Smoked salmon, for obvious reasons, isn't something that tends to find its way onto my weekly shopping list. Smoked salmon trimmings, however, well that's a different story. They're ideal for a Sunday breakfast with scrambled eggs or for a mid-week sandwich. I also like to stir them into a simple salad of new potatoes, spring onions, parsley and mayonnaise.
Not too long ago I could buy 120g of own-brand stuff for 90p from Morrison's. They don't seem to stock that anymore; instead they're selling 'posh cuts' from the Harbour Salmon Co at (I think) £1.49 for 90g. Still, you can get a 120g packet from Tesco for £1.50. Which works out at £5 a kilo cheaper than their cheapest packet of slices. So the 30g of trimmings in the pasta recipe below costs only 37.5p.
Anyway, here's five suggestions for meals to make with the trimmings:
pappardelle, smoked salmon, dill
30g smoked salmon trimmings, finely diced
3 tbsps crème fraîche (or 2 tbsps plus 1 tbsp creamed horseradish)
1 dsp finely chopped dill
a squeeze of lemon
Bring a big pan of salted water to the boil, add the pappardelle, and cook as per the instructions on the packet.
Meanwhile, mix the smoked salmon, crème fraîche (or crème fraîche and horseradish) and dill together in a bowl. Squeeze in some lemon juice and grind in some black pepper. Stir and taste - add a bit more lemon juice if you think it needs it.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and throw it back into the pan. Add the smoked salmon sauce, give it a good stir and serve in a bowl.
bacon du bedat
I'm not sure who first came up with this. I know it features in 'A Pike in the Basement' by Simon Loftus. It's a fantastic sandwich.
2 slices good bread
1 dsp mango chutney (I sometimes use a hot pepper jelly instead)
30g smoked salmon trimmings
3 rashers streaky bacon, grilled until crispy
small handful of rocket or watercress
Spread the mango chutney onto one slice of bread and arrange the trimmings over it. Arrange the bacon over the smoked salmon, then a handful of rocket or watercress. Grind over some black pepper and lay the second slice of bread on top.
smoked salmon pâté
120g smoked salmon trimmings
50g cream cheese
1 dsp creamed horseradish
1 dsp lemon juice
a couple of grinds of black pepper
(and perhaps a little double cream or crème fraîche)
Blitz the first five ingredients briefly in a blender. Have a taste. A little too intensely salty? Add a spoonful or two of cream or crème fraîche, give the blender a few pulses and taste again. Add more cream and/or lemon juice until you're happy.
baked egg + smoked salmon
1 egg, yolk and white separated
1 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp finely chopped smoked salmon trimmings
a little finely chopped dill
Whisk the egg white briefly and then beat in the cream, followed by the salmon, dill, pepper and just a suggestion of salt. Pour into a small, buttered ramekin. Plop the egg yolk into the centre. Bake at 180C/160C fan for about 8-10 minutes or so (you should keep an eye on it all the while really) until there's only the slightest wobble factor remaining in the whites (too long and the yolk won't be runny). Serve with buttered sourdough soldiers.
smoked salmon + potato tart
As you may know, I'll buy a 500g block of ready-made puff pastry, divide it into six pieces, wrap them in cling film and freeze.
The filling in this simple concoction tastes like an elegant fish pie.
2 x sixths of a 500g puff pastry block
100g (peeled weight) potato, in small chunks
a slice of butter
75g leeks, thinly sliced
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsps double cream
60g smoked salmon trimmings, diced
salt + black pepper
Roll the pastry out into two 150mm diameter rounds. Score these about 10mm in from the edge with a sharp knife. Slide onto a baking tray and bake in a 200C/180C fan oven for no more than 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and flatten the insides of the pastry discs so they have a distinct border.
Boil the potato in salted water in a small pan until cooked and mashable. Drain. Wipe the pan with some kitchen roll, place back on the heat and throw in a slice of butter. Gently fry the leeks until they've softened and reduced in bulk. Return the potato to the pan and mash roughly.
Add the beaten egg, cream, trimmings, and some black pepper. Cook over a low heat, constantly beating with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened a bit. Remove from the heat and taste - you might like to add a little salt, but only a little.
Spoon the mixture into the two pastry cases and make a pattern on the tops with a fork. Bake in the 200C/180C fan oven for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are starting to turn golden.
Serve with a simple green salad.
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