Preparation and cooking time: ~1 hour
Calories: ~474 per parcel
This post has been a long time coming. I made this dish… well, I forget, but it was a long time ago. It was actually inspired by something we ate on New Year’s eve. Our “farewell-to-2012″ dinner was a quiet affair. My wife was taking care of everything this time around. I’m often the one who will do the cooking on special occasions but this year I got to put my feet up. Little William had just passed 3 months and we wanted something easy, so we actually got pre-made food which just needed to be popped in the oven. Neither my wife or I are big drinkers, so we rounded it off with a bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling “wine” and saw in 2013 that way – just the three of us. Very calm, very relaxing, very nice.
The main course is what inspired this dish though. We had a quite delightful parcel of assorted seafood, wrapped in salmon and I figured that this wouldn’t be at all difficult to make myself, and what’s more, it looks and sounds very “gourmet” as well. Perfect for dinner parties when you want to impress your guests. I’d received a slicer for Christmas as well, which I’d already used on my wonderfully tasty brined roast beef and I was itching to give it another whirl on something else. Suffice to say, the slicer made short work of the salmon piece I had. Wafer thin slices, perfect for wrapping around my filling. Don’t be put off however if you don’t have a slicer. A long, sharp filleting knife can be used, although it will be somewhat slower unless you’re very adept at the process. In any case, the slices needn’t be “wafer thin”. As long as they’re fine enough to drape and fold somewhat without breaking it should be fine.
The filling you decide to use is really open to your imagination. I decided to stick with shrimp and white fish as a filler, along with some onion, celery, and ginger for taste and texture. You can equally add mussels, scallops, crab, broccoli, red pepper, chopped dill – all or any of which would be wonderful!
I thought I’d share with you a photo of my haul from my recent trip to the fruit and vegetable market as well. I’m ashamed to say that I used to buy a great deal of my fruit and vegetables from the supermarket. For many years it just seemed so much easier, to be able to get everything I need all in one place at once. We recently decided to make a concerted effort to buy our produce from the local market though on Sundays now. It always lasts longer (I lost count of the number of times I would buy strawberries from the supermarket, only to see them moulding the very next day!), it’s tastier, and heck, it’s more fun. I head out on the Sunday morning… get a bit of fresh air, fill up my bags and then head back home. The vendors are so knowledgeable and friendly and are always giving you tips and advice. Likewise, you never get the impression that they’re just trying to push produce on you to make a profit. If they tell you the clementines are sweet and juicy, you can bet your life they will be! I wouldn’t say the produce is cheaper than supermarkets, but it’s certainly not prohibitively expensive, and the difference in quality makes it well worth it.
From left: Clementines, runner beans, lemons, chard, lamb’s leaf lettuce, flat-leaf parsley, coriander, cucumbers, green peppers, blood oranges, white onions, mango, potatoes, cherry tomatoes.
Isn’t there something so satisfying about spreading such wonderful things out and gazing upon the fruits of mother earth? On to the recipe though – enjoy the rest of the post and I’ll be back in a few days with something new!
Shrimp and Ginger stuffed Salmon Parcels
- ~600g de-boned Salmon fillet
- ~250g white Fish (plaice, cod, Alaskan pollock etc.)
- ~200g Shrimp (ideally raw, in which case allow an extra 100g for the heads/peel)
- 1 large stick of Celery
- 1 large knob of fresh Ginger
- 1 large Onion
- ~3 cloves of Garlic
- 40g of Butter, softened
- 1 Egg
You’ll also need
- ~3 sticks of Celery to act as a trivet for cooking
- 1 Lemon
- We’ll start off by making the filling. Peel and chop the onion and celery finely and place into a large bowl. Peel and mince the onion and garlic and add this in as well. Peel the shrimp if necessary and then chop the shrimp and the white fish into small chunks, being sure to remove any bones if you encounter them. Add to the bowl with the onion and garlic before finally adding in the softened butter and the egg. Mix well until everything is well combined.
- Using a slicer or very sharp filleting knife, slice the salmon into 8 good slices. You’ll need two slices per parcel.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and then line a baking tray with foil. Slice the extra celery stalks into three pieces each and arrange them over the foil. Take a slice of the salmon and place a quarter of the filling mixture into the centre. Bring the edges together and then drape another slice of salmon over the place where the edges meet. Tuck the edges in and place the parcel on top of the celery sticks. Repeat the process until all four parcels have been made.
- Cut the lemon into wedges and sprinkle the wedges, along with a liberal squeeze of juice over the parcels. Sprinkle on some salt and cover the tray with foil, before placing into the oven for ~35 minutes.
- Plate up and serve with your side dish of choice. I personally recommend a good hollandaise sauce and some asparagus!