"When we eat the first Atlantic salmon of the season on the Fourth of July, I am usually content to serve it with melted butter and parsley, but I sometimes serve it with a sorrel sauce – and you may like to, too. The creme fraiche gives a special flavor to this sauce. If you cannot get it locally, it is very easy to make. Remember, though, to start this task a couple of days before you plan to serve the salmon."
2-1/2- to 3-pound piece of fresh salmon, center cut if possible
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups water
bouquet garni of fresh or dried herbs tied in cheesecloth
generous handful of sorrel leaves, washed, stems removed, and leaves torn into pieces
reduced court bouillon
1/2 cup creme fraiche (see recipe below)
Poach the salmon in the court bouillon for 25 to 30 minutes. Test for doneness by poking a knife into the thickest part: if the flesh is opaque and comes away from the bone, it is done. Remove the fish from the liquid, place on a platter, and carefully take off the top skin. Keep the salmon warm while you make the sauce. Strain the court bouillon into a pot and reduce over high heat until there is a scant cup left. Lower the heat slightly, add the sorrel leaves, and wilt them for about 5 minutes, stirring to separate the leaves. Remove from heat and add the creme fraiche, stirring it well into the sorrel. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
Put the cream in a jar with a top, add the buttermilk, give the jar a good shake, and allow it to stand at room temperature for at least 24 hours. (I give it a couple of shakes during the day.) Refrigerate for 24 hours before using.