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 fillet is served with tenderstem broccoli and fried potato discs
Ingredients (Serves 1)
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Carefully turn the fillet over on to its flesh side. You should see that the skin has darkened and become fairly crisp.
Use a wide bladed knife to help you ease up one corner of the skin and peel it carefully away from the fish flesh.
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.
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.
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.
The Stilton crusted salmon fillet was lifted with a spatula on to the tenderstems and the meal was served immediately.