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Recipes | Fish & Seafood | Norwegian Salmon with Confit Potatoes
Norwegian Salmon with Confit Potatoes
by Warren Carney
Warren first discovered his passion for food when he travelled abroad and landed a job in a restaurant kitchen in New York. Upon his return home, he immediately enrolled at Silwood Kitchen where he graduated with a Cordon Bleu Grande Diploma. His first position was at the acclaimed La Colombe in Constantia where he worked as a pastry chef for a year. He is currently the head chef at Sidewalk Café in Vredehoek.
- 4x 160g portions of Norwegian salmon skin off and deboned
- 12 medium potatoes
- 300g salted butter
- 1 clove garlic
- 12 spears of asparagus
- 1 250g punnet baby fennel
- 1 head cauliflower
- 5ml vanilla extract
- ½ g saffron
- 10ml lime juice
- 30ml extra virgin olive oil
- 100g organic liquorice (try find some with no gelatin present as it is a fish dish and is harder to melt)
- 10ml balsamic vinegar
Fish Stock (makes 1 Litre)
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 onion
- 1 stick celery
- 500g white fish bones
After you’ve made sure that there are no bones in any of your salmon portions, carefully slice each portion as evenly in half as possible. You should be left with 8 evenly sized pieces, two pieces per person. Keep in a clean sealed container in the fridge for later.
For Confit Potatoes
- Crush the clove of garlic and put it in a saucepan along with the butter. Bring the butter to a boil letting the garlic infuse, then quickly set aside allowing the butter to settle.
- Spoon the frothy whiteness off the top and then pour the now clarified butter into a shallow saucepan leaving the cloudy sediment behind. Peel all the potatoes, keeping the peeled potatoes in water as not to let them oxidize and turn brown.
- Start cutting the potatoes, removing the round edges so that you are left with a perfect cube shape (3cmx3cm). Use your first potato as your template and replicate this shape with the rest of the potatoes to ensure that they all cook evenly and for the same length of time.
- Spread the cubes evenly in the clarified butter and place in a pan, over medium heat (the butter should cover half of each potato). Cover the potatoes directly with some greaseproof paper and wait for the butter to simmer, then turn the heat down to low. Check the potatoes every 5mins until they turn golden, turn the potato on its side and keep repeating this process until the whole potato is golden. Once the whole potato is golden remove it from the butter and set aside.
Tip: Take all your off cuts from the potatoes; keep them in water to be used for mash or chips for another meal.
For Vanilla Cauliflower Puree
- Bring a medium pot of water to the boil and season with salt.
- Prepare a bowl of ice water as well. Cut evenly sized florets of cauliflower only leaving the stalk and leaves behind. Remove all leaves and cut the stalk into blocks no thicker than the stem of the florets, this ensures even cooking.
- Blanch the cauliflower for 3-5 mins depending on the size or until just cooked (al dente). Remove from the boiling water and immediately transfer to the ice water (refresh), thus preventing the cauliflower from cooking further and retains the color.
- Once the cauliflower is cool, place in a blender, add the vanilla extract, and blend until it becomes puree. Remove the puree and pass through a fine sieve or chinoise, to ensure all lumps are removed.
- Check seasoning and set aside.
For Asparagus & Baby Fennel
- For the asparagus, it’s a simple blanch, refresh and set aside-as above.
- For the baby fennel, slice off the bottom of the bulb and peel off the individual layers. Trim the tops at an angle and wash thoroughly.
- Blanch the fennel in salted water and also refresh, set both aside.
For Liquorice Reduction
- 100g organic liquorice, 1L fish stock (refer to above) and 10ml balsamic vinegar
- Place the above ingredients all in a medium pot and cover with water, bring it to the boil and reduce immediately to a simmer and let it carry on simmering for 2hrs. Strain the stock of all ingredients and then strain again through muslin or fine cloth to remove all impurities.
- Chop the liquorice finely and place in a sauce pan along with the vinegar, cook for one minute and cover with some fish stock. Simmer and allow the liquorice to dissolve, adding more fish stock or water as needed, if the reduction gets too thick. Check seasoning and set aside.
For Saffron & Lime Vinaigrette
- Soak the saffron in the lime juice for 5mins to render off the nice yellow colour.
- Use salt and sugar to season and balance out the acidity of the lime juice.
- Next add the olive oil a little at a time, whisking all the while to create an emulsion.
- Check seasoning and set aside. If the mixture splits, whisk again to combine.
- Season the salmon with salt, and in a hot pan or flat top, place the fish presentation side down, in some light oil and cook for 2 mins or until golden.
- While cooking the salmon heat some of the butter used for the potatoes in another pan. Slice the asparagus stems at an angle up until the spear and sauté along with the baby fennel, season and keep hot.
- Deep fry the potatoes to reinstate the crispiness and reheat the cauliflower pure and liquorice reduction.
- By now the salmon should be halfway cooked and ready to go, so flip the salmon and cook for a few seconds keeping the salmon medium rare, or as preferred.
- First place the two salmon pieces equally apart on a hot plate, and arrange three confit potatoes in between and around the salmon.
- Quenelle the cauliflower and vanilla pure and place at an angle next to each potato, place one asparagus spear/head on top of each potato and sprinkle the sliced bits naturally around the plate. Take three or four of the baby fennel layers and lean them evenly around the plate against the potatoes and salmon.
- With a teaspoon, place three little beads of the liquorice reduction around and near the edge of the plate. After all 3 beads have been placed; use the spoon, per bead, in a flicking motion to create a streak of liquorice reduction.
- Finally drizzle the saffron and lime vinaigrette onto the plate with a spoon.
- Garnish with fennel fronds or dill and serve.