Here is a dish that I serve a little bit ago and it was a huge hit with Jp. This dish definitely takes a little time but some of the things can be done ahead of time. Salmon is a great fish that can be "poached" or sous vide and also that can be eaten at a medium doneness. I got a great piece of wild salmon and decided to also use the skin as a chip. One of the rules in a chef's kitchen is to hardly ever through anything away and the skin of the fish being one of them. I decided to make ginger aioli and a Dashi sauce. To round out the dish I made a white miso and eggplant puree along with roasted spring onions. Very French in approach but flavored with Asian ingredients that married beautifully. Jp couldn't get over how tender and melt in the mouth the salmon was. This is also a great use of the swiss chard by wrapping the salmon in it. Here is the recipe I really hope you enjoy it.
1 1/2 lb salmon fillet with skin scaled
1 bunch of swiss chard leaves blanched
3 tbsp of fresh squeezed ginger juice
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup grape seed or vegetable oil
1 tsp of sesame oil
4 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
1 tsp of Aji Roja puree or sriracha sauce
4-5 tbsp of honey
Salt to taste
3 cups of bonito flakes
1 piece of kombu (optional)
8 cups of water
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of flour
4 spring onions
1 bunch of blanched asparagus tips
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 red radish sliced thin
1 large eggplant peeled and diced
3 tbsp of white miso
3 tbsp of cream
For the Salmon,
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
If you can, try and get one whole piece of salmon that weighs around 1 1/2 lbs. Then take the skin off cleanly or have your fishmonger do it for you. Clean the fish skin of all the flesh so that it is really clean with no meat. Make sure all of the scales are off on the outside of the skin. Lay the skin flat on a cutting board and cut with a very sharp knife even strips of the skin. Then take a piece of parchment paper and lay it flat on a sheet pan. Place the skin flat on the parchment paper and season lightly with salt. Take another piece of parchment paper and lay on top of the salmon skin. Place another sheet pan on top to weigh the paper down. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Then flip over the skin and place in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the salmon skin is like a chip. Set aside to cool and place in a airtight container.
To make the salmon rolls, cut the salmon fillet down the middle of the fish length wise (you can follow the natural "white line" in the salmon) Then cut salmon into 4-5 oz "blocks". Make sure that you trim any of the brown part of salmon bottom off (For the visual purposes). The goal here is try and get pieces of salmon that are the same size all the way around or as close as possible. Then take one piece of salmon block and slice on the bottom 1/3 of the salmon all the way to the end of the other side of the salmon without cutting through it. (basically a butterfly cut) Then do the same slice with the 2/3 part of the salmon fillet (another butterfly cut). So basically you should end up with a flat rectangular fillet of salmon. Here at this stage you could use Transglutaminase (meat glue) if you wanted to make a seamless fillet. I chose not to, I lightly season the flesh side up of the salmon and then roll the salmon up into a tight roll. Then place the salmon roll in plastic and wrap really tightly, twisting both ends of the plastic until the salmon is a perfect tube. Continue the process with the rest of the salmon pieces. Place in the refrigerator to help set the shape for at least 2 hours.
Then take a stove top smoker and place cherry chips in the bottom of the smoker. Get a big plastic zip lock bag and fill it with ice. Place in the stove top smoker on the tray. Take the salmon cylinders out of the refrigerator, cut one end of the plastic off and slide the salmon out of the plastic. Place all the salmon cylinders on top of the ice. Place the lid on top of the smoker and turn the heat on for 1-2 minute to get the smoker rolling. Then turn off the heat and allow the smoke to penetrate the salmon for 15 minutes. ( without cooking the salmon, this is essentially cold smoking)
Then take the blanch chard leaves and remove the stems. Make sure that you pat the leaves with a towel to completely dry them. Then roll the chard leaves around the salmon. Place the salmon back in a piece of plastic and roll it up tight, tying up both ends tightly to form a perfect cylinder. Then place in a sous vide bag. Set a water bath to 125 degrees. Get the other mise en place prepped before you cook the salmon.
For the dashi veloute,
Soak kombu in fresh water to soften it a bit and get rid of any impurities for 20 minutes. Then add kombu to a pot with water and bonito flakes. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and reduce by 1/2 or until the stock is rich and full of flavor. In a small sauce pot add butter on medium heat. When the butter has melted completely add the flour to make a roux. Cook for one minute and then strain the dashi into the roux stirring continuously. Start with 2 cups of dashi and small amounts until the dashi thickens to a nice consistency for a sauce or veloute. Simmer for 15 minutes and then strain and season. Set aside and keep warm.
For the Ginger aioli,
Place egg yolks, ginger juice, vinegar, honey, and aji into a vitamix. Turn on medium low and puree until smooth. Then slowly add the oils until the aioli thickens to sauce consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and place in a squirt bottle.
For the eggplant puree,
In small pot of salted water add peeled and diced eggplant. Boil for about 8 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Place in an ice bath. Discard any brown pieces and squeeze out excess water. Then place the eggplant in the vitamix with miso, and a little cream. Puree until smooth and adjust seasoning if needed.
Place the salmon rolls in the water bath and cook for about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile in a sauté pan on medium heat add olive oil and spring onions. Cook for 5- 10 minutes until tender. Then add the asparagus and warm through. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Take the ginger aioli and make an oval on the plate. Then spoon in the dashi in the middle of the oval. Take the salmon out of the water bath and out of the plastic bags. Cut the salmon using a sharp knife in 3 pieces. Season the tops of the salmon with fleur de sel and place them on top of the sauce. Place two spoonfuls of the eggplant puree next to the salmon pieces. Add the spring onions, asparagus and shaved radish. Finish with the salmon skin chip, serve and enjoy!