Monday, January 6, 2014

Gin & Beetroot Cured Salmon

I mentioned this on Christmas day over on my facebook page and I have to say it was so delicious. I got the recipe from the Christmas weight watchers magazine and I knew as soon as I saw it that it was going to be our starter on Christmas day. It was a winner with the whole family, in fact even on hearing the name of it my parents asked me to cure a whole side of salmon so there was enough to do the whole Christmas season.

This is one of those things that is so easy to do but is really really tasty and would be very impressive for any dinner party. It does take a little forethought as you need to prepare this 24-48 hours in advance. One thing I will say is you want to be sure you get good quality salmon, the flavour of the salmon is the highlight of this with everything else complimenting it, so you want to be sure you have good salmon. I would recommend going to a good fishmonger for this. This recipe serves six but it is quite easy too adapt depending on the weight of salmon you have.

Serves 6
Propoints per serving: 4
Zest of 1 lime
25g caster sugar
1tbsp salt
3tbsp dry gin
1 tsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
50g grated raw beetroot
400g salmon fillet with the skin on
A handful of pea shoots or micro leaves (I used rocket)

1tbsp chopped dill
2tsp wholegrain mustard
3tbsp 0% fat plain yoghurt

To make the cure, mix the zest, sugar, salt, peppercorns, gin, beetroot and dill in a non metallic bowl. 
Lay a long piece of cling film (at least twice as long as the salmon fillet) on a work surface and place the salmon skin side down in the centre. Spoon the cure mixture over the top and wrap tightly with the clingfilm. You want to make sure you seal in all the juices so I actually double wrapped mine. Put this on a large dish and chill for 24-48 hours.
Up to 2 hours before serving, remove the salmon from the clingfilm and rinse off the cure in some cold water. Pat dry with kitchen town and lay skin side down onto a chopping board. Using a sharp knife carefully cut thin slices through the flesh on the diagonal, working from left to right (if you are right handed) holding the end of the skin with your left hand as you slice.
My Dad slicing the salmon like a pro! 
To make the dressing, mix the dill with the mustard and yoghurt and add some cracked black pepper. I also added one crushed garlic clove as my family is pretty much garlic mad, and a pinch of salt and I think it really lifted the dressing, though this is down to personal preference. The sauce does taste great if you leave the flavours to mingle in the fridge for a few hours in the fridge before serving. 

I'm telling you if you are having friends over this is the starter to go for. Or if you feel like a treat yourself you can make this and keep it in your fridge to use for the week as you might use like smoked salmon, in salad or on crackers for your lunch. Really is very delicious and one I plan on making again and again. 

A little bit of bubbles to go with the salmon - real Christmas treat! 

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