This recipe and the photos both by Noah Fecks look delicious.
Salmon, Lard et Basilic Timbale avec de la Salade de Riz à la Menthe
(Salmon, Bacon and Basil Timbales with Minted Rice Salad)
In the early 1960’s, francophiles Richard Olney and Julia Child championed the rustic, simple food they discovered in France. In sharp contrast to the molded salads, frozen juice concentrates and “convenience foods” of 1950’s America; the simple, honest dishes they sampled in Europe must have seemed revelatory. Both authors took cause to educate stateside readers on the possibilities of traditional, divine flavors in their own home kitchens.
In Honor of Mr. Olney and Ms. Child, I urge you to attempt these timbales; which hovers somewhere between a soufflé and a custard (once you get the hang of them, their variations are myriad). Rice salad, also quite common and popular in France makes an excellent accompaniment to this dish, which serves well warm for dinner, but proves equally fantastic cold for lunch the next day. Convenience, it would seem, is a luxury that the French enjoy as much as the Americans!
For The Timbales:
1 1/2 Lbs - Fresh Salmon Filets
4 Slices - Thick Cut Bacon
4 Tbsp - Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 Cup - 2% Plain Greek Yogurt
4 - Large Eggs
1/4 Cup - Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp - Well packed, finely chopped fresh Basil Leaves (with extra sprigs for garnish)
1/2 Tsp - Fine salt (with extra pinch for salmon prep.)
1/4 Tsp - Cracked Black Pepper (with extra pinch for salmon prep.)
For the Salad:
1 Cup - Medium or Long Grain Rice
1 - 15oz Can Black Beans
3 Tbsp - Well packed, finely chopped fresh Mint Leaves
1/2 Tsp - Fine salt (with extra pinch for rice prep.)
1/4 Tsp - Cracked Black Pepper
2 Tsp - Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 - 1 Cup Ramekins
1 - Large, Rectangular glass or metal casserole dish
Prepare The Timbales and Salad:
Fill a kettle with 4 Quarts of water, adding a pinch of salt. Set over high heat to boil.
Meanwhile, On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange 4 slices of bacon with space between the slices. place in the center of a cold oven, and set oven to 450. Set time for 20 minutes. Check bacon at 15 minutes, and remove when crisp and golden. Do not allow bacon to burn.
Transfer bacon to wire rack set over a paper towel, and set aside. Wash, rinse and dry baking sheet.
Add rice to boiling water and maintain a rolling boil over high heat. Boil for 12-15 minutes until tender. Do not allow the rice to overcook or burst. Drain rice into a fine mesh sieve or into a colander lined with cheese cloth. Spread drained rice onto baking sheet and transfer to refrigerator uncovered, to chill.
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
Next, check salmon and remove any bones. sprinkle salmon lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper. In medium sized skillet, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Simmer the salmon for 3 minutes on each side until pastel pink. Remove salmon from water and allow to cool. Remove & discard skin and flake fish with a fork, removing any remaining bones to obtain about 2 cups of flaked salmon meat. Reserve salmon in a small bowl and set aside.
Using 1 Tablespoon of the butter, grease ramekins liberally and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add cream and yogurt and whisk over low heat, to warm. Whisk for about 1-2 minutes, or until you see faint wisps of steam. Remove saucepan from heat, and add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each egg to fully incorporate. Reserve sauce off heat.
In a tea kettle or saucepan, bring 1 quart of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, Chop and mince basil, adding to reserved salmon. Crumble or coarsely chop bacon, adding to reserved salmon and mix well. Add salmon mixture, salt and pepper to Sauce. If the sauce is blocky or broken, reheat over low heat. If sauce is very thick, add 1 Tablespoon of water. Pour the sauce into the prepared ramekins, filling each ramekin about 3/4 full. Place ramekins in casserole dish, adding enough boiling water to the dish to surround the ramekins to about 2/3 height up the ramekins. Carefully place casserole with water and ramekins in the center of the 350 degree preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until a clean knife inserted in the center of one of the ramekins comes out clean.
Remove ramekins from water bath carefully, with a thick rag or heavy duty tongs, Placing ramekins on a wire rack to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Complete the salad and assemble the dish:
Drain black beans in a sieve, rinsing them well with cold water, and reserve. Chop and mince mint and reserve. Transfer chilled rice to a large bowl and toss with mint and beans.
In a medium glass or non-reactive bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk well to emulsify. Add to bowl with rice mixture, tossing and combining well.
Invert each ramekin on it’s own plate carefully and garnish the timbales with reserved basil leaves. Arrange rice salad alongside the timbales and serve.