My first gastrique, how's it look?

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Joined Oct 23, 2008
I've never made a gastrique before, but I see it done a lot, and the idea seemed simple enough. A friend gave me a humongous lemon off his tree, so I used that to make a lemon gastrique for my salmon dish tonight. I started with a simply syrup then caramelized the sugar to a golden brown then whisked in some rice wine vinegar, let that reduce some and whisked in the squeezed lemon juice, I let it reduce to what I figured was the right consistency and plated my meal.. coriander crusted salmon with a lemon gastrique over parsnip puree, side salad of arugula in a simple vinaigrette. Does the consistency look correct? It sure tasted good (I've never had parsnips either, those are delicious as was the gastrique.. a real sweet and tart compliment to the fatty salmon)

 
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Hi Eastshores, nice looking dish :)  The gastrique looks good and syrupy.  Parsnip is a much underated vegetable,  if you have a chance, try it in a mash with potato, maybe Yukon Gold.

My only critique on this is the skin on the salmon looks a little wet - did you want/mean to have it crisp? 

Tell me when you're doing it next and I'll be there /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
 
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Thanks for the comments DC. I'll have to give parsnips in potatoes a shot. I also think I'll have to try growing some, they are a bit pricey in my grocery store and everything tastes better coming out of the ground. I did actually mean to apply the gastrique to the salmon, it didn't get soggy because what looks like skin is actually the coriander crust I put on it, it was skinless.

I wish I had done something a little different with the arugula, but nothing was coming to me in the store. Maybe some raspberries would have been good mixed in?
 
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Your plate looks great Eastshores. Maybe you overcooked the salmon a bit?

Parsnips are great. They taste very strong in the beginning of the season and then they get more softer tasting later on. They are indeed great mixed in some potatomash, but I also like them "nature"; peeled and in chunks, cooked in slightly salted water, mixed with only a little cream; delicious! In my country they are now becoming more popular again. They were considered a "forgotten vegetable".

"...Maybe some raspberries would have been good mixed in..." My idea; please, no! A simple salad like that is perfect.
 
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Eastshore, if you do grow parsnips, keep a couple of things in mind.

First, they have a comparatively long growing season. And, like many other root veggies, they actually sweeten up after being touched by frost. So you might be disappointed with the results.

But, what the heck, if you don't try you never know for sure.
 
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That's a nice looking plate.  I'm really fond of protein served over a vegetable.  I don't know what a gastrique is technically but I think it's like a little sauce that is streaked over the dish.  Many times they are streaked next to the protein instead of on top in fancy restaurants.  In the end the most important thing is that it tastes good and it compliments your dish, did it do that?

Simples salads are seriously underrated and I often enjoy a simply dressed foliage like that.  However if you do want to spike it up a bit add it in texture, not fruit because it doesn't compliment the salmon very well.  Maybe a couple of toasted pine nuts and a couple of shreds of finely slivered red onion that has been pinched with a little salt and lemon juice then tossed into the greens. 
 
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KK, a gastrique is merely a vinegar-based reduction. Vinegar and other ingredients (often with some sugar, as well) are boiled down until reaching a syrupy consistency. The gastrique is then used as a sauce. Over or under the protein depends on your plating orientation.
 
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eastshores - if you want to tart up the arugula, I'd keep it pretty simple, maybe some shredded radishes or finely sliced red onion done as per Koukouvagias suggestion.  The pine nuts sound good, I'd be tempted to toast them first.  Even some toasted sesame seeds could work.

Now on closer inspection I see the fish is skinless.  Oops on me :)  You could experiment and leave the skin on, just crisp it first then turn and finish off cooking on a lower heat.  If you like the skin, that is.
 
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