They Like us, They Really, Really Like Us!

photo credit: Signe Langford

By Signe Langford

In ’64 Canada saw the start of the British Invasion. The Beatles, Stones, Moody Blues, Herman’s Hermits. We fell in love with the hair, the style, the music.

On May 17th, 2010, it was our turn. While there weren’t throngs of screaming, fainting, oenophiles crowding the tarmac at Heathrow, there were Britain’s top wine critics sipping and, dare I say, swooning over Ontario’s best cool climate chardonnays at Canada House in London.

From Steven Spurrier, a rather influential British wine merchant, “I was amazed. There was not a single poor wine here. They all have an individual personality. They’re all brilliantly well-made. I’m very impressed.”

Here’s a recipe for one of the tastiest dishes to pair with a Canadian chardonnay.

Local asparagus, pan-fried salmon with hollandaise

1 bunch asparagus, bottoms snapped off, blanched, shocked, set aside
4 portions of salmon, skin on, season both sides with sea salt and pepper, set aside
6 egg yolks
juice of half a lemon
2 Tbls finely chopped chives
½ tsp finely ground pepper
1/3 lb of butter (approximate), soft, room temp

Set a bain Marie, or double boiler, over med heat. To the bowl, add lemon juice, pepper, and yolks. Start whisking like mad and scraping down the sides. Don’t stop and don’t let the bowl get hot or you will have some sour scrambles eggs! Add the butter, a bit at a time. Add the chives. When thick, remove from heat, but keep on whisking for a bit more, until it’s cooled a bit and has stopped cooking.

Over med-high heat, pan sear the fish, start with a very hot pan, a bit of butter, skin side down. When skin is crispy and browned, flip and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Lay the asparagus on the plate, top with the fish, and pour a couple of heaping spoons of the hollandaise across the fish.