Last Friday, the good people behind Food Bloggers of Canada featured foodiePrints, writing a very kind piece both on the blog and the people behind it.
The piece’s author, respected Canadian food blogger Mardi Michaels (@eatlivtravwrite) of Eat Live Travel Write, highlighted our adapting Chef Jason Parson’s beef wellington recipe to employ magret duck breast. It was one of our Valentine’s posts.
Parsons (@ChefParsons), Executive Chef of Peller Estates Winery is one of the chefs invited to participate in this year’s Celebrity Chefs of Canada event at the National Arts Centre (NAC), March 25, 2012.
Parsons is paired with returning chef Clifford Lyness of the Brookstreet Hotel (525 Legget Drive). Executive Chef Lyness is a Montreal native who began his culinary career in his hometown. He then traveled to Toronto where, like NAC Executive Chef Michael Blackie, Lyness attended George Brown College for culinary school. He would eventually travel to Ottawa to work at the NAC and has been a member of the Brookstreet’s culinary team since 2006.
Last year, Lyness gave CTVOttawa three recipes, reworking classic dishes like chowder and smoked salmon. We attempted Lyness’s “Beet Stained Cured Salmon.”
[with crushed sriracha peas and a soft boiled egg (topped with black olive dirt)]
Black Olive Dirt
The dirt was supposed to be a “dust” made from drying black olives. We have no dehydrator, so followed Lyness’s alternative method of placing a cup of drained canned black olives on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. And, placing the sheet pan in a 170F oven for 8 hours. The mostly dried black olives were then left at room temperature for another 3 hours to cool completely before jarring.
To make the dirt, we processed a handful of olives in a mortar until we produced a soil consistency. Because the olives have not been completely dried, they did not powder.
The remaining olives happily sat jarred in the fridge for 2 weeks. Afterward, they did not turn bad, but disappeared, my sprinkling the briney umami-ness on just about anything from chicken to lentils.
Baby Greens with Lemon and Orange Dressing
Because we had no limes, I made a lemon and orange vinaigrette by mixing juice from half a lemon and half an orange. I added a tsp of sugar, a dash of salt, several grinds of pepper, and olive oil to taste. I started by doubling the volume, whisking, and continuing to add oil until what was in the bowl was subtly sweet but citrusy bright.
The baby greens were a washed and packaged mix. To dress them, I place a handful of greens in a bowl, added a tbsp of dressing, and tossed gently.
Beet Stained Salmon Gravlax
Technically, we shouldn’t refer to our cured salmon as gravlax. While Lyness’s recipe includes classical dill, I omitted it, opting for a more citrus take. Another deviation, because we had no limes, I substituted orange zest. And, citrus and coriander being the component flavours of white beer, coriander seeds were used in lieu of juniper berries. Finally, we used run-of-the-mill beet root in lieu of heirloom “Bull’s Blood” beets. The result was a notice-ably non-herbal cured salmon, fresh with citrus and stained red by beet juice.
Four small beet roots were peeled and shredded.
Two tbsp of black peppercorns were mixed with 1 tsp of fennel seed and 1 tsp of coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle. They were then coarsely processed. The same could be accomplished in a coffee grinder.
The processed spices were mixed with a half cup of sugar and a half cup of kosher salt.
Finally, the chopped zest of an orange and lemon were added.
To cure a 1 lb fillet of salmon (skin-on), spread out approximately a 1/3 cup of the cure on the bottom of a non-reactive dish. Lay the salmon, skin side down on the cure. Evenly pack the remaining cure on the fish. Layer on top the shredded beet root.
Now, cover with plastic wrap. Place a layer of wax or parchment paper over that and add a weight. Us, we used another non-reactive dish and placed oranges on top of that.
Everything was then placed in the fridge for 48 hours.
After 48 hours, significant liquid will pool. Pour this off. Wipe the salmon clean with a tea towel. Paper towels would work as well. Carefully cut off the skin, slice thinly, and serve.
Plate with crushed sriracha peas (which are available at any Asian grocery store), dressed baby greens, mayonnaise sprinkled with sumac (which is available at any Middle Eastern store) and a soft boiled egg, topped with black olive dirt.
Wrap remaining salmon in plastic tightly. Cured salmon should last several days refrigerated. Ours didn’t last the evening.
Leftovers? Well, ever thought of nova eggs on a bagel?