Sunday 4 November 2012

Easy Salmon Supper - Part 2

This title is a bit of a cheat. Yes, I did serve salmon en papillote (French for baked in a paper bag) last night but it's also a little experiment in interneting. Most of my posts get a modest number of reads; around 30-40 but the one titled 'Easy Salmon Supper' has been read over 750 times. Do people really love salmon? Actually yes, I've served this three times now, more than any other single dish. So... let's see how many admirers this attracts.

And you people in Sweden, Russia, Slovenia, Germany and Australia who are apparently reading this, make yourselves known via the comments. Some overseas input would titillate greatly, unless, of course, you're heading up some massive spam factory. In which case... sod off.

Great night last. Carol's gang of four who came blinking out of the night and Eme's 'fun-loving' party of five, which should have been six.

This is what we served:

My warm spiced nuts (not to Carol as one of her guests was allergic and you don't want to start the evening with anaphylaxis.)
Warm griddled bread with olive oil and balsamic. You know the drill. It's that combo that used to fox your parents. "Where's the butter?"
An amuse bouche of mushroom and white truffle velouté.
Starters of curd cheese and chive soufflé with red onion marmalade and rocket salad.
Mains of the salmon with tarragon creme fraiche, sweet and sour crushed squash, French beans and roast pepper. The crushed squash was enjoyed by all. It's an Italian job - agrodolce - and features pine nuts and raisins (with Fish! I know.) Recipe to come soon (it's based on one of the Oliver boy's). It's also a fabulously colourful plate.
Pre-dessert of iced tea ice. I'll publish a recipe for this too, as soon as I work out what the hell I put in it. The trouble (and the joy) of a supper club is that you can fiddle all week with an idea, making adjustments as your attention allows and your wont demands. My iced tea ice started life as Heston's green tea sorbet but then I added mint and bourbon in proportions I'll endeavour to report.
Dessert of baked vanilla cheesecake with raspberries. The berries are served in a simple coulis of reduced juice and sugar. This is fast becoming one of my favourite desserts. It's simple and delicious with a depth of flavour that seems to belie it's simple list of ingredients.
Coffee and chocolate macaroons. And/or more wine if you wanted, and most did.

Apols for the picture quality. I simply don't have enough light (especially since one of my dimmers failed and I've lost a whole line of downlighters) but I want neither tripods nor 2Ks cluttering up my kitchen.

Goats Cheese Soufflé with Red Onion Marmalade and Rocket

Iced Tea Ice
Vanilla Cheesecake with raspberries

 The onion marmalade is great with cheese and cold meats (and probably hot meats, but let's not go mad). Here's the recipe. Takes yonks so plan to do other things in the kitchen.

Thinly slice four medium red onions (no, I have no idea what medium means either. We need a chart, people.) I used a mandolin. But I imagine a banjo would work just as well. Cook these in about 100ml of olive oil/butter for about an hour over a medium heat. I use a diffuser as I have a gas hob. Stir often. You're trying to get a deep colour but without straying across into bitter black. To this mass, add 220g of soft brown sugar. Cook more. You want deep colour and soft, almost melting texture. Add  300ml of white wine vinegar. Cook this off; takes another 20 mins easy. It's at this stage that your concentration can waver (Halo 4 calls!) and you end up not with a tender, unctuous, deep caramel coloured condiment... but a briquette. Salt and pepper to taste.


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