salmon and sauce

In my house, there are no walls and no doors (except in the bathroom). We are a tight knit family, the three of us. The truth is, we prefer to always be together. The not insurmountable challenge comes when we have house guests because, well, because. Right now we have friends of ours who have just made the move to America, along with their baby and a Jack Russell, and they are camping in the living room area. None of us are sleeping as much as we may be used to, but it’s always a party at the table. Last night I had another two friends from out of town, and we could have gone out to eat, but why go out when it’s more fun to cook and there is room on the bench?
Because I am in love with the sweetness of fresh fish and our new grocery store sells only fish that was caught yesterday, I started out with a menu of lamb shanks and ended up buying Scottish salmon instead. I skinned the filets, cut them into fat three by two inch squares, and seared them off in a little olive oil on one side. For a sauce to set the fish on, I sauted a shallot with a sprig of thyme and a sliver of garlic in olive oil, then added a few cups of red wine to reduce to only a few tablespoon fulls. I smashed everything through a sieve, then off the heat, whisked in a tablespoon of heavy cream and a few tablespoons of butter. I finished the filets in a 350 degree oven, letting them go only long enough to swell them, leaving them pink in the middle.
They went alongside tiny scallops, roast potatoes, spinach with garlic and a loaf of French bread. For dessert we had chocolate mousse with cream and strawberries. Even the baby slept.

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