Alder-planked salmon with egg sauce

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time15 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the egg sauce

115g unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
5g minced shallots or spring onions
30ml fresh lemon juice
60ml dry white wine
60ml fish stock, chicken stock, or low-salt tinned chicken broth
80ml double cream
1/2 tsp hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely grated or chopped
3g fresh chives, optional
1 tbsp Californian sturgeon caviar, optional

For the salmon

1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 (170g) salmon fillets, skinned
15g unsalted butter, melted
2 cedar or alder planks, or 2 untreated cedar shingles or shims (available at lumberyards), about 5cm wide and 30cm long, soaked at least 2 hrs, or overnight, so as not to flame up
1) Preheat the oven to 260C/Gas 10.

2) In a small saucepan, melt 30g of the butter. Add shallots and saute 1 min. Season with a pinch of salt. Add lemon juice, wine, stock and cream. Simmer over medium heat for 3 to 4 mins, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

3) Lower the heat and whisk in the remaining butter 15g at a time, adding each piece when the previous one is almost melted.

4) Add hot sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, into a bowl. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

5) Mix together the mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Brush the top of the salmon fillets with the melted butter. Season both sides with the mustard mixture and set aside.

6) Put the soaked shingles in the oven, directly on the racks, for about 3 to 5 mins until the wood is lightly browned on top. Carefully take the shingles out of the oven and place them on a heat-proof surface.

7) Turn on the oven grill.

8) Immediately brush the shingles with a thin layer of olive oil and lay the salmon fillets, skinned side down, on the browned side of each shingle. Place the shingles under the grill and cook the fish for about 5 to 7 mins, until firm but not dry. Remove the fillets to a platter or serve directly from the shingles.

9) Just before serving, stir the parsley and grated eggs into the reserved warm egg sauce. Fold in chives and caviar if using. Top the fillets with the egg sauce and a sprinkling of chives, and a dollop of caviar if using.

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