Recipe: salmon en crôute

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When I had friends over for an al fresco luncheon at the summer house in August, this salmon en crôute was a great success. I have Gordon Ramsay to thank for the excellent recipe, although I tweaked it slightly, using puff pastry instead of shortcrust and doubled the recipe.

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I served the salmon with buttery amandine potatoes with peas and dill, provencale tomatoes and a lovely sauce I will tell you all about in another post. Everybody liked it, including the children!

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It was just the perfect summer’s day to sit outside sipping rosé and catching up with dear friends.

I did make too much salmon though, but that just meant I had lunch for the next day. And heated up in the oven (a microwave will make the pastry soggy) it was as good as the day before!

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Salmon en crôute, serves 4

Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe.

I doubled the recipe and made two parcels, and also substituted the shortcrust pastry for puff as I like the buttery flakiness better.

1 side of salmon (as even as possible), about 900 g, skinned

a little olive oil

60 g butter, softened

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

generous handful of basil leaves, chopped

small handful of dill leaves

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 roll puff pastry with butter

1 egg yolk, beaten

Check the salmon for pin bones, removing any that you find. 

Mix the softened butter with the lemon zest, basil, dill and some salt and pepper in a bowl. 

Pat the salmon fillets dry with kitchen paper, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the herb butter over one side and place the salmon with the buttery side down on the rolled out puff pastry. Spread the mustard on top and bring up the edges and tuck them in before folding the rest of the pastry over to form a neat parcel. Carefully turn the whole thing over so that the seam is underneath and place on a parchment lined baking tray.

Brush the pastry with beaten egg. Lightly score a herringbone or cross-hatch pattern using the back of a knife. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover loosely and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C. 

Bake the salmon for 20–25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Rest the salmon for 5 minutes, then cut into portions. 

 

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Pasta with mushrooms and leek

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New year’s resolutions. Usually I am against them myself although others seem to do well with a dry or healthy January (well done, guys!). I actually made a small resolution this year and it is totally food related of course; to cook more from my cookbooks.

I have a bit of a, ahem, cookbook addiction and since I don’t want to stop buying new shiny ones I thought I’d better utilise the ones I’ve got. So far I have already cooked a few things from my newly acquired ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course‘, among other things this pasta recipe with mushrooms and leek.

It sounds very ordinary and it sort of is, yet very delicious. The sauce is silky without being too rich (especially with a splash of white wine added to cut through the cream) and the fried mushrooms and leek are very tasty. I also like that the pasta in this dish is lasagne sheets although the dish is quite far from a regular or even open lasagne. But it really works and I prefer it to many other pasta shapes.

Pasta with mushrooms and leek, serves 2

Adapted from ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cooking Course‘.

For once I followed the recipe dutifully, apart from one small addition; a splash of white wine in the cream sauce.

8 chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped

1 leek, washed, trimmed, quartered and sliced

oil for frying

salt, pepper

250 ml chicken stock

100 ml double cream

1 tbsp white wine

4-6 lasagne sheets

To serve: grated parmesan, optional

Heat up the oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Add the garlic after two minutes and the leek after another two. Fry until the mushrooms are golden and the leek has softened. Season.

Add the chicken stock and let it reduce for five minutes. 

In the meantime, cook the lasagne sheets in salted water until al dente, for four minutes. Add the cream to the mushrooms and a splash of wine and let it thicken. Season to taste. Remove from heat and submerge the lasagne sheets in the sauce. Plate prettily and serve with or without grated parmesan.  

Bread Street Kitchen

On Thursday, Kristin and I went to Gordon Ramsay’s latest assition; Bread Street Kitchen situated in the One New Change Shopping Centre near St Pauls.

The place consists of a bar on street level and the restaurant is on the first floor. It has a rustic feel to it and the interior is spacious but quite cosy in an industrial way.

The menu has a raw bar section and is otherwise a mix of seafood and meat dishes with a few vegetarian options too. It is not the most inspiring menu for foodies, they are playing it safe a bit, but the targeted customers are City workers and foodies.

The most inspiring dish on the menu was crispy pig’s head with chilli mayonnaise, which we had to order.

That dish looked a bit like croquetas but were tiny scraps of tender flavoursome meat rolled up and breaded. It was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside and they were nice, although not very exciting.

The next starter we shared was a safe bet, scallops, perfectly caramelized with a smooth carrot purée and treacle bacon.

My maincourse was poussin with chimichurri and a side order of mash. The chicken was tender and moist and both the chimichurri and the mash were lovely, but perhaps a bit too simple.

Kristin chose pork collar with mustard glaze and mash, and the meat was lovely and tender and fell apart.

Both maincourses were nice and well prepared, but quite similar to food I would (or could) cook at home. I prefer to eat food more complicated to make when eating out, as I want something different from what I can make myself. The portions were also very large and both of us had to leave quite a lot on our plates, which feels like a waste.

Although everything was nice, it felt a little dull, and I will not go out of my way to go back. However, if I find myself around St Pauls one evening in need of a bite, I would be happy to pop in for a burger or a main course, as it is tasty and well cooked, just not exciting enough for me, I’m afraid.

But I have to say, the service was excellent, and it is nice to see that it is such a priority in a restaurant serving this type of rustic, hearty food. The waiting staff were very efficient, proactive, discrete and professional, and that made our dinner a pleasure.

Bread Street Kitchen
10 Bread Street
London EC4M 9AJ

Maze on a Monday or when I met Gordon Ramsay

I was suppose to post nice recipes from the weekend, but after the Monday night I had, I just have to tell you about it! Because I met Gordon Ramsay!

One of his restaurants in Mayfair, Maze, has an offer on at the moment (Maze on a Monday) to make people fill up the restaurant on the otherwise quiet Monday evenings. Their offer is three courses for £25 and a tour of the kitchen. Who could possibly resist?!

Yesterday we tried out the offer together with our dear friends Chris and Jess. The interior of the restaurant is laid-back modern and the ambiance is quite relaxed for a Michelin star restaurant (it has 1 star) and the cuisine has been described as innovative.

Although it was a limited menu, it sounded impressive and very in season. There were wild garlic, rhubarb and radishe on the menu for example.

For their starter, the boys chose the same. Confit chicken with caesarsallad garnish. They really liked it and thought the anchovies and chicken really worked together.

Jess had the marinated beetroot with goat’s cheese curd and pine nuts, which looked fab!

I chose the wild garlic soup with maple glazed chicken oysters and lemon emulsion. On my plate was just the chicken, emulsion and wild garlic flower and it looked rather sad, but when all of us had the starter on the table they poured the soup onto the plate. I love when the waiters get involved like that and it turned out all the three courses I chose had the element of pouring liquid onto my plate. 🙂 It was a great dish, the soup tasted very mildly of wild garlic and the lemon emulsions where like little island floating in the soup. Only thing I can complain about was the temperature of the soup. It was eaither not heated up properly or sitting on the hot plate for too long.

For the maincourse the each couple chose the same dish. Chris and Jess had the Loch Duart salmon with brown shrimps and fondue of leek. It looked lovely and Jess thought this was the best dish she had.

Chris and I chose the Szechuan spicy pork with crackling, edamame beans and thinly sliced black radish. It was really nice and tender, cooked to perfection, but less spicy than it seemed on the menu.

And so the desserts. The boys chose the same once again, this time ‘The summer crumble’; elderflower mousse with berry sorbet and granola.

I had the rhubarb soup with ginger pannacotta, icecream and coriander. It was quite a light dessert; not too sweet, not too creamy. And summery. 🙂

Jess had the pistachio parfair with cherry sorbet and griotte cherries. It looked wonderful and if I had liked cherry in any other form than just fresh, I would have chosen this.

All in all it was a wonderful meal wih two bottles of wine and lots of laughter, and although the portions were small we felt full. The food was nice and well executed, but I still think Gordon Ramsay at Claridges was slightly better on the starters and mains, but not on the desserts.

At the end of our meal, Christopher spotted Gordon Ramsay himself in the restaurant chatting to a table a few meters away. Of course we all turned and looked, and a few minutes later he was standing in between Jess and Chris and looking right at me! He was all smiles and pleasant, and we chatted for a little while until he moved onto the next table.

It was quite late by the time we got to see the kitchen, we were busy having a good time, but we were shown around and got to see the large kitchen with all the different sections and the massive hot plate.