Pickled herring, sour cream, apple and onion salad

This is a really super recipe from a neighbor in London many years ago. We used to adore it, and I only found it again recently.
Make sure you serve it very chilled.

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Serves 4 to 6

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup full fat plain yoghurt
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tart apples, (Granny Smith) cut into thin slices
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill weed
2 x 8 oz jars pickled herring, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces

Combine the sour cream, yoghurt, lemon juice, sugar, sliced onions that have been separated into rings, apple and dill.
Alternate the herring and sour cream mixture in layers in a dish.
Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours at least.
Serve very chilled.


Easy mirin-glazed salmon

This must be the fastest way there is to create a culinary sensation. Nigella Lawson’s gorgeous combination of salty, sweet and spicy.
If there are only two of you eating, I would be inclined to stick to the quantities given here, letting a couple of pieces or whatever you don’t eat get cold, as it makes a fantastic salad the next day.

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1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1/4 cup soft light brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 x 5oz pieces wild salmon, skinned, cut from the thick part, so narrow and tall, rather than wide and flat
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 – 2 scallions (halved and shredded into fine strips)

Mix the mirin, brown sugar and soy sauce in a shallow dish that will take all 4 pieces of salmon, and marinate the salmon in it for 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second. Meanwhile heat a large non-stick frying pan on the hob.
Cook the salmon in the hot, dry pan for 2 minutes and then turn the salmon over, add the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes.
Remove the salmon to whatever plate you’re serving it on, add the rice vinegar to the hot pan, and warm through.
Pour the dark, sweet, salty glaze over the salmon and top with the scallion strips.
Serve with rice or noodles as you wish, and consider putting some sushi ginger on the table, too.

Simple, stunning salmon tartare

On a hot day with a glass of champagne or Rose what could be more wonderful than this?

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Serves 4

8 oz fresh boneless wild salmon, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp good quality mayonnaise

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate until very cold before serving.

A beautiful caper vinaigrette to serve with fish

This is worth posting on it’s own as it is absolutely delicious on a salad or drizzled over a piece of hot salmon or halibut. It also keeps for a long time in the fridge

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2 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup blended oil (1 part olive oil to 3 parts canola oil, mixed together)
2 tbsp capers, drained
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper

In a food processor or in a blender, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic and vinegar.
Slowly whisk in the oil. Remove from the blender into a bowl and fold in the capers, mustard and herbs.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle over your seared piece of fish or a salad

Dried apricot-cured salmon

This recipe comes from “The Girl and the Fig” cookbook and it really stood out as something worth doing.

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Apricot-Cured Salmon
Yield depends on usage 

½ cup dried apricots
½ cup Pernod
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 fennel fronds
1 pound wild salmon, skin on

Place the apricots in a bowl with ½ cup hot water and the Pernod and rehydrate for 20 minutes. Purée the apricots in a food processor. Mix the purée with the salt, sugar, pepper, and fennel fronds.

Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to cover the salmon. Place the cheesecloth in a large baking dish and lay the salmon skin-side down on the cheesecloth. Cover the salmon evenly with the apricot-salt mixture and wrap it with the cheesecloth. Place another baking pan over the cheesecloth and weigh it down with at least 3 pounds of pressure (you can use water jugs, tomato cans, or even books). Refrigerate for 48 to 72 hours. Remove the weights and unwrap the salmon. Remove the excess salt mixture from the salmon and pat dry.

Slice very thin to serve.

Compote of salmon and cauliflower cream

This really gorgeous starter can be ideally served for both lunch and dinner. Either make it in a 4″ ring mold or make it like in this picture, in a small chilled glass.

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Makes 6 portions

One side of salmon, about 2 3/4 lbs (skinned, fileted, and pin boned)
1 3/4 pints extra virgin olive oil
A bunch of dill
1 tsp rock salt

For the Cauliflower cream
1 medium cauliflower
whole milk
A handful of fresh cilantro
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
17 fl oz heavy cream
salt and white pepper, freshly ground

Preheat the oven to 90C/200F/Gas 1/2
Place the salmon in a suitable container lined with foil, and cover with the olive oil and fresh dill. Sprinkle with rock salt.
Fold the foil over and place the container in preheated oven, making sure that the salmon is completely immersed in the oil. The cooking time will be around 20 minutes. The salmon should then be taken out of the oven and left in the oil.

Cauliflower cream
Break the cauliflower into small florets, and place in a pan with enough milk to cover. Tie the fresh cilantro and crushed seeds and peppercorns in a small piece of muslin and place in the milk. Cook until the cauliflower florets are very soft.
Drain off and discard the milk, remove and discard the small muslin bag, then puree the cauliflower.
Leave to cool, then gently fold in the double cream. Season as required, then chill.

Gently remove the salmon from the oil, removing any dill. Drain off any excess oil, then gently flake the salmon.

To serve,
Place a 10cm ring mold (with 7cm diameter) on the first plate. Place some flaked salmon in the bottom of the mold. (or put some flaked salmon into a chilled glass)
Spoon the chilled cauliflower cream on top and garnish with a small seasonal salads, and toasted brioche.
Remove the mold and create compotes of salmon on the other plates.
You can also garnish the dish with tomato (cut into tiny cubes), coriander oil and a mixture of mushroom powder and olive oil.

Asian fish parcels with coconut rice

This dish is so easy to make and a delight to the senses. The coconut rice really makes a difference and gives an exotic richness to the rice. It’s well worth growing your own Kaffir lime tree either in a pot or in the garden. They are very easy to grow and you have instant Indonesian/Thai flavors at your doorstep.

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Serves 4

4 white fish fillets, 5 to 6 oz each, (haddock, halibut, sea bass or cod)
4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 red chili, chopped
1 good sized shallot, thinly sliced
1 lime, sliced, plus extra lime halves to serve
2 lemongrass stalks, 1 roughly chopped and 1 bashed
10 1/2oz basmati rice
2 fresh or dried Kaffir lime leaves
2 fl oz  coconut milk or even better, coconut cream
salt to taste
dry roasted peanuts, chopped for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Cut 4 pieces of nonstick baking parchment into a 12 inch square
Put a fish fillet in the center of each piece and arrange some of the cilantro, chili, shallot, lime and chopped lemongrass evenly over each.
Wrap them up into neat parcels, transfer them to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, max.
Put the rice in a lidded pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes or until the rice is soft.
When the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed, stir in the coconut milk.
Serve with the rice alongside the fish parcels with some extra lime halves. If you serve with the parcels open, then sprinkle the fish with some finely chopped dry roasted peanuts.