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Poached Salmon with Sour Cream Sauce

Bob Farrish's take on poached salmon includes a warm sour cream-dressed cucumber salad, which serves as a sauce for the fish.

slideshow Delicious, Quick Side Dishes

  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine
  • 3 cups water, plus 1 to 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 5 parsley sprigs
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 small rosemary sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 6 center-cut skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 European cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large deep skillet, combine the wine with the 3 cups water, the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the liquid has reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Strain the liquid, return it to the skillet and bring to a simmer; season with salt.
  2. Add the salmon to the skillet so the fish is immersed in liquid; if necessary, add boiling water. Turn off the heat and let the salmon stand uncovered in the hot liquid until slightly rare in the center, about 10 minutes. Carefully transfer the fillets to a platter to cool somewhat, then pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sour cream, cucumber and capers and cook over moderate heat, stirring, just until warmed through. Stir in the dill and season with salt and pepper. Serve the salmon warm or at room temperature with the warm cucumber salad.

Suggested Pairing

This rich salmon and creamy salad are a perfect showcase for a round Chardonnay. Try one from California or Australia.

Contributed By Published February 1999

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