Catch up and a Recipe for marinated salmon
Now we are into the last week in January, and I am informed that the Restaurant in Belfast is opening in march 17 2009. I have paid for my trip to the Antarctic and I have to do a dinner in Argentina. In February I have to do the dinner as I have signed a contract and I will have to cancel the Antarctic trip as I have too much work to do and needles to say if I am in the Antarctic I wont be able to concentrate and get all my work done and enjoy the Antarctic. So I tried to get my 7000-euro returned to my account but no look they said sorry but a firm no way will they return my money.
We came up with a name for the Restaurant, which is “Menu by Kevin Thornton “
All the menus have to be finished and tested I am doing the food for all the departments within the hotel, Bar, Canapés, Restaurant, Room service, Afternoon Tea, Children’s Menu,
Hire and train the staff.
It is now the beginning of February and all the staff is hired and menus finished. Have being working flat out to make sure everything is ready as well as doing my day job running Thornton's Restaurant.
The Restaurant in Belfast is a relaxed casual dining and the menu reflects that.
It is now 10th February I have all me stuff ready for Argentina. When I am doing a gig abroad I still have to bring a lot of Equipment and food so I have to make sure I have no problems at customs so there is a lot of paper work to do so the entrance is smooth. I have found in the past if you don’t get the right person all the stuff can be taken off you and then as you could imagine will cause a lot of difficult. As far as food is concerned I try and use produce from the Markets there.
It is the last night of Filming Heat, the Final it is a really good show and the contestants were pretty good. The finalists had to cook for a full restaurant of 70 covers the restaurant was split in two so you could do from 30 to 45 covers depending on how many people you could pull into your restaurant on the night.
My team had a full restaurant on the night and produced some wonderful food for armature cooks. Trevor on my team won the final so it was a great finish to the show.
Then there was the after party that was good but I had to be up early as I was off to Argentina early next morning
The Menu for Argentina was
Marinated Wild Salmon with Salmon Eggs, Caviar, Cucumber Jelly and Lime
Slowly Roasted Quail, Shallot Puree, Szechwan pepper and Baby Leaves
Painted plate, Roasted Scallops, sugar snap peas, Squid Ink Sauce
Fillet of Venison, Parsnip Cones, Chocolate sauce
Lemon Tartlet with Cassis sorbet
Smoked Wild Irish Salmon with Cucumber Jelly and Beluga Caviar
This recipe for wild smoked salmon includes the method we use at Thornton’s for marinating and smoking the wild salmon we get during the salmon season. The wild salmon yield is low in Ireland and so wild salmon is only available for a few weeks of the year. We only use wild fish at Thornton’s preferring it to the farmed variety, which is available all year round. There really is no comparison in the taste between the two. Not everyone will want to go to the trouble of smoking salmon at home but I wanted to show how we do it at the restaurant. A good quality Irish smoked salmon available from all good food stores makes a great alternative. This is a great light starter for a meal and smoked salmon is a firm favorite during the festive season. Ummera in West Cork produces fantastic wild salmon, as does Sally Barnes Woodcock Smokery in Castletownsend. The caviar element to this recipe is optional. We serve it at Thornton’s and I don’t like to dilute my recipes so always include what is served on the plate should you visit the restaurant.
1 Fillet of wild Atlantic salmon
1kg Rock salt
500g granulated sugar
250g Crushed Black Pepper
2 small bunches Fresh Dill and Fennel stems
5 g Virgin Olive Oil
For the Smoking you will need:
Prepare Cherry and Oak wood chippings,
The smoke should be at a temperature of 32c
Hang the fish and smoke for 5 days this will allow you to keep the fish for a longer time.
For the Cucumber Jelly
6 g Carrageen Moss Power (I use carrageen instead of Gelatine)
6ml of Fish stock
5g Salmon Eggs
½ diced Cucumber (peeled and deseeded)
5 g of Agar Agar
Fresh milled white pepper
For the garnish
20 Triangles of Fried Potatoes (Cut the potato into triangle shapes, cut very thinly and sauté on a hot pan with a little sunflower oil at 180c until golden brown. Remove and place onto kitchen paper, season with sea salt.
5 g Beluga caviar
5 g Salmon Eggs
Lemon Juice of ¼ lemon
4 little balls (using a selfrino shaper) of cucumber
Lemon oil (Lemon zest and virgin olive oil)
Marinade and Smoking Method:
Remove the pin bones from the salmon. Mix the salt, sugar and crushed black pepper together, Place half the salt mixture in a deep dish and place the salmon on top. Cover with the dill and fennel; cover the salmon completely with the remainder of the salt mixture. Cover the dish with cling film and place into a refrigerator for 14 – 16 hours.
Remove the salmon from the salt mixture and wash by placing the salmon in a stainless steel bowl and allow running cold water to fall on it for 15 minutes. Dry the salmon by wrapping it in a muslin cloth or clean tea towel and once dry brush with the salmon fillets with virgin olive oil.
Hang the salmon in the smoking room at 32c for 5 days; the salmon should have a slight brown tint once it is sufficiently smoked. The salmon will last for a couple of weeks in a fridge at 2c. Once smoked remove the outer skin from the salmon (if you wish this can be used to make a mousse later).
Carve the salmon very thinly about 75 g per portion.
Method for the Cucumber jelly:
Peel, deseed and roughly chop the cucumber and juice in a juicer.
Remove and strain through a fine sieve. Heat the fish (or vegetable) stock in a stainless steel pot and add the Carrageen moss. Cook over a medium heat for two minutes. Remove and strain into the cucumber juice, add the diced cucumber and salmon eggs to the cucumber juice, taste for seasoning and correct by adding salt and pepper. Pour the juice into a deep stainless steel tray and refrigerate until set. Remove from the fridge and cut the jelly into circular shapes using a 6 mm pastry cutter.
To assemble the dish;
Place the cucumber jelly into the centre of the plate and arrange the cucumber, salmon and caviar around the plate. Arrange the salmon on top of the cucumber jelly and squeeze a little lemon juice on top. Place the potato triangles around the salmon. Sprinkle with lemon oil and serve.
ã Kevin Thornton