Christmas is just twelve days away. Time to seriously think about what will be on the menu for Christmas lunch. Here is our starter. A very sophisticated but deceptively simple Salmon Tartare. Courtesy of Stéphane at My French Heaven.
I could look at Stéphane’s blog all day. Its bilingual. Written in French and English. With French taking precedence naturellement. A perfect opportunity to brush up on my rusty school girl French. The photography is gorgeous. The vignettes humorous and self deprecating. The recipes are to die for. And what’s more they work!
I was cruising through this captivating blog. Thinking about Christmas lunch. Or more specifically the starter. Traditionally its seafood. Followed by turkey and ham. Perhaps some beef. Lots of interesting salads. Much, much later in the day there’s dessert. Of course. A proper plum pudding with creme anglais and hard sauce. And for good measure a quintessentially Australian pavlova laden with summer fruits. I needed something light and refreshing. The opening act for a very long lunch. And there it was. Stéphane’s signature dish. Salmon Tartare.
This week I had a trial run. I visited the Sydney Fish Markets and dutifully picked up wild sashimi grade salmon, smoked salmon and a tub of wild sea trout eggs. All locally sourced from Tasmania of course. I was a little dubious about all the delicate slicing and dicing involved. As it so happened this was the perfect opportunity to use my razor sharp sashimi knife purchased at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish markets a few years ago. To be honest I have been so in awe of that knife that I rarely use it. They say a craftsman is only as good as his or her tools. After dutifully chopping up the ingredients into uniform little dice. I can certainly vouch for that.
Once the slicing and dicing is done its just a matter of thoroughly mixing the ingredients and allowing a little time for the flavours to meld and work their magic. I used a little lemon and vodka in my tartare. Superb! And served with witlof for a very pretty and Christmas-y starter. The verdict? Absolutely delicious.
Salmon Tartare a la Stéphane
1 red onion
3 big table spoons of heavy cream
6 medium slices of smoked salmon
2 salmon steaks (sushi fresh!)
1 fist full of chopped chives
1 teaspoon Tabasco (My friends in New Orleans can get as creative as they want with their own choice of hot sauce:0)
2 big table spoons of trout eggs (NOT SALMON. THEY BREAK TOO EASY)
Salt and pepper to taste
CHOP both types of salmon in quarter inch cubes
CHOP-UP every other ingredients
MIX everything up with the cream (reserve eggs)
ADD trout eggs at the end and mix carefully one more time (they are supposed to pop in people’s mouth not in the bowl!!!) – Save some for presentation. ET VOILA!
- Do not use caviar either. If the eggs pop in the mix it will give an awful grey colour to the dish. You may use Beluga as decoration if you really want to spend extra money for nothing:0)
- If you can keep the preparation in the fridge overnight, the flavors will really come out more
- I have eaten this up to 3 days after I made the original batch. Just keep it cool.
- You can add a shot of vodka to the mix. It brings out all the other flavours even more.
- 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice is also an option.
- Once again, salmon eggs are too fat, to fragile and 2 to 3 times more expensive that trout eggs.