If Julia Child were alive today, the Grande Dame of French cuisine would have been 100 this month. To honor this, Sunday Supper is teaming up with PBS to cook for Julia today. I’ve made a number of her recipes before, but more than anything it has been her words that have inspired me. Her memoir, My Life in France, is witty and humble, a love story between herself and her husband Paul, as well as her discovery of the joy of cooking. Julia Child’s personality always comes through in her cookbooks in a way that is rare and enviable. In her directions for poaching fish she says, “Fish that is resistant and flaky is overdone – too bad!”
Of course deciding what to make from the canon that is Julia Child’s recipes – her legacy – was no easy matter. After a lot of indulgent eating this summer, I was craving something light and came across this lovely, simple recipe for Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce in her 1989 cookbook, The Way to Cook. I’ve poached chicken plenty of times but had never poached fish, and the tzatziki-like cucumber sauce totally called to me. Poaching is an easy and healthy technique, and one that I will employing with fish often from now on. It’s so easy! You can experiment with flavoring the poaching liquid (I poach chicken often in wine, broth, or citrus juice, for example), but this simple recipe calls just for water and wine vinegar.
This dish is fast, easy, and healthy, and is equally as good for a quick weeknights supper as it is for entertaining. You can spoon the sauce over the top or pass it separately. I served it with her green beans (recipe to come Friday!) and a salad. Sheer perfection, and great for a hot summers night!
I’ll leave you with some of my favorite Julia Child quotes:
“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
- Red or white wine vinegar
- 1¼ pounds salmon filet
- 1 cucumber, diced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon wine vinegar
- 1 cup sour cream (I used ½ light sour cream and ½ Greek yogurt)
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Measure 3 inches of water into a wide-rimmed saucepan. Add 1½ teaspoons salt and 3 tablespoons wine vinegar for every quart of water. Bring to a boil.
- Add the salmon. Bring to just below a simmer and cook for about 6 minutes until done. According to Julia Child "Fish is done when the flesh has turned from translucent to opaque and, rather than feeling squashy to the touch like raw fish, it feels lightly springy. It should still be juicy. Fish that is resistant and flaky is overdone - too bad!"
- Remove the salmon with a slotted spatula and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the extra water.
- Transfer to a serving platter or plates and serve with the cucumber sauce.
- Put the cucumber in a bowl and toss with the salt, sugar, and vinegar.
- Let stand for about 5 minutes, then mix in the sour cream.
- Season to taste and fold in the dill. (May be made a few hours in advance and refrigerated).
Check out these other great Julia Child recipes from the #SundaySupper crew!
Tuna Salad Nicoise by Magnolia Days
Blood Orange, Walnut, and Rocket Salad by Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking
Croque Monsieur by Webicurean
Spinach and Cream Cheese Pancakes by Happy Baking Days
Julia’s Chicken Salad by My Trials in the Kitchen
Pissaladière Niçoise (Onion Tart with Anchovies and Black Olives) by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Provencal Tomato Quiche by Are you hungry?
Quiche Lorraine Spoon and Saucer
Bouillabaisse by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Boeuf Bourguignon by Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
Orecchiette Con Broccoli Di Rape and Sausages by Doggie at the Dinner Table
Boeuf Bourguignon by Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
Veal Stew with Onions and Mushrooms with Baked Cucumbers and Boiled Potatoes (Blanquette de veau a l’ancienne with concombres au buerre) by Kimchi Mom
Salmon en Papillote by Girlichef
Poached salmon with cucumber sauce by Katherine Martinelli
Lobster Souffle and Deviled Chicken- Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
Roasted Chicken with Julia’s Mustard Marinade by The Meltaways
Wild Mushroom and Herb Stuffed Chicken- Mama Mommy Mom
Puree of White Beans with Garlic and Herbs (Brandade á la Soissonaise) Avocado Pesto
Poulet au Porto by Family Foodie
Hollondaise over Blanched Asparagus by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Scalloped Potatoes with Milk, Cheese, and Garlic (Gratin Dauphinois) by Home Cooking Memories
Ratatouille by Basic N Delicious
French-style country pate by There and Back Again
White Bean Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips Momma’s Meals
Oeufs à la Diable by What Smells So Good?
Soubise by The Weekend Gourmet
Ratatouille by Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Cream Cheese and Lemon Flan by Juanita’s Cocina
Strawberry Sherbert in Cooky Cups by Cravings of a Lunatic
Creme Brulee by Wine Everyday
Mousseline Au Chocolat by Small Wallet Big Appetite
Peach Tarte Tatin by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Cinnamon Toast Flan by Vintage Kitchen Notes
Dark Chocolate Crepes by Family Spice
Crepes Fines Sucrees by Mangoes and Chutney
Pommes Rosemarie:Apples Rosie The Daily Dish Recipes
Espresso Soufflé by Chocolate Moosey
Best Ever Brownies by In the Kitchen with Audrey
Orange-Almond Jelly Roll Cake by Mrs. Mama Hen
Orange Spongecake Cupcakes by Mama’s Blissful Bites
Orange Mousse with Greek Yogurt by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Wine Pairings: Relishing Food and Wine; Thanks to Julia Child! by ENOFYLZ