Salmon en papillote

En papillote cooking is an easy, mess-free and quick way of cooking food. You basically place all the ingredients per portion inside one parcel, which each diner will then have.

serves 2
2
salmon fillets (about 125g each)
6 tbsp frozen
peas (3 tbsp on each portion)
1/2
leek, sliced (split in two parcels)
4 tbsp
crème fraiche (2 tbsp per parcel)
2 tbsp tarragon or parsley, finely chopped (1 on each parcel)
dash of
black pepper
dash of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F. Remove peas from the freezer. The fish will cook quickly, so it might be better if the peas have defrosted a little bit.

2. Take 2 large non-stick baking parchment sheets. Place the salmon pieces on the sheets, at around 1/3 from front, leaving 2/3 at the back, so that you will be able to fold it on top. Season with salt and pepper. Add the leeks, peas, crème fraiche and herb.

3. Bring over the baking paper, to cover the fish. The front edges should be together. Roll until it reaches the fish. Then roll the ends. The parcels are now sealed, which means the fish will cook in it’s own  juices / steam.

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4. Cook in the preheated oven for 7 minutes.

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Beetroot and dill cured salmon

Cured salmon is one of the foods often enjoyed as part of the Scandinavian kitchen. There are many variations to it, however the basics you will need are sugar and salt. The whole process is based on the reaction called osmosis, and is an ancient way of preserving foods that wouldn’t last fresh for long otherwise. During the curing, you will notice a lot of liquid will be drawn out of the fish. The cured fish will last in the fridge for few weeks, however I doubt you will have anything left for that long.

2 raw beetroot, grated
500g piece of fresh salmon
50g table salt
90g caster sugar
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
a bunch of fresh dill

1. Dry roast the mustard seeds, until fragrant and popping. Cool, and crush together with the peppercorns with pestle and mortar. Mix together with salt, sugar and finely chopped dill.

2. Place a large piece of cling film to cover the dish you’re using for your curing. Place half of the raw, grated beetroot at the bottom. Then add half of the mixture of the other ingredients.

3. Add the piece of salmon on top of the beetroot and sugar / salt mixture. Leave the skin on the fish.

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4. Add the salt / sugar mixture and the beetroot on top of the fish too.

5. Tightly pack the fish and curing mixture. I used three different layers of cling film, however some of the liquid will still seep through. Place something to act as weights on top of the fish, and put in to fridge.

5. About every 12 hours (or every morning and evening), turn the fish upside down. I also change the direction my weights are, to try to ensure they are covering as much as possible during the process.

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6. After two days, your fish is ready. Drain all liquid, and wipe the fish piece clean.

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Marinated oriental salmon

This salmon dish is something I make very regularly. The salmon itself can be steamed, pan fried, grilled or oven cooked. Today I added roasted bone marrow (which I’ve never cooked before) to this dish. In terms of flavour, it doesn’t really contribute much, but it’s supposed to offer some health benefits. I marinade the salmon, and then use the same liquid for the fried vegetables. I tend to use plain basmati rice for this, as the marinade mixture is full of flavour.

serves 2
salmon fillets
(beef bone marrow)
3/4 cup of basmati rice
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Marinade
20ml light soy sauce
30ml dark soy sauce
10ml rice vinegar
50ml sesame oil
10ml fish sauce
20ml lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
thumb size piece of root ginger
1 small green chilli
1 shallot
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2 mushrooms
1 carrot
1 courgette (zucchini)
handful of mangetouts
handful of baby sweetcorn

1. Finely chop ginger, garlic, chilli and shallot. Mix all marinade ingredients together. Put the salmon fillets in a re-sealable bag, and pour the marinade in. Marinate for 30 minutes, turning over half way through, so that both sides marinate.

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2. Chop the vegetables, to be ready for frying later.

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3. If using bone marrow, season with salt and pepper, and roast in an preheated oven 180°C / 355°F for 20 minutes. Cooked marrow will easily come off the bone with a spoon.

4. Measure 3/4 of a cup of basmati rice. Wash the rice in a bowl or sieve, until the water doesn’t get cloudy anymore (this washes off the starch). Put the washed rice in a pan, add a pinch of salt. Add 1 1/4 cups of boiled water (use same cup /measure you use for the rice). Bring to boil, stir, then reduce to simmer. It should take about 15 minutes until all water has been absorbed.

5. Salmon cooks quickly, which ever way you cook it. I think gentle steaming is a great way to keep the salmon juice and moist. You’ll only need about 7 minutes on a low heat, cover with a lid.

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6. Fry the vegetables in hot oil (I used ground nut oil for this, but you can also use other vegetable oils) for about 5 minutes. Pour the salmon marinade liquid into the pan, and fry for another few minutes.

Salmon soup

I would probably go as far as to say this is my all time favourite Finnish food. My husband and I have been together for nine years, however he still hasn’t bought into the Finnish style soups of thin liquid base with chunky pieces. He does enjoy the flavour of this soup, so I’ve added a step to make this soup (step 1) slightly thicker. It does actually make it richer, so this has now become part of my recipe.

500g salmon
5-6 large potatoes
1.5 liters water
100g fine green beans
3 large onions
bunch of dill
celery stick
2 dl frozen peas
2-3 dl double cream
2 tbsp bouillon powder
sea salt
ground white pepper

1. Peel and cut half of the potatoes into small pieces. Put the pieces in a large pan, with 1 liter of water. Boil for about 30 minutes, until soft, and mash the potatoes.

2. Whilst stage 1 is cooking, peel and cut the remaining potatoes. Finely chop celery. Add both ingeriendts to the mashed potatoes.

3. Cut the green beans, and add to potatoes.

4. Slice all onions, and add to the soup. Pour the remaining 5 dl water into the pan, and add the bouillon powder, pinch of sea salt and pepper.

5. Cut the salmon into bite size pieces. I usually use salmon with skin on, so once I’ve removed the skin I have to wash the pieces, to make sure none of the large scales end up in the soup.

6. Add the salmon to the soup with the peas (as long as the potatoes are cooked through). Pour the cream in. The soup won’t need any more cooking after this, as they are pretty much cooked as soon as they touch the hot liquid. Just heat it up (adding cream and frozen peas may have cooled it). Add couple of more pinches of salt and some pepper, to taste, and add chopped dill. I tend to use scissors to cut the dill straight into the soup.