Marinated Salmon and Poached Egg Toast

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Marinated salmon is for me the taste of Christmas, or at least it was until I started making batch after batch of it, becoming almost a permanent fixture in my fridge… perfect on crackers with some cream cheese, love it in a salad with spinach, feta and walnuts and of course as the star ingredient of my very favorite weekend breakfast/brunch, marinated salmon & poached egg toast!

My mum started making marinated salmon as a Christmas treat when we were kids, but funny enough, she used to get the curing salts already made from one particular shop, until one day they had the brilliant idea of changing the formula, ruining our Christmas menu in the process! My mum swore the new salts were not near as good as the originals. So that was that, my mum didn’t dare to try her own concoction and we never saw her beautiful marinated salmon again.

Not too long time ago, I decided I have had enough of missing my beloved marinated salmon, so I decided to take matters into my own hands; after a few trial and error attempts, I found the perfect recipe, and it couldn’t be any easier to make; there is almost not right or wrong when it comes to marinated salmon, it is a matter of taste and discovering what you like.

The curing salts consist of equal parts of salt and sugar, and then any flavoring you dare adding, dill, 4 peppercorn mix, grated beetroot, lemon rind… you name it… the tricky part is to balance the thickness of the salmon fillet, how much weight you put on top of it while curing and for how long you it leave to marinate. To be honest, unless you forget it in the fridge for days it is quite difficult to stuff up, is that easy to make. Use this recipe as a guideline, and then you can adjust it to your liking or the quantity of salmon you are preparing.

Now every weekend can potentially taste like Christmas… yippee!!!

Salmon

Marinated-Salmon

Marinated-Salmon-and-Poached-Egg-Toast

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Marinated Salmon and Poached Egg Toast

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 x 250g (8oz) fresh salmon fillets, pin bones removed. Previously frozen and defrosted
  • 4 thick slices crusty or sourdough grainy bread, toasted
  • 4 medium free range eggs, poached to your liking
  • baby spinach, washed
  • homemade aioli
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Curing Mixture
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I used kosher salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed 4 peppercorn mix (black, white, green & red)

Directions

  1. Mix curing mixture ingredients in a small bowl
  2. Pat dry salmon fillets. Get a big piece of cling film and place it the the kitchen bench. Arrange one piece of salmon, skin side down in one end of the cling film. Cover flesh side evenly with the curing mixture. Cover second piece of salmon (flesh side) with the curing mixture as well
  3. Sandwich salmon fillets (flesh sides touching) and wrap tightly with the cling film. Place in a container and weight fillets down with something flat (like a carton of juice) Place in the fridge and let marinate for 24 hours
  4. Take marinated salmon from the fridge, unwrap and rinse quickly under the running tap. Pat dry with paper towels (try not to remove all the dill) Wrap in clean cling film. Keep in the fridge and slice when needed. Will keep in the fridge for 3 - 4 days
  5. Assemble Toast
  6. Spread a good dollop of aioli on each toast. Top with spinach leaves, thinly sliced marinated salmon, and poached egg. Season with freshly cracked black pepper
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/marinated-salmon-poached-egg-toast/

Beef Burgers with Tuna Aioli

 

Beef Burgers with Tuna Aioli

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

I have to say, I am no expert when it comes to burgers, and pretty much everything I know I have learned it from this awesome website: www.amazingribs.com

I used to add all sorts to my burger patties until I decided to follow the “purist” in the burger department, and now I add nothing to them and just a minimum amount of exciting “add-ons” to complement the incredible pure beefiness of the burger patties. Then I season them generously on the outside and cook them in a hot cast iron pan, to leave the outside nicely charred while the inside is juicy and flavoursome.

These burgers in particular, are one of the best I have tried in a very long time; the tuna aioli somehow enhances the flavour of the meat and it truly shoots it to the next level. Of course the beef-tuna flavour combination is not new, there is an Italian classic called “Vitello Tonnato” that consists of slices of poached veal served with a tuna & anchovy mayonnaise, which I totally love. Definitely, the Italians know their stuff :0)

These days I love grinding my own meat, just because… the truth is that when I grind my own beef, the level of satisfaction rises above the starts, and although after much deliberation I purchased an old style manual grinder (which proved to be absolutely useless) I now use the simplest of food processors for the task, and it does a fantastic job just with the little blades!

Processor
Grinding my own meat, not handling the ground beef too much together with seasoning the patties on the outside just before cooking, totally does the trick, and something so simple as freshly ground beef, with the right pairings, ends up transformed into a well-crafted luxurious burger nothing short of burger perfection!

Beef Burgers with Tuna Aioli

Yield: 4 Burgers

Ingredients

  • 500g (1lb) ground beef (the leaner you go, the drier the patty will be; so I will leave up to you! ;0)
  • salt & pepper
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • 1 big tomato sliced
  • 20 baby gherkins, halved horizontally
  • Red onion, sliced (optional)
  • 4 burger buns, halved & toasted
  • oil spray
  • Tuna Aioli
  • 5 tablespoons homemade aioli
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 - 2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained & chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 50g (1.7 oz) tuna in oil, drained

Directions

  1. Shape the ground beef into 4 equal-sized patties. Try not to compact the meat too much, as the denser the patty the tougher the burger will be. Season burgers generously with salt and pepper (like you would do with your steaks)
  2. Heat a medium size cast iron pan (or any other heavy bottomed pan) over medium/high heat. Spray with oil and cook the burgers about 4 minutes on each side or until patties are cooked all the way through
  3. Tuna Aioli
  4. While the burgers are cooking, place all the tuna aioli ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth
  5. To Assemble your Burgers
  6. Place tomato & Lettuce on the bottom half bun; top with cooked beef patty & gherkins. Spread a good dollop of tuna aioli in the cut side of the top bun and place on top of the gherkins to finish off burgers
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/beef-burger-tuna-aioli/