Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pan Seared Salmon with Carrot mash and Leek Cream sauce.

I was at a nearby supermarket and the salmon fillets and leeks looked really good that day. I decided to use them both for dinner so I bought both, together with some cream and carrots and went home and made dinner.

Very enjoyable dinner. The leek infused sauce really brought the dish together. I thought the highlight was the crispy skin on the Salmon. Getting that skin nice and crispy is so crucial to the enjoyment factor of this meal.
Pan Seared Salmon with Carrot mash and Leek Cream

Here is what you'll need for 4 servings.
4 Salmon fillets - About 200 grams each.
200ml whipping cream
1 leek - sliced (White and light green parts only. Discard the dark green and leafy parts)
3-4 large carrots - peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 sprigs of Italian Parsley - Leaves only, roughly chopped
1/4 Milk (For when the puree is too dry to blend)
Chopped chives for garnish (Optional)

For the Carrot Mash
1. Boil the carrots for about 40 mins in salted water, until they are soft enough for a fork to go through them easily. Strain and set aside. (alternatively, you could bake them wrapped in foil for about 45-60 minutes in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius).

2. Let them cool for a while then puree in a food processor or blender. To ease the blending use some milk if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in 1 tablespoon of butter. Set aside.

Leek Cream Sauce
1. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt some butter. When butter starts to heat up and bubble, add in the leeks. Fry the leeks until they soften and start to give off a nutty aroma, just before they brown. Should take 3-5 minutes. Then add the cream and parsley. Turn of the heat when cream is heated up or boiling. Set aside.

For the Salmon Fillets:
1. Season the fillet with salt and pepper. Heat some oil over medium heat in a frying pan. When oil is heated up, lay in the salmon, skin side down. Cook for about 3 minutes and turn over and cook for about 1-2 minutes. You want the skin nice and crispy. Cooking times may vary based on the thickness of your fillets. If your skillet/pan is not big enough to cook 4 at the same time, you may need to cook in batches. When done, remove the fillets from pan and set aside.

Serve the Carrots and Salmon together and pour the sauce over the fish and carrot. Garnish with chives if using and serve immediately. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Creamed Spinach with Poached Egg

Creamed spinach is apparently a quintessential side dish to a steak meal. The wife and I had this at an upmarket steakhouse a while ago. We really liked it. The one we had was served with a sunny side up egg, which the waiter hacked to bits with a spoon at your table side.

The nearby Cold Storage was having a discount on baby spinach recently so we bought 2 packs. I really didn't feel like a salad that day (but then again I rarely do! ;P) so I thought I'd try my own rendition of creamed spinach. Both the wife and I found it rather enjoyable. The poached egg yolk added to the richness and bits of egg white gave the dish some textural variation.

Cream Spinach with Poached Egg
Here is what you'll need for 2
2 Packs Baby Spinach - About 180 grams or so.
1/2 white onion - finely diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
200ml whipping cream
1 knob of butter (about 1/2 tablespoon or so)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
2 Poached eggs (optional)

1. Boil a large pot of salted water. (about 2 teaspoons of salt). When water comes to a boil, put all the spinach in. They take just seconds to wilt. When wilted, remove and strain the liquid. Set aside to cool.

2. Next mince the spinach with a knife on a chopping board. Or you can use a food processor if you want it really fine. I like mine with some bite, so I just used a knife to chop up the spinach.

3. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Then sautee the onion and garlic till they turn soft. Add the cream and mix well. When the cream is heated up, turn off the heat and add the spinach and Parmesean (If using) and mix everything well together.

4. Serve in shallow bowls and top with poached eggs if desired. Serve warm.

Hope you'll like this.

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