SALMON SOUFFLE WITH CUCUMBER DILL SAUCE
The fragrance of fresh salmon can be caught in a savory souffle. Here is a recipe that includes other pungent spring flavors - scallions, dill, and cucumber - all of which are traditional accompaniments. A souffle makes a wonderful presentation for guests when it is rushed from the oven to the table for serving. Our family has a special board made by our daughter when she was in grade school for resting the souffle upon the table. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 3 tablespoons dry or toasted bread crumbs 3/4 lb. fresh salmon fillet 1 cup water 2 scallions, green part only, finely minced 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons flour 1 cup milk 2 scallions, white part only, finely chopped 5 egg yolks 7 egg whites salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet on the shelf in the lower third of the oven. Butter and coat with breadcrumbs the bottom and sides of a six-cup souffle bowl, and set aside.
Heat 1 cup water to boiling in a medium-sized saute pan. Reduce heat, and place 1/2-pound section of the filet in the water, skin side down. Reserve other 1/4 pound of the salmon. Cover pan, gently poach salmon for 6 minutes, basting after 3 minutes. Place fillet on rack to cool.
Dice remaining 1/4 pound salmon and season with salt and pepper, add scallion greens, set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons butter in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped white scallion sections and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add 1/2 of the milk, off the heat. Slowly add remaining milk and cook until mixture is thickened and just boiling. Remove from heat, stir in egg yolks, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add Parmesan cheese.
Remove skin from cooled salmon and flake into pieces. Stir into egg mixture. Beat whites until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the salmon mixture. Fold in remaining whites. Spoon 1/2 of the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with the uncooked salmon and scallion mixture.
Spoon remaining souffle mixture over this and smooth the top. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes. Serves 4. SAUCE 1 to 1-1/2 cups heavy cream 1 tablespoon butter 1 English cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced thinly (or 1-1/2 cups of other cucumber type, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced) 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped salt and pepper
Heat cream to boiling, reduce heat, and simmer gently until thickened and reduced by 1/3. Heat butter in a small skillet, add cucumber slices, season with salt and pepper. Saute gently until translucent. Add reduced cream and dill. Serve with salmon souffle.