Friday, 18 October 2013


Smoked Salmon in leek casings, dill cream cheese, fennel jam, homestyle persian gherkin, dill & fennel fronds, puffed black rice and toasted mustard seed.

First off I just want to let the reader know that the majority of octobers' posts will be catch ups from the winter months ( june- august ) here in Queensland. So bare with me as I do intend to keep my posts seasonal where possible. This plate named 'salmon sausage' is all about technique and requires great patience and dexterity. The concept of the leek casing was taken from a freelance chef from connecticut 'Linda Anctil' and adapted to make the sausage that you see. Eaten cold, sliced with the accompaniments of a modern deconstructed tartare sauce.   For this plate I began by dividing fresh wild caught Australian salmon into two portions, with one I tea smoked the salmon on racks in a large stock pot with a foil boat containing jasmine rice, green tea, raw sugar, and orange zest. This was then chilled and minced and set aside in a mixing bowl, the remaining portion was simply minced and mixed with the smoked salmon, some cream cheese and little finely chopped dill to form a paste. The smoked salmon gives the speckled appearence the sausage. To make the casings I topped and tailed large leeks, boiled them in salted water for 3 minutes removing from the water and when cool enough to handle but still hot I pushed the layers of the leek apart, pushing from the tapered end up until free and separated placing each casing on a tea towel to dry. The salmon mixture was then piped into the casings using a piping bag, tying the ends with kitchen string pushing the air out as I went along being extra careful not to tear the casings through the whole process and then trimmed the ends. Looking back now I would have used garlic chives instead of string to tie the ends as having the string still on to serve isn't cool or edible. The sausage was then cooked in a water bath @ 70 deg. C. for 20 minutes and allowed to cool.The fennel jam was made by braising thinly sliced fennel in butter with a little sugar. In a small saucepan I simmered sliced persian cucumber, water, rice wine vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt for 20 minutes removing from the heat, strained the gherkins and allowed them to chill in the fridge.   The puffed rice was done in the same manner as popcorn, I just simply added the rice to a hot deep pan and dry roasted the rice until it popped and puffed taking it off the heat immediately to stop the cooking process. The dill cream cheese is cream cheese, cream and chopped fresh dill. To plate this I first placed a blob of the cream cheese on the plate and with the back of a spoon spread the cream cheese across the plate placing the cut sausage on top. I then spooned portions of the jam next, placing the homestyle gerkins along side the sausage to accompany. Scattering toasted yellow mustard seed, puffed black rice and garnishing the dish with dill & fennel fronds. A great change, edible vegetable casings instead of the synthetic ones that is widely used or only if we're lucky pigs gut lining. 


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