Last night I went to a restaurant named Chops with Nancy and Helene. It's located right across from the Capitol Building, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger works when he comes to town. Governor Schwarzenegger. That's still hard for me to believe, after all this time. The staff at Chops confirmed that the Govenator comes to Chops regularly. He often walks around the room admonishing people for eating inappropriate things like potatoes. Well, he should have been there last night and tried to come between me and my potatoes. I haven't had them (or a dessert) in months, so I treated myself to some fabulous french fries, a huge hamburger and molten volcano chocolate cake. It was marvelous. Sorry, I don't have a picture of me threatening Arnold with a french fry. But take the time to consider the wonderful salmon I fixed tonight.
There was nothing fancy about this dish. But, the taste was heaven. Silky salmon, moist and translucent in the center. And the tarragon butter was perfect. I'm usually not a big fan of tarragon--but this was very nice. I served it with some sauteed yellow and red bell peppers, a baked potato for Bob (none for me), and braised brussel sprouts..
Some chocolate volcano cake would have been nice too.
Salmon with tarragon butter (Adapted from Willams-Sonoma)
4 salmon fillets
salt and pepper
Rub some olive oil on the salmon and dust with salt and pepper. Cook it, preferably in a non-stick pan or on a griddle, over medium heat until just cooked through. Don't overcook, you want the center to be a translucent color. Go ahead and peek into the salmon by cutting through with the tip of a knife to check. The time to cook it will depend on the thickness of the salmon. My salmon was pretty thick so it was about 7 minutes on each side. Remove to warmed plates and dot with tarragon butter and a sprig of tarragon.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Put the tarragon leaves, vinegar, salt, pepper and butter in a food processor and process for about a minute. Scrap butter out and put in a bowl or form into a log. It will keep in the fridge for about 3 days. It could also be frozen.