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Gerald Bryan

Salmon with ham and cider

This is a simple recipe from the north of Spain and like all simple recipes it relies on using only the best ingredients.  The richness of the salmon goes well with mild flavour of new potatoes and fresh peas or as I have done with lentils and spinach leaves.

Makes 4

4 salmon steaks or pieces of fillet each about 175g
20g butter or fat from unsmoked bacon or ham
120g prosciutto or similar raw ham in 3mm slices - cut into 2cm strips
1/4 cup plain flour mixed with ? tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup good dry cider
1/4 cup fish stock or additional cider

Preheat oven to 200?C
In a frying pan melt the butter or cook the bacon until it has given off enough fat. In this, fry the ham strips for a moment or two then set them aside. Coat the salmon in the flour and pepper and cook in the pan until lightly browned. Move the fish to a warm oven dish and put the ham between the pieces of fish. Make a roux with about 1tbsp of flour and the remaining fat in the pan then pour in the cider, stirring until smooth. Pour this over the salmon then add the fish stock or the additional cider. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes and serve hot on a bed of lentils.

200g Puy lentils
1 carrot - peeled and cut into two
1 medium onion - peeled and whole
Sea salt

Pick over the lentils removing any stones or foreign objects and rinse well under running water. Put them in a saucepan with three times their volume of water, add the carrot and onion and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes then drain, discard the carrot and onion, season to taste with salt and serve on fresh spinach leaves.