How to get the best out of Loch Duart salmon
Salmon is simple and easy to cook and, while it is extremely versatile (as you will see in the recipes), there is a school of thought which says ‘keep it simple’.
The fillet is the most popular of the five cuts and a favourite with chefs and home cooks worldwide. Fillets of salmon should weigh around 140-160g (5-6oz) per portion and are best cooked with the skin on.
Other cuts are escalopes, medallions and steaks – and a whole side of salmon is a wonderful opportunity to feed a lot of people, simply and deliciously. Sides are best baked in foil or poached in a special steamer.
Basic Cooking Techniques
Preheat the oven to 200°C/450°F/Gas Mark 6. Use a little butter or a light spray of olive oil, season and place the fillets on a greased baking tray and into the oven for 7-8 minutes.
Pre-heat the grill to the highest setting. Line the grill pan with foil, use a few small pats of butter or drizzle with olive oil, season and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Add a little oil to a very hot non-stick frying pan. Turn the heat down to medium once the salmon has been added. Fry thin cuts for 2-3 minutes on each side to get a caramelised finish. Thicker cuts need 5-7 minutes on one side and a further 2 minutes on the other side, Season and serve.
Fill a wide frying pan with water, just deep enough to cover the fillets. Once the water is simmering, add the fish and poach for about 5 minutes. Using flavoured stock or even some lemon juice adds extra taste. To serve poached salmon cold, slip the salmon into the simmering water and remove from the heat. The salmon will poach slowly in the cooling water, serve when cold so a little patience is needed.
Place the salmon, lightly-oiled, into the steamer basket, put on the lid and steam for 5-8 minutes, making sure the steamer doesn’t boil dry. Herbs such as thyme or tarragon can be added to the water.
Using a ribbed cast-iron griddle pan is the easiest way to recreate the charred smoky flavour of the barbecue. To prevent the salmon sticking to the pan, make sure you oil the salmon, not the pan and don’t be tempted to fiddle with the fillets while they’re cooking. To form the characteristic ‘stripes’, cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, then rotate the fish through 90° and cook for a further 2 minutes. Repeat on the other side. Season and serve.