Dom At Belleau Kitchen runs a monthly recipe challenge, with a difference. You choose a cook book; sometimes there is a criteria as to how to choose the book. Then randomly pick a page and cook that recipe. For January it had to be a recipe from your newest cookbook, as most of us foodies will have had at least one for Christmas, this gives it a good trial run.
I haven’t participated in one of Belleau Kitchen’s challenges before so the randomness of it was unnerving, what would I land myself with? Determined not to cheat, it would be so easy, I opened the book, took one look and thought, No way! I don’t have the equipment. After picking the same numbered page in another new book, my guilty conscience got the better of me and I re-opened Jamie At Home (why didn’t I already have this?) and prepared myself to cook my first Random Recipe – Hot Smoked (yes smoked, see the problem?) Salmon with Chilli Salsa. I changed the salsa to beetroot and made a dill cream to go with the salmon.
There is an element of Heath Robinson to the smoking recipe in Jamie’s book, but it does mean that as long as you have a biscuit tin and either a wire rack that fits the tin or some chicken wire, you can smoke away. I turned to my trusty Forgotten Skills Of Cooking and checked out Darina Allen‘s suggestions for smoking small scale.
I knew, having watched endless re-runs of Masterchef Australia (and there’s alot of them) that it’s possible to smoke in a wok. So I was looking for something easier, for me, than the biscuit tin, wire bending, hole punching jobby. If the tin appeals and the chilli salsa, the original Jamie Oliver recipe is available here. Otherwise, this is how I did it.
Hot Smoked Salmon, Beetroot Relish and Dill Cream
Equipment for hot Smoking: Medium depth pan with tight fitting lid. This can be a deep frying pan, wok, roasting pan – which I used, or Jamie’s biscuit tin. Some form of wood chips to provide the smoke. I used sawdust untreated from a pet shop.
- 2 fresh salmon fillets
- Salt and pepper
- Sprinkle of olive oil
- handfull of fresh sage leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
For the beetroot relish
- 4 cooked beetroot
- 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 spring onion cut very fine
- 1 chilli de-seeded and cut very fine
For the dill cream
- 250 mls creme fraiche, can be low fat
- 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
- 25g bunch of dill
- Line the bottom of the roasting tin with foil, ensuring it comes up over the edges.
- Place two hand fulls of sawdust into the bottom of the tin. (Use less sawdust if the dish you are cooking in is smaller.
- Put the herbs on the sawdust
- Put the rack in the tin, place the lid on and heat over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sawdust starts to brown and begins to smoke.
- Meanwhile season the salmon and drizzle with olive oil
- Once the sawdust has started to colour quickly remove lid and put the salmon skin side down on the rack. Cover and fold the foil up over the edge of the lid.
- Leave on medium heat for 7 – 8 minutes. You will see the fish start to go from salmon pink to pale orange to a darker orange colour. This is when your fish is done.
- After 7 – 8 minutes turn off the heat and let the fish cool slightly with the lid on.
To make the beetroot relish
- Dice the beetroot as evenly as possible.
- Put the beetroot into a small bowl and add the balsamic vinegar, mix together.
- Add the spring onion and chilli and combine well. Set aside
To Make the dill cream
- Finely chop the dill
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well together.
To assemble dish
- Place the fish on a plate
- Add the beetroot relish generously, slightly cover one end of the fish.
- Add a large dollop of the dill cream to act as a sauce.