Firecracker Salmon

Serves: 4 

By Nat Beerworth

This recipe is a cracker. As salmon is quite high in calories it doesn’t leave much room for sides – enter broccoli! Its a really fun dish that is hot and warm.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons low sodium low soy sauce
2 tablespoons Heinz chili sauce (substitute with Buffalo sauce or hot sauce to suit your heat preference)
1 teaspoon brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute) — OPTIONAL
pinch of crushed red chili flakes
1-2 teaspoons sriracha (adjust to suit your heat preference)
4 skin off salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to season
1/2 teaspoon paprika (mild, smoky or spicy)
1/4 cup chives chopped
1 bunch broccoli

Method

  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, minced ginger, olive oil, soy sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, red chili flakes and sriracha to combine.
  2. Season salmon with salt, pepper and paprika. Add salmon fillets to the marinade, turning each to evenly coat in the sauce.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight (if time allows).
  4. Preheat oven to 190C. Heat an oven proof skillet over medium heat with a small drizzle of oil.
  5. Sear salmon for 2-3 minutes on both sides, undisturbed, to get nice crust. (You may need to sear in batches depending on the size of your skillet.)
    Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining salmon.
  6. Return all salmon fillets to the skillet. Alternatively, transfer to baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
  7. Serve warm with chopped chives and boiled broccoli.

 Calories: 286

 

Vodka-cured Gravlax Canapés

Yields: 10

Nat and I recently married.

That old thing…

We had a long lunch with our best friends and family. Six courses.

Six courses of incredible food in the tradition of both of us loving long lunches, great food and amazing wine.

The first course was named ‘Soup and Sandwich’.

The soup was the famous Banc Sweet Corn and Basil amuse bouche, served cold in a shot glass. We chose this soup because we have been making it as a starter for years and warm or cold, it is just wonderful.

Sandwiches mean even more to us and at one stage, we really were flirting with opening a gourmet sandwich shop.

We did this vodka-cured gravlax, served on a toasted baguette and it was awesome.

Here is the ‘Soup and Sandwich’ course as a test we did a few weeks before our long lunch; the baguette was a bit big and so we made it smaller for the main event:

As a starter to any dinner party, you could do a lot worse…

Everything can be prepped the night before and the salmon only takes a night to cure.

Slice the salmon, toast the baguette and serve:

People will think you’re a genius. (Especially if it the first of many courses!)

Ingredients

1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp finely ground pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vodka
300gm salmon fillet, skin on
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp baby capers, rinsed
2 tsp lemon juice
1 qtr preserved lemon, finely diced
Chopped chives
1 shallot, minced
Baguette
Olive oil spray

Method

  1. Remove the pin bones from the salmon and place it skin down on plastic wrap.
  2. Combine the salt, pepper, sugar and vodka, spread over the fish, wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight, turning from time-to-time.
  3. Remove the skin from the salmon and slice very thinly.
  4. Combine sour cream, capers, lemon juice, preserved lemon, chives and shallots. Set aside.
  5. Heat oven to 180c. Thinly slice the baguette, spray with olive oil spray and toast until lightly golden. Allow to cool.
  6. Spread a small amount of the sour cream mixture on the baguette slices. Arrange salmon on the toasts, top with more. Of the sour cream mixture and a sliver of chives.

Roast Salmon, Bean and Potato Salad

Serves: 4

Salmon, green beans and potatoes pair beautifully and this classic and particularly simple Jamie Oliver number is yet another great example of why.

And it is even better cold the next day for lunch.

Pencil this in for next Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night.

(Note: I have changed the name of the original recipe – it was just a bit too ‘Jamie’ – as well as adapting the ingredients and method slightly.)

Ingredients

4 x 200gm salmon fillets
Extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, juiced and zested
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 clove of garlic, crushed
250ml fat-free natural yoghurt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
450gm baby potatoes, boiled, quartered and let to cool slightly
250gm green beans, cooked and left to cool slightly
1 bunch watercress
1 sprig fresh mint
1 sprig fresh basil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Rub the salmon pieces with a little oil, lemon juice and zest (saving some for the dressings), salt and pepper. Place them on a piece of baking paper and bake on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Combine the crushed garlic and the yoghurt and season with salt and pepper, a little lemon juice and the cayenne pepper.
  4. Dress the potatoes and green beans in a little salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest and olive oil. Toss together with the watercress and herbs and divide among four bowls.
  5. Break the cooked salmon up and place on the dressed beans and potatoes. Serve with a spoonful of the yoghurt on-top.

Red Thai Salmon Curry

Serves: 4

This is a doozy of a recipe and one that could easily become a weekday staple.

Just make sure you visit your local Asian grocer for a quality, Thai red curry paste.

I added the vermicelli noodles though you could just as easily serve it on rice.

Seriously, as simple as it is, this is one moorish dish.

Don’t delay.

Ingredients

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 onion, sliced
250ml reduced-fat coconut milk
500gm skinless salmon fillet, cut into 3cm pieces
200gm pack trimmed green bean
Half a pack of vermicelli noodles, cooked
Coriander leaves

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and then add the curry paste. Cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
  2. Add the onion and cook gently until softened; 5 – 10 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and then add the salmon and beans.
  3. Add the vermicelli noodles (if using) and let simmer for 5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and the beans are tender.
  4. Serve with coriander.

Salmon BLT Stacks with Lemon Caper Vinaigrette

Salmon BLT Stacks with Lemon Caper Vinaigrette

Serves: 4

Nat found this simple, relatively healthy number online and it is great.

The whole thing comes together as a really tasty meal, especially with the salmon, bacon and the vinaigrette. As good as any BLT.

And of course, you’ll have the best lunch in the office the next day.

Yum.

Ingredients

1kg salmon, skin off
8 slices, rindless bacon
3 tomatoes, sliced
4 good handfuls, rocket
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Lemon Caper Vinaigrette

½ cup olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp (heaped) capers
1 shallot, minced
¼ tsp salt

Method

  1. For the Lemon Caper Vinaigrette, in a bowl, whisk together the ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180c and bake the bacon on a baking tray lined with baking paper, until the bacon is crisp: 10 or so minutes.
  3. Heat a frypan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and cook the salmon on both sides until cooked to your liking.
  4. Arrange the rocket, then the tomato and then the bacon as a stack. Top with te salmon and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Jamie Oliver’s Salmon en croute

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Merry Salmon Christmas!

Jamie Oliver’s Salmon en croute

Serves: 4

We did a seafood themed-dinner the evening of Christmas Eve and one of the dishes we prepared was this number from Jamie Oliver.

It is something I have wanted to try for a while and with a beautiful side of salmon right from the fish markets (we doubled the recipe) it was a real hit: the sauce, the pastry, the thick, flaking salmon and the wonderful watercress and spinach filling.

Complete with Christmas pastry-work by Nat, it looked and tasted just like Christmas and it was just as good as a cold snack on Boxing Day.

I’m slightly sad thinking it will be almost a year until I can cook this number again…

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 French shallots
100gm baby spinach
1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
200gm baby leaf watercress
1 tbsp butter
1 lemon
1 whole nutmeg , for grating
200gm crème fraîche
500gm thick, skinless salmon fillet, pin-boned
500gm puff pastry sheets
1 large egg, whisked

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and brush it with a little oil.
  2. Peel and finely chop the shallots, roughly chop the spinach, then pick and chop the parsley leaves. Chop half the watercress, leaving the rest whole.
  3. To make the filling, warm the butter and a splash of oil in a pan over a low heat. Add the shallots and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft but not coloured.
  4. Add the spinach, parsley and chopped watercress to the pan with the zest and juice from the lemon. Season to taste and stir in a good grating of nutmeg.
  5. Cook down the leaves for 3 to 5 minutes, then mix in 1 tablespoon of the crème fraîche.
  6. Tip it into a sieve set over a bowl and press to squeeze out the juices. Leave the filling to cool.
  7. To make the sauce, blitz the remaining watercress and crème fraîche in a food processor with juices from the bowl. Season and transfer to a bowl and chill until needed.
  8. Slice the salmon fillet in half sideways, so you can open it like a book.
  9. Spoon the cooled filling down the middle, fold the fish back over to close and set aside.
  10. Prepare enough pastry sheets to fully wrap the salmon: 2, maybe 3.
  11. Place one piece of pastry on the baking tray and lay the salmon on top in the middle. With your finger, dab water around the edge of the pastry, then lay the other piece on top.
  12. Mould the pastry around the fish with your hands, then press the edges with a fork to seal. Score the top with a knife, then beat and brush over the whisked egg.
  13. Bake the salmon in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp.
  14. Serve with the watercress sauce.

Smoky Barbecued Salmon with Paprika and Cumin

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Lordy!

Serves: 4

This would be a really fun dish to share; whole piece of salmon flaked on a big board, some salads and potatoes at the side.

Yum.

Cooked this on a grill plate inside on account of the 9c outside weather, though on a BBQ in summer, it would be a real winner.

Easy, healthy, tasty and dramatic to look at.

Another salmon number that you’ll love.

From Tobie and Georgia Puttock’s The Chef gets Healhy.

Ingredients

2 tbsp hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 salmon fillets skin on (160gm each) or 640gm piece, skin on
Rocket leaves to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the BBQ, grill plate or a chargrill pan to high.
  2. Put the paprika, cumin and olive oil in a small bowl and stir to combine. Rub the spice mix all over the salmon
  3. Cook the salmon on the grill for a few minutes each side until cooked though still pink and starting to flake.
  4. Remove from the pan, rest for a few minutes and serve with the rocket alongside.

Glazed Salmon with a Cucumber Sesame Salad

Serves: 4

My fourth Bill Granger dish from his book, Everyday Asian.

And with a ‘great’ recipe strike-rate of three out of four and an easiness factor of ten out of ten, Bill Granger is officially no longer the suspect cook I had him for prior to cooking from this book. Going forward, i’ll trust him at his word and cook his recipes without worrying.

Donna Hay on the other hand…

Anyway, this is another really healthy, really tasty weekday number. The salad is really fun and served with some rice and a glass of white, this is a great couch/dinner/TV dish.

Ingredients

4 tbsp mirin
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 salmon fillets, skin off

Cucumber Sesame Salad

1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Lebanese cucumbers

Method

Salmon

  1. Combine the mirin, soy sauce, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Put the salmon fillets in a shallow dish, pour the mirin mixture over and set aside in the fridge for 15 minutes or more.
  2. Heat a pan on high heat and cook the salmon until nice coloured and pink inside.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small pan and heat over a high-heat for 4 minutes until it has reduced to a glaze. Pour over the cooked salmon and serve with the salad.

Salad

  1. Whisk together the mirin, vinegar and sesame oil.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to peel long ribbons from the cucumber.
  3. Toss the cucumber ribbons with the dressing.

The Boathouse: Salmon Roe & Potato Blinis with Wasabi and Crème Fraiche

 

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Amazeballs.

Serves: 8 – 10 as a starter

The Boathouse – that wonderful restaurant right on the water at Blackwattle Bay in Glebe, Sydney – is famous for its snapper pie.

And it is a truly wonderful dish; sweated onions, cream, truffle oil, snapper and amazing pastry served with a smoked tomato and a simple mash. Yum.

Though they have another classic and one that Nat and I have ordered the two times we have had lunch there: the Salmon Roe & Potato Blinis with Wasabi and Crème Fraiche.

They are just awesome. And the presentation is like theater.

A bowl of the roe, chilled on ice; the small blinis, fluffy pancakes, served hot to allow the crème fraiche to melt. The wasabi and then the roe.

Eaten whole, the sensory experience is everything. Ditto the taste experience.

So set the task of doing the amuse bouche for a lunch at my parent’s place, I asked Nat what she thought we should do and immediately she answered this recipe.

Easier said than done right?

I pushed back on the basis that we didn’t have a recipe etc. though I should have known that it wouldn’t be that simple.

Shortly thereafter – pretty much on schedule – Nat had tracked down the blini recipe on some chef’s recipe organiser website and the rest was pretty straightforward.

It is in fact a simple dish and I promise that the recipe below perfectly recreates the dish at The Boathouse. Stunning.

You should make around 40 or so blinis and then factor in a teaspoon of crème fraiche and roe for each, with just a dash of wasabi.

Casually pull these out at your next dinner party and people will think you’re some kind of cooking prodigy.

Ingredients

1.2kg potatoes
3 whole eggs
500gm crème fraiche
175gm plain flour
175gm egg whites (whipped to a firm peak) (about 7 – 8 eggs in my experience)
100gm wasabi
300gm salmon (or trout) roe
4 lemon halves, tied in a muslin cloth to serce

Method

  1. Peel and cook the potatoes. Puree, ideally through a ricer and allow to cool.
  2. Whisk the whole eggs and 100gm of the crème fraiche into the potato puree.
  3. Once smooth, fold in the flour.
  4. Gently fold in the firm egg whites.
  5. Heat a non-stick pan (you don’t really need to oil it and you don’t want your blini to be greasy) over a medium heat. Form the blini into small discs – small pancakes – around 4cm in diameter. Cook for three minutes each side and then set aside.
  6. When ready, heat the oven to 180c and reheat the blini so that they are hot through.
  7. In separate bowls, serve the wasabi, the remaining crème fraiche and roe and then serve a dollop of each  on the blini. A dash of lemon juice and serve to your amazed guests.

Fresh Roasted Salmon with Olive Oil (Escalope de Saumon Frais Roti a l’Huile d’Olive)

Serves: 4

What a simple, fabulous French dish. And so old school as well!

It is from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells, a book I am dying to cook more and more from.

Just read the ingredients, put a bottle of French white on ice and slice the bread. This is a late Sunday lunch and snooze wrapped up.

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 eschallots, finely minced
4 medium tomatoes (peeled, cored, seeded and chopped)
½ c crème fraiche (I used double cream for sake of avoiding a delicatessen)
4 salmon fillets, with skin attached
Salt
1 large bunch of fresh basil, minced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 165c.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet or solid saucepan. When the oil is hot, though not smoking, add the eschallots and sauté until soft, but not browned; around 2 – 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until much of the liquid has cooked away; about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the crème fraiche. Cook just long enough to heat the cream, and set aside.
  3. Brush the salmon and skin with the remaining oil. Heat an oven-proof pan over a medium-high heat. (The best way to achieve a crispy skin is to use a copper or metal bottomed pan, ensuring the fish is sufficiently oiled, and pressing the skin into the heat for 20 seconds.)
  4. Adding no oil, cook the salmon, skin down for 2 minutes. Season with salt. Turn the salmon over and cook for 2 more minutes, seasoning with salt again.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until opaque.
  6. To serve, stir the basil into the sauce. Spoon several tablespoons of sauce in the middle of the plate and place the salmon on top of the sauce. A crack of pepper and serve with crusty bread.