Salmon are big fish, they are Regal. There’s a majesty about them and they have and always will always command my reverence. The Kitchen on a Friday AM…(5.00AM) was always electric with anticipation, this was our fish guy’s main drop off time and what he had in his van would steer our menu and those of other joints around the town for the entire weekend. The only problem was ‘Tipsy McStagger’ might occasionally not actually show up….but when he did…holy moly!
This Salmon recipe was inspired by an ex-Australian army chef that flipped our Kitchen inside out and upside down for 6 weeks one sticky summer. She was a perfect storm – 28 years old, rocked a blonde flat-top army crew cut, was 4ft 5ins and could skin a man with her tongue as well as beating him to a pulp with her fists. Megan drank pints, smoked Marlboro reds and used the word fuck as a punctuation mark, the bar staff hated her, the waitresses loved her and our Sommelier wanted to be her (but Dominic was weird that way)…I just wanted to touch her and live to talk about it.
Megan oozed sun and the Coral Sea ran through her veins, she came from Cairns and was making her way back there, in no particular hurry or order via every Country (and dive Kitchen) on the globe. Her cooking exploded, it sang and it danced, it lit up the room and had our Head Chef delirious with delight. Up until that point we simply pan roasted or Wellied (Wellington) our regal Salmon ,served it with buttered mash and a side of creamed Spinach – Megan tore up the menu and in a flurry of endearing aggression and profanity introduced Teriaki, North African Spiced, Curried, Ceveche, Gravadlax and smoked Salmons to our (somewhat) conservative menu – the sun hung over our previously dreary kitchen back door for a very, very long time because of Megan from Cairns.
Megan left as she arrived – in a storm – doors hanging from hinges, hairy bar men in tears and an effeminate wine buff with a bad blonde dye job and hacked locks.
I have lived to talk about Megan……but this is all your going to get 😉
WHAT YOU NEED: Serves 2
2 Wild Salmon steaks – skin off
2-3 tps Lemon Pepper
1 tps sweet paprika
1/2 can Flageolet beans
1 small Aubergine- cubed to 1cm
1 small Courgette – cubed to 1cm
1/2 a small Fennel bulb – thinly sliced
1 small red onion – diced
2-3 roasted peppers (jarred are fine) roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 glass of good white wine
1 tbs tomato puree
100 mls chicken stock
HOW YOU DO IT:
Step1: season one side of the Salmon with the lemon pepper, paprika and salt flakes – generously as you want this to form a bit of a crust in lue of the skin. Leave in the fridge.
Step2: In a wide pan bring some olive oil to heat and sling in the garlic, onions, aubergine, courgette, peppers, fennel and tomato puree and sweat for about 5 minutes.
Step3: Add in the wine and continue to cook until almost gone then add in the stock, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes – if things look a little dry then add some more stock or just water.
Step4: When the veg is soft then add in the beans and combine – taste and season as you need – keep on a warm blip and now to the salmon.
Step 5: Season the other sides of the Salmon with salt flakes then sling it under a screaming hot grill Peppered side first and grill for about 2 minutes, then flip over to the other side and cook for about 1-2 minutes – you can check the salmon in 2 ways:
1 stick the point of a little knife into the centre of the flesh, hold for 3 seconds, remove and touch it to your top lip – warm is good to go and cold means a little more grilling and 2 is just use a knife to cut into it and look – you want the salmon just barely cooked – opaque in colour.
To serve add a spoon full of beans and veg to a white plate, top with the salmon and flurry with Olive oil.
FANCY A BEER? TRY THIS