Tuesday, June 05, 2007

thump me with a salmon (confit)

after fighting the will to sleep in and surviving the drama of p’s debit card almost being eaten by the cash machine, we finally made the very eventful 10 minute drive to billingsgate market in our quest for a very fresh piece of salmon. billingsgate’s a real adventure compared to the waitrose fish counter. where else would you get accosted by a fishmonger with two crab claws stuck on his incisors pretending to be a walrus? despite our best efforts, our early morning faffing had resulted in us having to do the unthinkable – they had run out of sushi grade salmon filets, and our only option was to buy the whole salmon. how would we cut this up we asked? with a knife – came the straight faced answer.

the adventure continued back in my kitchen as we grappled with the task before us. the rather large salmon had thankfully been gutted, so all that needed to be done was to de-scale the sodding thing and cut it up into manageable chunks. this was made exponentially harder due to the fact that we had absolutely no knife skills, fish filleting knowledge or a decent knife. p decided to de-scale the fish with my vegetable peeler, which proved strangely effective, but resulted in a flight of fish scales around the kitchen counter. filleting seemed a doddle after that – especially when motivated by the prospect of eating slices of the raw salmon dipped in soya sauce and wasabi. p had already taken the chopsticks out.

however. a and ls were coming for lunch, and we couldn’t very well just serve them raw fish. it was the perfect opportunity to experiment and a good day for salmon confit – inspired by tetsuya’s recipe for his signature confit of petuna ocean trout.

salmon confit

fresh salmon filets
grapeseed oil
olive oil
½ tbsp ground coriander
½ tsp white pepper
10 whole basil leaves
¼ tsp finely chopped garlic
sea salt

bunch of parsley
100ml olive/grapeseed oil
½ tbsp capers

marinade the salmon filets (overnight) in the grapeseed and olive oils with the coriander, pepper, basil and garlic. preheat the oven at the lowest possible setting. take the fish out of the oil and bring to room temperature. place on baking tray and bake for 7-8 minutes with the oven door open. baste every few minutes with the oil marinade. the fish should not have changed colour but just feel lukewarm to touch. remove from oven and cool. blend the parsley, oil and capers to a puree. i served the confit with a salad of watercress and a sprinkling of sea salt.


Blogger Jeanne said...

Wow - well done you for grappling with that fish! The only whole salmon I have ever bought had been gutted, scaled, filleted and butterflied to my specifications - you are a far braver woman! Recipe sounds quite heavenly too. I live probably a 10 minute drive from Billingsgate and have never been - the shame :o)

4:25 AM  
Blogger the guvnor said...

Jeanne - you must go to Billingsgate! It's really fun (in a slightly masochistic way). See you at the picnic (if we don't get all rained out). R

5:14 PM  

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