- killary smoked salmon
Pickled pears (makes 1l jar)
- 1 kg conference pears (the hardest, smallest ones you can find)
- 350 g soft light brown sugar
- 275 ml white wine vinegar
- 275 ml cider vinegar
- 1/2 a lemon, cut in to thin slices
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- 1 tblsp mixed pepper berries
- 100 g finely chopped dulse seaweed
- 3 large rooster potatoes
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 500 g flour
- 6 eggs, beaten with a whisk
- 100 ml milk
- 500 g panko breadcrumbs
For the vinaigrette
- 6 egg yolks
- 400-500 ml olive oil
- 100 ml white wine vinegar
- juice of 2 lemons
- salt and pepper
For the pickled pears
- Put all the ingredients except the pears in a large saucepan and place it on a low heat, allowing it to come slowly to the boil. Give everything a whisk round from time to time to dissolve the sugar crystals.
- While that's happening, peel the pears. They need to be pared very thinly. This means using either a very sharp knife or, best of all, a really good potato peeler.
- Take off all the peel but leave the stalks and the base florets intact. As you peel each pear, plunge it into a bowl of cold water. Then, after peeling them, check that the sugar has completely dissolved into the vinegar, drain the pears and add them to the saucepan.
- Bring everything up to a gentle simmer and let the pears cook for about 20 minutes or until they look slightly transparent and feel tender when tested with a small skewer.
- In the meantime, the jar should be washed thoroughly in warm, soapy water, rinsed, dried and heated in a moderate oven for 5 minutes.
- Then, using a draining spoon, transfer the pears and slices of lemon to the clean jar.
- Now boil the syrup furiously for about 5 minutes until it's reduced to about 425mls and pour in enough to fill the jar right up to its neck and completely cover the pears.
- Then scoop out the spices and add them to the jar as well. Any leftover syrup can be discarded.
- Cover and seal the jar and, when the contents are completely cold, wipe and label it and store it in a cool dark place for about 1 month before using. The pears will keep well for 6 months.
For the vinaigrette
- Add the yolks, salt, pepper and lemon juice to a food processor. Blend, then add vinegar, and in a very slow and steady stream add the oil. Once you've reached desired consistency, stop. Adjust the seasoning, chill.
- NB - the more oil you add the thicker the dressing will become. If it gets too thick, blend in a little boiling water and adjust the seasoning.
For the fish
- Wrap salmon in cling film and steam for 12 minutes at 66ºC, allow to cool, then serve at room temperature pressed into a ring mould. Or alternatively, poach the salmon in water with lemon for 12 minutes; ensure water is not boiling, as a light simmer is all that's required.
For the croquettes
- Boil the potatoes in salted water. Whilst they are boiling, soak the dulse (only if too salty) in cold water. Now mix the beaten egg with milk and season.
- Set up three bowls for your pane station - in a straight line and touching you should have a bowl of flour, followed by the egg wash then the panko.
- Drain off the cooked potato, place back on to remove excess moisture. Pass through a moule or fine potato masher. Add the dulse and adjust seasoning. If too dry add a little butter but only enough to allow the potato cakes to bind. They must not be too wet!
- Mould the croquettes into your desired shape. Pass through the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
- Deep fat fry at 170ºC degrees for approximately 4 minutes and finish in a pre-heated oven at 175ºC for 3 minutes.
Tom McGurk: The order of work should be: Get the potatoes on to boil and set up the pane station. Prep the salmon. Make the croquettes but don't cook. Steam/poach the salmon. Start the dressing. Cook croquettes. Serve and finish with the lemon oil.