Secrets from Latil's Landing
Salmon with Potatoes and Tarragon Sauce
2 large bunches fresh tarragon (about 1 ounce total)
1 large bunch fresh chives
1 large shallot
3/4 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 1/2 cups water
a 2 1/2- to 3-pound salmon fillet with skin
1 1/2 pounds pink fingerling or other new potatoes
Pick enough tarragon leaves to measure 1/2 cup (do not pack). Chop enough chives to measure 1/3 cup. Coarsely chop shallot. In a food processor puree tarragon, chives, and shallot with remaining sauce ingredients until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to cool room temperature before serving.
In a deep 10-inch skillet bring wine and water to a simmer, covered. Cut salmon into 6 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Submerge 3 salmon pieces, skin sides down, in simmering liquid (add hot water if necessary to just cover salmon) and poach at a bare simmer, covered, 8 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer cooked salmon with a slotted spatula to a platter to cool and poach remaining salmon in same manner. When salmon is cool enough to handle, peel off skin and if desired with a sharp knife scrape off any dark meat. Salmon may be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salmon to cool room temperature before serving.
Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. In a steamer set over boiling water steam potatoes until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Spoon sauce onto 6 plates and arrange some potatoes in a circle, overlapping slightly, on top of sauce . Season potatoes with salt and arrange salmon on top of potatoes. Garnish salmon with peas.
Follow the Rainbow
Have you ever actually found the end of a rainbow? Legend has it that at the end of every rainbow sits a leprechaun, hammering on a shoe, who will reveal the whereabouts of a crock of gold. Well, we found him. And while strolling through the gardens at Houmas House, if you look closely you too will see him tucked away behind the foliage.
Perhaps this little imp is responsible for the cash cow crop called "White Gold" that was harvested on the plantation's land in the 19th Century - Sugar as it's most commonly called today. Or maybe he's to thank for all the feelings of good luck visitors feel when they trip upon Houmas House while driving down winding River Road. He's possibly the reason each dining experience is unforgettable, each wedding is a dream come true, and every tour is magical. We like to think he brings good fortune to all who visit him.
So, is the end of the rainbow here at Houmas House? There's only one way to find out. You'll have to see for yourself.