Saturday, October 06, 2007
Cooking from The Cook's Book: Salmon with Cajun Blackening Spices
I haven't had any fish recipes on the blog for a while (not since the picturesque teriyaki salmon, but that post didn't contain a recipe), so it's time to remedy the situation, especially as 'eating more fish' was one of my 2007 foodie resolutions.
I chose a recipe from Jill Norman's The Cook's Book: Step-by-step techniques & recipes for success every time from the world's top chefs, a book I gave to K. as a Christmas present last year after reading Sam's enthusiastic praises to Jill Norman's hefty tome. The book is divided into sections, each full of great instructions and recipes by the masters of their field - Dan Lepard (Breads & Batters), Ferran Adria (Foams), Marcus Wareing (Meat), Ken Hom (Chinese Cooking), David Thompson (Thai Cooking), Pierre Herme (Pastry & Sweet Doughs; Desserts), to name just a few. I've tried quite a few recipes from the book (Pierre Herme's recipe for pâte brisée with a twist is a particular favourite of mine; K. has been taken by Madame Guérard's method for deep-frying eggs), and due to the accumulation of our newest kitchen gadget have been reading up on Adria's chapter recently :)
The recipe is from Peter Gordon's chapter on Flavourings, and has been very slightly adapted. I reduced the recipe to feed the two of us; only used whole spices, as that's what we keep in the house; used fresh garlic, as I've never understood the appeal of dried garlic powder. I also cooked my salmon fillets for a wee bit longer than prescribed by Peter Gordon, yet still leaving salmon tantalisingly opaque-pink inside. Note that although it is usually recommended to dry-roast your whole spices first, it's not necessary here, as the spices will be coming into direct contact with the heat anyway.
And yes, of course it's a keeper. I wouldn't be sharing the recipe with you otherwise.
Salmon With Cajun Blackening Spices
(Peter Gordoni lõhefilee Cajuni vürtsidega)
Source: Peter Gordon in The Cook's Book (p 99), very slightly adapted
2 salmon steaks or fillets
1tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika, pimenton
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
a pinch of dried oregano
2 tsp fine salt
1 garlic clove, finely minced
olive oil or rapeseed oil, for frying
Crush all cumin seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns in the pestle & mortar, add other spices and finely chopped garlic clove. Mix and rub over salmon fillets or steaks (both sides!). Cover the tray and leave to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan on a moderately high heat until hot, add the oil. Place salmon fillets in the pan. Leave to cook for 2-3 minutes, without moving them (this helps to get a nice and even browning).
Turn salmon fillets around, cover the pan with a lid and cook for another 2-3 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your salmon.
Transfer onto warmed plates and serve with a cucumber salad and a dollop of thick yogurt/sour cream.