Salmon in Kernel Sauce

A sign of returning normalcy: I not only cut out a recipe from Wednesday's Times, but I followed it for last night's dinner. It appeared in Melissa Clark's latest Good Appetite column: "Corn Steps Off the Cob, Into Elegance." The title caught my eye because my standard corn preparation is a light sauté. I cut the kernels off the cob, toss them with oregano and salt, and sauté them until a few of them begin to turn brown. This makes even the midwinter corn that we get from Mexico (so I'm told) taste delicious.

Ms Clark went a step further, and developed a corn sauce for fish. Since I am always looking for new ways with fish, I decided to give this one a try. You can follow the link to Ms Clark's version; what follows is mine. It's not significantly different.

Salmon in Kernel Sauce

For two people.

Preheat the oven to 500º.

Using a medium bowl - a batter bowl is perfect - stand two shucked ears of corn that still have a bit of stem in the bowl (one at a time) and slice the kernels off with downward strokes. (Note: the women I know tell me that this is not as easy for them as it is for me.) Sprinkle the corn with generous pinches of oregano and salt. Melt a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, toss in the kernels and sauté, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until a few kernels begin to brown. Return the kernels to the batter bowl.

Slice a half-pound piece of salmon filet in half, lengthwise, and place the slices in a buttered baking dish.

Chop or press a clove of garlic, and combine it into a paste with a tablespoon or two of butter, a dash of lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Spread the paste atop the slices of salmon. Bake the fish until cooked through (about seven to twelve minutes, depending on the oven).

Meanwhile, spoon half of the sautéed corn into a food processor with half a cup of water and a squirt of lemon juice. Purée this mixture, then return it to the sauté pan for gentle reheating, adding the remaining corn kernels. When the fish is done, pour the sauce over the filets and sprinkle chopped parsley on top. This dish is best served with rice.

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