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Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Baked salmon with beurre blanc sauce

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Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.

Not that any of us here at Cafe Society headquarters have any intention of making New Year's resolutions, but if you, unlike us, are one of those people, then Barb says you might want to consider the benefits of salmon if your New Year's resolutions includes -- as they usually do -- some sort of wayward promise to eat better. "There's no better way to ring in the New Year than with salmon, which is healthy and full of all the right fat," Barb contends. But since today's recipe calls for a beurre blanc sauce, it's not exactly the diet equivalent of carrots and cucumbers. "The butter sauce is a fitting way to say goodbye to the season of rich food," she says. And while you're at it, you may as well toss in a few bottles of wine to usher in the New Year with dignity. Barb recommends pouring an Ingleheim Riesling from Alsace, France, which is $14.99 at Marczyk Fine Wines.

For the salmon:

1 side salmon, about five pounds, deboned Olive oil Salt and pepper 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Directions:

1. Rub salmon lightly with olive oil. 2. Season with salt and pepper and fresh thyme and let rest for about 15 minutes. 3. Bake in a 350-degree oven, uncovered, for about 12 minutes per pound. The skin should be crisp and the flesh medium rare.

For the beurre blanc sauce:

1 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped 1 pound unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes Salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Place wine, shallots and vinegar in non-reactive saucepan, bring to boil and reduce to 3 tablespoons. (If you want a really traditional smooth sauce, strain the shallots out. If not, leave them in.) 2. Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in butter. When you're down to your last 3 cubes, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the last cubes. 3. Season to taste. 4. Pour sauce over salmon and serve with lemon wedges.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog and Marczyk Fine Wines.

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