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Crisp and Spicy Salmon
with a Vegetable Julienne

 

 

SeaBear Smokehouse
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"Looking back, it was when I moved to France that I grew up,
escaping from a cozy, predictable world..."

~ Anne Willan


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Leaping Salmon in the Ballysadare River in Ireland
Leaping Salmon in the Ballysadare River in Ireland
Photographic Print

Nicklen, Paul
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Crisp and Spicy Salmon
with a Vegetable Julienne

Anne Willan:
From My Chateau Kitchen

2000 by Anne Willan (Clarkson Potter)

Alibris

“Our most precious book, ‘Opera’ by Bartolomeo Scappi, dates from
1570. With its jet-black italic print and vivid woodcut illustrations
of kitchen scenes pots, knives, and serving dishes, it is a work of art
in itself. The following contemporary salmon recipe harks back to
the medieval habit of spicing all meats and fish.”

“This salmon is coated generously with powdered spices, then fried
skin-side down so it emerges crisp as well as brown. By contrast,
the vegetables are sweated in their own juices until tender,
making a colorful dinner for four.”

1 or 2 salmon fillets, scaled, with skin
(about 1 1/2 pounds/750 g total)
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon whole fennel seed
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the vegetable julienne
3 medium carrots (about 1/2 pound/250 g)
2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound/375 g)
2 medium leeks (about 3/4 pound/375 g)
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
1 lemon

For the vegetable julienne, peel the carrots and cut them into julienne
strips. Trim the zucchini and cut them into julienne strips, including the
skin for added color. Trim the leeks, leaving some of the more tender
green tops, and halve them lengthwise. Cut them into julienne strips,
wash them well, and drain them.
Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan or saucepan, add all the vegetables
with salt and pepper, and stir well. Press a piece of foil on top and sweat
the vegetables over low heat until tender, stirring them occasionally, 8 to
10 minutes. Do not let them brown. Cut 4 slices from the lemon for decoration, reserving the rest.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C. To prepare the salmon,
run your fingers over the flesh and if you feel any bones (especially the
tiny ‘pin’ bones), pull them out with tweezers. Cut the salmon into 4
portions, sprinkle both sides lightly with salt, and leave them skin-side
up. Mix the five-spice powder, fennel seed, and cayenne in a small
bowl and sprinkle the spices over the salmon skin.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan with an ovenproof handle and add
the salmon, skin-side down. Fry over quite high heat without moving
the pieces for 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin is crisp - when done it will
shrink and loosen from the surface of the pan. Turn the salmon pieces
skin-side up, transfer the pan to the oven, and bake until done to your
taste: 2 to 4 minutes for rare salmon, 5 to 8 minutes for well done.
The cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillets.
Squeeze the reserved lemon over the vegetables, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Spread the vegetables on warmed dinner plates, set a piece
of fish on top, skin-side up, and serve at once so the skin remains crisp.


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