So, as you may know, I'm in culinary school now. Yes, after 4 years of blood, sweat and tears to obtain my Psychology and Economics degree, I'm now bleeding, sweating and crying to get a diploma in Culinary Arts. Oh I'm loving it. I've just started, it's only been a week and it's been so exciting/nerve wrecking/exhilarating/terrifying/intimidating... But good, overall good... I just have serious problems with anxiety haha. Anyway. We've been doing basic knife skills and I simply need to practice. I've been julienning carrots, emenciering onions and macedoining courgettes. And I need to segment my citruses. So I got some grapefruits to practice.
Tart, bitter and sweet, I love grapefruit. I love it on its own, I love it with my yogurt, in my salad and especially with fish. Here, the salmon is poached in wine and topped up with a beautiful grapefruit hollandaise. Hollandaise is easy, don't worry. Just remember to whisk continuously. Also, don't over-poach your fish. Nothing worse than overcooked fish, all dry and flavorless... It's even worse than a split hollandaise. I often overcook fish so unfortunately I know *sigh*
It's okay, that's why I'm in culinary school. This time the fish was good.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
1 tsp white wine vinegar
120ml olive oil, slightly warmed
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
3 egg yolks
300ml dry white wine
2 bay leaves
a couple of black peppercorns
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
2 small fennel bulbs, quartered
4 small salmon fillets
First zest the grapefruit - get 1/2 tsp of fine zest and then with the remaining peel zest long strips for garnish.
Peel and segment the grapefruit, save 8 segments and squeeze the rest to get 120ml of juice. Pour that into a heatproof bowl with the egg yolks, fine zest and white wine vinegar. Put the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk continuously until it begins to thicken lightly. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, bit by bit, whisking at the same time, until it thickens. Whisk in the paprika and season. Remove from heat and put cling film directly onto the hollandaise sauce surface and set aside.
Put all the poaching ingredients into a pot that's large enough to fit the salmon fillets. Bring it to a simmer and turn down the heat to keep that simmer, and add the salmon fillets to poach for about 8-10 minutes. Take out the fish, red onion and fennel bulb and season all individually.
Serve the fish with the hollandaise sauce, fennel bulbs, red onion quarters, grapefruit segments, grapefruit zest and some fennel tops.