Two Recipes from Julia Child: Poached Salmon Fillets and Steamed Lobster

Today marks the paperback publication of Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, which contains Julia Child’s essential techniques and recipes from a lifetime of cooking. The following two recipes from the cookbook perfectly showcase Julia’s simple genius for seafood.

Poached Salmon Fillet

8 6-8 oz. salmon fillets
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup white-wine vinegar
Lemon wedges (optional)
Butter (optional)
Hollandaise sauce (optional)

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to the boil in a large skillet, adding salt and white-wine vinegar.

2. Slide in the salmon, bring back almost to the simmer, and poach just below the simmer for 8 minutes—the fish is done when just springy to the touch.

3. Drain, remove skin, and serve with lemon wedges, melted butter, or hollandaise sauce.


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Steamed Lobsters

Approximate cooking times:
1-pounder = 10 minutes
1 ¼-pounder = 12-13 minutes
1 ½-pounder = 12-15 minutes
2-pounder = 18 minutes

6 live lobsters
Lemon wedges

1. Fit a rack in a 5-gallon pot and fill with 2 inches of seawater, or tap water with 1 ½ teaspoons salt per quart.

2. Cover and bring to a rapid boil, then quickly drop in 6 live lobsters headfirst.

3. Cover the pot and weight down the lid to make a firm seal. As soon as steam appears, begin timing as indicated. A lobster is probably done when the long antennas pull out easily. But to be sure, turn the lobster over and split open the tomalley—if all black, cook several minutes more, until tomalley is pale green.

4. Accompany with melted butter and lemon wedges.


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