“White wine is much used in French cookery, but especially in the cooking of fish. Cider is an excellent substitute for it in English kitchens; and indeed the white wine in which a French cook boils his fish is often so thin and acid that it any well cost less than a bottle of good cider and also be less wholesome. Pray remember that good cider is better than vile wine.”
E S Dallas, Kettner’s Book of the Table, 1877
I got the idea for this method of cooking salmon from Jamie Oliver who served his (he cooked a whole salmon in a fish kettle) with:
- rhubarb sauce – I make mine with apple balsamic vinegar instead of apples.
- new potatoes (I think fried are also good)
- and the new potatoes were anointed with a tarragon mayonnaise (go here for my cheats’ mayonnaise with gin and tarragon)
Recipe for cider-soaked salmon
- 2 pieces of salmon
- Small bottle of dry cider – I like Green Goblin
- 1 cube vegetable or fish stock
- Few sprigs of thyme
- Four or five whole peppercorns – I use Indonesian long pepper
- 1 stick celery, destrung and chopped
- 1 banana shallot, peeled and chopped
- Olive oil
- In a small frying pan, in a little olive oil, fry the shallot and the celery.
- When the shallot begins to turn translucent, add the salmon pieces, skin down and fry too for three or four minutes.
- Add the cider to just cover the salmon.
- Add the stock powder or cube and bring to the boil.
- Add the thyme and the peppercorns
- Simmer for about five minutes, then take off the heat, cover with foil and leave for up to five hours.
- When you’re ready to eat, reheat.
- Serve the fish and vegetables onto warmed plates with a slotted spoon (leaving behind the peppercorns and thyme). Reduce the remaining liquid and strain over the fish.