Donal Skehan

Blackened Salmon With Green Goddess Avocado Salad

Blackened Salmon_5

Salmon is like the godfather of fish. Its big meaty fillets can stand up to just about any flavour you throw at it. Its oily flesh can withstand the heat of chilli and spice and, like most fish, it is incredibly healthy. The blackening method of this recipe creates a wonderful deep and smoky crust on the top of the fillets and, when combined with a cooling creamy avocado salad, it really is a delicious little dinner.

Serves 4 
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 salmon fillets, skin on
3 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter

For the Avocado Salad
1 head of romaine lettuce, leaves separated
6 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 large avocados, stoned and sliced
6 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

For the Dressing 
3 tablespoon buttermilk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Handful of chives, snipped
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat the grill to high. Mix the paprika, chilli powder, cayenne pepper and garlic powder on a flat plate. Drizzle the salmon fillets with olive oil or melted butter and then dip the tops in the spice mix. Place on a grill tray and cook under the grill for about 10 minutes until the top is slightly charred and the fish is cooked all the way through.

While the fish is cooking, blitz the ingredients for the dressing in a hand blender until smooth. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper to taste. On a large serving platter, arrange the romaine lettuce, radishes, avocados and spring onions and drizzle over the dressing. Place the salmon fillets on top and serve straight to the table.

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Ballyvolane Gravadlax with Cucumber Pickle and Dill Mustard Mayonnaise

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This is a great make ahead Gravadlax recipe and is perfect as a starter for any dinner party. Originating from Sweden, Gravadlax is always impressive when you place it on the table  for your friends and family to devour. It’s great as is, but is extra special with Cucumber Pickle and Dill Mustard Mayonnaise.

Serves 8-10
2 sides of salmon, with the skin on, approximately 900g each
2 tablespoons Atlantic Sea Salt
2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

For the Cucumber Pickle:
1 cucumber
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 small red chilli, chopped very finely
1 small shallot, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons hot water

For the Dill Mustard Mayonnaise:
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons of French mustard
1 tablespoon of white sugar
1/2 pint of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of dill salt and pepper

For the Gravadlax:
Mix the salt, sugar, pepper and dill together. Lay out one side of salmon on cling film and spread on the mixture ensuring it is evenly coated. Cover this prepared side with the other side of salmon. Wrap all the salmon well in the cling film and refrigerate. Turn this every day for 4 days. It will be ready on day 5.

For the Cucumber Pickle:
Cut the cucumber in half lengthways. Slice very thinly, preferably with the thinnest setting of a mandolin, if you have one. In a bowl mix together the sugar, salt, vinegar and hot water until combined and then add the cu- cumber, shallot and red chilli. Transfer to individual serving jars and place in the fridge overnight before serving.

For the Dill Mustard Mayonnaise:
Whisk the yolk, mustard and sugar in a bowl, slowly until combined. Add the oil drop by drop until the mixture has emulsified, then add the vinegar and dill. Season with salt and pepper

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Irish Food Folk: Ballyvolane House

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Ballyvolane House was a feature for our very first issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal and continues to be one of my favourites.  Justin and Jenny Green were proud to show us their beautiful family home which has become a popular destination for tourists, in the south of Ireland.  The most exciting thing that caught my attention when we visited them last year was the strong focus on food, which both Justin and Jenny are passionate about.  Foraged cocktails, walled vegetable gardens and a small drove of rare breed pigs are all just part of the experience.  Have a read of the piece below which appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal and keep an eye out for our Wild Atlantic Way issue which went to print yesterday and should be appearing on shelves next week.

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The first view of Ballyvolane House by the weary traveller is a welcome one, framed as it is by shimmering trees, green lawns and languishing mauve wisteria. It is a grand house, a Georgian county retreat, but not overwhelming and the simple façade feels homely and welcoming. No surprise really considering the welcome you’ll get from Justin and Jenny Green, this unique and peaceful spot is their place of work and their home so there’s a great family run atmosphere here. Guests all sit around the family dinner table for breakfast and dinner. Attention to detail is everything from the deep, cloud-like beds to the impeccably sourced food, it is a place set apart.

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Creamy Salmon Tagliatelle with Garden Peas and Sundried Tomatoes

This is a great meal to throw together in just minutes and it’s really filling. You can pick up sun-blushed tomatoes in the supermarket. They are a much brighter colour than sun-dried tomatoes and a little less intense in flavour. Alternatively roast some halved cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil with sea salt and black pepper at about 200oC for about 40 minutes.

Serves 4
300g tagliatelle
2 tbsp olive oil
2 handfuls of peas, fresh or frozen
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
200g low fat crème fraîche
A good handful of fresh dill, chopped
75g sun-blushed tomatoes, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g sliced smoked salmon, cut into strips
1 lemon, zested
Juice of 1/2 lemon, to serve

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to the instructions on the packet. In the last few minutes of the pasta cooking time and drain. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic and fry gently for 1 minute. Add the crème fraîche, peas and heat through. Add the dill, tomatoes and a good pinch of salt and black pepper and stir through. Finally add the salmon strips and hot tagliatelle and toss everything together until coated. Serve each portion with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

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Salmon and Tuna Nigiri

Nigiri is probably one of the simplest forms of sushi to make, yet I  think it is the most elegant looking. You can make a wide range of nigiri using different vegetable and seafood toppings.

1 darne fresh salmon, cut into fine slices
fresh sushi-grade tuna steak, cut into fine slices

Take a small amount of cooked sushi rice and, using a damp hand, mould the rice into an ovalshaped ball.

Dot a small drop of wasabi on top.

Place a slice of fresh salmon on top and smooth it on to the rice.

Serve with pickled ginger and soy sauce.

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Teriyaki Salmon with Noodles

Salmon is an extremely healthy ingredient to cook with. It’s low in calories, has immune system boosting properties and contains omega-3 essential fatty acids which the body does not naturally produce. If you have any leftovers, this tasty sauce can also be used tossed through a crunchy Asian salad.

Makes 2 portions
2 salmon fillets skinned
3 tablespoon of teriyaki sauce
150g of egg noodles
A small handful of sesame seeds
1 red chilli deseeded and chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic chopped finely
5 tablespoons of soya sauce
1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
The juice and zest of 1 lime

Slice the salmon into bitesize chunks and place in a bowl with the teriyaki sauce.  Cover and place in the fridge to marinate. While the salmon is marinating prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Cook the noodles according to instructions on the packet, drain and toss with a little bit of sesame oil and sesame seeds. In a small sauce pan fry the chilli and garlic in the vegetable oil over a high heat for approximately 2 minutes.

Add the brown sugar, soya sauce, lime juice, zest and sesame oil and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow the sauce to bubble away gently for about 6-8 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, in a large frying pan fry the salmon pieces in a little vegetable oil over a medium heat until browned on all sides.

Serve the salmon pieces on top of the noodles and drizzle over the teriyaki sauce.

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