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Stilton Crusted Salmon Fillet with Tenderstem Broccoli

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This is a fairly quick and easy recipe to prepare which contains a wonderful combination of flavors. Stilton is a medium strength blue cheese, often referred to as the King of English cheeses. It works extremely well combined with breadcrumbs and used to form a crust for many different types of fish or meat. Alternatively, you could use a similar cheese such as gorgonzola, or even a different type of hard cheese such as cheddar. Tenderstem broccoli - sometimes referred to simply as tenderstem - is a hybrid of conventional broccoli and kale cabbage. As the name suggests, it is incredibly tender as well as super tasty but it is important not to overcook it or it is likely to become mushy and pretty unpalatable. As an alternative to poaching/blanching, steaming for the same period of time provides a very similar final effect.

Stilton Crusted Salmon and Tenderstem Broccoli
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Stilton crusted salmon fillet is served with tenderstem broccoli and fried potato discs

Ingredients (Serves 1)

Salmon Fillet
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Fresh salmon loin fillet

  • 6 ounce salmon fillet, skin on
  • 6 to 8 tenderstem shoots
  • 1 medium sized baking potato
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, (1 for salmon and 1 for potatoes)
  • ½ stick (2 ounces) butter, (¼ stick for potatoes and ¼ for salmon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
  • Small wedge of Stilton cheese (around 2 ounces)
  • 2 cloves garlic, (1 for broccoli and 1 for potatoes)
  • Generous pinch dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose (plain) flour
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions

Tenderstem Broccoli
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tenderstem broccoli is trimmed

Wash the tenderstems in cold or lukewarm water and pat dry with kitchen paper or a clean dish towel. Trim off any leaves and the last inch or so at the ends, which may prove slightly tough and stringy when eaten.

Tenderstem Broccoli Ready for Blanching
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tenderstem broccoli ready for blanching with salt and garlic

Put the trimmed tenderstems in to a pot with some salt and one of the garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped in to three or four pieces. Put a large kettle of water on to reach a boil.

Sliced Potato
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Potato is sliced for frying

Wash the potato and pat dry with kitchen paper but do not peel it. Cut out any eyes or other skin blemishes with the point of a very sharp knife. Slice to a thickness of around a quarter of an inch.

Oil, Butter, Garlic and Thyme
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Oil, butter, garlic and thyme for frying potatoes

Pour one tablespoon of the vegetable oil in to a fairly large non-stick frying pan. Add half the butter, the pinch of thyme and the second garlic clove, this time peeled and grated or very finely diced. Place the pan on a low to medium heat. Season the potato slices on both sides with salt and pepper and add to the pan in a single layer when the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium and fry for an initial three to four minutes, depending how colored/crispy you wish them to be when they are served.

Stilton Cheese
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Stilton cheese

Cut any remaining rind from your wedge of Stilton cheese. While this is perfectly edible and very flavorsome, it doesn't crumble so well and is not ideal for this specific recipe. It does, however, make an excellent cook's privilege tasty bite with a cracker.

Stilton and Breadcrumbs
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Crumbled Stilton cheese and breadcrumbs

Crumble the Stilton between your fingers in to a small bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Season with some black pepper and stir to evenly combine.

Butter and Oil
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Butter and oil for frying salmon

Put the remaining vegetable oil and butter in to a smaller non-stick frying pan and heat over a medium heat until the butter is melted.

Seasoned Salmon Fillet
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Floured and seasoned salmon fillet

Scatter the flour on a dinner plate and season with salt and pepper. Sit the salmon fillet in the flour on its skin side and season the flesh with some more salt and pepper. Shake the fillet gently to get rid of any excess flour and lay it skin side down in the frying pan. Turn the heat up to medium to high. The skin will protect the flesh from the heat and should become crisped up so that it is easier to later remove in one clean piece.

Put your broiler (overhead kitchen grill) on to preheat to maximum.

Frying Potato Slices
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Potato slices are turned to fry on their second sides

Turn the potato slices with a spatula or cooking tongs to fry on their second side for three to four further minutes. Pour the boiling water in to the pot with the tenderstem broccoli, put the pot on to a low to medium heat and simmer for three to four minutes until the stems are just starting to soften.

Pan Frying Salmon Fillet
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Pan frying salmon fillet

The easiest way to tell when the salmon is ready for turning is to watch it cooking from the side. When it appears that it has cooked two-thirds of the way up from the bottom - after around two to three minutes - turn the heat off under the pan.

Salmon Fillet is Turned in Pan
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Salmon fillet is turned in pan on to its flesh side

Carefully turn the fillet over on to its flesh side. You should see that the skin has darkened and become fairly crisp.

Skinned Salmon Fillet
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Crisped skin is peeled from salmon fillet and discarded

Use a wide bladed knife to help you ease up one corner of the skin and peel it carefully away from the fish flesh.

Broccoli and Breadcrumbs Scattered on Salmon
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Stilton and breadcrumbs combination is scattered over salmon fillet

Scatter the Stilton and breadcrumbs mix over the now exposed salmon flesh. Don't worry if a little spills in to the pan. That is fairly inevitable. Place the pan under your hot broiler for a minute or two until the cheese is melted and the breadcrumbs are just starting to toast.

Draining Fried Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Fried potato slices are briefly drained on kitchen paper

Lift the potatoes to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain off for a minute or so. Drain the broccoli through a colander at your sink.

Tenderstem Broccoli and Fried Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tenderstem broccoli and fried potatoes are plated

Plate presentation is infinitely variable is down to personal preferences but in this instance, the tenderstems were firstly laid side by side in one quarter of a square plate. The drained potato slices were then arranged in an attractive, overlapping fashion in the opposite quarter.

Enjoying Stilton Crusted Salmon Fillet
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Enjoying Stilton crusted salmon fillet

The Stilton crusted salmon fillet was lifted with a spatula on to the tenderstems and the meal was served immediately.

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