Saturday, 25 February 2012

Smoked salmon on spaetzle with asparagus and a mustard sauce

I have been working on this one for quite some time, and I think it's now ready for human consumption.

(the measures are vague, but since I don't measure, anyway......)

Spaetzle is a pasta-type 'filler' from northern France/Switzerland/Germany, depending to who you talk to.

I made this for two people.

For the salmon:

2 lightly-smoked salmon fillets
2 tsp mustard with grains still in
small splash white vermouth
large splash double cream
1 tsp mustard

For the spaetzle:

100g flour
big pinch salt
1 egg
4 tbs water

For the asparagus:

Asparagus spears
boiling salted water

For the garnish, and as a sauce base:

Handful of pancetta cubes


Put the flour and salt into a bowl and break the egg in, stirring to mix. Slowly add the water, and beat for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth paste. Put the bowl into the fridge for 30 minutes to let the flour absorb the water. Coat the upper surface of the skinned salmon fillets with mustard and leave aside. Render the pancetta cubes slowly until they are just beginning to crisp and have given up most of their fat. Remove them with a slotted spoon, keeping their fat in the pan. The rest of the process should take between 10 and 15 minutes, so time accordingly. Drop the asparagus into boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, retaining the water, and keeping it at a rolling boil. Heat the plates in an oven and keep the asparagus warm. Pop the salmon under a hot grill. Don't bother to turn them: they're already cured, so you're just sealing the mustardy top. Reheat the pan with the pancetta oil and throw in the vermouth, letting it sizzle for a few seconds. Stir up any sticky residue from the lardons. Add the double cream and extra mustard, stirring for a few seconds. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly while finishing the spaetzle: slowly pour the paste through a large-holed sieve or a slotted spoon (I used a potato ricer with the large holes) into the boiling asparagus water. It will break up into little pieces and will separate and float as you stir. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain through a sieve, and divide between the plates. Put a salmon fillet on the spaetzle and dress the plates with the asparagus and the sauce and sprinkle over the pancetta cubes.

This is my kind of food.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this ! saw it with Raymond Blanc last week on his cooking programme...but this makes the recipe clear!