Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thai Style Salmon, WB Stylee’

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer


I was thinking of cold-water fish the other day, salmon to be exact.  From the Pacific Northwest Coast.  In my opinion, this is the best fish that money can buy.  And to go with Pacific Northwest Salmon, you need the right wine.  And this wine would be none other than a wine that has impressed me greatly, Cairnbrae Sauvignon Blanc. 

Cairnbrae Sauvignon Blanc is not like the fruit forward American or Italian Sauvignon Blanc wine that clutter store shelves at this price-point of fewer than twenty dollars. 

This is highly individualistic, quality white wine with notes of sub-tropical fruits, candied pink grapefruit, and juicy lime zest wrapped in a tangle of white flowers.  There are underlying notes of sea smoke, crushed stones and crisp acidity that wraps around your head in a most beguiling fashion.  

Coming into view are slices of juicy tangerine and thick chunks of broiled pineapple.  This is a most intriguing wine.  I like preparing dishes that hail from the Pacific Rim region with New Zealand wines; because these luxurious but not overly priced wines make your tropically influenced seafood preparations taste more delectable!

But what of the salmon, where does this fit in? 

I’m a fan of grilling pristine salmon as simply as possible.  If it’s line-caught and never frozen there is absolutely no reason to overly marinate this tender and flavor packed fish.  You only should marinate fish when it is previously frozen.  Frozen fish is not quite as unflawed as it should be- not that the fish is bad when it comes frozen, far from, there is just a very short window between perfect- and not quite so, that’s why frozen costs much less than fresh-never frozen.  

This recipe for Cairnbrae Sauvignon Blanc is delicious because the recipe has a great deal going on from a flavor perspective, with very little effort on your part.  Sure there are the miniscule slivers of blistering hot Thai Chilies and yes, there are crushed shallots cooked to sweet and melting along with paper thin slices of intensely scented, caramelized garlic, a pillow of palm sugar and a chiffonade of Thai Basil that smacks of the beauty of the salty air and the abundant sunshine. 

At the end of the day, this is a corporeal recipe for someone who lives right on the Pacific Rim and wants flavor to augment their perfectly crafted wine.  And if they don’t live in this part of the globe, and they do live in New York City and they want their foods to exude the opulent flavors of a very wild part of the planet, then they should dig right in and make this very easy to assemble dish.  

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite wines and for good reason.  Although I have never been to this part of the world I’m intrigued by it.  The diversity of the terroir in New Zealand makes their wines taste like nowhere else in the world.  The white wines are zesty, aromatic and wide-ranging across your tongue.  They swirl around your brain and tribally tattoo their own brand of exciting, deeply into your brain…. 

Forever. 

Thai Style Salmon, WB Stylee’
2 pounds salmon filet, thick slices, cut from the center of the fish
Crushed Sea Salt and Freshly cracked pepper
¼ oz. extra thin slices of super spicy, Thai Chilies (wear gloves!!)
½ oz. lime zest (very thinly sliced)
2 oz. caramelized shallot  (cook shallots low and slow in a ceramic vessel for an hour at 300, peeled)
2 oz. caramelized garlic (cook garlic, unpeeled in a ceramic vessel for an hour at 300)
Tiny pinch of Palm Sugar, about a tsp. will do. You don’t want this dish too sweet because the flavors won’t work
1 oz. Light Soy
1 oz. only…freshly squeezed lime juice  (this is why you add the sugar, it makes the dish have great balance of flavor to go with your wine)
2-3 oz. Cairnbrae Sauvignon Blanc

Combine all the wet ingredients together and rub into the salmon filets along with generous twists from your peppermill and the salt mill…

Prepare either a cast iron pan or a charcoal grill with grapevines or hardwood charcoal as the burning medium. 

When the coals or the cast iron pan is sufficiently hot (smoking please), place the Thai Spiced Salmon onto the grill, skin side down and please, DO NOT TOUCH for at least five minutes, then flip over and do not touch for another five or so minutes.

Remove from the stove and let sit in a 200 degree oven for about five more minutes until the juices stay where they belong, INSIDE the fish and not on the grill pan or in your fire!!

Slice the warm salmon on a bias and serve with Jasmine rice and the pan drippings.
Of course you should wash this sumptuous meal down with many well-chilled glasses of the brilliant Cairnbrae Sauvignon Blanc, bought by you at DrinkupNY. 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.  His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 14.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.  Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies.

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkUpNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* - to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he's finally become.

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
PS: Warren's second book, Whiskey Cocktails is on the market now!
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

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