Salmon with Grapes and Onions

Serves 2.

Time requirement: 30-35 minutes.

What you will need:

2 skinless salmon fillets about 5-6 ounces and 1 to 1¼ inch thick.

½ teaspoon kosher salt.

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

1 dozen pearl onions.

1 cup white wine.

1 tablespoon olive oil.

1 cup of white (green) grapes, such as Thompson seedless. Taste them to assure they are not sour.

1 garlic clove peeled and crushed.

1 lemon.

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Sprinkle the salmon with the salt and pepper and set aside.

Peel the pearl onions: trim off the top and bottom and plunge them into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove them from the boiling water and cool them under cold running water. The skin should easily slip off. This step is not only necessary to peel the onions, but to also blanch them. If you do not blanch the onions, they will be undercooked when the salmon is done. Note: you may use frozen pearl onions. Just make sure they are fully thawed.

Warm the wine by heating it for a minute in a saucepan. You just need to warm it.

Coat the bottom of an oven proof pan with the olive oil. (About the pan, it should ceramic or glass and only large enough for the salmon to fit with a little room to spare. A metal pan will cook the dish too quickly.) Place the salmon in the pan and roll it in the olive oil. Add the onions, grapes, wine, and the crushed garlic clove. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the salmon. Place the spent lemon halves in the pan.

Place the salmon atop the onions and grapes so that it is not swimming in the wine, but rather sits above it.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in the oven for 20-22 minutes or until the salmon done. In this case, the salmon is going to need to be fully or nearly fully cooked through to 140 degrees F, otherwise the onions and grapes will not be thoroughly cooked.

Serve on warm plates with the grapes/onions spooned around the salmon with a little of the cooking juices.

Variation: Place two tablespoons of creme fraiche, or heavy rich cream, in a small saucepan along with 6 tablespoons of the cooking juices from the roasting pan. Heat the pan while you whisk together the cream and the juices; reduce them to become a sauce. Spoon a little sauce over each serving.

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