The colours of Christmas, simple to prepare for large numbers and avoids too much work on the day.
2 x 300g salmon fillets, with skin
1 bunch of dill
2 large beetroot
½ cup/75g sea salt
½ cup/75g caster sugar
½ tspn crushed black peppercorns
2 tblspns Vodka (optional for kids!)
100g mache lettuce (or watercress)
1 tblspn extra virgin olive oil
1 tblspn lemon juice
Horseradish Cream (see note below)
Optional Beetroot Jelly (See recipe below)
Remove bones using fish tweezers (or ask your fishmonger to do this for you). Wash, dry and roughly chop the dill. (Include and bash the stems). Peel and grate the beetroot (you should have approx 2 cups).
In a bowl, combine the dill, beetroot, sea salt, sugar, pepper and Vodka and mix thoroughly. Place a little of this curing mixture into a glass dish and then the salmon, skin side down. Top with the rest of the curing mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn the fish over, ensuring it is covered with the beetroot mix. Refrigerate for a further 12-24 hours.
Remove the fish and wipe clean with paper towel. Remove skin and slice salmon with minimal sawing action. (This can be done in advance and kept cold). Arrange slices on plates or platter.
Toss salad leaves with olive oil and lemon juice and serve with salmon, horseradish cream and optional Beetroot Jelly.
To make the Horseradish Cream:
1 fresh horseradish root
2 tspns vinegar
¼ cup cream
Salt and white pepper
Peel the horseradish and grate finely (you will need 2 tblspns). Immediately mix with the vinegar (do this quickly to avoid the horseradish from becoming too fiery). Add the cream and season to taste. Keeps for a few days in the fridge.
If fresh horseradish is unavailable, mix together 1 tblspn shop bought horseradish cream with 2 tblspns cream, sea salt and pepper.
To make the Beetroot Jelly:
1 large beetroot, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
½ cup water
1 tspn sugar
½ tspn salt
3 gold strength gelatin leaves
Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Allow to macerate in the fridge overnight.
Strain through muslin cloth for 1-2 hours and collect the essence in a jug. There should be about 150mls.
Soak gelatin leaves in cold water for a few minutes. In the meantime, heat the juice slightly. Squeeze out gelatin leaves and add to the warm beetroot juice.
Pour into a flat square tin lined with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Turn out onto a board and cut into cubes.