A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO my good friend, Christine, uploaded a picture—on her Facebook wall—of a dish she had just made—and was rightly proud of—which was a butter-poached salmon topped with chopped scallions. I responded that she had inspired me to make a similar dish, among other things using gin as my poaching liquid.
Well, over the next couple of weeks, that idea developed into this dish (and a complete coincidence that this past week's Top Chef—and "highlights" from next week's Top Chef—allude to major elements of what I wound up making!).
The salmon got used three ways in this dish. The skin got sliced off so I could poach the salmon "flesh" in equal parts gin and water (the juniper berry flavors and aromatics imparting gloriously into the fish). I knifed some thin raw fish slices, that were still on the skin, tossed them in a couple drops of olive oil with a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked pepper, and placing that, covered, in the fridge to chill. The whole skin was seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika, sliced into strip, and then, eventually, get fried in oil and set on paper towels to dry and crisp.
Meanwhile, a prepared split peas from scratch, then mashed them with butter, salt, pepper, and finely chopped scallion and cilantro, and made a purée of boiled, cubed cucumber and potato, white pepper, celery salt, and some heavy cream.
That gets playfully arranged over a leek frond on a plate, with the cold salmon and leek salad, the room temp purée and split pea mash, the warm rice, the hot, crispy salmon skin, and voila!:
Bun Apple Tea!
Gin-Poached Salmon over Black Japonica Rice | Leek Salad with Grain Mustard-Red Pepper Flake Vinaigrette | Salmon Carpaccio | Cucumber-Potato Purée | Split Pea Mash with Crispy Salmon Skin "Bacon"