18/10/2012

Lightly Smoked Salmon Fillet Hollandaise with Beetroot Salsa

Smoked salmon is one of my favourite things. Better? Lightly smoked fillets, and what better than smothered in hollandaise with a tart salsa alongside?

Preparation is the key here, so let's get the easy bits done first.

The salsa ...

Cube some vine tomatoes and some pickled beetroot. Toss together in a bowl. Add some chopped chive, extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt, perhaps a grind of freshly milled black pepper. Mix well and pop it in the fridge until you're ready to eat.

Next, the hollandaise ...

In all seriousness, Hollandaise is really simple to make. No, really!

Take a couple of egg yolks per person and drop them into a bowl. Whisk together with something astringent - lemon juice is classic, white wine vinegar is good and pink grapefruit juice is really fly. I went with lemon juice. Put the bowl aside until you're ready to serve. The final bit is really quick.

The fish - this doesn't want over-cooking. I simply parcelled up in foil and popped it into a pre-heated oven set to 180C (350F) for 12 minutes.

Removed from the oven and set aside still in its foil, I boiled some asparagus for a couple of minutes. Retrieve with a slotted spoon and pat them dry - leave the pan boiling!

Plate up!

Spread the salsa around in a circle, asparagus in the middle with the salmon on top.

You left the pan boiling, right? Great!

Quickly melt some butter in a small sauce pan, pop the bowl of Hollandaise onto the boiling water and slowly pour the melted butter in, whisking all the time.

If the sauce thickens too quickly, lift the bowl off the steam and if it looks like it's starting to set, a half teaspoon of cold water whisked in should get it back to manageable. With practice you'll just pop the bowl on, pour in the butter and you'll have a sauce.

Pour over the fish, garnish with a couple of chive stalks and a wedge of lemon alongside.

Every part of this meal was absolutely necessary and every part complimented every other part. The smoked salmon, softened by the blanket of Hollandaise, cut through with the iron punch of asparagus and the sweetly astringent tang of beetroot, entirely different to the cut of the sour tomatoes.

As the meal progressed, the Hollandise melded with the beetroot to make pink swirls all over the plate.

Absolutely gorgeous, and a dish I will absolutely, definitely do again ... straight down the line, no messing, no changes, just exactly as I did here. That says a lot! I never make the same thing twice.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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