Also includes Vanilla & Black Pepper Champ


  • herb crust:
  • 50 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50 g soft herbs (finely chopped parsley, chives, dill, chervil, tarragon or what ever you have to hand)
  • 50 g shallots (finely diced)
  • 15 g parmesan (grated)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • light olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 5 tblsp dijon mustard
  • salmon:
  • 4 fillets of salmon (5-6 oz) (all centre cut, nice and thick evenly-sized, skinned, and fat removed)
  • champ:
  • 500 g (to 600) mashing potatoes (peeled and chopped into chunks)
  • 1 vanilla pod (split, beans scraped out and all infused in 100-150ml milk, 50ml cream & 50-80g butter for 10 minutes at a simmer)
  • 4 (to 6) spring onions (cut very finely on the bias)
  • salt
  • a little fresh ground white pepper and generous amounts of fresh ground black pepper
  • sauce:
  • 200 ml golden chicken stock
  • 6 (to 8) cardamom pods (cracked and infused in 100ml of cream for 10 minutes with 1 tsp beurre manie)
  • 50 g (to 100) unsalted butter (cubed)
  • white pepper and salt as required


  • Crust Method: In a sauté or small frying pan, heat a little olive oil add the shallots and sweat off for 3 minutes, until they become translucent. Add the breadcrumbs and a little more olive oil so moist but not wet. Cook gently for 2 minutes, then take off the heat and put in a bowl.
  • Allow to cool, then add parmesan, black pepper and the mixed, fresh herbs. Mix to combine all the flavours, check the seasoning. NB: The texture of the crust mix should be so as all the ingredients hold together nicely.
  • Salmon Method:
  • Place fish skin side up season with a little salt and pepper then brush with a little Dijon mustard and season.
  • Gently apply the crust mix to each fillet, so it’s about 6mm thick. Pressing gently, tidy up so all the edges are even, tidy and tight with a palette knife.
  • Place a sheet of grease-proof paper on a flat baking tray and brush with a little olive oil, then season the paper with sea salt and black pepper
  • Place the fish fillets so they’re spaced evenly on the grease-proof then pop into the fridge for later and to allow the crust to firm up.
  • Chef's tip: Any leftover herb crust can be frozen or you could use it on split baked potatoes, cheese on toast, roast mushrooms.
  • When ready, bake the fish fillets for 8mins at 200°C, so the crust is just golden and the fish moist. Allow to rest for 2 mins.
  • Champ Method: Boil the potatoes in salted water. When cooked, drain well then dry out in oven or on top of your stove to remove excess moisture.
  • Bring the milk, butter and cream back to a simmer with the split vanilla pod still in. Meanwhile, mash the potato through a moulis, potato press or using your ‘handy masher’, working quickly and making sure the potato is kept as hot as possible. The heat is the secret to a perfect, creamy mash.
  • When adding the infused hot cream to the potato you should slowly incorporate them, so as to end up with an unctuous, thick mash. Then, with a big spoon or a large whisk, add generous amount of the peppers - check the seasoning, then add the finely sliced spring onion, trying not to allow the champ to cool.
  • Sauce Method: In a thick bottomed pan, reduce the chicken stock by half, then add the strained infused cream and bring to a simmer.
  • Add cold knobs of butter and bring to a brisk boil, whisking as it bubbles so it will thicken.
  • Check the seasoning, crack a little more fresh cardamom in the sauce and serve drizzled around the fish fillet.

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