Delia

Salmon Steaks with Avocado and Creme Fraiche Sauce

If you want to serve something really special for a summer dinner party that leaves you utterly free from any hassle, this cold salmon dish fits the bill perfectly. Although this recipe serves six, you can in fact line up salmon steaks in any number you like – 12 or even 24 – which makes it ideal for buffet parties and celebrations. In winter, this recipe works equally well served with Parsley Sauce (see related recipe below).


Serves 6

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Summer Collection and The Delia Collection: Fish

Salmon Steaks with Avocado and Creme Fraiche Sauce
Ingredients
For the salmon:
 6 fresh salmon steaks (6 oz/175 g each)
 6 small sprigs of fresh tarragon or parsley
 6 small bay leaves
 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
 6 dessertspoons white wine
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the sauce:
 1 good-sized avocado
 7 fl oz (200 ml) crème fraîche
 1 small clove garlic, peeled
 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
To garnish:
 1 bunch watercress or other pretty mixed salad leaves
 freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350ºF (180ºC).
Equipment

Method

First of all, take a large sheet of foil (24 x 36 inches/60 x 90 cm) and lay it in a shallow baking tin. Wipe the pieces of salmon with kitchen paper and place each one on the foil. Now put a small sprig of tarragon and parsley on top of each one, along with a bay leaf and a slice of lemon (these ingredients are there simply to perfume the salmon very subtly without altering its flavour).

Now season with salt and pepper and finally, spoon a dessertspoon of wine over each salmon steak before wrapping the whole lot loosely in the foil. Make a pleat in the top to seal it. Place the foil parcel on a highish shelf in the oven for exactly 20 minutes.

Then remove the tin from the oven and let the salmon cool inside the foil without opening it.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Halve the avocado, remove the stone, then divide into quarters and peel off the skin, using a sharp knife if necessary. Place the flesh in a liquidiser or food processor then, using a teaspoon, scrape the avocado skin to remove the last greenest part and add that to the rest.

Now pop in the garlic clove, then measure in the sherry vinegar, add salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Next, remove the purée to a mixing bowl and simply fold in the crème fraîche till it's thoroughly blended.

Taste to check the seasoning – it might need a drop more vinegar.

Cover the bowl with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until you're ready to serve. This should be made only a few hours in advance to keep the luscious green colour at its best.

When you're ready to serve the salmon, undo the foil and, using a sharp knife, ease off the strip of skin around the edge of each steak and discard it. Remove the herbs and lemon, then transfer the fish to a serving dish and decorate with small bunches of watercress or other leaves placed in the hollow centre.

Hand round the sauce separately.

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