, 6’s, 10’s – but I know salmon’s got ’em.

Lacking a grill (the best way to make salmon delicious), I decided to poach it. I’ve never poached fish before! I can barely poach an egg. But then, the fish doesn’t freak out and go all weird when it hits the water. They live there, you see. So, yeah, how hard could it be? Well, turns out, it’s not hard at all, as long as you have nominal control over your motor skills. More on that later.

So here it is –

Poached Salmon with Polenta


For the Fish:

1 pound salmon fillet

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup or so water

1/4 cup onion, sliced thin

1 clove garlic, sliced

salt, pepper

1 handful fresh spinach

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

For the Polenta:

6 1/2 cups water

1 1/4 cups coarse corn meal

1/4 cup fine corn meal (Honestly, you could use all coarse, but adding a little fine makes it creamier.)


Do the polenta first – bring the water to a boil in a large pot, and SLOWLY stream in the corn meal, stirring as you go.  Reduce heat to a good simmer. You don’t have to stir constantly, but keep a close eye on it and stir frequently to keep it from sticking and burning. You’ll know it’s done when it pulls away from the side of the pot when you stir it. Cover it and set it aside – don’t worry- it will still be like lava by the time you’re done with the fish.

Now, do the fish – Put the water, wine, onion, and garlic in a large skillet, and heat on medium-high until it starts to simmer a bit. You don’t want a full rolling boil, or your fish will go to pieces, and so will you.

Rub the fish with the salt and pepper, and add to the pan, skin side down. Place the spinach DIRECTLY ON TOP OF the fish. Any stray leaves that cook in the water will end up soggy and unusable, so do your best to keep it on top of the fish. I know you will. Cover and let cook for about five minutes, or until desired doneness.

To serve, spoon polenta onto the plate, top with fish and spinach, then top the fish with the chopped tomato. If you sprinkle a little bit of basil and salt on the tomatoes, it makes it extra yummy. Just don’t pick up the fish with the spatula in your stupid hand, or it will repeatedly flop back into the pan, splashing fish liquid all over you and your kitchen. Don’t ask. Serve with roasted asparagus like I did, and you’ll probably finish it before you get to the table.

Okay, kiddies! Chicken tomorrow!


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