Duck Breast With Mustard Greens, Turnips, And Radishes

Duck Breast with Mustard Greens, Turnips, and Radishes Recipe

This Bon Apetit recipe is easily adapted – don’t care for turnips?  Try small red potatoes (sauteed or roasted in the duck fat!)  Not big on Mustard Greens?  Substitute Frisee, or a mild rocket/arugula, or if you strive for “painfully hip”, chopped kale in the sweet Asian dressing you’ll find in my recipe (search this blog for “pork belly kale”.  But whatever you do, try this recipe for the duck breast.

Ingredients
SERVINGS: 8
3 pounds boneless duck breasts (3–4)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons English mustard powder
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 radishes, thinly sliced
4 small turnips, scrubbed, thinly sliced, plus 2 cups torn turnip greens or kale
6 cups torn mustard greens; plus any mustard flowers (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt

Preparation

ACTIVE: 1 Hour  TOTAL: 1 Hour
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Score the fat side of each duck breast ⅛” deep in a crosshatch pattern; season both sides with kosher salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium. Cook 2 duck breasts, skin side down, until fat is rendered and surface is deeply browned and crisp, 10–15 minutes; transfer to a plate. [Note, I ALWAYS save the rendered fat before proceeding!  DC]  Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining duck and 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil.
  • Arrange all duck breasts in the skillet, fat side up, and roast in oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of breasts registers 135° (~5–8 minutes). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • In a small bowl whisk Dijon mustard, mustard powder, lemon juice, and (while whisking) gradually add 3 Tbsp. olive oil; season mustard sauce with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Toss radishes, turnips, greens, flowers (if using), vinegar, and remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large bowl; season with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Thinly slice duck. Scatter greens over a platter (or two) and top with duck. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with mustard sauce alongside.

Recipe by Alison Roman

Photograph by Christopher Testani

Cheers!  Dave

If my Lottery Picks were as prescient as my wine picks!

If my Lottery Picks were as prescient as my wine picks I’d be writing this from one of my homes overlooking a pristine beach.

What started my wistful thinking was the news in my inbox with the results of an interesting data analysis.  A Pinot producer that was one of my early “bets” turned out to be the top-rated Pinot Producer on CellarTracker, the world’s most extensive database of wine tasting notes and ratings from wine collectors around the globe.

Go ahead, guess who it was in the top spot… Kosta Browne?  Sea Smoke?  Kistler??  Peter Michael???  Au Bon Climat???  All good guesses.  But all would be wrong.

The top spot went to “Sojourn Cellars”.  

When I first discovered their wine, six years ago, I knew they had something special going on.  Owner Craig Haserot stood in my kitchen and poured six of their wines for me, and I selected their 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot for my “Pinot Selections” Wine Club.  Despite their relaxation-inspired logo, they had just burst onto the wine scene with great gusto, and if you’ve ever met Craig you know that’s the only way he approaches everything in life. If you squint a little bit and employ just a modicum of imagination, his size and demeanor might remind you of another Sonoma pioneer whose surname started with “H” – one A. Harazthy.

A. Harazthy, early CA Wine PioneerCraig Haserot, contemporary CA wine pioneer!

According to the data analysis of Cellar Tracker, Sojourn Cellars out-ranked all of the prestigious producers listed above.  And their favorable reviews are not limited to the online pinotphile, they’ve caught the attention of professional critics as well, rarely scoring less than 90 points from the likes of Wine Spectator, Pinot Report, Wine Advocate, et al.  

I’m proud to have supported them in their early days, and to have introduced them to you, my friends.  Congratulations to Craig Haserot and Erich Bradley.

(Note: I currently have a very small quantity of one Sojourn Cellars Pinot in stock.  I recommend it highly. The 2012 Russian River pinot from Wohler Vineyard ($48)

Why is this man smiling?  Good times are about to happen...
Why is this man smiling? Good times are close at hand…

Cheers!

Dave

866-746-7293

Porcini Dusted Steaks with Pinot Noir

Image: Wild Table cookbook.  Linked for purchase info.Here’s a great recipe that takes riby-eye steaks (traditionally a Cabernet dish) and transforms it into one that pairs beautifully with Pinot Noir (purchase here).  Mushrooms and Pinot Noir have a natural affinity, and in this recipe mushroom flavors are brought to the table in three ways – infused into the steak, cooked and served on top of the steak, and infused into a butter served alongside or also on top of the steak.  I’d recommend using the butter as a finishing touch on any vegetables, or even to spread on any bread served along with this meal.

The recipe is from The Wild Table by Connie Green & Sarah Scott (2010 Viking Studio)  See this recipe in its original form at the Sierra Madre Vineyard site.  Purchase the Sierra Madre Pinot Noir here.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4  8-ounce or 2 16-ounce rib-eye steaks (or other cut of choice), 1 ½ – 2” thick
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried porcini powder (just grind dried porcinis in your spice grinder/coffee grinder)
  • 1 pound porcini mushrooms, cleaned
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup Porcini Butter, softened (recipe below)
  • Fleur de Sel
  • Minced chives or flat-leaf parsley

Season the steaks generously all over with the salt and pepper and ½ teaspoon of porcini powder per steak. Refrigerate, loosely covered, overnight. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator one hour before cooking. 
Prepare a grill to medium heat.

Place the olive oil in a small bowl with the minced garlic. Slice the porcini mushrooms into ¼” thick slices. Place on a baking sheet and brush with the garlic-olive oil mixture on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. 
Grill the rib-eyes for 7-8 minutes per side, for medium rare (130 – 135 degrees internal temperature).  When done, divide the Porcini Butter among the steaks, spooning it on top and letting it melt into them as they rest. Hold the steaks in a warm place while grilling the porcinis. 

Place the porcini mushrooms on the grill (if too small to grill, I prefer roasting in the oven over sauteeing, as it results in a more even, almost crisp, mushroom) and grill for  2-3 minutes per side or until tender and golden brown.

Slice the steaks or serve them whole on plates or a platter, topped and surrounded by the grilled porcinis. Sprinkle the fleur de sel and minced herbs over the top.

Porcini Butter (makes approximately 1 cup):

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed to remove any fine sand or grit
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 sticks at room temperature
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried porcini powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

 

Place the dried mushrooms and the cold water in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes.  Saving the liquid, drain the mushrooms, pressing the mushrooms to extract all the liquid.  Return the liquid to a sauce pan over medium high heat. Reduce to 1 tablespoon.  Set aside.

Finely mince the re-hydrated mushrooms.

Place the 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until just melted, then add the minced mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and cook another 3 minutes until the garlic is softened, then stir in the reserved mushroom liquid and heat to a simmer.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Pour the mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor and process until very finely chopped,  stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the 2 sticks of softened butter, cut into 8 pieces, the porcini powder and the salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Pulse together until the butter is creamy and the mushrooms are evenly incorporated. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt or lemon juice as needed. The butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and a half. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.

Tips and Techniques:
Seasoning the steaks a day ahead allows time for the flavors to penetrate beyond the surface of the meat, giving them a more delicious taste when grilled.
The porcini powder gives a rich, deep brown crust to the steaks as they grill.
Allow the steaks to rest at least 6-8 minutes before serving for optimal tenderness and juiciness.

Substitutions and Variations:
Any cut of steak suitable for grilling can be substituted for the rib-eyes. Season them the same way, the day before, and grill according to the specific cut.
Grilled Portobello or crimini mushrooms can be substituted for the porcinis. Drizzle a little truffle oil over them just before serving.

Perfect Pairing: Cider-Poached Salmon with Pinot

The bane of the amateur gardener is that everything gets ripe all at once. And eating tons of the same produce, meal after meal, day after day, week after week… one’s tastebuds quickly tire.   So freezing, drying, canning, gifting and other forms of creative storage become highly valued.

And if a bunch of apple trees happen to grow on your property, you eventually ask for a cider press when your handy-man Father in-law asks for Christmas ideas.  You can see what he came up with in the photo here – looks as if it should be launched!  It’s just a happy coincidence that his name is Johnny, one long associated with apples and their seeds.

The first cider from our late-ripening tree was so delicious, I’ve spent some enjoyable hours conjuring up or searching for recipes that feature cider.  Like this one, which I came across in Wine Spectator, for a Cider-Poached salmon.  It’s been adapted slightly from its original version (as seen in “Maine Classics: More Than 150 Recipes From Down East,” by Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier. Running Press) to make it a bit more Pinot friendly.  But it already had a good start, and the bonus of featuring Morgan’s 2009 12-Clones Pinot Noir ($32), a wine I’d recently featured in one of our wine club shipments.

INGREDIENTS
1 gallon apple cider
2 tsp each fresh rosemary and thyme (with extra for garnish)
¼ cup (plus 1/4 tsp) brown sugar or 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp fennel seed
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
6 Salmon fillets, 4-6 oz. each
1/4 lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 – 2 Generous pinches Cinnamon and Cumin
4-6 Tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

PROCEDURE
1. Heat cider in a fish poacher or (if you haven’t stocked up on Williams Sonoma’s entire storew-wide inventory yet!) a broad-based, saucepan, until liquid is reduced by half its height.

2. Add the rosemary, thyme, brown sugar (or syrup), fennel seed, salt and pepper. Bring to a
full boil and then reduce to just below a simmer – you want steam but no bubbles.

3. Gently place the salmon in the liquid and cook for 6 minutes.  Test for doneness (I suggest an instant-read thermometer, but you can pull one out and take a peek at its center.

4. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a sauté pan until melted but not smoking.  Add apples and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the aromatic spices (Cinnamon and Cumin) and the additional 1/4 teaspoon of brown sugar (not too sweet or it will fight with the wine!)

5. Using a slotted spatula, remove the salmon directly from the poaching liquid to individual serving plates, and garnish with the poached apples and a sprinkling of the fresh chopped herbs. 

Serve with steamed broccolini or asparagus and good rolls warmed in the oven.  

Wine Pairings – You can’t go wrong with any of the lighter style Pinots from cooler growing regions (Sonoma Coast, Monterey, Anderson Valley, New Zealand, Germany…) – you’ll find many options in our virtual Pinot Aisle – as well as a nice Pinot Gris or even a richer, off-dry Rosé.  

Wine Club Tasting Panel – Results for 2012 Selections

Three of the brave volunteers identifying wine characteristics from a black glass. With no visual cues, even telling white from red is tough!

Though I enjoy the task of selecting wines for our wine club members and online customers, it’s always nice to get their direct feedback.  So on Tuesday night of this past week I hosted 20 of them to participate in this year’s tasting panel.  They dutifully sniffed and sipped more than 30 wines – wines that are likely candidates for next year’s wine club selections.  

The experience was great fun for everyone and very useful for me.  Each tasting panel participant was invited to post their real-time comments to Twitter as a convenient and public way to track their opinions.  See the complete results by searching on @sidewayswines #DTWM next time you’re in Twitter.  

Or just read through the highlights I’ve posted below, beginning with the hands-down favorites I call the “No Brainers”, followed by other wines with sufficient ratings to have earned their way into our rotating portfolio before being parsed into their relevant wine club shipment based on price and varietal.

Dave the Wine Merchant - candidates for 2012 selections

No Brainers!

  1. Drew Family, 2009 Pinot Noir, “Fog Eater” $44.  The top vote-getter of the night.
  2. Mary Elke, 2009 Pinot Noir “Boonville Barter”, $17.  “Tremendous value”
  3. Violet-Green, 2006 Bordeaux Blend “Ultra-Violet”, Alder Springs Vyrd.  $26 (now a December selection for the “Collectible Selections” members – join here)
  4. Phillips Hill, 2009 Pinot Noir, Wiley Vineyard.  $39
Secondary Selections
  1. Scarpetta, 2010 Pinot Grigio, $19.  “Perfect for a ‘Deck Vacation” on a hot summer evening”
  2. Kynsi, 2007 Syrah, Edna Valley,  $28.
  3. Obsidian Ridge, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills, $31.
  4. Violet-Green, 2006 Cabernet Franc, Alder Springs Vyrd.  $29.
  5. Kynsi, 2008 Pinot Noir, Edna Valley, $32.
  6. B. Kosuge, 2009 Pinot Noir, Manchester Ridge Vyrd, $44
  7. Lacuna, 2010 Syrah/Petite Sirah, $28 (A December selection for the “Red-Only Collectible Selections” members – join here).  “Needs time, but a serious wine”
  8. 3rd Ave, 2009 Zinfandel Mendocino, $15.  “Great Value!”
There were a number of other “Fence Sitters” that may be called into duty, as they tended to be divisive wines with no consensus that drove intense opinions on both sides – exactly the type of interesting wines I like to throw into the mix!  
I thank all participants in this most successful event – both the tasting panel and those who submitted their wines for consideration.  So, until next year…
Cheers!
Dave “the Wine Merchant” Chambers

Community Wine Review – Regale Winery, 2008 Pinot Noir, O’Neel Vyrd, Russian River Valley


Regale, 2008 Pinot Noir, O'Neel Vyrd. Russian River Valley

Now THIS is a Pinot Noir!  Kudos to this winemaker.  It is nice to know that one can still be surprised after having tried hundreds of different examples of this varietal.   This vintage is something truly extra special in the glass.  

Straight out of the gate and a couple of brisk swirls in my Riedel stem of this racy vintage and I am gushing.   Immediately, a perfume of wild funghi, strawberries, sour cherries and even a slight nose of camphor jump into my sinuses and fill my head with delight.   No time needed to open up for this horse.  

My head begins to buzz and I ‘regale’ as the first sips bring on flavors so brilliant and ethereal.  A subtle detection of eucalyptus peeks through the bright fruit flavors.  The wine is big for a pinot because of the earth like notes but not overly acidic as some Burgundy’s can be.  Very polished but not silky.   No this wine is a cross somewhere between where the smooth attributes from the Russian River Valley align with the herbal, salty-misty air of the Pacific-Sonoma coastline, but a slight touch of the Santa Maria Valley is added in there somewhere… I think that is where I pick up the notes of strawberry and mushrooms from. 

Paired with a dish of fusilli pasta mixed with roasted eggplant, roasted sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and italian herbs, sliced black olives, sauteed zucchini, sweet onion & baby portobella mushrooms, pureed tomato sauce and fresh parmesan grated cheese, the dish tastes better and harmoniously bring out the wild pinot tastes.  

The biggest compliment of all is that I damn near finished the entire bottle myself over a couple of hours and I can still type straight.  

 Why have I never heard of this winery before and when can I buy more?!  Well done Dave.  Thank you.

 Seth P. (freelance blogger for Dave the Wine Merchant) Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

[Note:  Seth Pariser is a member of the “Pinot Selections” wine club, and submitted this review independently.  Among other things, Seth consults with wine collectors in the Northeast to help them build or maximize the value of their cellars.  To contact him, just leave a request in the comment section.  Oh, and more of this wine is available here.  Dave]

Pinot is for Salmon. Right?

Ask any wine geek what to pair with a Pinot Noir, and you’ll soon hear the word “salmon”. It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction.  But unless your taste buds are completely dead, you’ve likely noticed that many new world Pinots fight mightily with the fishy oils that are part of the tasty goodness of salmon.

Not All Pinots Are Salmon Pinots!
Which Pinots are the biggest offenders?  Pinots high in alcohol, deep in color, big in fruit and resplendent with Volatile Acidity that borderlines on too much (but which helps the nose and initial flavor pop out of the glass!)… in other words, some of the wine world’s highest scoring wines.  These Pinots can be delicious wines, and I carry many such wines and sometimes recommend them heartily.  Just not with salmon.

But if you find just the RIGHT Pinot, and pair it with a wild caught salmon (when pairing with pinot, I prefer the salmon grilled rather than poached), it can be a little slice of heaven.  To find such a wine is easy – just peruse my tasting notes in my rather extensive portfolio of Pinots.  My favorite salmon wines from my current portfolio? Labyrinth, Four Graces, Phillips Hill and Staete Landt (New Zealand).

Cheap Salmon – Not Worth the Savings!
But as with any food topic these days, and particularly with the gourmet food and wine crowd, the conversation quickly turns to sustainability.  And any posting that involves salmon seems irresponsible if it doesn’t excoriate one against the consumption of farm-raised salmon.  Such farms, as you likely know, result in such toxic conditions that not only does it kill all life for the many square miles under the salmon confinements, but the salmon must also be fed huge doses of anti-biotics to avoid becoming ill.  And the genetically altered fish, when the inevitable lucky few escape, can breed with wild salmon and alter the genetic blood line, making the wild salmon less sustainable in their own right.  

Fortunately, there are some highly sustainable farms beginning to emerge in inland lakes, where the salmon farm is by definition, self-contained.  Such farms don’t use anti-biotics, as there is no need.  And the lake remains healthy and vibrant as an ecosystem.  But other than these pleasant exceptions, I urge you to “just say no to farm-raised salmon”.   Fortunately, more and more of us are voting with our pocket books, and the “Salmon Safe” movement is well afoot, as you can see in the following video I found on the E’Cole Winery website. 

Salmon Safe Video

 

Wine-Friendly Recipe: Sheperd’s Pie (Irish Pub Grub)

Sheperd's Pie, a very wine-friendly dish
San Francisco's Blarney Stone

I tend to prepare this traditional Irish Pub fare in the springtime.  Of course it’s a great Winter dish too, but Spring is when we usually have a surfeit of lamb in our house, and this recipe provides a great way to use every bit of your left-over protein, ensuring the lamb wasn’t sacrificed without good justification.  It does take a bit of time, but places little demand on the skills of a home chef.  In fact, this was a favorite during my bachelor days for its ability to provide several meals during the course of a week – a great return on my investment of an hour in the kitchen.

OK, and its economical too, which means you’ll have more money left for wine.  This dish compliments a wide variety of red wines, from Pinot Noir and Sangiovese to Merlot and even lighter Cabs, if you must.  I find its boldness to be too much even for full-bodied white wines, though it might be pleasant with a full Rosé (think Grenache/Mourvedre) chilled for no more than 20 minutes in your refrigerator.  Oh, it’s also nice with a Guinness. ;-)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground lamb (beef can easily be substituted, though the classic Irish version features lamb)
  • 1 Small brown onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 Cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup (or tomato paste and a touch of sugar)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 Cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and corn), thawed
  • 2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled (optional) and quartered
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Add the potatoes and garlic to a large pot of salted and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for ~25 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring a large pan up to temperature over medium heat, add a bit of oil and once hot, add the onion.  Sauté, stirring, until just beginning to brown, then remove to a plate and add the ground meat to the pan.  Break up the meat as it cooks to obtain a fine consistency, then stir in the flour for a minute or two.  Stir in the broth, and then the salt, pepper, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, onions and mixed vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, ~5 minutes before spreading evenly across the bottom of a 13 x 9 casserole dish and set aside.

Set your oven temperature to 375.  Then, drain the potatoes and then return them to the pot.  Add the milk and butter and mash (no chunks) or smash (some chunks) the potatoes.  At the end, stir in the cheddar cheese, if using. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Spread the potatoes evenly over the casserole and bake in your preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until golden (I sometimes cheat and cut the baking time short with a few minutes of broiler time – but if you choose this shortcut be sure to WATCH the entire time, as it goes from perfect to ruined in 30 seconds!). Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Keeps in the refrigerator for several days.

Garlic-Herb Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apple Confit

This recipe is adapted from one provided by DeLoach Vineyards, one of my favorite producers of Pinot Noirs from Russian River Valley.  While I’ve long considered using one of their smaller, vineyard-designated Pinots in my wine club, they are simply too large a producer to be one of the “Boutique” wineries that defines our niche.  But I still encourage you to try these wines – old world style meets new world fruit.  This recipe is ideally suited to Pinot, but would work well with other light or medium-bodied red wines with good acidity – Barbera or Sangiovese come to mind, perhaps even a cool-climate Syrah.

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 T Lemon Zest
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, stemmed and minced
  • 2 Tbsp Rosemary, stemmed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 4 tsp panko bread crumbs
  • 2+ Tbsp Olive oil

Procedure

Pre-heat oven to 350 and remove tenderloin from refrigerator.  Meanwhile, combine in the bowl of a food processor all remaining ingredients up to the Panko bread crumbs.  With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the contents combine into a thin paste.  Massage the paste into the room-temperature loin.

Heat an iron skillet over medium-high heat for three to four minutes, remove from heat and coat with thin layer of olive oil, then add the tenderloin.  Return to heat and sear on each three sides until golden – 1-2 minutes per side.  Turn the tenderloin to the fourth side and place the skillet into the oven for about ten minutes or until the interior reaches 138 degrees.  Remove from oven, coat with foil or up-turned pan, and let rest for ten minutes before slicing into medallions.

Apple Confit Ingredients

  • 6 Tart green apples, such as Granny Smith
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup cognac or brandy

Procedure

Peel and core apples and slice into eighths and sprinkle with sugar.  Heat a skillet over medium heat, when warm melt the butter and sauté the  apples until brown and caramelized.  Add the cognac and cook until tender (CAUTION – before adding the cognac, remove the skillet from the heat, as the cognac may flame up.  If it does, simply let it burn off).

Recommended Wines

See my complete list of available Pinot Noirs to compliment this dish.

Asian Salmon (Easy)

This dish can easily over-power any wine you pair it with, and the sauce can easily overpower the salmon!  I’ve adjusted the ingredients to allow the salmon to remain in the limelight, but you may want to adjust further.  Recipe feeds six.

Salmon is one of the more controversial fish you can buy these days.  Mention “farmed salmon” to most foodies and you’ll likely start a fight – the prevailing wisdom being that it’s bad for the environment, cross-breeding with and weakening the wild salmon population and killing off all of the plant and ocean life directly under each salmon pen.  And honestly, the things are huge.

But increasingly, inland aqua farmers are improving their animal husbandry techniques, as you can see on the latest version of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch site, where a little browsing will bring you to the phrase – “Salmon farmed on land in “closed” or “contained” farms is a viable alternative that points the way to a more environmentally-friendly future for salmon farming.”   One of our favorites is the sustainably farmed salmon from Scotland’s Loch Duart – it can be nearly as pricey as the wild-caught salmon, but we choose to make the sacrifice despite these tight economic times, as we figure it’s an investment in our daughter’s future.

Ingredients
2 – 2  1/4 pounds Salmon fillet
1/2 Cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 Cup lemon juice (from ~ 2 medium lemons)
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce or oyster sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili paste
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Clove garlic, minced fine
1  1/2 Cups panko bread crumbs
Aluminum foil

Procedure
Heat oven to 500.  Line and 8X12 pan with the foil, and coat lightly with olive oil before laying salmon skin-side down.  Whisk together all ingredients except the bread crumbs.  Pour 1/3 of the liquid over the salmon, then with the bread crumbs.  Pour remaining liquid onto crumbs, lifting fish to allow run-off to seep underneath.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes before baking for 20 minutes.

Serve with wilted greens such as spinach sautéed in olive oil, anchovy paste and garlic, or bok choy steamed in soy sauce.

Wine pairings – a light pinot noir, sangiovese, or an aromatic white such as a Riesling, Vermentino, Gewurztraminer or Pinot Bland.  But the best pairing may just be with a crisp rosé of Grenache.