-1/2 recipe Asparagus with Orange & Hazelnuts
Steam or boil until just tender and bright green, about 3 to 5 minutes:
-1pound asparagus, rinsed and woody bottoms snapped off if necessary
-1/4 cup hazelnuts
in a single layer on a baking sheet or the pan of a toaster oven. Toast the nuts at 325 degrees until fragrant and brown(the skins on the hazelnuts will appear burnt, this is okay, you'll end up rubbing the skins off anyway), about 5 to 8 minutes. Pour the hazelnuts into a paper bag or a clean, dry dish towel and rub them vigorously to take the skins off. Roughly chop the skinned hazelnuts.
Combine the nuts in a large skillet with:
-2 tablespoons butter
-1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
-juice of 1/2 orange
Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and slightly browned. Add the cooked asparagus and toss several times to heat through. Season to taste with:
-Salt and black pepper
While the asparagus is cooking, preheat the broiler to high. Oil a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan. Place on the oiled pan:
-Two 6 to 8 ounce salmon fillets, skin on, rinsed and patted dry
Brush lightly with:
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-Salt and black petter to taste
Place the fish under the broiler and broil undistrubed for 4 minutes. Fillets that are about 1 inch thick should be done after 6 minutes. Thicker fillets will need another couple minutes. Those over 1 1/2 inches thick should be turned and cooked another 5 to 6 minutes until firm and opaque throughout.
-Fresh lemon juice
Serve topped with:
-Snail Butter (see recipe below)
Snail Butter (Makes 1/2 cup)
This compound butter, traditionally used for snails (as you might guess), is excellent atop seafood or even grilled steaks. If you have extra left over, consider using it to scramble eggs or just serve on toast. Plan on making this serveral hours, or up to a week ahead of time.
Beat together, using a stand or handheld mixer or a wooden spoon:
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
-2 tablespoons minced shallots or scallions (white part only)
-1 to 2 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste
-Salt and black pepper to taste
-Zest of one lemon
-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Scrape the butter onto a piece of wazx or parchment paper and roll into a tight cylinder. Chill until firm.
To plate and serve, divide the asparagus and salmon between two plates. Top the salmon with a thin slice of the Snail Butter.