To the celebrate the Summer finally arriving (and the end of all that rain!) we dropped in to see Lynn Bowles for Foodie Friday Kitchen on BBC Radio Wales.
Our lovely staff let us out for the day to take a bit of a break and enjoy Taco Time with Lynn! In between filling her in on meeting food goddess Nigella, winning Observer Food Monthly Restaurant of the Year, the stresses and joys of running a restaurant and the affection we have for our beloved Barry, we somehow managed to fit in a spot of cooking! There’s still time to tune in and have a listen, if you’d like to find out a bit more about the ins and outs of smoking and curing, how a book can improve your salmon, and why fruit is one of our favourite things to put on the barbecue. Just click on the BBC Radio Wales link above.
We wanted to share something light, delicious and fresh for the summer, so we settled on Cured Wild Sockeye Salmon Tacos with Grilled Peaches and Queso Fresco. This dish gives a fabulous balanced flavour profile: something salty, something sweet and something creamy. Marry these perfectly, and you’ve got a party in your mouth!
To cure your salmon:
500g piece skin-on Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillet
75g flaky sea salt.
75g golden caster sugar.
1 tsp black peppercorn, crushed.
Zest of 1 lemon
Small bunch dill, chopped
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate container, place your fish skin side down, pack the ‘cure’ mix onto the fleshy side of the salmon. Wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate for between 12 – 24hrs. We found the fish has a better texture if you can weigh it down with something heavy.
For the tacos:
8 Soft flour or corn tacos
400gms Cured Salmon (see above or substitute for smoked salmon)
50gms Queso Fresco (see below, or substitute for ricotta cheese)
3 peaches, stoned and grilled in a griddle pan or on a BBQ (diced)
Handful of chopped sweet little tomatoes of your choice (we prefer Santorini)
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
100gms of watercress and wild rocket mix
Bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
1 Lemon cut into 8 small wedges
For the dressing:
100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
25ml Balsamic vinegar
20ml Canadian Amber Maple syrup
1tsp Smoked Paprika
2tbls fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt and cracked black pepper
Start by making the Queso Fresco, You can do this the day before if you like, and is the same way you’d make fresh paneer. Bring a pint of full fat milk to just boiling. Remove from the heat and add in a tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Stir slowly until the curds separate. Pour into a piece of muslin and rinse curds with cold water. Next bring the corners of your muslin together and twist so you strain most of the remaining liquid out. Refrigerate in the little muslin pouch until you’re ready to use. Bring to room temperature then crumble before use.
For the dressing, add all the ingredients into a bowl apart from the oil. Slowly add the oil and whisk vigorously until the dressing goes a little opaque. Pour into a little jug and set aside. You will likely need to give the dressing a stir just before you use it.
To compile your tacos. Thinly slice your salmon, at an angle, and set aside. Next toast your tacos in a warm pan (you can also microwave them for a few seconds), transfer to a clean tea towel to keep warm.
Next is the fun part; on a warm taco, lay a small bed of rocket, followed by a few tomatoes, a few spring onions, then a couple of diced chunks of your grilled peaches, lay your thin salmon slices on top, followed by little crumbles of your queso fresco, next a teaspoon of fresh pomegranate seeds and and finish with a drizzle of dressing.
Last, but not least, we know some of these ingredients can work out expensive, so by all means use what you can afford. Our motto is to eat less fish and meat so that we can manage to buy the quality stuff when we’re going to go to the trouble of something like curing our own salmon. As y’all know, sustainability is a cause close to our hearts, which is why we work with Maple from Canada and Alaska Seafood to promote the use of two of the most sustainable ingredients we know: delicious maple syrup and vibrant wild salmon. Check out their websites for more on the brilliant work they’re doing.