Recipe: Carrot and cardamom cured salmon

By Grant Allen

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Carrot and Cardamom Cured Salmon with wild greens and herbs, salt and vinegar jelly and pickled fennel. Photo / Colin Page
Carrot and Cardamom Cured Salmon with wild greens and herbs, salt and vinegar jelly and pickled fennel. Photo / Colin Page

With wild greens and herbs, salt and vinegar jelly and pickled fennel.

Serves 6-8

Cured salmon
• 600g carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
• 300g table salt
• 300g caster sugar
• 40g cardamom, cracked open and toasted
• 1 side salmon, pin boned and wing off

1. Using a high-powered food processor, puree carrots, salt, sugar and cardamom until coarse. Refrigerate until required.

2. Place the side of salmon into a vacuum-seal bag. Pour the cure into the bag, making sure to focus the cure on to the salmon flesh more than the skin. Vacuum-seal for 45 seconds and then refrigerate for 24 hours.

3. Wash off the cure as well as all skin and blood line. Portion into 50g barrels.

Beetroot mayo
• 500g beetroot (this will reduce to 300g after cooking)
• 1 egg, whole
• 5 egg yolks
• 40g Dijon mustard
• 50ml lemon juice
• 600ml blended oil (half vegetable and half olive oil)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Place the beetroot on a tray lined with rock salt and cook for 45-60 minutes, until tender.

2. Make mayonnaise using a food processor, starting with the eggs, mustard and lemon juice. Once they are smooth and with the machine running, slowly trickle in oil until it is all emulsified.

3. Puree beetroot and combine with an equal quantity of mayonnaise. Mix together and refrigerate. Transfer to a squeeze bottle before service.

Corn puree
• 2 corn cobs
• 20g garlic, peeled and crushed
• 100g brown onion, diced
• 2 bay leaves, torn
• 1l water
• 150g cream, thickened

1. Cut corn kernels from cobs. In a saucepan, add cobs, water and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

2. In another saucepan, saute onions, garlic and corn kernels on a low-medium heat until soft and caramelised. Add stock gradually while this is happening.

3. When corn is tender, add cream and puree in a high-powered food processor. Season, pass and allow to cool with a cartouche (folded piece of baking paper) on top. Transfer to a squeeze bottle before service.

Pumpkin puree
• 500g Kent pumpkin, discard skin
• 80g unsalted butter
• 150ml cream, thickened

1. Grate pumpkin using the largest holes of a cheese grater. Using a saucepan on a low-medium heat, add butter, then pumpkin. Cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally.

2. When pumpkin is tender, add cream, stir through and blend in a high-powered food processor until smooth. Season and store in a container with a cartouche on top. Transfer to a squeeze bottle before service.

Sousing liquid
• 300ml chardonnay vinegar
• 300g brown sugar

1. Place both ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to cool and keep refrigerated until required.

Spring vegetables
• Baby purple heirloom carrots, 1 or ½ per person, peeled and dirt scraped out. Keep 2cm root on. Half lengthways and quarter if too long
• The same with baby heirloom white carrots
• Micro fennel, half per person, halved and 4-6cm of stem kept on
• Splash of extra-virgin olive oil
• Flaked salt for seasoning

1. Blanch micro fennel for 10 seconds in boiling salted water. Take out and place and dress with a little of the sousing liquid and reserve until required.

2. Blanch carrots for 5-10 seconds in boiling salted water. Dress all vegetables with sousing liquid, extra virgin olive oil and flaked salt.

Salt and vinegar jelly
• 250g sherry vinegar
• 15g flaked salt
• 500g 1:1 stock syrup
• 12g agar agar
• 10ml Tabasco

1. Combine vinegar, salt, syrup and agar agar in a saucepan and cook on a low heat, stirring continuously until all the agar agar is cooked out. This should take 5 to 15 minutes, depending on batch size. Finish with Tabasco and pass through a fine chinois.

2. Set into a greased cube or rectangle. Once set, turn jelly out of mould and dice into 1cm x 1cm cubes and refrigerate until required. Don't stack diced jelly in layers.

• Red elk
To serve:

1. Place dots of each puree randomly around the plate as required.

2. Place three pieces of jelly on each plate then place the salmon portion at 2 o'clock position.

3. Continue with a piece of fennel with the stalk resting on the rim of the plate. Rest one of each carrot against salmon and jelly and add leaves. Serve immediately.

Grant Allen travelled to Melbourne courtesy of Tourism Victoria and Qantas.

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