Dinner Party Dining - Course Three - A Crust is Formed
We had this particular evening's cookery planned for, and shopped for, the 23rd March.
Unfortunately the college was hit with plague. Or terrorism. Or closed due to snow. Or a bomb scare. Or a breakdown in the kitchen's fans.
But whatever the reason, the class was cancelled at the last minute, and so I spent the next two weeks eating things crusted in herbs.
Including my easter fillet-end leg of lamb.
And very nice it was too - but by the time the replacement class rolled around on 20th April featuring the same crust recipe I balked, and decided to try something
almost, but not quite, entirely different
Official Herb Crusted Salmon
The official class recipe!
For my own original unofficial version, not having access to the College's endless supplies of parmesan, I substituted quite a lot of panko breadcrumbs, left over from a previous class.
It makes for a nice crunchy crust, though it doesn't cohere terribly well and needs oil or melted butter to be dribbled in to hold it together.
So make sure yours has plenty of cheese to melt it all together.
Your many leftovers will make a good crust for a leg or rack of lamb too. Bonus!
- 2 salmon fillets
- 1 bag parsley
- 1 bag of dill
- 1 bag of basil
- 1 small tub of Dijon mustard
- 1 small bag of Parmesan/Grana Padana
Finely chop all the herbs in a bowl (use a food processor if needed) and add parmesan, seasoning and lemon zest.
Glaze the salmon fillet in Dijon mustard (just enough to act as a glue for the herbs).
Roll the salmon in the herb dressing and set aside.
Heat the oven to 180°C and place the salmon on a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, cook for 12 minutes or until the herbs are a dark green colour, take out and rest.
- 2 Maris Piper potatoes
- 4 rosemary sprigs
- 1 tblsp butter
- 1 tblsp oil
Peel the potatoes and drop into cold water as you go to wash and prevent browning.
Dice potatoes evenly into 1cm dice and place in a pan of salted boiling water for 10 minutes or until just tender.
Take out and strain, then return them to the pan and let them steam for 30 seconds before taking them off the heat and leaving to cool.
Heat a pan of olive oil and a knob of butter, bring to a foam before adding the potatoes and crisp them all over.
Add salt and pepper to taste and finish them with chopped rosemary.
Tomato & Onion Salsa
salad veg vegan
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 white onion
- 1 lemon
- 1 tsp sugar
- extra virgin olive oil
Finely dice the tomatoes and onions and add to a bowl, add seasoning, sugar, juice of half a lemon and a little extra virgin olive oil.
Horseradish Crème Fraîche
When David refers to 2 teaspoons of horseradish in the ingredients,
he means from those jars of horseradish sauce stuff you find in the supermarket that are made from mustard, vinegar, turnip and snot.
Makes 1 Cup
Well I despise that stuff, and I couldn't find any fresh horseradish root,
but I did have some horseradish-flavoured vodka left over from Christmas...
I had decided to simplify my Yule Bloody Marys by throwing chunks of horseradish straight into the vodka bottle instead of grating some freshly into each glass,
which makes you cry.
It worked well enough at first, but the vodka eventually leeches out a little too much bitterness from the root and it stops being fun.
Which is why I had so much left over.
Anyway, this seemed like a dish which wouldn't mind a little bitterness so much, so I drizzled some of that into the crème fraîche.
Then I threw in some lightly crushed capers too. To further disguise any bitterness.
It was rather nice actually!
- 1 lemon
- 2 tsp horseradish
- 1 tub crème fraîche
Add the horseradish and crème fraîche to a bowl, add the zest of half a lemon and season with a little salt to taste.
Rocket Crusted Trout
My cookery course had to skip the meal of Herb-Crusted salmon due to a bomb threat, and so I spent a week eating herb-crusted salmon, and then another eating herb-crusted leg of lamb.
So as you can imagine, I was heartily sick of eating herb crusts.
It's quite amazing how much herb crust three bags of herbs make.
Anyhoo, when the course instructor decided to re-do the missed herb-crusting lesson, I decided to try a rocket-crust instead.
A change is as good as a rest, they say.
My first crust, with almost equal volumes of crushed flaked almonds and (minced) rocket was a bit on the bland side.
So I tried again with less nut, more seasoning and a splash of balsamic Chardonnay vinegar.
(The balsamic makes it too brown).
I did think some chopped capers might be nice too, but didn't get around to trying those.
- 2 trout fillets
- double handful of rocket, minced
- handful dill, minced
- ¼ cup flaked almonds, crushed
- lemon zest, grated
- 1-3 tsps cream cheese
- salt & pepper
- more rocket
- less nuts
- 1 tsp Chardonnay vinegar
- more salt & pepper
Mince the herbs. Crush the nuts. Mix the crust mixture. Add just enough cream cheese to cohere the mixture.
Dry the trout fillets, lay skin-side down, season, smear the flesh with a thin layer of cream cheese then cover with the crust mixture.
Lift the fillets onto oiled parchment on an oven tray.
Bake for 8 minutes at 180°C convection, probably 200°/Gas Mark 6 regular.