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Last-minute salmon with mustard

Time 35 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Last-minute salmon with mustard
1

To cut the salmon in escalopes: Set the fillet on a cutting board, tail end facing away from you. With a long, sharp knife, slice the fillet crosswise on the bias toward the tail end, discarding the skin when you reach it. Slices should be wide and flat -- about 4 to 5 inches wide and about three-eighths-inch thick. Set them aside on a plate.

2

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the leek and carrot and blanch, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain them again thoroughly. Set aside four tarragon sprigs for decoration; discard the remaining stems and chop the leaves.

3

Sprinkle the salmon escalopes each with a pinch of salt and a small pinch of pepper. Heat a cast iron or nonstick frying pan over high heat until very hot, then brush it with butter and add as many escalopes as will fit in a single layer. Cook until lightly browned on one side, about 1 minute. Turn and brown the other side, about 1 minute longer. Transfer them to another plate. Cook the remaining escalopes in the same way, cover with foil and keep them warm.

4

Add the cream to the pan and bring it to a boil. Whisk in the mustard, add the vegetables and heat gently for 1 minute, swirling the pan to mix in the vegetables. Swirl in the tarragon. Taste and adjust seasoning of the sauce with salt, pepper and more mustard.

5

Arrange the cooked escalopes on individual warm plates and spoon enough sauce over them to partially coat the salmon, leaving the pink edges. Top with a sprig of tarragon and serve.

Adapted from a recipe in “The Country Cooking of France” by Anne Willan.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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