Food Snob

Grilled Salmon with Red Wine Reduction Butter

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In the March 2010 issue of Women’s Health magazine, I found a recipe for grilled salmon with red-wine butter. I love salmon but don’t often eat it because BF went through a phase where he ate it all the time and got sick of it. When I showed him the recipe, he agreed it sounded good (mainly because  it was a ‘new’ way to cook salmon) and that we should try it. I ripped the page from the magazine and it sat around BF’s kitchen for months. Since February, I think. Finally last week I decided I was going to attempt making red-wine butter.

red wine butter ingredients.

  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 c. butter softened for 1 hour at room temperature
  • 1 shallot minced

red wine butter directions.

  1. Combine the shallot, wine, and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. (Go for a reduction that gets you to about two tablespoons.)
  2. Allow the red wine reduction to cool, then add the butter, thyme and a few pinches of cracked pepper.
  3. Use a spatula to mix the ingredients thoroughly, and then scoop the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap.
  4. Roll it up, twist the ends to form a log, and store in the freezer while you cook the fish. The wine butter will keep in the fridge for two weeks.
  5. Grill or pan-fry the fish, and serve the fish on top a bed of asparagus spears. Top the salmon with a slice of red wine butter.

It sounded easy enough… but the first batch I made ended up in BF’s garbage disposal. This is what I did wrong:

  • didn’t reduce the liquid by half (I should note that during the next batch I made, I turned the heat up to medium-high and was better able to achieve a reduction in the suggested 10 minute space)
  • was not able to blend the butter and wine using a spatula (maybe this is because I did not effectively reduce the wine mixture to half? I have no idea. The second time I tried making the butter I blended the butter and the wine in my Kitchenaid mixer — that worked perfectly)
  • because I was not able to effectively blend the wine with the butter, I melted the butter to get the wine and butter at the same consistency hoping the mixture would coagulate again when cooled (note: it didn’t; it ended up being a thick soupy mess)

In my second batch of red wine butter, I was working with a lot less wine and accidentally used 1/2 c. of butter instead of half a stick. BF and I agreed the wine butter turned out delicious. We served the salmon on a bed of asparagus and globbed a big hunk of wine butter on top of the salmon. We also served sauteed green beans, mushrooms, and onions garnished with crumbled bacon.

While we ate, we couldn’t stop talking about how impressed we were with ourselves for making such a great meal. 🙂

Recipe Rating:

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