Sumac-rubbed salmon and Baked cod with mussel chowder and bacon
SUMAC, an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, is a relatively new spice to be added to my rack.
I use it for marinades and dressings, and sometimes as a condiment. It has a distinctive lemony flavour, a nice tangy taste that works really well with this salmon recipe.
It works really well with chicken, fish and seafood, and lamb too, or just added to mayonnaise with a dash of lime.
I have served my salmon with sauté potatoes, but you could serve it with a traditional tabbouleh of cous cous with lemon, cumin, parsley, mint, spring onions, peas and red pepper. Any leftovers of salmon go great with salad for lunch the next day.
My cod and mussel chowder is a comforting soup that’s packed full of flavour of the sea. In this recipe, I am using my chowder as a base for the cod. There are many variations of seafood that can be added to the soup, such as traditional clams to the lesser-used cockles. Prawns and crabmeat can be added too. Here I’ve used mussels, plump nuggets of seafood goodness. As they are cooked and served in their shells, it’s important they are thoroughly cleaned.
I have also cooked the skin of the cod separately as it presents better. The skin is crisp and crunchy, adding texture to the dish. Serve this chowder with a crusty French bread stick and a glass of wine.
4 pieces of salmon (150g per portion)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sumac
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp sumac
1 lime, juice and zest
200g baby potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 Place the potatoes into a saucepan and cover with water, add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for eight to 10 minutes, until par-boiled. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2 Prepare the sumac mayonnaise by adding some lime zest and juice to the mayonnaise, then adding the sumac. Stir to combine.
3 In the meantime, rub the sumac into the salmon pieces and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a non-stick frying pan with some olive oil and place on a medium heat. Add the salmon and cook for three to five minutes on each side (depending on thickness). Remove the salmon from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
4 Slice the potatoes and add to the pan and cook for six to eight minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and golden.
5 Serve the salmon on some sautéed potatoes and drizzle with the sumac mayonnaise. Squeeze some lime juice over the dish if desired.
Baked cod with mussel chowder and bacon
1 onion, diced
1 baby leek, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 small carrot, diced
1 potato, cubed
55g smoked salmon slices, cut into strips about 5mm thick
125ml dry white wine
425ml fish stock or water
200g mussels or clams
Salt and black pepper
6 cod fillets
6 streaky bacon, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter and, once it is foaming, tip in the onion, leek, carrot, potato and smoked salmon. Sauté for two to three minutes, until softened.
2 Pour the wine into the pan and allow the liquid to reduce by half.
3 Add the fish stock or water and bring to a simmer. Add the cream, then season with salt and black pepper to taste.
4 Preheat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat for three minutes. Add oil and place fish, skin side down, on to the pan. Cook for five minutes. Do not move the fish in any way during this time, just let it cook. Release the skin with a spatula and turn the fish. Add the bacon, fry for a moment, then place the pan in the oven and cook the fish all the way through. Times will vary from three to five minutes.
5 Meanwhile, add the mussels to the chowder and cook with a lid on for about three minutes, until the mussels have opened. Remove the fish from the oven and season with a little salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with chowder.
To clean mussels, scrub them under cold running water to remove any grit, and scrape off barnacles with a knife. When buying mussels, they are live and usually have a fibrous ‘beard’ which also needs to be removed. The simplest way to do this is to catch it between your fingers and firmly pull it away from the mussel.