Salmon in galangal-tomato compote
* 1/3 cup coriander seeds
* 1 1/2 tablespoons mace blades
* 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
* 1 star anise pod
* 1 whole clove
* Cayenne pepper
* 1 3/4 pounds tomatoes - peeled, cored and halved crosswise
* 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons minced peeled galangal
* 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
* 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 large mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 10 large basil leaves, plus shredded basil, for garnish
* 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* Four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
1. In a medium skillet, combine the coriander seeds, mace blades, cardamom seeds, star anise and whole clove and toast over moderately high heat, shaking the skillet frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the spices to a plate to cool. Finely grind the spices with 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne.
2. Using a teaspoon, scoop the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes, leaving the shells intact, and add to a strainer set over a bowl; press on the seeds and pulp to extract as much juice as possible. Cut the tomato shells into 1/2-inch pieces and add them to the juice.
3. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.
4. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the ground spices and the galangal, lemon zest and brown sugar an cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the rice vinegar and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, water, mango and whole basil leaves and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and cayenne; keep warm.
5. Season the salmon with salt and cayenne. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the salmon and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, 3 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Pour the tomato compote into a strainer set over a bowl. Mound the compote in warmed soup plates, top with the salmon fillets and spoon the strained tomato broth around. Garnish with the shredded basil and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
MAKE AHEAD: The tomato compote can be prepared through the fourth step up to 4 hours ahead. Reheat the compote before proceeding.