Traditional recipes

Smoked Trout and Watercress on Tart Apple Slices

Smoked Trout and Watercress on Tart Apple Slices

Ingredients

  • 1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, quartered, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 12 ounces skinless smoked trout fillets or smoked whitefish fillets
  • 1 small bunch watercress, thick stems trimmed

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine apple slices and lemon juice in medium bowl; toss gently to coat. Cut trout fillets lengthwise in half, then cut each half into apple-slice-size pieces. Drain apple slices; place on platter. Top each slice with 1 watercress sprig, then 1 trout piece. Sprinkle with pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Serve.

Recipe by Betty Rosbottom,Reviews Section

Creamy Watercress-Cucumber Soup

Cool, creamy, and loaded with fresh flavor, this is just about the most perfect summer soup we could imagine. Plus, it&rsquos a great no-cook recipe for when the heat of summer hits and you want to keep your kitchen cool. While a large blender helps here, you could certainly prepare the soup in two batches and stir them together at the end. Serve as a light lunch or appetizer with crusty bread&mdashor for a more substantial meal, this chilled watercress-cucumber soup is a delicious partner to our Ultimate Grilled Tomato Sandwich. In order to get sour cream that &ldquoswirls&rdquo into the soup (instead of sinking to the bottom), you&rsquoll need to thin it out with a bit of water. In a small bowl, simply whisk together a 2-to-1 ratio of sour cream and water, and you&rsquoll be good to go.


Instructions

Cinnamon-Orange Almond Cream
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the almond flour, and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time until combined. Add the flour, cinnamon, zest, Grand Marnier, and vanilla seeds, beating until light and fluffy. Chill in the refrigerator to set.

Almond Streusel
Cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy. Sift the dry ingredients together, add to butter mixture, and mix until combined. Form the dough into a block. Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze.

Tart
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Let the orange-almond cream come to room temperature. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board to a thickness of &frac18 inch. Cut the puff pastry into a 14-inch disc and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Working quickly, fold over the outer rim of the dough onto itself all the way around the edge, creating a double thickness of dough. Prick the single layer of dough all over with a fork. Spread a 1/4-inch layer of the orange-almond cream onto the dough.

Peel, core, and halve the apples and pears, and cut into thin slices. Arrange a layer of apple slices over the almond cream, overlapping them in a circle. Brush the apples with melted butter, and sprinkle with half the brown sugar. Repeat the process with pear slices. Brush with butter, and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar. Remove streusel block from freezer. Using the coarsest side of a box grater, grate the streusel to cover the tart. Place the tart in the fridge to allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Bake the tart until the streusel is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Using a spatula, gently lift up the tart to make sure the puff pastry is cooked through and golden brown on the bottom. If the streusel begins to darken and the puff pastry is not cooked, cover the tart with foil, and continue to bake. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve with vanilla ice cream.


Christmas smoked salmon recipes

Add a touch of luxury to festive brunches, starters and canapés with smoked salmon.

Gravadlax with celeriac & fennel salad

A light salmon starter with a crisp salad and honey and mustard dressing. No cooking required, just gravadlax or smoked salmon plus fresh seasonal produce

Laxpudding

A potato gratin with dill and gravadlax, layered and baked, this very easy recipe is a good post-Christmas dish. You could also make it with smoked salmon

Smoked salmon fillets with dill-pickled vegetables, crème fraîche & salmon roe

Pickle vegetables and serve with smoked salmon for a fabulous festive starter. Keep the leftover veg in the fridge to have with cold cuts over Christmas

Smoked salmon & spinach gratin

Make this easy Swedish-inspired smoked salmon and spinach gratin with just four ingredients. Serve with potatoes and roasted beets – perfect for entertaining

Bloody Mary scrambled eggs & smoked salmon

Spice up a favourite breakfast with a little Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, the perfect antidote for the morning after a big night of celebrations

Smoked salmon, miso & sesame tartine

A tasty brunch option or speedy lunch, omega-3 rich smoked salmon and white miso are a match made in heaven

Smoked salmon, cucumber, capers & soda bread

A crowd-pleasing, help-yourself starter. Take the bread out of the oven an hour before lunch and it'll still be warm when it hits the table

Cocktail blinis

These dainty little Eastern European pancakes have a distinctive flavour and are party perfect. Finish with two toppings - beetroot and quail's egg, and smoked salmon pâté - for a creative canapé

Smoked salmon carpaccio

James Martin's stunning seafood starter is guaranteed to impress at any dinner party - layer with beetroot, orange and tangy horseradish cream


Hells Belles' Bites

Trout has a beautifully tender and flavoursome flesh that is easily removed from the bone once cooked. The skin is often scale-free and crisps up nicely making for a delicious addition to just eating the flesh. For added flavour, and to ensure the fish holds form, cook whole, on the bone with head and tail intact. The trout’s earthy tones and with the addition of a little thyme marries perfectly with the bite of the avocado and watercress salsa.

Ingredients:

1 Trout – gutted but still on the bone (1 large trout will look to feed 2-3 people)

Handful of flaked almonds

Avocado and Watercress Salsa:

1. Season the fish on both sides and place on a light greased baking tray. Stuff the fish with crushed garlic cloves, slices of lemon, and a couple sprigs of thyme. Scatter over the almonds and drizzle with a little smoked oil. Bake at 200c/Gas 5-6 for 20-25 minutes depending on the size.

2. Whilst the trout is cooking, roughly chop the avocado and finely dice the onion and parsley. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl along with the watercress dressing and lemon before covering and leaving to chill in the fridge.

3. Remove the fish from the oven when the skin is crispy and the flesh is just slightly firm to touch. Allow to rest for just a couple of minutes on the side before carefully removing the flesh from the bone. At this point, the skin can be removed and placed under a hot grill to make it really crisp.

4. Serve the trout with the generous helping of avocado and watercress salsa, along with steamed seasonal greens or watercress salad.


Double cheese & spring vegetable tart

This savoury make-ahead tart has a delicious crumbly base &ndash no one will realise it's shop-bought pastry! Fill with goat's cheese and beautiful spring veg including asparagus and fresh peas

Nutrition per serving

Ingredients

  • 500g block shortcrust pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 25g mature cheddar, finely grated
  • 200g asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed
  • 100g fresh podded or frozen peas
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 150g double cream
  • whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 100g watercress
  • 300g or 2 logs of soft, rindless goat’s cheese

Folding ingredients through shop-bought pastry is a great way to customise it. Instead of cheddar, other grated hard cheeses like parmesan would work, as well as fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped rosemary or some black onion or poppy seeds.

Method

Roll the pastry out into a rectangle on a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Scatter over the cheese, fold the pastry in half and roll out again into a circle that fits a 25cm tart tin with an overhang. Chill for 20 mins. Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in boiling water for 3 mins, then drain and refresh under cold water. Cook the fresh peas the same way for a minute, or simply defrost the frozen peas.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Prick the base of the tart well with a fork, line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake the tart for 30 mins, remove the parchment and beans, prick again if it has puffed up, then bake for another 10-15 mins until biscuit brown.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl, add the crème fraîche and cream, season and add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Scatter the peas and most of the watercress over the tart and crumble over half the goat&rsquos cheese. Pour over the creamy egg mixture, then lay the asparagus spears on top. Finally, slice the remaining goat&rsquos cheese and arrange on top, then bake for 25-30 mins until the custard is just set and the cheese is golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin, trim the edges of the pastry, then remove from the tin, scatter with the remaining watercress and serve cut into slices. Can be made up to a day ahead, leave out the fridge to keep the pastry crisp.


Smoked salmon tramezzini

Aside from the price and the cachet, Champagne is one of life’s simplest pleasures -- just lifting a glass is a mood-altering experience. But it brings out the Gaudi in hosts. Who doesn’t want to take a great thing and make it more decadent by serving it with foie gras and caviar and other blessed excess?

And there’s one little problem with that. As anyone who has ever tried to juggle a full flute and a warm blini with beluga knows, something has to give, and it’s usually the glass. You have to set it down to tackle a terrine or slurp an oyster. And when you do, you lose the immediate connection and contrast between the sparkle in the wine and the richness of the food.

Champagne goes much better with hors d’oeuvres you can just pick up and carry. It’s no wonder gougeres are the classic accompaniment in France. The warm cheese melds with the effervescence of the chilled wine in one perfect mouthful.

Actually, Champagne is the most food-friendly wine you can buy. The bubbles catch just about any flavor and ferry it across your palate in surprising harmony. You don’t have to spring for ounces of caviar or pounds of shrimp for a party. You can get creative with much less.

Even Champagne’s less-exalted cousins, Prosecco and cava, are proof of the partnering potential of wine when it sparkles. I’ve had everything from little tea sandwiches to potato chips with Prosecco in sidewalk cafes in Italy and everything from salty almonds to spicy chorizo with cava in Spain. Always, the wine doubles the pleasure of the food.

Those memories and some recent “research” -- a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a bagful of meats, cheese and condiments -- made it easy to come up with an array of hors d’oeuvres for Champagne, a little movable feast to be eaten with one hand while the other clutches a glass. It’s simple food with complex flavors.

Nuts are obviously a natural, since Champagne plays well with both salty and crunchy. Any nuts will do, whether roasted pecans with a little cayenne or just salted pistachios straight out of the shell, but almonds seem the most elegant. I like Elizabeth David’s technique for them, described in her book “Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen.”

The almonds are tossed in a little sweet almond oil (or butter) with seasonings, then slowly roasted until each one is crisp to the core, which is a pretty classic treatment for any nut. But her secret is to immediately transfer the almonds from the oven to a brown paper bag, then let them sit for an hour or two. The sealed bag soaks up any excess oil while the nuts are subtly infused with the flavorings. She used only cayenne as a spice, but I add crushed rosemary and also salt the nuts before and after toasting to intensify the taste.

Smoked salmon is another can’t-miss companion for Champagne. Like caviar, it combines the saline essence of the sea with an unctuous quality that the bubbles amplify and then cut through. You can buy little smoked salmon roulades with cream cheese that are perfectly presentable, but I prefer the Italian treatment called tramezzini. These are the tiny sandwiches served with Prosecco in sidewalk cafes everywhere in a country that believes wine was meant to be drunk with food. Sometimes they’re filled with cured meats, but most often I’ve had them with smoked salmon.

Tramezzini are like old-fashioned canapes but much classier, cut into fingers or triangles so you get just a bite between sips. The usual Italian combination layers thinly sliced cucumbers and mayonnaise between the skinny slices of soft bread, but watercress and creme fraiche have a sprightlier look and taste.

Because the sandwich is literally white bread, you need the best salmon you can buy, sliced not too thin. Wild salmon from Alaska is sensational smoked. All it needs is a squeeze of lemon and a couple of grinds of white pepper.

Two flavors are better than one

Two other Italian classics -- prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano -- go especially well with Champagne, but not all on their lonesome. Prosciutto is hard to eat, even wrapped around out-of-season asparagus as you see it so often at holiday parties. And the cheese may taste great with Champagne if you serve it in little chunks the way they do in Italy, but it seems a bit inelegant.

Blend the two together with a little soft butter to bind them, though, and you get a great topping for crostini, to be garnished with toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh basil for color and crunch.

Duck rillettes are another classic partner for Champagne, but they’re a pain to make well from scratch, and the store-bought kind always seem as if they’re missing something. Duck confit, however, is one of the great convenience foods, and when you blend it into a spread with a little butter it’s almost better than rillettes. Topping each toast with mango chutney and creme fraiche takes the duck to another level: You get bursts of creaminess and tanginess in every bite.

Spanish chorizo, simply cut into thin slices as it often is, doesn’t quite seem dressed well enough for a party. Instead I combine it with corn and Cheddar cheese to make little cocktail madeleines, baked in the traditional tins used for the sweet kind. The outside turns crunchy while the center stays rich and soft.

Once you get started with Champagne, you can see how food loves the stuff as much as humans do. Wild mushrooms go well with it. So do smoked scallops or trout, raw oysters and crab cakes. High-fat creamy cheeses do, and so do some sharper ones, like mimolette. A Texas friend even swears you can serve Champagne with bits of barbecued pork loin with a heavy-on-the-chiles sauce.

As for the Champagne, brut is my preference because I have low tolerance for fruity wines. But even the sweeter sparklers team up well with most foods. Chiles and chutneys, in fact, go better with slightly sweet Champagne, just the way Gewurztraminers take to curry and enchiladas. The important thing is just to drink it easy.


Hot smoked trout salad recipe

One of my favourite summer dishes, this hot smoked trout salad is fresh, light and full of flavour. Use whatever salad leaves take your fancy &ndash little gem, cos, lollo rosso, baby spinach, watercress, dandelion and beetroot leaves or whatever else you have handy!

If you can&rsquot find hot smoked trout then simply substitute hot smoked salmon or mackerel, or cold cooked salmon instead. Try this recipe with raspberry or cider vinegar if you can&rsquot find apple vinegar with lingonberries.

Recipes extracted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking. Scandilicious by Signe Johansen, out now published by Saltyard Books, £20.

Ingredients

  • 4 fillets hot smoked trout
  • 1 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 4 tbsp apple vinegar with lingonberries
  • 7 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 175 g mixed salad leaves, washed and roughly shredded
  • 4 sprigs mint, finely shredded
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 half a cucumber, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 fillets hot smoked trout
  • 1 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 4 tbsp apple vinegar with lingonberries
  • 7 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 6.2 oz mixed salad leaves, washed and roughly shredded
  • 4 sprigs mint, finely shredded
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 half a cucumber, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 fillets hot smoked trout
  • 1 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 4 tbsp apple vinegar with lingonberries
  • 7 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 6.2 oz mixed salad leaves, washed and roughly shredded
  • 4 sprigs mint, finely shredded
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 half a cucumber, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced

Details

  • Cuisine: Scandinavian
  • Recipe Type: Starter
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 0 mins
  • Serves: 4

Step-by-step

  1. Start by shredding the trout into bite-size pieces on a small plate.
  2. Next make the vinaigrette: use a fork to whisk together the horseradish and the vinegar in a small bowl, then slowly pour in the oil, whisking all the while to emulsify the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Put the leaves, mint and shallots with the vinaigrette in a large bowl and toss well to ensure that all the leaves are dressed
  4. Divide the salad between four plates, scatter the cucumber and radish slices over the leaves, and top each plate with a quarter of the hot smoked trout pieces.
  5. Enjoy as a light meal on its own or accompanied by sourdough crispbread or thinly sliced and toasted dark rye bread, oatmeal bread or spelt and fennel seed bread.

More Nordic recipes

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