Mother's Day on StarChefs
Mother's Day on StarChefs
Recipes Inspired by the Mothers of Celebrity Chefs and Cookbook Authors

Caramelized Atlantic Salmon with Red Thai Curry and Fiddlehead Fern Ragout
By Chef Patrick Glennon (more info)

Chef Patrick Glennon talks about Mother's Day and his Mother:

"Mother's Day has always been a special day for me as were my birthdays. I was given up for adoption at birth from an Irish mother. It was on these two days, especially Mother's Day that I knew she would be thinking of me. I was never able to know her for she had already passed on, but I was able to return and attend college in Ireland, the country of my roots. I was raised in Connecticut in the arms of a wonderful mother who always let me chase my dreams, no matter how crazy they sometimes were. For this I have been twice blessed."

This recipe with the exception of the fiddle head ferns, can be done at almost any time of the year. Fiddle head ferns are one of those spring items, like daffodils, that we get to enjoy at this time of the year.

Method and Ingredients:

    Red Thai Curry:
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 ounces red Thai curry paste
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 small stalk ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • 3 star anise whole
  • 1 teaspoon toasted, cracked coriander seed
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1 ripe papaya, peeled, de-seeded and roughly chopped


1). Place a one quart capacity saucepan over medium heat. Add the sesame oil, then the red Thai curry paste. Cook the paste for two minutes while gently stirring.

2). Add the shallots, ginger, garlic, star anise and coriander. Sweat these ingredients for one minute.

3). Add the rice wine vinegar and reduce by half the original volume.

4). Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.

5). Blend the sauce in a blender until smooth. (Note: Pulse the blender before letting it run so the hot liquid does not expand.)

6). Strain the sauce through a fine strainer and discard the remaining pulp.

    Fiddlehead Fern Ragout
  • 1 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • 8 ounces cippolini onions, peeled
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce brown sugar
  • One-quarter cup freshly chopped flat leafed Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste


1. Prepare the fiddle head ferns by trimming them about 1 inch from their curly heads. If the stalks are tender, you can leave a little more. Wash them by letting them soak in some cold, salted water for about 15 minutes. This will help remove any insects that may be in the ferns. Gently rinse them in fresh cold water.

2. Place a 2 quart saucepan over high heat with 1 quart of water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. When this comes to a rolling boil drop the fiddle head ferns in. While they are cooking, prepare a colander in your sink and some ice water to "shock" them or stop their cooking. Let the fiddleheads cook until they are slightly tender. Drain them into the cold ice water. Drain them again and set them aside.

3. In a small half quart saucepan, place the peeled cippolini onions, chicken stock, butter and brown sugar. Cook covered over medium heat for 5 minutes. (Note: At this point start cooking your salmon.)

After 5 minutes, remove the cover and continue cooking until the chicken stock is almost completely evaporated. At this point, gently stir the onions until a glaze starts to form. Add all the remaining ingredients and fiddle head ferns. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

    Caramelized Salmon
  • 4 8-ounce salmon filets, bones and skin removed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cracked pink peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons toasted cracked coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup low sodium soy or tamari


1). Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2). Mix together the sugar, peppers and coriander. Lay this out in a shallow pie pan or plate.

3). Press the salmon filets in the sugar mixture on both sides.

4). Bring a medium skillet or saute pan to high heat. Add vegetable oil then the salmon filets (skinned side up). When an amber caramel starts to form (1 minute) around the edges of the salmon filets, turn them over carefully.

5). Pour the soy sauce over the filets and place them in the oven. Cook them medium rare to medium (about 4 minutes). Spoon any extra caramel over the top and they are ready to serve.

6) To Serve:
Pool some of the Thai Curry Sauce in your serving dishes. I prefer to use large pasta bowls for this. Place a salmon filet in the center of each dish and spoon some of the fiddle head fern ragout over each filet.

StarChef Patrick Glennon, is not Brazilian, but at Samba Grill he is known affectionately as Chef Patricio. Chef Glennon has contributed his talents to the kitchens of several prominent hotel chains: Chef de Cuisine for The Four Seasons, The Ritz Carlton and the Meridian Corporation, where he was the first non-French chef worldwide for the Meridian Hotel Chain. Samba Grill at The Mirage Resort, 3400 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada, 702-791-7111, embodies all things Brazilian. The menu features The Rodizio Experience offering unlimited portions of marinated meats, poultry and seafood skewered and slowly roasted over coals in a special rotisserie. There are also a la carte selections such as the recipe supplied to us by Chef Patrick Glennon for Carmelized Atlantic Salmon with Red Thai Curry and Fiddle Head Fern Ragout.

Mother's Day Recipes Archives:
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