Grilled salmon, fine herbs, béarnaise
|2||center-cut fillets of best quality salmon, skin-on, pin boned|
|3tbsp||white wine vinegar|
|Cracked black pepper|
|Pinch of salt|
|¼ bunch||chervil picked|
|¼ bunch||tarragon picked|
|¼ bunch||chives picked|
|¼ bunch||dill picked|
A perfect, fresh, summery dish for when the evenings grow lighter.
- Lay one of your beautifully fresh salmon fillets skin side down on a layer of cling film. Place the other fillet on top ‘top to toe’ so the thick end of one fillet matches with the thin end of the other. Roll both fillets over and over in the cling film at least 15 times as tightly as you can and twist the ends tightly.
- Chill the salmon in the freezer for 2 hours to set the shape then with a sharp knife cut the log into 6 thick steaks through the cling film. Leave the plastic wrap attached while you heat your grill or barbecue.
- For the béarnaise melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat until it is foaming. Skim the surface and leave to settle. Spoon off the clarified butter discarding the buttermilk.
- Remove the leaves from a few sprigs of tarragon and chop roughly.
- Boil the shallots, white wine and pepper in a sabayon pan to reduce by half, remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly and add one or two tablespoons of cold water.
- Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the pan with a pinch of salt
- Return the pan to a gentle heat and whisk until light and creamy, being careful not to scramble the eggs.
- Take off the heat and gradually incorporate the clarified butter, adjust the seasoning if necessary then fold in the chopped tarragon.
- Keep your béarnaise in a warm place, wrapped in a tea-towel (or even in a thermos) until you need it – if it gets too hot or cold it will either set hard or split into an oily mess.
- When you’re ready to cook the salmon season both sides lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Grill the steaks in batches, with the cling film on, turning by 90 degrees to achieve the classic cross-hatch pattern. The plastic will be removed after – it holds the fish together. Mark both sides of the salmon well and remove from the grill. Pierce the steak with a skewer and press to your lip – it should be warm, not hot for a nice piece of salmon with a pink blush in the middle. If you prefer the salmon cooked through bake in a hot oven until the same skewer feels hot when touched to your lip.
- Remove the cling film from the grilled steaks and serve immediately with a little wilted spinach, a few picked herbs on top and a little drizzle of oil. Serve the béarnaise on the side with a few French fries or herbed potatoes.
by Chris King