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Celebrating Chinese New Year with Asian Plum Salmon with Whiskey Peppers

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To truly experience the wondrous joy of Chinese New Year (this year being the Year of the Horse), one must surround themselves with color, joy, laughter and great food. You don't have to be Chinese to celebrate this festive time of the year and many cities across American will be holding parades to honor the Year of the Horse during the 15-day celebration. Personally, I can't think of a better way of celebrating than with some classic dishes from China (real Chinese food, not Americanized Chinese food).

In the restaurant business you have to prepare for the eye as well as the palate. As a Chef I want to capture your soul as well as your appetite. I want to see the sparkle in your eyes when the dish is presented to you and then I want to see the look of amazement when that first taste of the dish enters your mouth. Whenever I have had this dish on the menu, it has never failed to please.

I created this dish due to my love of both Asian and Southwestern cuisines. I have always felt that fusing these two cuisines is natural. Both cuisines rely heavily on fresh and natural ingredients, both are rapidly prepared and both, when presented properly, play to both the eye and the palate.

Though it may seem this dish is difficult to prepare, nothing could really be farther from the truth. It is quite simple and you don't have to know any special tricks or techniques. You do, however, want the freshest ingredients. Make sure your salmon is fresh and your peppers have a firm touch and a gleam to their skin. As far as the whiskey is concerned, only the best will do for this dish and my guests!

So... enjoy the absolute elegance of Asian cuisine fused with the class of Southwestern cuisine in Asian Plum Salmon with Whiskey Peppers!

Ingredients needed to make Asian Plum Salmon with Whiskey Peppers (serves 2):

  • 2 salmon fillets, skin still on
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs. Asian plum sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. 5-spice powder
  • 1 yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and julienned
  • 1 Tbs. chili oil
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and sliced

Steps:

  1. If the salmon is not fresh, rinse under cold running water and then pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the toasted sesame oil, Asian plum sauce and 5-spice powder.
  3. Spoon the plum sauce mixture onto the salmon and gently massage it over the entire fillets. Set the salmon aside 20 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Pre-heat your broiler.
  5. In a medium saute pan or skillet, heat the chili oil over medium heat. Add the peppers and cook 2 minutes (you are sweating the peppers and not really cooking them).
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the whiskey. Place the pan back on the heat and cook 1 minute.
  7. Remove the peppers from the heat and set aside.
  8. Place the salmon under the broiler and broil 7 minutes (or to desired doneness depending on the thickness of the fillets).
  9. Remove the salmon from the broiler and place onto serving plates.
  10. Arrange the whiskey peppers around the salmon.
  11. Place the raw jalapeno peppers atop the salmon and serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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