Salmon Lacquered with Sweet Mustard, Ragout of Fennel and Leek Perfumed with Basil

Serves 4.

1. Combine sugar and dry mustard, mixing so there is no lumps. Using a whisk, slowly add water until the moisture is the consistency of maple syrup. Set aside for 1 hour to allow the flavor to develop.

2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Quarter the whites of leeks and cut into diamond shapes. Blanche the leeks and the fennel julienne in the boiling water until tender but firm, approx. 25 seconds. Shock in ice watewell.

3. Combine the leeks, fennel, radish and basil leaves together in a bowl. Set aside.

4. Brush salmon filets with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 minutes for grid marks (or saute) the turn the salmon and grill for one minute more. Remove the fish from the heat when it is still very rare.

5. Brush the salmon liberally with olive oil followed by the mustard mixture. Place the salmon in a hot oven (425 F) for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes to desired doneness. Be careful not to leave the salmon in the oven to long or sugar will caramelize and the lacquer will lose its luster.

6. While salmon is in the oven... Place saute pan on med. heat and when hot throw in butter and vegetables at the same time. When they start to sizzle add 2-3 oz. of water, a squeeze of lemthe pan in a continuous motion so the sauce will emulsify.

7. Place a bed of the buttery vegetables on a hot plate. Remove the salmon from the oven and slip on top of the vegetables and serve immediately.

Recommended wine:Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1993

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