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Video: Picnic perfectly with cold salmon and citrus salad

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    >>> time for today's kitchen an what's cooking.

    >> love is in the air . if you're looking for something fun to do with the crush in your life or even your husband, you might want to consider a picnic in the park.

    >> here to pack is jacque, chef of the legendary restaurant.

    >> i love talk like that. how are you?

    >> for our picnic in the park, love begin is in the kitchen, ladi ladies. we will do a salmon , a wild alaskan salmon with a sesame crust. we will put a little salt and pepper on the salmon .

    >> wild salmon is more expensive and tastes better.

    >> the herbs are in season now. the salmon is in season. we will put the salmon and do the crust like this. you have that wonderful contrast between the crust and the salmon . i will take a little broth, a little vegetable broth and pour it halfway up. we don't want to wash off the sesames. bring that to a broil and we will put it in a 325 degree oven and bake it all the way through and take it out and let it cool right in that pan and cover it and refrigerate it. then we will make our herb mayonnaise. i have a quarter of an acre herb garden .

    >> that must be heaven this time of year, too?

    >> i recommend the bottled mayonnaise just for safety's sake, we will have onions and parsley an water crest and we will have chives and tarragon.

    >> she's whipping up a storm.

    >> terrific. if you ever want a real job --

    >> she does not want a real job.

    >> i don't blame her, i understand.

    >> which she is proving on a daily basis.

    >> lemon juice and one chopped egg and a little bit of cayenne to spice things up as if it isn't already spicy enough around here. that is our herbed mayonnaise, all fresh herbs.

    >> we will let that cook how long?

    >> 7 minutes at 425. we will come over here.

    >> look at the beautiful picnic basket .

    >> like a concert in the park where people have can dra lab bras and champagne?

    >> it's just awesome.

    >> we have our herb mayonnaise. keep everything cold. it's important even though the bottle mayonnaise is shelf stable. we've added other ingredients. we will make a water crest orange salad. this is lemon --

    >> lemon vinegar ret?

    >> no. orange and olive oil . orange juice and olive oil , salt and pepper . very very simple and delicious.

    >> all you need.

    >> what's in the dessert department at the end?

    >> hoda always wants to get to the dessert and we haven't had the main course .

    >> orange crusted tart.

    >> we have to mention your daughter happens to be a big deal on nbc.

    >> well, i don't know how big.

    >> come on in.

    >> sara is a little bit of a afraid. come in, we'll try it.

    >> it's sensational.

TODAY recipes
updated 6/26/2012 1:12:45 PM ET 2012-06-26T17:12:45

Recipe: Cold salmon with black sesame crust and herb mayonnaise

  • Salmon
  • 1 recipe Aromatic Broth
  • 2 ounces black sesame seeds
  • 10 ounces skinless salmon fillet
  • Butter
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Herb mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped watercress
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 small hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped capers
  • Sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

To prepare the salmon, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the salmon into 2 equal fillets. Season with salt and pepper and press the sesame seeds into 1 side of each fillet to form a crust. Place fillets in a buttered baking pan and add approximately 1 cup of the Aromatic Broth. The broth should just cover the bottom of the pan to a depth of ¼ so as not to rinse away the sesame seeds. Bring to a boil on top of the stove and place in a pre-heated 425-degree oven for approximately 7 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool right in the cooking pan. Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare the mayonnaise sauce: Place the mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including the watercress and parsley. Blend thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Chill until ready to serve.

To serve: Place the cooled salmon on two chilled plates and garnish with the mayonnaise. Serve with a mixed salad, if desired.

Recipe: Orange and watercress salad

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced fine
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 oranges
  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 20 nicoise olives
  • Orange vinaigrette
  • Juice from oranges
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Finely slice ½ red onion. Place in sieve over a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Let stand while preparing the other ingredients, then rinse with water, drain and press between paper towel to squeeze out excess liquid. Toss wilted onions with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.

Cut top and bottom off 4 oranges and slice away skin and pith. Remove orange segments by running a knife between the membranes and catching the juices to reserve for the vinaigrette.

To make the orange vinaigrette, combine juice from oranges, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Wash and pat dry the watercress. Place watercress, niciose olives and orange segments in a bowl and toss lightly with orange vinaigrette. Top with wilted red onion slices.

Recipe: Blueberry tart

  • One 9-inch pie shell, baked
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, with stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wash the blueberries and drain well. Place the cleaned blueberries in a small bowl and add the kirsch.  Mix with a spoon and allow to marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the lemon rind.

Combine the yolks, whole eggs, and sugar in a deep bowl. Beat well with an electric mixer on high speed until the mixture whitens, approximately 5 minutes. Turn mixer down to low; pour in the heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon butter. Beat for 10 seconds.

Place the blueberries and kirsch in the baked pie shell. Pour the custard over the berries and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the custard sets and is lightly browned on top.

Let the pie cool before serving.

Serving Size

Serves 4 to 6

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