This is a popular starter dish at the Academy Restaurant. The Asian flavours work nicely with the salmon which can be either poached or basket steamed using an aromatic liquor that is flavoured with star anise, ginger, lemongrass etc. The salad items need to be cut into a fine julienne size and once prepared must be left to infuse for at least one hour before serving. To garnish we use deep fried egg washed won-ton skins that have been sprinkled with sesame seeds then deep fried. Finish with a drizzle of sweet chilli oil.
2. Salmon Nicoise
This dish is more often served as a main course item, but although substantial in size it can be reduced and served as a starter portion also. Again preparing the salad (new potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, black olives etc) a little in advance and dressed with a little of the Vierge dressing will only add to the overall flavour. The salmon can be pre-marinated ‘if desired’ and can be cooked by pan frying, grilling, poaching or baked in a foil parcel with additional aromats and seasoning added. Extra dressing is drizzled over and around.
3. Salmon and Beetroot Gravadlax
This dish is simplicity in itself. All the work is in the preparation and although whole prepared fillets are preferable, salmon fillet portions can also be used, but must be placed close together in the dish being used. Good quality sea salt is essential as is fresh dill and the grated beetroot (we use 1kg for 2 sides of salmon) gives a deep red colour and slightly sweeter flavour to the finished product. The cure is left on for 24 hours before being washed off, the fillets are lightly dried, then each portion sliced as ordered.
4. Salmon Kedgeree
This is a take on the traditionally known smoked haddock dish, but salmon works just as well. The salmon only needs to be lightly cooked and we tend to bake it in foil with butter, herbs, seasoning, a little garlic and lemon. The rice is braised as for normal pilaff and the flaked salmon is mixed into the rice lightly for each order. We tend to use soft boiled quail eggs to garnish and for a neater restaurant presentation we prefer to offer a medium spiced curry sauce rather that a hot Madras type.
5. Salmon Terrine
This dish is often used for dinner parties or similar larger functions and is quite a popular starter. The preparation must be done at least 24 hours before in order to ensure the terrine sets fully. The dish is entirely made up of salmon that has been lightly cooked in a flavoursome vinegar less court-bouillon.
The resultant liquor is strained and reduced to enhance the flavour before having gelatine or agar-agar added and used in the assembly of the terrine. Once set, the terrine slices are neatly plated as ordered with a little truffle oil brushed on and served with a freshly made piccalilli and toasted sour-dough slice.
Ian is the executive chef at the Academy Public Restaurant, The City of Liverpool College. He has over 40 years’ experience in the industry, 30 of which have been in the education sector. He also works as a chef consultant at several restaurants and has been a Master Chef of Great Britain since 2011. In the same year he was named the Craft Guild of Chefs Education Chef of the Year and, in 2015, received the Chairman’s Shield for Advancement of Culinary Excellence in Education. His team of students made it through to the finals of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge