This is Marc Soper's winning Ora King Salmon dish 2016. Makes you wonder what he might come up with in 2017! You can taste his food at the gorgeous Wharekauhau Lodge, Wairarapa, New Zealand, where he is based as Exec Chef.
Manuka is a native New Zealand tree and it is easy to gather the bark. Use whatever bark or smoking chips you have at your disposal.
Manuka-smoked salmon belly, goat’s cheese & Lighthouse gin Smoked Salmon 4g (1 level tsp) caster sugar Marlborough flaky salt, as required 90g (3 ounces) fresh salmon belly, skin on Manuka bark (or other wood for smoking) Goat’s cheese 60g (about 2 ounces) soft goat’s feta 30g 1 ounce) mascarpone 25g (a scant 2 Tbsp) natural yoghurt 2g (half a lemon) lemon zest, finely grated 10ml (2 tsp) Lighthouse Gin 3g (I Tbsp each) chopped fennel and chives 10ml (2 tsp) cream ½ leaf gelatine, softened Marlborough flaky salt, as required Grapefruit syrup 125ml (½ cup) grapefruit juice, plus extra from the leftovers after segmenting fruit 5g (small piece as big as your little fingernail!) ginger, chopped 25g (scant 2 Tbsp) Manuka or aromatic honey 1 pinch each North Island saffron threads (or the best saffron you can find) Salt as required Apple, fennel & grapefruit 1 grapefruit 40g fennel bulb (half a cup? I guess here!) 1 radish ¼ apple cut as required 10ml (2 tsp) sweet soy sauce Salt and freshly ground black pepper Micro herbs as required Herbs and edible flowers of the season 2g salmon caviar (just a tad for dotting here and there)
Manuka-smoked salmon belly, goat’s cheese & Lighthouse gin
1 Sprinkle sugar and salt on salmon, heat manuka bark in a pan with a rack, place salmon on rack and cover with a second pan the same size and smoke until cooked on high heat (plenty of smoke). Remove, and cool slightly.
2 Blend goat’s cheese, mascarpone and yoghurt until smooth. Add salmon and mix well, and add lemon zest and gin and mix in herbs. Heat cream and add softened gelatine, allow to dissolve fully and mix into the salmon mixture. Adjust seasoning. Roll up in cling film into a small thin log, set in freezer then move to fridge. On serving, portion as required and remove cling film.
1 Place all ingredients in a saucepan, boil and reduce, simmering, until a syrup is obtained.
2 Season to taste. Strain through muslin. Store in the fridge until required
Apple, fennel & grapefruit
1 Peel the grapefruit and segment. Keep aside. Use the pulp in the grapefruit syrup.
2 Finely slice the fennel, radish and apple separately. This is done at service.
3 Arrange salmon mousse portion on plate, arrange the fruits and vegetables around it, decorate with some grapefruit glaze and sweet soy as a condiment. Finish with fresh foraged herbs and flowers and a few dots of salmon caviar.
Recipe notes (from me!)
Salmon belly is the flabby bit under the main fillets – the scrappy bits that used to get trimmed away in order to make nicely trimmed salmon steaks!
Read more about Marc Soper here
Lighthouse Gin http://www.lighthousegin.co.nz
Ora King Salmon http://orakingsalmon.co.nz/media/