Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Salmon with Tarragon Leek Sauce

I am in a funk. It isn't just writers block or food funk. I just can't seem to be very inspired by much the last few days. There is plenty to do. I need to clean the house, fold laundry, organize, exercise, plan for Christmas, file and more. I could take the kids to the park more or play more. I could write some other ideas that have been rolling around in my head. But really nothing is inspiring me or motivating me beyond the absolute necessary. I cannot even seem very motivated to cook. What is wrong with me? Did the 12 kids and 7 moms I had for dinner and movie last Friday just wear me out that badly? Am I getting sick?

There are just no good words or thoughts. I cannot wax poetic or even offer you anything remotely interesting to think about or to eat. My head is heavy.

So here is a dish I made a couple weeks ago to tide you over until I get some spunk back. I had some leeks and some salmon and was craving Tarragon which is one of my favorite herbs. And what do you know... I found this on the Epicurious site! I modified mine and just threw in rough guesses at the ingredients to make just enough for myself. I didn't have vermouth so substituted some white wine vinegar as per the suggestions on this site:

I served the salmon on a bed of rice with steamed artichoke on the side. I cannot say it was the best I've ever had. But it was a good meal and my daughter did eat a little of the salmon. For a mid-week dinner for me and the kiddos, it was just right.

Salmon with Tarragon-Leek Sauce
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups dry vermouth
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 8 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • All purpose flour
  • Additional chopped fresh parsley
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft and transparent, about 15 minutes. Add vermouth and boil over high heat until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add cream and boil until thickened to sauce consistency, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm.

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Dust salmon lightly with flour. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in each of 2 non-stick skillets over medium-high heat. Add 4 salmon fillets to each skillet and cook until opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer salmon to plates. Spoon sauce over salmon. Sprinkle with additional parsley and serve.


Joie de vivre said...

Take a few days off and think K.I.S.S. Keep it simple sweetie. You'll get your spunk back. BTW: I love your new profile glamorous.

Sherry said...

Looks delicious. I hope blogging this helped you out of your funk a bit.

Robin Sue said...

You need a girl's night out! Or a mom's night in all alone! I like to watch chick flicks. Chocolat or Tristen and Isolde, very romantic. Or for strange humor, very strange, Napolean Dynamite. Crazy! The recipe looks great to me, no funk there!

That Girl said...

Lemon and tarragon are the perfect combination. And I love leeks.

Anonymous said...

Did the 12 kids and 7 moms I had for dinner and movie last Friday just wear me out that badly?

Well, there ya go! You ate one too many kids! haha. Next time just have 11 ;)

(feel better)

taste memory said...

if this picture is an example of *funkism* i am so there for dinner! tell me about it BTDT! artichokes, tarragon + leeks?!! looks yummy

melissa said...

I'm laughing at maryann's comment. Heh. And before I forget, I second the "I love your new photo" sentiment.

It is certainly possible that you just need a break, even for an afternoon, for some quiet and solitude. I know it can work wonders for me when I feel as you are describing. Hang in there and don't be down on yourself (not sure if you are, but, hey).

It's also possible you're getting slightly sick - it's running around these parts hardcore right now. So take care of yourself physically as well!!

Darius T. Williams said...

tarragon & leeks?!?! That's a fiesta in the mouth. That sounds sooo good right about now!


RecipeGirl said...

Feel better dear! Take a long walk, get a massage and have a nice glass of wine. You deserve some fun :)

Nicole said...

Joie de Vivre- Thank you. I felt a more current pic was in order as the other one was from 5 years ago.

Sherry- Yes. Some. Along with a few other things.

Robin Sue- I DO need a girl's night out or in. I love chic flics by myself.

Kate- I am so into leeks lately too.

Maryann- You are too funny! I feel like I ate an extra kid.

Taste Memory- This dish was created a couple weeks prior to my funk.

Melissa- I do get down on myself sometimes. But I am feeling a bit better now. A little exercise and realization that it was that time of the month helped sort some things out.

Darius- It is good.

Lori- Thank you. A couple walks have been helping. I think I have been overdoing it. In every way. Not just doing too much but eating too much and wine too often. A couple days off is a good thing.

Dragon said...

Tarragon is one of my favourite herbs but I've never used it with salmon. What a great combination. I can't wait to try it.

Bren@ Flanboyant Eats said...

ive been cooking with tarragon lately and i just love it!! sounds awesome with salmon!

Sophie said...

A very nice mid-week meal, indeed. The photo speaks for the dish, it looks flavorful and aromatic :).

Nicole said...

Dragon- Welcome! It is a nice combination. Let me know if you try it.

Bren- Isn't tarragon yummy! It tastes just so ... sophisticated or exotic somehow.

Sophie- Thanks! It is a very flavorful dish.

Kristen said...

Oh dear... sorry to hear you are in a funk. Seems to be a lot of that going around lately! I'd blame it on the weather, but since you live in CA I doubt that's it.
Hope you are your self again soon. Until then, take it easy :)

Jaime said...

I hear ya on the no blogging funk. I just posted for the first time in weeks. It seems once you get out of the habit, life gets in the way and it is hard to start again!

chefectomy said...

Hey Nick,

Totally know what you mean. I am sure you will be back. The salmon looks very elegant by the way.


Lori Lynn said...

Tarragon is my favorite herb too. Love the tarragon leek sauce!

Hope you get your groove back soon, Nicole!

Brens@Flanboyant Eats said...

oh i so feel you. ur first sentence had me nervous--just thinking about the very exact things i need to do! ugh. love the tarragon. i've been using it a lot lately.

Nicole said...

Kristen- Thanks! I get in funks sometimes. Usually when things are in a rut. Just need to change things up some.

Jaime- Yes. It is hard to keep everything in life in moderation. Especially for you with a new little one.

Chefectomy- Thanks. I am getting ready to post soon. Just taking care of other business.

Lori Lynn- Tarragon is the best. I think I have my groove back now but just have so many other things to take care of at the moment.

Peter M said...

Nicole, tarragon and leeks are wonderful with salmon, just show off the salmon a little more.

Chillax, step away and you'll be fine...organization and the big dinner will be awesome.

Lisa said...

Oooo I love tarragon!

I've tagged you by the way!

Nicole said...

Peter- I know. I am so bad about sauce. I just love it so much I tend to over do it. Thanksgiving will be easy for me. It is at my sisters home (huge home) and I am just bringing a butternut squash soup or something.

Lisa- Hey! I will check out your blog this afternoon.

Robin Sue said...

Nicole- I just had to write you and let you know that I found the Burrata! My Whole Foods finally got some in. I served it last night at my house for a neighborhood gathering. I served it with endive, French bread and some tomato basil jelly. I drizzled it first with olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh cracked black pepper. It was a hit. Thanks for binging this cheese to my attention!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I don't know HOW you do it, but you do over and over again.


Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving.

Nicole said...

Robin Sue- I am so glad you got to try the burrata! Yeah. Isn't it great.

MamaGeek- You're a doll. Thank you. Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.