15 February 2017

Léim an Bhradáin, the salmon leaps

Nothing to do specifically with this dish, it's just the first thing that springs to mind when I think of salmon.  I stayed with friends and their family in Leixlip (Léim an Bhradáin), a wee town in County Kildare in Ireland, back in 2004, and discovered that the name referred to leaping salmon.  Definitely one of the most endearing names I've heard of for a town.  

Anyhoo, this week we've been trialing a few more of Nadia Lim's dishes and so far it's a 100 % success rate!  This one I was a little dubious about, as far as its reception by Mssr 12.  But it was an unequivocal hit, with almost-teen and parents alike - and let's be honest, finding a dish that is (a) devoured wholeheartedly by those two demographics AND (b) not pizza, lasagna, stir-fry, or some form of nachos-taco-tortilla, is pretty hard sometimes.  But here is one - a dish you can whip up really quickly and easily, full of veges, and is suitable for a family meal or served up at a casual dinner party with friends (I would like to do them half-sized, to serve alongside a second salad, or perhaps rice).   

Salmon filo parcels with honey mustard apple salad

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1.5 cups milk
500g salmon, cut into good-sized chunks (2cm give or take) 
1 zucchini, grated
2 carrots, one grated and one not
5 mushrooms (not in original recipe but really good!!)
1 tsp salt
zest of one lemon (save juice)
10-12 sheets film pastry
1 egg, whisked (to brush, or you can use oil)
olive oil
sesame seeds (optional)
3 tbsp mayo 
1 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 tsp mustard (wholegrain or dijon are good)
2 tsp honey 
1 apple
4 cups bag rocket leaves 
  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius (200 fanbake).  Line oven trays with baking paper (we used two trays, so there was plenty of room between the filos).  
  2. Melt butter in large saucepan.  Add flour and stir briskly for a minute (to make a roux and 'cook' the flour).  Slowly add milk, stir constantly for about 2-3 minutes, until sauce thick and smooth.  Stir in some salt and pepper and remove from heat.  
  3. Fold salmon,zucchini, first carrot and mushrooms, salt and zest through the sauce and set aside.    
  4. Lay two sheets of filo on clean bench/board, with short side facing you.  Place about 2/3 cup of salmon mixture on pastry about 1/3 of the way up the sheet and shape into a thick sausage shape.  
  5. Fold edge of filo closest to you over salmon mixture.  Fold left and right edges of pastry inwards then brush with a little oil.  Roll parcel away from you to form a tight parcel.  Brush final edge with a little oil and place on prepared tray.  Repeat until you have 5 or 6 parcels.  Brush tops with egg or a little more oil and sprinkle with seeds, if desired. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove and pour out any excess liquid from trays.  Return to oven for a further 5-10 minutes until browned and starting to crisp up.  
  7. While filos bake, whisk together mayo, vinegar, mustard and honey. 
  8. Cut apple into quarters and thinly slice.  Use a vege peeler to peel second carrot into long ribbons.  Toss in bowl with rocket leaves and dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.  
  9. Serve filos with salad, drizzled with a little lemon juice.  
NB: Sweet chili and sour cream were a nice side for the filos too.  

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