Recipe

Pacific Coast Salmon And Wild Ramps, With A Morel, Crawfish, And Fiddlehead Fern Ragout

  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, well scrubbed and quartered
  • 13 ounces butter (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons), divided as called for
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound morel mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced in half lengthwise if large
  • 1/2 pound fiddlehead ferns, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dark chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound crawfish tails
  • 6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 1/2 pounds whole ramps, woody stems removed, rinsed

Directions

  • Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1 inch. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  • Return the potatoes to the saucepan. Add 4 ounces (1 stick) of the butter, the cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. With the heat on medium-low, mash and stir the mixture until well blended, about 4 to 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning, to taste, and cover to keep warm.
  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fiddlehead ferns and blanch until just tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and shock in an ice bath. Drain on paper towels. Add the ramps to the boiling water and blanch until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and shock in an ice bath. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan over a medium-high heat. Add the morels and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic. Season with the salt and pepper, and cook until the mushroom liquid has been released, about 4 minutes. Add the stock, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally until the volume is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the crawfish tails and stir well to mix. Lower the heat to medium-low, and gradually add 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) of butter several pieces at a time, stirring constantly to incorporate. Add the fiddlehead ferns and toss until they are heated through. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Season the salmon on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper per fillet. In a large skillet or 2 smaller skillets, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the salmon and sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from the heat.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown and some of the fat is rendered. Add theshallots and saute for 1 minute. Add the ramps, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, until tender yet still firm, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Divide the morel ragout among 6 dinner plates. Place a dollop of mashed potatoes in the middle of the plate and top with a salmon fillet. Spoon the ramps on top of the fish and serve immediately.