When Rob St. John requested some seafood to go along with his new song, ‘Church Bells’, I knew the recipe had to be something that could match up to its elegance.
I went straight away to my stack of Julia Child cookbooks and came upon this recipe for Salmon In Potato Case. It’s a very simple, but beautifully presented dish.
A thin slice of salmon is sandwiched between some potato and dill. This all gets sautéed until the potato turns golden. The crisp potato and moist salmon are served atop a bed of light, lovely tomato coulis.
To round out the dish I served some green beans cooked in miso butter. Try this really good recipe.
Salmon In Potato Case
One center cut salmon fillet (about 5 oz), about 2 inches wide
1/8 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 large russet potato, peeled
2 tsp chopped dill
2 tsp butter
2 tsp vegetable oil
Tomato Coulis (recipe follows)
Sprigs of fresh dill, to garnish
Serves 1 (recipe doubles or triples, etc, easily)
1. Butterfly the salmon fillet, stopping just short of slicing through entirely. Open the two sides up like a book and flatten the piece out. The butterflied piece should be about 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper.
2. Use a mandolin, vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to cut thin slices of potato. Lay about 5 or 6 pieces, slightly overlapping, on your work surface and set the salmon on top. You should use just enough potato slices to make a bottom covering for the fish.
3. Heat the butter and oil in a non-stick frying pan. When sizzling, pick up the potato-lined piece of salmon and slide it into the pan. Sprinkle the dill on top and cover the fish with 5 or 6 more slices of potato.
4. Cook salmon over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, then check to see if the bottom has browned. When well crusted, carefully turn the fish over. Cook the other side, about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned.
5. Spoon several tablespoons of the coulis onto a serving plate. Use the back of a spoon to clear a place in the center.
6. Carefully lift the potato-encrusted salmon with a spatula and arrange it in the center of the plate with the coulis surrounding it. Garnish with sprigs of dill.
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Makes about 2 cups
1. Sauté onion and garlic clove in olive oil until soft.
2. Add tomato to the onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
3. For a smoother texture, push the thickened tomatoes through the medium plate of a food mill. (I left mine chunky.) Serve warm.
Recipes from Julia And Jacques Cooking At Home
I mentioned that Rob St. John has a new song out. ‘Church Bells’ is the lead track on “Concrete Antenna”, which is described as “a 12” LP vinyl set of music, art prints, essays and tide table created by Tommy Perman, Simon Kirby and Rob St. John, inspired by their sound installation in the new landmark tower at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.”
Sounds pretty cool, right?
Evidently, the installation is interactive with heat and motion sensors that react to the visitors while recorded sounds of the nearby harbor and its environs change based on the tides and the weather.
I want to hop on a plane to Edinburgh right now!
Well, since that isn’t possible, I’m lucky enough to sink my ears into the music. “Concrete Antenna” is a collection of some of the most beautiful instrumental songs I have heard in a long time. They are extremely minimal and, having been to Edinburgh a few times, strangely do elicit a feel for that lovely place.
As the opening track of the album, ‘Church Bells’ sets the tone for the atmospheric journey to come.
And you must have a look at the video for the song. It captures the scenes which inspire the installation in all of their black and white glory. The images change to the music, which is a dramatic touch.