Sometimes it’s just fun to make something elegant and composed that looks as pretty as it tastes. And while you wouldn’t think that National Potato Chip Day would be the day to be fancy with food, this lovely salad of poached salmon, oven-roasted potato chips and fresh vegetables tossed together in a creamy dressing of dill and lemon juice says otherwise. Serves 4 people.
Poached Salmon & Roasted Potato Chip Salad
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 seedless cucumber (also called English cucumbers)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 8-oz skinless salmon fillets (“Best Choices” U.S. farmed salmon or salmon wild-caught in Alaska. Avoid salmon farmed outside the U.S. Check out Race Street Fish Market for fresh salmon fillets.)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon salt
1 large or 2 small celery ribs
1 quarter of a purple onion
1/4 cup sour cream (can substitute good-quality mayonnaise)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• Place the egg in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain hot water and replace with cold water. Let the egg cool completely in the water, occasionally replacing the water with new cold water.
• Place 1/2 cup chopped dill in a food processor or blender with 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Process or blend until well-combined. Line a fine mesh strainer or sieve with a paper towel. Place the lined strainer over a bowl and pour the dill/oil mixture into the strainer. Set aside and allow the oil to strain.
• Julienne the cucumber into long thin strips. Toss together in a bowl with the rice vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve the salad.
• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
• Peel the potatoes and rinse under cold running water. Slice them into 1/4-inch thick slices. Toss potato slices in a bowl together with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Spread the potato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and, using a metal spatula, transfer the potato chips from the baking sheet to a paper towel.
• With a fine grater or microplane, zest the yellow peel from the lemon. Set the zest aside. Cut the lemon in half. Reserve one half for the dressing. Thinly slice the other half.
• In a large skillet, bring 2 cups of water, the bay leaf, the lemon slices and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. After coming to a boil, reduce the heat so the water barely simmers. Add the salmon fillets, cover the pan and poach over low heat until just cooked, about 6 minutes. When cooked, the salmon will easily flake with a fork. Carefully transfer the salmon to a plate and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the poaching liquid. Let the salmon cool completely then coarsely flake it with a fork in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest.
• Rinse the celery rib under cold running water and trim off and discard the white, tough bottom. Finely dice the celery. Add to the flaked salmon.
• Peel and finely dice the quarter of a purple onion. Add to the salmon.
• In a separate bowl, squeeze the juice of the reserved lemon half. Add the sour cream, Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, capers, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk together briskly until well-combined.
• Pour the dressing over the salmon and vegetables. Add the potato chips, reserving a few for garnishing the serving plates. Toss together lightly.
• Mound salad on four separate serving plates.
• Top with chilled, marinated julienned cucumbers.
• Peel and thinly slice the hard-boiled egg and arrange a few slices on the serving plates.
• Remove and discard the dill sediment in the lined strainer. Thinly drizzle the strained dill oil over the salad and plate.
• Arrange a few reserved potato chips on the serving plates as garnish.
While Poached Salmon and Roasted Potato Chip Salad is not as easy as opening a bag of chips and a refrigerated, pre-made carton of dip, it is well worth the effort and a healthier way to celebrate National Potato Chip Day.
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