Sunday, 10 October 2010

Cheese and Herb Crusted Salmon Fillet with Creamed Dill Mash

Salmon represents an extremely tasty and healthy dinner option. It can, however, become slightly repetitive if you like to enjoy its associated benefits on a regular basis. This incredibly simple recipe merely incorporates a crispy crust on top of the salmon fillet, adding a whole new dimension to its presentation and its taste, without significantly adding to the overall cooking time of the combined dish.

Ingredients per Person

2 medium potatoes
1 fillet of fresh salmon (skin on)
1 tsp freshly chopped dill (plus small sprig for garnish)
1 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp freshly chopped basil leaves
1/4 red bell pepper (finely diced)
2 tbsp double (heavy) cream
2 lettuce leaves
1/2 tomato
Flour for dusting
Salt and pepper
Sunflower oil and butter for frying


The first step is to get the potatoes on to boil. They should be peeled, roughly chopped and added to a pot of cold, salted water. The pot should be put on to a high heat until the water begins to boil, then the heat should be reduced to achieve a low simmer for twenty-five minutes.

About ten minutes before the potatoes are due to be ready, some flour should be scattered over a dinner plate and seasoned with salt and pepper. A little sunflower oil and a small knob of butter should be added to a frying pan and put on to a medium heat. The salmon fillet should be patted in the flour on its skin side only, before the excess flour is gently shaken off and it is added to the pan, skin side down.

The breadcrumbs, cheese, basil and red pepper should be added to a small bowl, seasoned with salt and pepper and stirred well. The salmon should be fried on a moderate to high heat until it can be seen that it has cooked approximately two-thirds of the way through from the bottom up. At this time, the heat should be turned off completely and the salmon carefully turned over on to its flesh side, which will allow it to complete cooking in the residual heat only while the topping is added.

The skin of the salmon should have crisped up nicely and be easy to remove with a knife. Take care not to also damage the flesh of the fillet during this process. The breadcrumb and cheese mix should then be patted liberally on top of the salmon fillet. Some of the mix will spill in to the pan but don't worry about this as it will not affect presentation on the plate. The frying pan should then be placed under a hot, overhead grill for just a couple of minutes to melt and crisp the topping.

While the salmon is under the grill, the potatoes should be drained and mashed with the cream and chopped dill. They should then be added to the plate, along with the lettuce and tomato. When the slamon's topping has crisped as required, the salmon fillet should be carefully lifted with a fish slice and sat gently atop the lettuce leaves to complete the dish.

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