Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Salmon with Sunchoke Puree & Truffle-Scented Roasted Asparagus

Spring is here! At least here in Arizona. Fellow blogger and dessert diva Peabody from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody is still getting snow up in the Pacific Northwest.

But here in Arizona, one of my favorite markets had fresh Alaskan salmon, beautiful asparagus tips and sunchokes, so I wove them all together into a delicious spring meal.

Sunchokes (or Jerusalem artichokes) are not really artichokes at all, nor do they have anything to do with Jerusalem. They are a type of sunflower, in the same family as the garden sunflower. This according to Wikipedia. In my opinion they are a cross between turnips, rutabaga and parsnips because they are crunchier and sweeter than a potato, but still having similar properties.

Here is what they look like:

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Salmon with Sunchoke Puree & Truffle-Scented Roasted Asparagus:
(serves 2)

1 lb fresh salmon, cut into 2 filets
2 tbs mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 tbs sake
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs whole grain spicy mustard
1 tbs honey
1 tsp (or to taste) hot sauce like Siracha

1 lb sunchokes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 cubes
1 c milk
1 c water
Salt and white pepper
2 tbs cream or half and half (or as needed)
1 tbs butter
1 tbs chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish

1 lb asparagus, stems trimmed
2 tbs (approx) olive oil
1 tsp white truffle oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Place sunchoke pieces in a large saucepan and cover with water and milk. The milk helps the chokes not to discolor. The water/milk mixture should cover all the pieces. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chokes are soft enough to puree. Drain and mix in a blender, with a egg beater or with an immersion blender. Add cream, butter, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. You may need more or less cream depending on desired consistency. Keep warm.

Meanwhile mix all liquids for salmon marinade in a small bowl. Place salmon in a shallow baking pan and pour marinade over salmon. At the same time, toss asparagus in oils and salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast fish and asparagas for about 15 minutes (they should both be done at about the same time).

To serve, place a mound of sunchoke puree in the center of the plate. Top with salmon filet and drizzle a bit of the marinade over the top. Place asparagus around plate. Garnish with remaining parsley if desired.


Cherri Martinis & Ocean Brezzes said...

I have been reading your bloggs for over a month or more. I enjoy
them so much. Keep up the great work. I am in DC, and moving this
week-end to Florida. I'll be reading.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Wow, is this fancy or what? ;)

What a delicious dish, Kirsten - I love salmon!

Peabody said...

I serioulsy need to start eating over at your place for dinner!
Spring is sort of coming now...but I think we will still get a few more cold days.

Brilynn said...

I love sweet and spicy combinations! It's currently snowing here... ugh... spring pretended to arrive last week but has left just as quickly.

Lis said...

This is what you call home cooking? My dear.. this is a dinner that I would put my nicest dress on for! hehe Outstanding!

I've never heard of Sunchokes before but they sound interesting. When I think about it, it kinda blows my mind the differences in fruits and vegetables from one part of the country to the other.. here in the NE we can get imported plums from Chile, but we don't get Sunchokes from Arizona. (or uhh.. where ever they come from?)

Maybe Trader Joe's will have them sometime - I seem to be able to find out of the ordinary fruits and veggies there every once in a while. Wish me luck! =)

PS - Your fish looks way yummy!

Kirsten said...

Hi Lis!

Well, sometimes my home cooking is fancier than others. :)

Sunchokes aren't too common here either - Trader Joe's has been selling them here, but at $2.50 for just a 1/4 lb I think, WAY expensive. I got this lb of sunchokes for $3 (approx) which is what made me try them.

I do think Arizona's proximity to Mexico and California (and what produce is actually grown here in the winter) makes it easier to find some things.

Glad you like the fish. :)

Kirsten said...

Hi Lizzibeth! Thank you for reading my blog - I love hearing from new readers. Good luck in Florida. Despite the humidity and penchant for bad weather, I love Florida!

Thanks Patricia! Sometimes I get really inspired (or not) by whatever is in the store. This was one of the better days. :)

Peabody - you can come over anytime. :)

Brilynn and Peabody, I guess there is no need really to rush summer, I'll be having PLENTY of hot days soon and you can make fun of me.