Salmon with pea mousse and crayfish tails

The starter at my birthday party back home was a recipe courtesy of Jason Atherton. It’s from his wonderful cookbook Gourmet Food for a Fiver. I really enjoyed the dish, but it was lacking a little bit of ‘oomph’ so don’t be surprised if you see a new spin on this dish here soon.

Although it is a British chef’s recipe the dish seems quite Scandinavian, and I made sure to use the best salmon availble. It is a fresh and summery dish and it feels very light.

Salmon with pea mousse and crayfis tails, serves 4

Adapted from Jason Atherton’s recipe.

260 g skinless salmon fillets, cut into 4 portions

600 vegetable oil

salt

80 g good-quality crayfish tails in brine, draines

1/2 cucumber

Pea mousse:

1 lef gelatine

1/2 tsp caster sugar, plus a pinch or two

300 g frozen peas

75 ml double cream, lightly whipped

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Garnish:

handful of watercress sprigs or pea shoots (I used maché)

olive oil to drizzle

Heat up the vegetable oil in a wide heavy-based pan and place over a very low heat until it registets 55C on a frying thermometer. Lower the salmon fillets into the oil and poach them gently at this temperature for 6-8 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep it at 55C as necessary. With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the salmon fillets and drain them on kitchen paper. Transfer to a plate, cover and refrigerate.

Soften the gelatine by soaking in cold water to cover. Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, with a pinch of sugar added. Have ready a bowl of iced water. Add the peas to the oan, bring back to the boil and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Drain, reserving 80 ml of the liquid, and immediately plunge the peas into the iced water to refresh.

Squeeze the gelatine to remove excess water, then dissolve in the reserved hot cooking liquid. Drain the cooled peas and tip into a blender. Add the dissolved gelatine and blend to a smooth purée. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing the pulp to extract all of the juice; you should have about 200 ml.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream, sugar and lemon juice into the pea purée. Season with salt and add a little more sugar to taste, if needed. Chill to set.

Just before serving, rinse the crayfish tails and pat dray. Peel the cucumber, halve lengthways and dessed, then cut into batons (I peeled it and used a potato peeler to peel long thin strips).

Take the salmon out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature. Plate.

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