12 September 2011

Recipe: Salmon fishcakes

Unlike some fishcakes you buy in shops, these bad boys aren't bulked out with potato which, for me, dilutes the true pleasure of eating one of Scotland's best products.   These fishcakes are bursting with fresh, zingy flavours that are truly delicious. You can easily make a larger batch to freeze for another day. 

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 salmon fillets
2 shallots, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp capers
50g gherkins, diced
Bunch of parsley
Zest of one lemon
Dash Worcestershire sauce
3 slices of bread (slightly stale)
Rapeseed oil, for shallow frying

For tartare sauce
100g (about 7 tbsp) Mayonnaise
1 tsp capers, chopped
1 tsp gherkin, diced
¼ of a carrot, cut into brunoise (fine dice)
1 small shallot. Finely diced
Squeeze of lemon juice


1)      Preheat the oven to Gas mark 5
2)      Butter a piece of tin foil (one for each fillet) and sprinkle a little of the zest over the salmon fillets.  Place in the oven for around 18-20 mins until just cooked.  Coarsely flake into a bowl.
3)      Add all the ingredients (apart from the breadcrumbs) and mix together, then shape into desired shape (I like 2 smallish sized cakes for starters)
4)      Place in fridge and allow to set for around 30 mins
5)      Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the tartare sauce and place in fridge
6)      Sprinkle some flour onto plate, beat another egg into a bowl and have the breadcrumbs ready to coat the fishcakes.  Pop the cakes in the flour giving them a light coating, then pop them in the egg wash to coat. Place the fishcakes into the breadcrumbs and lightly press them down, trying not to move them around too much. Turn it over and repeat until covered, dust off ay excess.
7)      Once coated, place a frying pan on a medium heat and add enough oil so the pan  is just covered.  When the pan is hot enough (you don’t want it too hot or the outside will burn, leaving the inside cold) place the fishcakes in. It should make lightly sizzling sound.  Cook for about 3-4 mins until lightly golden, then flip over and repeat.  

     Peter Suggests... Chardonnay is the common theme with salmon - ideally unoaked and at just below room temperature.  Something like a Chablis would be excellent with this, as would a Chardonnay sparkling wine or Champagne.  On Champagne, the phrase Blanc de Blancs on fizz means it is made entirely of Chardonnay, but if you see it on a sparkling wine it just means it is made out of white grapes, so take a peak on the back label to see what grapes are in it.
2008 Chablis Denis Race (Burgundy, France) £15.00 (Independent Wine Stores)
2009 Plantagenet Omrah Chardonnay (Australia) £10.00 (Widely available)

6 September 2011

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Recipe: Trio of sliders (Turkey & Cranberry, Pork & Sage and Buffalo with mozzarella)

I thought this was a great dish for kids to get involved with and to use different types of mince that can be healthier or cheaper alternatives to beef mince.  Turkey mince is a great one as it's both cheaper and has less calories and saturated fat than beef as well as being widely available.

Buffalo is a slightly gamier meat compared to beef.  I fell in love with it straight away after buying it from a local butcher in Puddledub who were featured on Gordon Ramsay's F Word a few years back.  It again has alot less fat than beef and works well with the mozzarella.

Pork mince is underused for me.  It fits the budget as again it's cheaper than beef and works great made into meatballs with a nice tomato sauce and pasta.  I used fresh sage from the garden for this classic combo.  Enjoy.

Trio of sliders – Turkey & Cranberry, Pork & Sage and Buffalo with mozzarella

Ingredients: (serves 2)
150g each of turkey mince, buffalo mince and pork mince
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 tbsp dried cranberries (for the turkey burger)
6 sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (for pork)
50g of the best quality mozzarella you can afford (for buffalo)
2 eggs, beaten
6 small rolls (Try making bread yourself; nothing smells better than a kitchen scented with fresh bread!)
Mixed salad for garnish
Olive oil for dressing

1)      Gently sweat the onion for 4-5 minutes until soft then set aside
2)      In separate batches, cleaning after each run, add your mince and a little egg yolk in a blender and season. Give it a quick whizz and add the cranberries with the turkey and sage with pork (Leave buffalo just now) Shape into small patties (just smaller than the roll) and place on a tray in the fridge to firm up.
3)      Mix the buffalo with the egg and seasoning  and again give a quick blitz in a clean blender.  Shape into patties then insert your thumb half way into the middle of the patty.  Place a ball of mozzarella inside and reshape the patty around it.  Place in fridge with the others for 15-20 mins to firm up.
4)      Pre-heat the grill to a medium heat.  Place the burgers under for 4-6 mins each side until nice and brown, turn over and repeat.   TIP: insert a knife into the centre of the burger for a few seconds and place on your bottom lip; if it’s hot their done, if cold, needs a few more minutes!
5)      Meanwhile mix the salad and season, place the burgers on the rolls (toasted if you like!) and dress the salad with olive oil.  Arrange on a plate and serve a little of the salad on the side. Voila!

Peter suggests...
Everything on this plate suggests a Thanksgiving dinner - turkey, pork, cranberry, sage, so I'm going for the perfect Thanksgiving wine - Beaujolais.  Ignore the (justified) prejudice against Beaujolais Nouveau, and look at proper Beaujolais.  Find Beaujolais Villages, Brouilly, Morgon and Fleurie and you will get a low tannin, bright, fresh wine without that confected fruit you get from Nouveau.  Turkey, cranberry and sage are all meant to go with the Gamay grape and you are now in a position to bring a bit of vintage variation into your choice.  If you prefer a larger, gutsier style of wine, pick a 2009 vintage as this great year produced rounder, juicier and fruitier wines.  2010 however is more 'classic', lighter, stone fruit with flavours of raspberry and cranberry.  Either would do fine for you.

2009 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages (Beaujolais, France) £9.00 (Widely available)
2010 Pierre-Marie Chermette Fleurie Poncie (Beaujolais, France) £15.00 (Independent Wine Stores)