Hot Smoked Salmon with Cornichon, Dill and Caper Sauce
While everyone has been debating whether or not supermarkets are gaining too much ground and driving out local corner shops, one significant factor seems thus far to have escaped the analysis. How can any shops, corner, high street or otherwise, possibly survive with yellow lines? We have a corner shop and sub-post office near us (a mile and a half actually), but unless you live within walking distance you haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of parking anywhere near it. Car parks are expensive and bags of shopping are heavy, so few of us really have any choice.If only there was a way to bring back more high street food shops, where someone was happy to serve you and knew your name! No de-listed items because they weren’t contributing to the billions of profit, but real service that built up a loyal customer base! In many ways we live in impoverished times, and perhaps the healthiest aspect of the high street was the strong sense of community and shared existence. However we are now enjoying the growth of farmers’ market and farm shops, and isn’t it just lovely shopping online and discovering those de-listed items are still available from small suppliers? More on that to be discussed in the coming weeks, but this week’s recipe has been devised to accommodate some hot smoked salmon (right) supplied by Pinney’s in Orford (01394 450277). When I rang to order it, it was still in the smokehouse and they promised to post it as soon as it cooled!
|2 hot smoked salmon steaks (approx. 7oz, 200g each)|
|1 shallot, peeled and chopped small|
|½ a 20 g pack of dill|
|½ pint (275 ml) dry white wine|
|½ oz (10 g) butter|
|½ oz (10 g) flour|
|3 good-sized cornichons, about 1 oz (25 g)|
|1 heaped tablespoon salted capers, rinsed|
|2 tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche|
|a pinch of cayenne|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Need help with conversions?|
|There is no list of equipment specified for this recipe.|
You need to make the sauce first: to do this, place the chopped shallot and the stalks of the dill (the rest can be stripped off, chopped and saved till later) in a small saucepan with the wine. Bring it up to simmering point, and let it bubble and reduce for about 5 minutes.
While that’s happening, melt the butter in another saucepan, add the flour and stir till absolutely smooth. Now remove the dill stalks from the wine then add it and the shallots to the flour-and-butter mixture bit by bit, whisking until all the wine is in and everything is velvety smooth. Add some seasoning at this stage, then let it barely simmer for about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile chop the cornichons roughly (to about the same size as the capers – the best way to do this is cut them in half lengthways, then holding the two halves together cut them in quarters lengthways ways then chop along the length), then add these along with the capers and the rest of the dill to the sauce. Stir in the crème fraîche. The salmon steaks need to be placed on a lightly greased baking sheet, seasoned with salt, freshly-milled pepper and a pinch of cayenne and warmed through in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve the steaks with the sauce poured over them.
I think this dish needs new potatoes. Alas, only imported are available at the moment but I have found Nicola from M & S quite good. Some spinach would be lovely too.
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