Summer: Bacon-Wrapped Wild King Salmon, Sweet Corn Grits, Roasted Tomato Broth, Arugula-Basil Salad

Pairs perfectly with 2012 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay

Recipe by Chef Jeff Mall

Kernels cut from 2 ears white corn
3 cups water
1⁄4 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup stone-ground grits
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Salmon Fillets
4 wild king salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each), skin and pin bones removed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil

Arugula-Basil Salad
2 cups loosely packed baby arugula leaves
1 cup loosely packed small fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Roasted Tomato Broth for drizzling (recipe follows)

For the grits: In a small saucepan, bring 1 inch water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn kernels and cook just until tender, 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, the 1⁄4 cup cream, the butter, and Tabasco sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the grits in a slow, steady stream. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until very thick and creamy, about 40 minutes; if too thick, stir in a little more cream to thin. Stir in the corn kernels and season with salt and pepper.

For the salmon fillets: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pep-per. Wrap each fillet around the center with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fillets and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until the bacon is lightly browned and beginning to crisp. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the salmon for 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and remove the toothpicks. Set aside and keep warm.

For the salad: In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and basil leaves and toss well. To serve, divide the grits among 4 rimmed plates or shallow bowls. Drizzle each with 1⁄4 cup of the tomato broth (save the remaining broth for other uses), top each with a salmon fillet, and garnish with the salad. Makes 4 main-course servings

Wine Pairing: Sonoma County Chardonnay or Sangiovese

Roasted Tomato Broth
6 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 yellow onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups water

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes and onion with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan cut sides up and bake until the tomato skins are blackened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes and onion to a medium saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then puree in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Use now or rewarm over low heat. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes about 3 cups


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