Citrus salmon confit with baby gem saute

by Ginny Grant | Cuisine issue #155
Serves: 10This is based on a recipe of Ray McVinnie's that appeared in issue 52 of Cuisine and has since become a fixture in my family's Christmas celebrations.

You’ll need to start the recipe the day before, as the salmon is lightly cured overnight before being cooked at a low temperature. It’s lovely served warm, but is also good cold with a light salad or thinly sliced on crostini with horseradish cream.

1 side of salmon, skinned and boned
1⁄4 teaspoon five-spice powder
3 tablespoons flaky sea salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
olive oil for coating salmon
grated zest of 1 orange
grated zest of 1 lemon

Trim salmon tail and thinner ends so you have a rectangular, 2-3cm thick piece. Mix together five-spice powder, salt and sugar then rub all over fish, ensuring the thickest parts get the most covering of cure. Wrap tightly in foil and refrigerate overnight.

Unwrap the salmon and quickly rinse off the salt mix under cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Preheat the oven to 70°C.

Rub the salmon all over with oil then top with the grated zests. Put in an oven bag and use your hands to squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal the bag shut then put on an oven tray and bake for 15-20 minutes – the flesh will still be translucent.

Remove from the oven bag and cut into thin slices for an entree or larger pieces if serving as a main.

Wine - A Central Otago pinot noir.

Baby gem saute
25g butter
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, chopped into 2.5cm lengths
3 baby gem lettuces, washed, leaves separated
100g sugar snaps or snow peas
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal
2 cups baby peas
1⁄4 cup water or chicken stock
juice of 1⁄2 lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Heat the butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat then add the garlic and spring onions. Fry gently for a few minutes. Add the lettuce leaves and asparagus, stir to combine then cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the sugar snaps, peas and water or stock to the saucepan then cover and cook for another 2 minutes. Uncover and stir in the lemon juice and chives then taste and season with sea salt. Serve with the salmon.

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