ts been a long and draining week at work and with Saturday looming and the pressure to make the most of it I could think of nothing better than a casual blogging session in the kitchen to calm the stresses from the week and allow my mind to wonder onto the creative and less challenging. The biggest decision in this recipe was how big to cut the chips!? I went for big naturally.
On reflection, this dish is essentially Mexican fish and chips!? And its for the chilli lovers as its a spicy one so make sure you have a nice cooling beer to hand or at least some soured cream. My inspiration for this one was the cheeky jar of Ottolenghi’s ‘Urfa chilli flakes’ (see here) I received as a gift. What the ‘urfa’ are those you might ask!? Well they are a Turkish medium heat chilli with a smoky flavour. A lovely deep and purposeful taste great for barbecued meats, oily fish, roasted vegetables or chilli con carne. I used them here to coat some moist and succulent salmon fillets. Accompanied with some spicy crisp polenta chips and some smashed green avocado I felt like I bought a bit of Mexico to London. Hopefully one day I can bring a bit of London to Mexico!?
- 2 salmon fillets
- 2 tsp urfa chilli flakes
- 1 large avocado
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- Large bunch coriander, chopped
- Large bunch basil, chopped
- 1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
- Juice 1/2 – 1 lime
- 100g fast cook polenta
- 500ml chicken stock or water
- 1 heaped tsp chilli flakes
- Knob butter
- Salt and pepper
- Sunflower oil
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Oil a bowl/small baking tray or something appropriate to hold your polenta in and allow it to set before cutting into chips.
- Start with the polenta. Bring the stock or water to the boil in a saucepan. Mix the polenta, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper in a bowl. In a gentle stream add this polenta to the stock in the saucepan, whisking all the time and turn the heat down to a medium low instantly. Whisk continuously for about 5-7 minutes until the polenta thickens and bubbles. Add the butter and mix in well.
- Pour the mixture into the oil lined tray spreading it out into an even layer of about 2inch thickness. Quickly chill by placing in the freezer for 5-10 minutes and then in the fridge and cooling completely until set.
- Meanwhile mix the urfa chilli flakes and some salt and pepper with a tablespoon of oil. Rub this on the salmon fillets and leave to marinade at room temperature.
- Next, cut the avocado into chunks and use a fork to mash into a chunky paste. Season and then add the spring onion, herbs, lime juice and combine into a chunky paste. Check the taste and add more lime if needed.
- When the polenta has set, turn it out onto a chopping board dusted with lots of excess polenta. Chop the set polenta (which should be the texture of halloumi!?) into chip sized chunks and roll in the excess polenta.
- Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat and fry the chips in a few tablespoons of sunflower oil until golden brown all over making sure they don’t stick to the pan or catch. Once crispy remove from the pan, scatter with flaky sea salt and set aside to keep warm.
- In the same pan cook the salmon on a high heat skin side down for about 1 minutes to crisp the skin. Turn to char the flesh side for about another minute or so before placing in the oven skin side down to finish cooking for no more than 5 minutes to ensure it remains succulent and just pink.
- To serve, top the chips with the salmon and spoon on a generous quenelle of avocado. Scatter with extra coriander and chilli flakes if you like
Have some beer or soured cream to hand…