Red Wine-Poached Pears and Lake Como-Style Salmon

By AM Northwest Staff

Red Wine-Poached Pears


  • 4 firm but ripe Bosc or Anjou pears
  • 1 bottle merlot
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • Ground Cinnamon for garnish


Peel the pears, leaving a bit of skin and the stem intact at the top. Combine the wine, 1 cup of the sugar, the water, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with knife, but not too soft-about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the pears to cool completely in the wine mixture. Cover and chill the pears in the liquid overnight. Remove the pears from the liquid and keep chilled until ready to serve. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick and discard. Return the liquid to the stovetop and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Let boil until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool at least 30-45 minutes before serving. Serve the chilled pears with the syrup and some creamy sweetened mascarpone, whipped cream, or the Marsala Zabaglione. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon for garnish.

Lake Como-Style Salmon


  • 1 1/4 pounds salmon fillet, skin-on
  • 2 sprigs oregano, stems discarded
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives


Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 475 degrees. Tear a large piece of parchment and aluminum foil, and set the parchment on the foil. Place the salmon, skin-side down, on the parchment. Sprinkle with the oregano leaves, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and season lightly with salt. Wrap the parchment and foil together, crimping the edges well, but leaving a bit of room for steam in the packet. Set the packet on the preheated baking sheet and bake until the packet puffs up with steam and the salmon is barely cooked through 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the salmon from the foil, being careful of any hot steam, and place on a serving platter. Drizzle with the remaining lemon juice and the olive oil. Sprinkle with more salt and season with pepper. Garnish with the snipped chives. Let stand for several minutes for the lemon and olive oil to permeate the fish. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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