Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Freethinker’s salmon


Serves two:

  • 4 large shallots
  • 350 ml fish stock (jar)
  • 200 ml red wine (Merlot)
  • pepper and salt
  • 250 g salmon fillet cut into two pieces
  • butter
  • 200 g small mushrooms
  • 4 spring onions
  • slices of casino as needed


For the sauce:

  • 25 g butter
  • 2 level tbsp wheat flour

What led Koba Catenius, author of a lot of Dutch cookbooks, to call this dish à la Génèvoise (as in Geneva), she does not explain. But she gives her Vischkookboek (Fish Cookbook, 1916) as a motto: “Our people must learn to eat fish. It is therefore necessary that the housewife learns to prepare fish”. And indeed, meat was scarce during the 1914-18 war, so why not a tasty salmon? So much the better because at that time you still could scoop the fish out of the wide Dutch rivers almost by hand.

Koba prepared it in such a way that it looked like meat: ‘in red wine sauce’. In classic French cuisine this dish is called saumon braisé au vin rouge, dit à la Bourguignonne ­– as prepared in Burgundy. A dish that has not yet bowed to the dogma of no-red-wine-with-fish. Fortunately, some heresies are kept up stubbornly by culinary freethinkers.

  • Peel the shallots which usually contain 2 cloves, so far that the cloves come loose.
  • Bring the fish stock and wine with the shallots covered to the boil in a wide pan. Place the salmon in it and wait for the liquid to boil again. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it and leave it off the heat for 15 minutes.
  • Fry the wiped mushrooms in a knob of butter with the coarsely chopped spring onions (finely chop the green ends and set them aside).
  • Remove the crust from the bread slices and cut into squares. Brush on both sides with a little butter and fry in a non-stick pan until light brown.
  • Place the fish on a warm greased dish. Reduce the fish liquid to half over a very high heat. Scoop out the shallots with a slotted spoon.
  • In the meantime, fry the butter and flour while stirring to a chestnut brown in a small pan. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually beat the fish stock into the flour. Allow to cook while stirring until a smooth sauce is obtained. Spoon this sauce onto the fish. Surround with the bread squares, shallots and mushrooms. Garnish with the green of the spring onions.

Wine: Merlot.


Menu suggestion:

  • As a starter: Melon with ham. Flank skinned melon moons on plates with smoked ham.
  • Dessert: Chef’s cup. Put 2 scoops of ice cream per person in a bowl with one tbsp orange liqueur, cover with 1 tbsp eggnog (Dutch: advocaat), sprinkle thinly shaved bitter chocolate on top.


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