Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

My latest Hannah's Kitchen column in Country and Town House is for Champagne poached salmon fillets with tomato roses. It is not often that I use champagne in cooking – it is far nicer to drink - but poaching salmon fillets for a special dinner party starter is one exception I make. You do not have to use champagne though and a sparkling wine will work almost as well. The recipe only calls for half a bottle of champagne so you can save the remainder to drink with the salmon. I was taught to make the pretty tomato roses by the talented chefs at Waddesdon Manor during my time on Masterchef. They look so pretty and delicate but are actually very easy to prepare and decorate the salmon perfectly!

Champagne Poached Salmon with Summer Herb Aioli
Serves 2, Preparation time 20 minutes Cooking time 5 minutes plus overnight cooling

2 salmon fillets, skins removed
400ml champagne or sparkling wine
2 large fresh plum tomato
1 tbsp smooth mango chutney
juice of 1 lime
2 egg yolks
½ clove garlic
½ tsp salt
250 – 300ml mild olive oil (not extra virgin as this gives a bitter taste)
1 tbsp chopped fresh summer herbs (chives, chervil, mint, parsley)
Juice of 1 lemon
parsley to decorate

Place the salmon fillets in a small saucepan so that they both lay flat on the bottom, cover with the champagne and add a little extra water to ensure that the fillets are completely covered (the amount of water needed will depend on the size of saucepan you have used). Place the pan on a medium heat and bring the poaching liquid to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool, transfer the fish to the fridge until ready to serve. Using a sharp serrated knife, gently peel the skin of the tomatoes into several long strips, ensuring that you take as little tomato flesh as possible (as if you were peeling an apple). To make the roses, start at one end of a strip, roll it up between your fingers to create a tomato rose as shown in the picture. Repeat with the remaining tomato strips. The roses can be stored in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Heat the mango chutney and lime juice in a small saucepan and then brush onto the salmon fillets using a pastry brush. Decorate the salmon fillets with the tomato roses and parsley leaves. For the aioli, crush the garlic clove and salt to a smooth purée, then whisk into the egg yolks using an electric hand mixer or food processor. Add the olive oil a little at a time, whisking continuously until you have a thick mayonnaise. Fold in the herbs and season with a little lemon juice and salt and pepper to season.


sadie said...

oh how totally scrummy. I'd never get to make it though, I'd just have to 'sample' the champers and it wouldn't make it to the oven! ;o)

bellini valli said...

It sounds so decadent and perfect for a special occasion. If there are just two you can enjoy the other half of the bottle of Champagne.