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Salmon and Duck Dinner


Dehydrated Citrus Garnish

  • 3 oranges
  • 3 limes
  • 3 lemons
  • Brush lightly with vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) salt
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 blood orange
  • 5 cloves (3 tablespoons/45 ml) garlic
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) chopped parsley

Pinot Noir Reduction

  • 24-ounce (750 ml) bottle of new world Pinot Noir or French Burgundy wine
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups (470 ml) fresh or frozen black cherries, pits removed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold butter

Honey Butter

  • 1 stick room temperature butter
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) honey
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground white pepper
  • To serve: 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sesame seeds

Maple Walnut Granola

  • 1 cup (240 ml) lightly chopped walnut pieces
  • 1 cup (240 ml) rolled oat flakes
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) walnut oil
  • ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup

Pickled Cantaloupe

  • 1/4 firm cantaloupe
  • ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar

Mascarpone Garnish

  • 8-ounce container of mascarpone
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 1 teaspoon (7.5 ml) ground black pepper
  • Season with salt

Fire-Roasted Poblano

  • 2 whole Poblano peppers
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 3 jalapeños


  • 6 thin (1/4-inch/6 mm) slices of baguette
  • Brush with olive oil

Seared Salmon

  • 2 pounds (907 g) salmon
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil

Citrus Butter

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) zest of one orange, blood orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon mixture
  • 1 stick of room temperature butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped garlic

Avocado Honeydew Gazpacho

  • 1 large ripe honeydew melon
  • 1 English cucumber
  • ½ bunch (60 ml) cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 avocados
  • 3 ½ fluid oz (100 ml) ginger beer

Cornbread Wet Mix

  • 3 grilled jalapeños
  • 2 small red sweet peppers
  • 2 small orange sweet peppers
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold butter
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) creamed corn
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil

Cornbread Dry Mix

  • 1 cup (240 ml) flour
  • 1 cup (240 ml) cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

Seared Duck Breast

  • 2-8 oz (227 g) duck breasts
  • Season with salt and pepper

Basmati Rice

  • 2 cups (270 ml) basmati rice
  • 3 cups (710 ml) of water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons (45 ml) chopped parsley



Long Processes: 4 ½ hours before Dinner Time

For the Dehydrated Citrus Garnish

  1. Preheat oven 200 F (95 C).
  2. Use a very sharp knife to slice one orange, one lime, and one lemon into very thin rings. Discard top and bottom.
  3. Prepare 2 trays fitted with 2 racks, brush lightly with vegetable oil.
  4. Lay neat slices of citrus in an even layer across the racks, making sure there is a good mix of colours, and that all the slices are quite thin, even, and seedless.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of sugar, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) salt over citrus slices
  6. Transfer the trays to the oven and set a timer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Using a rasp, zest one orange, blood orange, grapefruit, lime, and lemon. Combine and reserve zest (about ¼ cup/60 ml) for citrus butter.
  8. Cut the zested fruit in half. Squeeze the mixed juices into a container, using a strainer to catch the seeds. Reserve for the Cured Salmon.
  9. Pull 2 4-ounce (113 g) sticks of butter out to come to room temperature. Reserve for Citrus Butter and Honey Butter.
  10. Peel and chop 5 cloves garlic, enough to yield 3 tablespoons (45 ml). Reserve for the Citrus Butter.
  11. Wash and finely chop ½ bunch parsley leaves and tender stems, enough to yield about 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) chopped parsley. Reserve for the Citrus Butter and the Rice.

For the Pinot Noir Reduction

  1. Open a 24-ounce (750 ml) bottle of new world Pinot Noir or French Burgundy wine.
  2. Add the entire bottle of wine to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) black peppercorns, 1 sprig of rosemary, 2 sprigs of thyme, and 1 bay leaf to the wine.
  4. When boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, and leave over the heat, allowing it to reduce for 30 minutes.

About 40 minutes should have passed… if not, take a short break!

For the Honey Butter

  1. Transfer 1 stick of the room temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk.
  2. Whip the butter for 3-4 minutes, until it changes to a pale yellow (almost white) colour and the volume is increased by 1/3.
  3. While whisking, add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey, 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground white pepper.
  4. When combined, transfer to a nice serving bowl and reserve at room temperature.

Medium Processes: 3 ½ hours until Dinner Time

  1. Pull an 8-ounce (250 ml) container of mascarpone from the fridge to come up to room temperature.
  2. Remove the drying citrus slices from the oven. Set aside, on the racks, at room temperature.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 325 F (190 C).

For the Pinot Noir Reduction

  1. When the wine reduction has been on for about half an hour, strain out aromatics (discard) and return the infused wine to the pot over medium heat.
  2. Add 2 cups (470 ml) fresh or frozen black cherries, pits removed.
  3. Return the wine and cherries to the heat and reduce slowly for half an hour, until the cherries are plump and soft, and the sauce is thick and syrupy.

For the Maple Walnut Granola

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 cup (240 ml) lightly chopped walnut pieces, 1 cup (240 ml) rolled oat flakes, 1/3 cup (80 ml) brown sugar, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt, and mix to combine.
  2. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) walnut oil and ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup to the bowl and stir together until well combined and lightly clumping.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  4. Spread the walnut mixture in an even layer on the tray, no more than ½ inch (1.25 cm) thick.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway until clumped and crunchy and the raw flavour is cooked out of the oats.
  6. Preheat the grill to high heat.

For the Pickled Cantaloupe

  1. Slice a firm cantaloupe and remove seeds. Remove the peel from ¼ of the fruit, reserve the other ¾ for another use (not needed for this recipe… snack time!).
  2. Chop the peeled ¼ into very small cubes, about 1/8 inch (3 mm) per side. Reserve for pickling later as a garnish.

For the Mascarpone Garnish

  1. Transfer the room temperature mascarpone to a small bowl.
  2. Strip the leaves from 3 sprigs of mint.
  3. Chop the leaves very fine, enough to yield about 1 ½ tablespoons (7.5 ml).
  4. Add the chopped mint to the mascarpone, add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground black pepper and stir until well combined. Season with salt.
  5. Cover and add to a tray with the bowl of cantaloupe and refrigerate both until needed.
  6. Pull maple walnut granola from the oven.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 200 F (95 C).

For the Fire-Roasted Poblano

  1. Lightly brush the grill with oil.
  2. Lay on 2 whole Poblano peppers and grill over high heat until evenly and heavily charred.
  3. While still very hot, transfer the charred peppers to a sealed container or a zip top bag to steam for 10 minutes.

For the Crostini

  1. With a serrated bread knife, cut 6 thin (1/4-inch/6 mm) slices of crostini from a baguette on a thin angle, long enough to sit over a bowl (reserve the rest of the baguette for another use).
  2. Brush the bread slices with olive oil and grill for 20 seconds or so per side, until just toasted.
  3. Set the crostini aside at room temperature until needed.
  4. Place both pans of the citrus slices back in oven. Set a timer for an hour and a half.
  5. Turn off the Pinot-Cherry Reduction, rest at room temperature until needed.

Grill the jalapenos and corn

  1. Remove the husks and silk from 2 ears of corn.
  2. Brush with veg oil, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill 2-3 minutes, turning regularly, until lightly charred, set aside for the cornbread.
  4. At the same time, grill 3 whole jalapenos until lightly charred.
  5. Set the corn and jalapenos aside to cool at room temperature until needed for the cornbread batter.

Finish the Fire-Roasted Poblanos

  1. Remove the roasted poblanos from the sealed container and transfer to a cutting board.
  2. Holding the pepper by the stem, use the back of a paring knife to scrape away the charred skin, it should come off quite easily. Discard the skin.
  3. Open the pepper and cut out the stem and seed pod, then scrape away and discard all of the remaining seeds and membranes.
  4. Roughly chop the cleaned peppers for blending, refrigerate until needed.

Cure the Salmon

  1. Place a full side of salmon (2 pounds/907 g) flesh side up onto a tray with a lip, a baking dish, or a roasting pan – something that is large enough for the fish to lay flat.
  2. Check for any pin bones or sharp fins your fishmonger may have missed and remove them.
  3. Pour over the reserved mixed citrus juice.
  4. In a small bowl, make a dry cure by combining ¼ cup (60 ml) salt, and ¼ cup (60 ml) sugar.
  5. Spread the dry cure over evenly, pressing into the flesh.
  6. Flip the fish fillet over so the flesh side is lying in the juice and cure mixture, and the skin side is up.
  7. Transfer to the refrigerator for 2 hours.

About 2 ½ hours should have passed… if not? Time for another break!

Short Processes: About 2 hours until Dinner Time

Make the Citrus Butter

  1. Transfer 1 stick of the room temperature butter to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the reserved mixed citrus zest, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped parsley, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped garlic to the butter and fold ingredients together with a rubber spatula.
  3. Scrape the butter into a small container and set aside at room temperature until needed.

Make the Gazpacho

  1. Peel and seed 1 large ripe honeydew melon. Roughly chop for blending, add to a large bowl.
  2. Peel and seed 1 English cucumber, roughly chop for blending, add to the same bowl.
  3. Roughly chop the leaves and tender stems of ½ bunch cilantro (about ¼ cup/60 ml, loosely packed), add to bowl.
  4. Peel and lightly crush 2 cloves of garlic, add to the bowl.
  5. Add the reserved fire-grilled poblano.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cut 2 limes and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Stir ingredients together.
  8. Transfer (in batches, if needed) to the bowl of a blender and blend until smooth.  
  9. When well blended, halve, pit, and scoop the flesh from two avocados.
  10. Add the avocados to the mixture in the blender, and resume blending until smooth and creamy.
  11. Transfer the finished soup to a bowl and refrigerate until needed for plating.
  12. Chill six soup serving bowls at the same time.
  13. When ready, pull the 2 pans of drying citrus slices from the oven. Reserve at room temperature until needed.

About 3 hours should have passed, 1 ½ hours to go!

For the Cornbread

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
  2. Using a sharp knife, chop the 3 grilled jalapenos into small pieces (similar size to a corn kernel), keeping charred skin, flesh, and seeds. Discard the stems. NOTE: when handling hot peppers, use gloves and keep hands away from face and eyes to avoid painful burning. Also wash hands with soap after handling.
  3. Shave the kernels off the corn cobs: place a small bowl upside-down in the middle of a wide tray with a lip. Position a cob vertically on top of the up-turned bowl and hold it still while using a sharp knife to shave the kernels off and onto the tray, the lip on the tray will catch the stray kernels (well… most of them anyway). Keep shaving and turning the cob until all the kernels are in the tray.
  4. Cut 2 small red sweet peppers and 2 small orange sweet peppers into ¼-inch (6 mm) pieces. Avoid seeds and discard stems.
  5. Heat 4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the corn kernels, chopped jalapenos, and chopped sweet peppers to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes, until the sweet peppers are just starting to soften.
  7. Remove pan from heat. Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold butter and allow to melt.
  8. Transfer all ingredients from the pan to a mixing bowl, scraping the pan with a rubber spatula to transfer all the butter to the bowl. Set aside to cool.
  9. Make a Wet Mix: In the bowl with the veggie-butter mixture, add 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, and 1/3 cup (80 ml) of creamed corn. Stir all to combine.
  10. Refrigerate until needed at Dinner Time.
  11. Make a Dry Mix: in a separate bowl, combine 1 cup (240 ml) flour, 1 cup (240 ml) cornmeal, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking soda, and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt. Sift to combine. Set aside until needed at Dinner Time.

For the Duck

  1. Retrieve 2 8-ounce (227 g) duck breasts from the fridge.
  2. Trim the fat from around the edges of the breasts, squaring them off a bit for a neater presentation.
  3. Use a very sharp knife to score a crosshatch pattern into the fatty skin, not quite cutting all the way through.
  4. Reserve at room temperature until needed. NOTE: Please wash hands after handling raw proteins and before touching other foods/surfaces to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

For the Walnut Granola

  1. Break up the cooled walnut granola into small chunks, reserve at room temperature for plating.

About 3 hours and 45 minutes should have passed… home stretch!

  1. Remove the Salmon from the cure, rinse and pat dry. Return to the refrigerator until needed.

Pickle the finely chopped Cantaloupe

  1. Add ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar to the reserved chopped cantaloupe, refrigerate until needed.

For the Rice

  1. Rinse 2 cups (270 ml) basmati rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Transfer rinsed rice to medium saucepan.
  2. Add 3 cups (710 ml) water and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place on a back burner without turning on heat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).

Take a 30-minute break… then:

Dinner Time! (about 4 ½ hours since starting)

For the Cornbread

  1. Heat a 10-inch (25.5 cm) cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
  2. When the skillet is hot, add ¼ cup (60 ml) veggie oil and heat until shimmering.
  3. Quickly combine the bowl with the wet ingredients with the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until there are no large lumps of unmixed flour.
  4. Still working quickly, scrape the batter directly into the hot cast iron pan, making sure the hot oil forms a barrier between the batter and the pan.
  5. Transfer immediately to the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
  6. Cover cornbread with aluminum foil and wrap tightly around edges of skillet.
  7. Place cornbread in oven to re-heat.

Plate the Cornbread

  1. When warm, remove Cornbread from oven, take off the foil.
  2. Transfer the Cornbread from the skillet to a cutting board and cut 6 neat portions (reserve the rest for another day!).
  3. Transfer portions to 6 plates.
  4. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sesame seeds onto the Honey Butter in the serving bowl.
  5. Place the bowl of butter in the center of the table with the plates of cornbread around.

Serve immediately

For the Duck

  1. Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper, and place in a cold cast iron skillet, skin side down.
  2. Place the skillet over medium heat and leave for 6-8 minutes until sizzling.
  3. Flip the breasts over and immediately transfer the pan to the oven, set a timer for 4 minutes, cooking medium-rare, with an internal temperature of 125 F (52 C).
  4. Remove and let rest 5 minutes, loosely covered.

Plate the Duck

  1. Bring pinot-cherry reduction to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey.
  2. Season the reduction with salt and pepper.
  3. When simmering, remove from the heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold butter.
  4. Slice each of the rested duck breasts into 6 medallions, ¾-inch (2 cm) thick.
  5. Divide evenly, 2 medallions per plate, with the cut side up to show off the medium-rare meat.
  6. Season the cut side of the duck breast with flakey sea salt.
  7. Spoon a bit of the Pinot Noir-Cherry Reduction onto the duck and the plate.
  8. Garnish with Maple Walnut Granola and chervil leaves.
  9. Wipe the rims of the plates. Serve Immediately.
  10. Pull the mascarpone cheese and pickled cantaloupe from the fridge to warm slightly at room temperature for the next course.

Sit down and enjoy!

Plate the Green Gazpacho

  1. Retrieve the chilled soup and the chilled bowls from the fridge.
  2. Pour 3 ½ fluid ounces (100 ml) of ginger beer into the soup and stir to combine.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and lime juice, as needed.
  4. Ladle (about ½ cup/120 ml) the soup into the bowls.
  5. Use a spoon to schmear a dollop of Mascarpone Garnish onto 6 long crostini.
  6. Top the mascarpone with a spoonful of the Pickled Cantaloupe.
  7. Lay a dressed crostino over the rim of each bowl. Serve Immediately.

Sit down and enjoy!

For the Salmon

  1. Turn the heat on under the prepared pot of rice to medium-high. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Set timer for 12 minutes.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) veg oil in a very large (12-14 inches/30-36 cm) non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Sear the salmon, flesh side down, 2-3 minutes, until it starts to brown.
  5. Use a large spatula and carefully flip, then add the reserved citrus butter to the pan.
  6. When the timer goes of for the rice, turn off the heat and leave covered for at least 5 minutes… no peeking!
  7. Constantly baste and cook the salmon fillet: tilt the pan and use a large spoon to continuously coat the top of the fish with the hot citrus butter as it pools in the pan, keep repeating for 7-8 minutes until the salmon is finished cooking, about medium.
  8. Use the large spatula to transfer the fish to a large serving platter. Spoon the butter from the pan over the salmon.
  9. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) avocado oil, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar, 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped dried cranberries, and the remaining reserved chopped parsley.
  10. Toss to combine, transfer to a serving dish.
  11. Break shards of the dried citrus over the cooked Salmon.
  12. Serve the bowl of Basmati Rice and the platter of Citrus Salmon immediately.

Sit down and Enjoy!! Congratulations, you are a pro!

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