It is 16oF outside, wind blows through bare branches, while a murky gray sky looms overhead. Dead leaves skitter across dried brown grass. Time for comfort food! But not just any comfort food. Paulo and I are hungry, now, and as much as we love our slow-cooking, long-simmering, bubbling-on-the-stove-all-day kind of meals, sometimes we want a warmly delicious dish that can be prepared quickly. This lovely creamed cabbage with salmon fits the bill perfectly. From start to finish it takes about 30 minutes.
It is homely comfort food, but with a touch of glamor, a hint of luxury, to add a little luscious complexity. Cabbage and salmon, yes, but with a splash of wine and cream, along with a sprinkling of excellent bacon to lend a smoky, salty edge. So very good on such a cold day. We ate nearly the entire recipe between just the two of us, while sipping Sauvignon Blanc (the same wine used in the sauce). We send out our sincere thanks to Colman Andrews, who provided the recipe from which I adapted this version. Despite the cold outside, the atmosphere indoors is warm, relaxed, and happy.
Creamed Irish Cabbage, with Salmon
4 salmon fillets
1/4 lb. smoky bacon, diced
1 lb. green cabbage, shredded
1/4 dry white wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup fish or seafood stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Rinse the salmon fillets and pat dry with a clean dish towel. Rub a little olive oil into each side of the fish, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Saute the bacon in a wide, deep pan until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings behind.
Sear the salmon in the drippings, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan. Add the cabbage to the pan, stirring to coat with the drippings. Saute, stirring frequently, until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, vinegar, stock, and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, until the cabbage is tender, but still retains a little body, about 20 minutes.
Arrange the salmon fillets on top of the cabbage, cover, and cook until the salmon is barely done. This should take only a few minutes longer. To serve, spoon cabbage onto each plate, place a salmon fillet on top, drizzle cream sauce over the fish, and sprinkle with bacon.