Looking for a coastal alternative to your traditional Christmas dinner? Why not try this trio of tempting fish dishes for a taste of the sea?
SMOKED SALMON SALAD WITH CITRUS AND SPICE
SERVES: 6-8 as a starter or 3-4 as a main
PREPARATION TIME: 30 mins
• 100g watercress
• 2 red onions
• 1 cucumber
• 3 limes, zest and juice
• 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
• 2 tbsp Demerara sugar
• A pinch of dried chilli flakes, to taste
• Sea salt
• 400g smoked salmon
1. Rinse the watercress, picking out any thick stalks, and then pat dry and put to one side.
2. Peel and very finely slice the red onions. Halve the cucumber. Make thin strips by running a vegetable peeler down the cucumber halves till you get down to the seeded core.
3. Pop the lime juice and zest in a bowl with the brown rice wine vinegar, Demerara sugar, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt. Whisk the lime dressing together till the sugar dissolves. Taste and add a little more salt and dried chilli flakes if you think it needs it.
4. Divide the watercress, red onion and cucumber ribbons between your plates, or pile it all onto one big platter to bring to the table. Top with the smoked salmon and spoon the dressing over the top. Serve.
ROAST TROUT WITH PROSECCO, DILL AND CREAM SAUCE
PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: 20 mins
• 2 whole rainbow trout (300g each)
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
• 1 lemon
• A handful of dill
• 125ml Prosecco
• 100ml organic double cream
1. Heat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Lay the trout side by side in a roasting tin and rub with 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Slice half the lemon into 4 rounds, and tuck 2 into the cavity of each trout. Slide into the oven and roast for 12 mins, till the flesh easily flakes away from the bone.
2. While the fish is cooking, finely chop the dill, discarding any really thick pieces of stalk.
3. When the fish are ready, use a fish slice or spatula to transfer them to 2 warm plates. Loosely cover with foil to help keep them warm. Lay the empty roasting tin onto a hob and bring to a medium-high heat. Pour in the Prosecco and bring to the boil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any caramelised bits from the bottom of the tin.
4. When the liquid has reduced by half after about 2 mins, pour in the cream and add the dill. Stir in a pinch of black pepper and squeeze in the juice from the remaining lemon.
5. Pour the sauce over the roast trout. Serve with lemon and thyme-braised leeks and beetroot, horseradish and apple salad.
SALMON EN CROUTE
PREPARATION TIME: 20 mins
COOKING TIME: 20 mins
• 1 orange, zest and juice
• 35g flaked almonds or chopped whole almonds
• 45g organic butter
• 50g raisins
• 100g self-raising flour
• 1 free-range egg
• 2 salmon fillets
• 2 carrots, quartered lengthways
• 100g watercress
• A handful of dill, roughly chopped
• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas 6. Tip the fl aked almonds into a saucepan and dry fry for 2 mins till lightly toasted. Add a third of the butter, half of the orange juice and the raisins. Cook for 2 mins till the butter has melted. Tip into a bowl to cool.
2. Tip the flour into a bowl, saving 1 tbsp for later. Add the orange zest and remaining butter. Using your fingertips, rub the flour and butter together to form fine breadcrumbs.
3. Separate the egg. Add the yolk to the flour mix. Stir through with a fork till combined. Add 1-2 tbsp water to form a smooth, not too wet, dough.
4. Sprinkle the reserved flour on to your work surface. Roll the pastry out as thinly as possible. Divide into two. Each should be large enough to drape over the salmon.
5. Place the salmon fillets on a lined baking tray. Top each with the buttery almond and raisin mix. Drape the pastry over, tucking the edges in close to the sides of the salmon, pressing firmly to seal. Brush over the egg white and sprinkle with black pepper.
6. Slide the salmon into the oven and cook for 15 mins until the pastry is golden.
7. Meanwhile cook the carrots in boiling water for 5-10 mins until tender.
8. Toss the watercress with the remaining orange juice. Lift the salmon from the baking tray – the skin should stick to the paper. Serve on warm plates with the carrots, orangey watercress and the dill scattered on top.
Recipes and imagery courtesy of Abel & Cole. www.abelandcole.co.uk
Tanners’ Tiffany Vernon keeps the bubbles flowing this Christmas...
During the festive period, we all love a glass or two of bubbles. And fizz, whether sparkling wine, Prosecco or Champagne, is the ideal accompaniment to this month’s fish dishes…
For the Roast Trout, the obvious choice would be Prosecco, but I’ve opted for Tanners Spécial Réserve Champagne (£28.50) which has all the mouthwatering citrusy flavours of Tanners Réserve Brut Champagne but also has vintage Champagne blended into it for a wonderful toasty character.
Alternatively, Château Rives-Blanques Blanquette de Limoux (£16.30) oozes peach flavours entwined with lemony goodness and a touch of honeycomb. The Limoux region claims to have been making sparkling wine in the traditional method centuries before they did in Champagne – which often causes conflict between the two regions! The main difference between Blanquette and Champagne is the grape varieties used; Champagne’s created using Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes, whereas Blanquette favours the local Mauzac grape, giving a softer and more honeyed style of fizz.
The raisins, almonds and orange juice in the Salmon En Croute add exotic sweetness to the recipe, meaning a Brut-styled fizz will be too dry to combine with the dish. Confusingly, an extra dry Prosecco such as Amori Prosecco (£9.95) is actually a sweeter style than ‘dry’ and so balances this dish perfectly! If you prefer dry Prosecco then treat yourself to Fabio Ceschin Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene (£12.90). From the best hillside vineyards within the Prosecco region, it boasts flavours of green apples, pears and peach with a floral aroma.
Finally, the Smoked Salmon Salad packs a punch with its flavours and needs an equally flavoursome wine. English sparkling Nyetimber Classic Cuvée (£34) is brimming with toffee apple, lemon peel and a dash of honeysuckle, making it the perfect tipple for the job.
Cheers and Nadolig Llawen (Happy Christmas)!
Tanners Wines, 102/103 Tremarl Industrial Estate, Llandudno, Conwy LL31 9PN. Tel: 01492 874009. www.tanners-wines.co.uk
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