"When a busy schedule doesn't always allow us the luxury of unlimited hours in the kitchen, fast, easy, and flavorful are the key to a successful midweek meal, and on a cold evening, a nice red brings warmth and cheer and helps ward off the winter chill.
A favorite meal that's quick to the table is Baked Salmon served with Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Sauteed Brussel Sprouts. Both the fish and the potatoes can be cooked in the oven while the sprouts simmer on the stove, making cleanup a simple task. The preparation work can be done in minutes allowing just enough time to uncork something special while the meal comes together.
The best choice for salmon is often a red Burgundy, its soft fruit and delicate earthy tones offer alluring contrast to the oily texture and robust flavor of the fish. Evenly matched in weight, they make an excellent pairing. The soft pungent flavor of the brussel sprouts along with the herb and garlic notes of the roasted potatoes offer sublime contrast to the earthy complexity of our Savigny.
While $40 is generally more than I spend on wine during the middle of the week, an occasion calling for something special, such as Valentines Day, does sometimes fall on a Wednesday!"
Bart Hopkins, 67 Wine Burgundy Buyer
From Gourmet Magazine's Quick Kitchen, September 2004 (www.epicurious.com)
1 cup full-bodied dry red wine such as Cotes du Rhone
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots (3 to 4)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (1-inch-thick) salmon steaks (each about 1/2 lb)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preparation:Combine wine, shallots, juice, vinegar, tomato paste, and bay leaf in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan and boil over moderately high heat until mixture is thick and jamlike and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Transfer mixture to a small bowl set in a bowl of ice and cold water and stir until cold to the touch, about 5 minutes. Remove from ice water and stir in zest, butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper with a rubber spatula until incorporated.
Preheat broiler. Line rack of a broiler pan with foil.
Pat fish dry, then brush both sides with oil (2 tablespoons total) and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Broil fish about 5 inches from heat, turning over once, until just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes total.
Top each steak with 1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine butter.
Leftover red-wine butter can be chilled, covered, up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 weeks.
Makes 4 servings.
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