Salmon with Horseradish Mash

Posted By Stephen


Kerri was feeling unwell today as a result of having one of her wisdom teeth out last week, so it was just dinner for me.  And coincidentally it was fish, greens and potatoes, much like last time I was just cooking for myself.  Salmon seasoned with paprika and salt this time though, and horseradish mash.

Paprika Salmon

Olive oil or vegetable oil

Mix an equal amount of paprika (sweet works better than smoked here) and salt.  Sprinkle this onto the fish and pat it in.  Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to it (the butter gives a good flavour and the oil lowers the “smoke point” so that it won’t burn as easily).  Heat the pan to medium heat and when the butter has melted and mixed with the oil and is hot, add the fish skin-side down and then turn the heat down a bit.  Depending on the thickness of the fish, cook it for between five and ten minutes.  This piece was quite fat, so it cooked for almost ten minutes.  While it is cooking, spoon the oil and butter mixture over it regularly, once a minute or so.  If when it is cooked, it is still looking a little pale on top then turn it over for thirty seconds or so to give it some colour.  Serve!

The simple recipe that we use for the greens works very well, and we have had it a few times lately.  It does bother me that shops are selling “spring greens” at the moment; surely global warming isn’t quite that bad?!  They are tasty though.

“Spring” Greens

1 large head spring greens, or 2 small ones
pepper, preferably freshly ground or crushed white pepper if you have it

Remove the leaves of the greens from the head.  Discard any discoloured outer leaves.  Strip the leaves from their stalks, tearing each leave into three or four pieces.  Rinse them in a colander and shake a bit of the water off, but leave the leaves damp.  Heat a small knob of butter in a lidded saucepan.  When it has melted, add the leaves and stir a few times and season with salt and pepper.  Turn the heat down and put the lid on the saucepan.

Remove the lid and stir a few times while they cook; this distributes the heat and coats them in the butter-water emulsion and seasoning.  After a few minutes, they should wilt down and start to soften while turning bright green.  If the leaves are tough then they might need a little longer.  They will definitely need longer than something like spinach, but don’t overcook them as it’s good to have some texture when they are on the plate.

I first used white pepper on these by accident but loved the result.  I thought we had run out of black pepper (in reality though we had plenty but the grinder was just blocked) so I ground some white pepper in the mortar and pestle and sprinkled that on.  White pepper has such wonderful aromatics and quite a different flavour to black pepper; I find it strange to think that white pepper is made from black pepper.

The horseradish mash was quite simple; no need for a recipe.  Simply steam potatoes, then mash and add a spoonful or two or horseradish and stir/mash it in well.  I added butter to it, which I love with mashed potato that is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, or even with mustard, but I find cream goes much better with horseradish; sadly we didn’t have any cream though.

As for wine, we have loads of bottles of fortified wines lying around our flat at the moment as I’m “studying” for my fortified wine module of the WSET diploma.  I had a tasting sample of both manzanilla and manzanilla pasada at the time and found that the manzanilla pasada went quite well with the salmon.  For those who haven’t tried manzanilla pasada, it takes a bit of explaining:

It is a type of Sherry which, like all true Sherry, is produced in the Jerez region in southern Spain.  Not the sort of nasty, industrially-produced, too-sweet sherry that hangs around in dusty decanters though.  Let’s start the story with fino which is a light, elegant, crisp sherry that is wonderful as an aperitif.  Fino gets a lot of its character from a film of “flor” yeast that grows over it in the barrel while it is maturing and protects it from oxidation while imparting a uniquely yeasty, crisp flavour. 

Manzanilla is similar to fino, but is yet lighter and more elegant because it is matured near the coast where the layer of flor is thicker and the sea air and humidity impart a salty tang to it.  Finally, manzanilla pasada is a manzanilla that has been aged until the flor starts to die off and the manzanilla starts to oxidise.  Leave it much longer and it’ll turn into an amontillado, which is a darker, nuttier, slightly spicy, oxidised style of sherry.  Get it at the right time though and it’s a manzanilla pasada, which has a touch of both styles in it; just right to accompany a piece of fish with a salty, slightly spicy coating.

Feb 17th, 2009

3 Comments to 'Salmon with Horseradish Mash'

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  1. Sandie said,

    We love salmon, but have never tried it with horseradish mash. In fact, until reading this post, I had never heard of mixing horseradish with mashed potatoes, but think it’s an interesting & useful take on flavors. Sounds simple enough too! I’m giving this a try next time we have salmon at home.

    Sandie’s last blog post..Wednesday InnSider: Big Mill Bed and Breakfast (Recipe: Gluten-Free Sweet Italian Sausage Custard Quiche with Hash Brown Potato Crust)

  2. Mrs Ergül said,

    that big piece of salmon looks very tempting! send Kerri my regards!

    Mrs Ergül’s last blog post..Steamed Fish with Spicy Ginger Sesame Sauce

  3. Kerri said,

    Do try the horseradish mash Sandie, it’s lovely. Works well with meat dishes as well as fish.

    Thanks Mrs E! I think I’m on the mend now!

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