This was something a little bit special for Valentine’s Day courtesy of Rick Stein.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Skill level: medium
Recipe: Rick Stein
For the salmon
- thick salmon fillet – 750g
- sunflower oil
- salt and pepper
For the sauce
- unsalted butter – 25g
- small shallot – finely chopped
- champaign – 120ml plus 1tbsp
- fish stock – 600ml
- caster sugar – 1/2 tsp
- double cream – 120ml
- chopped chives – 1tbsp
For the sauce, melt 10g of butter in a saucepan and cook the shallot without colouring until softened. Add 120ml of champagne and boil for 2 minutes. Then add the stock and sugar and boil rapidly until reduced by three-quarters.
Add half the cream, bring to the boil and reduce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Meanwhile, prepare the salmon escalopes. Remove any bones from the fillet with tweezers or by trapping them between the point of a small sharp knife and your thumb. Then cut the salmon into 12 slices about 5mm thick holding the knife at a 45-degree angle to the fillet and cutting at a slant down towards the skin to give you wider slices. Brush each escalope with a little of the oil, season lightly with salt and then put on a lightly oiled tray.
Pre-heat the grill to high. For the sauce, whisk the remaining cream with the tablespoon of champagne and 2 teaspoons of the chopped chives until it forms soft peaks. Set aside.
To finish the dish, grill the salmon escalopes for about 1 minute, then put them on 4 warmed plates. Bring the reduced sauce back to the boil, whisk in the remaining butter then the whipped cream mixture and pour around the salmon. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve immediately while the sauce is still foaming.
Verdict: Pretty darned good. Little bite-size pieces of salmon with a rich, creamy, salty sauce.
Drink: A few ales pre, the rest of the champagne during, and a bottle of red post.
Entertainment: Watched the first half of a ‘Waking the Dead’ two-parter on DVD, then fell asleep 20 minutes into a very dull Russell Crowe film called ‘For the Moment’.