This is another interpretation from The Fat Duck. The original is slightly better – liquorice poached salmon, individual grapefruit cells, caviar……. But budget and time allowing this is my version – my dad likes it so much, he requested that I named it after him when I made it one evening for supper
Saumon de mon père (Dad’s Dinner)
Ingredients (serves 2)
100ml balsamic vinegar
half a fish stock cube
[290ml/½ pint groundnut oil
2 eggs, yolks only
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 heaped tsp powdered mustard
1 level tsp salt
freshly milled black pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar ] – or 3tbsp Helmanns
1tsp vanilla extract
½ vanilla pod
2 Salmon fillets, boneless
2tsp fennel seeds
500ml sunflower oil
Sorrel leaves, picked
1. For the balsamic glaze, place the Balsamic, stock cube and water in a pan and whisk until stock cube is dissolved over a high heat until bubbling, simmer for a minute then remove from the heat
2. For the Mayonnaise, put the egg yolks into the basin, add the crushed garlic, mustard powder, salt and a little freshly milled black pepper. Mix all of these together well. Then, holding the groundnut oil in a jug in one hand and an electric hand whisk in the other, add drop of oil to the egg mixture and whisk this in. Continue this process ONE DROP AT A TIME- the mixture will begin to thicken and go very stiff and lumpy. When it gets to this stage you need to add a teaspoon of vinegar, which will thin the mixture down. Now the critical point has passed, you can then begin pouring the oil in a very, very thin but steady stream, keeping the beaters going all the time. When all the oil has been added, taste and add more salt and pepper if it needs it. Measure out 3tbsp of the mayonnaise, to this add the vanilla extract and the vanilla pod seeds, scraped out and mix, pour into a piping bag and chill *(see tip)
3. For the chips Slice the potatoes lengthways into oblong rings, then slice into thin chips, approximately 1cm-1.5cm thick. Place in water with the fennel seeds and bing to the boil, boil for 2mins then drain and leave to steam.
4. Meanwhile for the leeks, gently score the leek down the side to enable you to peel off the first layer, remove the top section and you should be left with a piece which flattened forms a large rectangle. Repeat with the next layer. Then slice the rest at an angle and place face downwards in a shallow frying pan, add a knob of butter and the black pepper and place on a low heat and cover, do not stir. Cook for 4mins then turn off the heat leaving them covered.
5. For the salmon, cover in warm (not boiling) water and leave for 6mins changing the water twice, until the salmon feels firmer but hasn’t changed color. Gently peel off the skin using a sharp knife and pat dry. Paint on the glaze thickly reserving half.
6. For the chips, heat the oil in a deep pan until a piece of bread sizzles when dropped in. Fry the chips in two batches until golden brown, turning carefully with a spoon with holes. Drain and keep warm in the oven till serving.
7. To Serve, slice the lemon and peel fully, you should be left with 6 segment sections for each slice. Place the two leek rectangles in the microwave with 1tbsp water for 1min on high. Put the salmon in the oven for 4-5mins 250oC. Boil the balsamic glaze for 2mins on high, until the mixture is thick and syrupy, immediately place in pipette bottle.
8. Lay the two leek rectangles on two square plates in the center and place the lemon segments artistically dotted around on top. Place a line of the braised leeks at an angle, face down, on the right side of the plate, leaving a 2cm gap between the leeks and rectangle. Pipe dots of the mayonnaise at 1cm intervals down both sides of the rectangle, then dot drops of the glaze in between. Gently remove the salmon and place on top of the lemon segments, and garnish with the sorrel. Serve with the chips in a bowl alongside.
*TIP turn the ends of the bag over on itself and hold the tip open with your fist, fill then squeeze mixture to the tip, twist the bag at the open end and leave. Keep the pressure of the twist all the time while using the bag.