Cook the Book: Poached Salmon with Beurre Blanc

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Cook the Book: Poached Salmon with Beurre Blanc

Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson. If you haven't heard of Hopkinson, chances are you aren't English; in Britain, this book was voted the most useful cookbook ever by a group of chefs, food writers, and readers.

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To give you a taste of how useful this book is, we're excerpting a dish a day this week. Today's follows, after the jump. If that whets your appetite, you can find Roast Chicken on Amazon or enter to win a copy here on Serious Eats.

Poached Salmon with Beurre Blanc


  • For the court-bouillon:
  • 2 pints water
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 2 cloves
  • A few peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-pound piece of wild salmon, on the bone
  • For the beurre blanc:
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 shallots, peeled and very finely chopped
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • A squeeze of lemon juice


  1. 1.

    Place all the court-bouillon ingredients in a large pan, preferably stainless steel or enamel. Bring to boil; simmer 20 minutes. Add the salmon, bring back to a boil, switch off heat, cover, and let stand 20 to 30 minutes. Salmon should be cooked through after this, but a few minutes longer left in the liquid is not going to hurt anything.

  2. 2.

    In a small stainless steel or enamel pan, place the vinegar, water, and chopped shallots. Add a pinch of salt, a grinding of pepper. Reduce over high heat until all liquid has evaporated. Over low heat, whisk in the butter, piece by piece, until all has been incorporated. The result should have the consistency of a thin cream. Taste for seasoning; add lemon juice to taste. Keep warm.