For delicious salmon, beauty really is skin deep
THINK before you "undress" that salmon.
Relish restaurant head chef Aden Moriarty says many people discard a salmon's skin - but that's the most valuable part.
"A lot of people won't eat the skin but I believe it's the best part of the fish," he said.
"It has all the nutrients in there and it's better for you as well.
"The skin crisps up quite well in the bottom of the pan and draws out a lot of the fatty content and goes nice and crunchy."
Relish restaurant at Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort has three Huon salmon lunchtime specials this month, offering Aden and his team plenty of opportunity to use their creative flair.
One of the specials is include Huon salmon fillet, served with grilled asparagus and a cauliflower panna cotta.
Aden emphasises the importance of a good fresh product and a quality source.
"The Huon salmon we use here is a healthier product," he said.
"Huon Aquaculture's holding tanks are far less dense than other farms in and around Australia so the fish are healthier and less stressed and therefore provide better benefits."
His favourite style is to present the salmon fillet simply, cooked medium-rare.
"It's a good, fresh product and comes in daily," he said.
"We dip the salmon in fennel seeds and serve it nice and crispy.
"Skin side down first in the pan so it becomes crunchy. Medium rare in the middle."
If you are want to buy a whole quality fillet salmon to cook yourself at home, Aden recommends making a couple of checks first.
"Sniff it first," he said.
"Look for a nice, fresh smell of the ocean and then check that the eyes are bright, large and bulbous.
"Salmon with sunken or dead-looking eyes really means it's been hanging around."
Aden says another interesting way to prepare salmon is to marinate it in beetroot juice overnight.
Put the beetroot through a home juicer and pour it over the salmon.
This turns the salmon a deep purple colour similar to red wine.
It also gives the fish a very earthy flavour.
"Salmon and beetroot go very well together," he said.
And for Aden, the only other thing you need to complement the salmon is a sauvignon blanc from Victoria's Deakin Estate.
CAULIFLOWER PANNA COTTA
- ½ head cauliflower
- 500ml milk
- 250ml cream
- 125g mascarpone
- 3 sheets of gelatin
- nutmeg to taste
- Cut cauliflower into flowerets.
- Cover with milk and cook until cauliflower is very tender.
- Strain and separate.
- Blend cauliflower with mascarpone.
- Soak gelatin in cold water.
- Combine cream and 250ml of milk to use in cooking. Bring to a simmer and add gelatin.
- Blend with cauliflower mix.
- Pour into moulds and set in a cool room.
- For this recipe, use good-quality gelatin sheets. If you do not have them, whisk 3 tsp of gelatin into a warm cream and milk mixture.
When buying salmon portions look for:
- Consistency of colour (nice red/pink)
- Firm flesh
- Moist not dry
- Unbruised flesh