- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 cups Brut Champagne
- 1/4 cup shallots
- 6 sprigs fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin removed
- Champagne Vanilla Sauce, recipe follows
Grease a 2-quart straight-sided saute pan with the butter. Add the Champagne, shallots, dill sprigs, chopped dill, and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the fish to the pan and spoon the poaching liquid over them. Cook uncovered until the salmon is firm and cooked through, about 10 minutes. (If the poaching liquid does not cover the fish, spoon the liquid over the fillets as they cook.)
Using a slotted spatula, remove the fillets from the pan and blot excess liquid with a paper towel. Serve with the Champagne-Vanilla Sauce.
Champagne Vanilla Sauce:
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 cup Champagne
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar
In a saucepan, combine the shallots and Champagne. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the split pod into the pan and add the vanilla pod halves. Bring to a boil and cook until almost all liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes.
Whisk in the butter until smooth and strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and vinegar and serve immediately over fish or shellfish.
Note: If sauce is made in advance, keep warm in a bain marie over barely simmering water.
Yield: About 1 generous cup, 4 servings