Tuesday, January 31

Pan Fried Wild Salmon Fillet, Patatas Bravas

This dish nearly didn't happen. I was going to cook the salmon with a posh braised fennel and new potato salad but I fell asleep while slow braising the fennel and burnt it. Don't be fooled by these 'oh so perfect' TV chefs, real chefs burn stuff all the time...!  So, out of the store cupboard a new dish was born and it is pretty bloody tasty. The slightly sweet/sour tomato sauce cuts the fatty salmon nicely. Take your time when frying the potatoes, the slower you fry, the more crunchy they will be. For two:

Wild salmon fillets - 2x 150g
Tinned plum tomatoes - 1x 400g tin
Red, yellow and green peppers - 1/2 of each, deseeded and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced
Garlic - 2 fat cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Smoked paprika - 1 level tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Chilli powder or flakes, 1/2 tsp
Sherry or red wine vinegar - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Parsley - 1 small bunch roughly chopped
Floury potatoes - 2 medium, peeled and halved
Olive oil - 25ml
Veg oil for shallow frying

Gently fry the peppers, onions, cumin seeds and garlic in the olive oil for 10 mins until softened. Toss in the chilli and paprika and a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper and fry for a minute to take the rawness off the spices. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar and mash the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Simmer over a medium heat until the sauce is thick - check seasoning and set aside.

Par-boil the potatoes until they are softened but still have some bite in the centre. Drain, cool and cut into bite sized chunks. Heat a roomy non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add 1cm of vegetable oil. Fry the potatoes gently for 15 mins turning regularly to achieve a nice dark golden colour (see picture above for reference). Drain the potatoes and season well dusting with a little extra smoked paprika.

Season and pan fry the fish fillets in a little vegetable oil. Make sure you heat the pan first, cook the fish mostly on the skin side and hold the fillets flat to the bottom of the pan for a few seconds to stop the skin curling up. When the fillets are cooked half through (you should be able to see the 'cooked' line rising up the sides of the fish fillets), turn off the heat and flip the fish over onto the flesh side. The fish will cook through in the residual heat of the pan.

Warm the tomato sauce and put a generous spoonful on the bottom of a plate, top with crispy potatoes then the fish fillet. Sprinkle generously with parsley.

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