Hot Smoked Salmon with Leeks and Mustard
Things have taken a new turn in the kitchen this week, as I have started work on a new book! It is a completely new, 21st-century version of How to Cheat at Cooking, which was the very first book I wrote 35 years ago. those days short-cuts to great recipes were somewhat limited, but a generation later the shelves are packed from end-to-end with products that promise to cut down your time spent in the kitchen (or even to eliminate it altogether). The anomaly is that there is so much available, and yet so little in reality.Problem is that so often ready-meals are produced within a price point because everyone has to under-cut everyone else, which inevitably means there is a short-fall in quality and/or quantity. Who are they kidding when they say it serves two, and can anyone explain to me why so many of them still use a job lot of dried oregano no matter what country they are supposed to come from? But, forgetting ready-meals, there is on the positive side a dazzling array of ingredients – or combination of ingredients – that really can short-circuit our time spent in the kitchen.I see it as my job to search out the best of these ingredients and work out how to use them. Regular users of this site will recognise some of them from our earlier How to Cheat series, but there are lots more to come yet! I’d also add that imaginative use of these products is not the whole story: there are also different ways of cooking, which if not cheating in the strictest sense can produce great results much more simply. This recipe, which we cooked this week, is a good example, where everything is packaged in foil and left to cook all by itself.
|2 x 6oz (175g) hot smoked salmon slices|
|2 medium leeks, cleaned, halved and cut into thin slices|
|2 heaped tablespoons crème fraiche|
|3 tablespoons dry Vermouth|
|3 heaped teaspoons grain mustard|
|a little butter|
|Salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350F, 180C.|
|Need help with conversions?|
|There is no list of equipment specified for this recipe.|
Start off by laying a strip of foil lengthways over a baking tray (it has to be long enough to fold over to cover the salmon in a parcel), then lay a second strip across it at right angles. Butter the surface of the foil lightly then arrange the chopped leeks over it and season them with salt and pepper. Next arrange the salmon pieces on top of the leeks and season them as well. Now measure the crème fraiche into a bowl, add the Vermouth then stir in the grain mustard.
Pour this mixture all over the salmon and leeks, then bring the ends of the foil together over the salmon and squeeze them together to form an airy envelope around all the ingredients. Place the baking tray in the centre of the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the leeks have cooked into the sauce (when opening the foil (be careful not to let any of the precious sauce drain away!).
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