”Lax med kokt potatis” means salmon with boiled potatoes. It’s quite popular in Sweden, and is often served with melted butter, potatoes boiled with dill, and boiled peas. This is a variation of it, and in my opinon I’ve lifted it to another level. I like the combination of salmon and dill, potatoes and green peas, and all that. But what if we make a rich pea puré instead? And what if we perfect the fish by boiling it in a tempered water bath? And what if we just blacken the fish skin to a crunchy blanket? And what if we just make it freakin’ amazing? What if… What if we just do it?
For the salmon you need…
- Two pieces of salmon with its skin on. I’m hungry, so I use almost 200 g of salmon per person.
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch or two of freshly ground black pepper
- A good squeeze of lemon juice (what’s a good squeeze? Let’s say two teaspoons per fish filé)
- A couple of dashes of sesame oil (preferably roasted sesame oil, it has a more distinct flavor)
- Heat proof vacuum bags an a vacuum packer (you can just lower the bag into the water, and the air will be pressed out, so never mind the vacuum sealer if you don’t have one)
- A circulator (if you don’t have one, you can try to heat up the water to 50 degrees celsius, and look at the thermometer every single second and add cold water should the water reach temperatures above 50)
- Some rapeseed oil to fry
For pea puré you need…
- 250 g of green peas.
- 50 g of good olive oil (about 5 cl)
- 50 g of fresh full cream (about 5 cl)
- 50 g of concentrated liquid bullion. If you only have soup like chicken stock, reduce it first by boiling it until it gets thicker and darker.
- Some salt for the water and a pinch of salt to taste should it be needed.
- A pinch of dry mint (or about 5 leaves finely chopped if you’re using fresh mint)
For the potatoes you need…
- New potatoes, you know the tiny ones that come out of the earth before all other potatoes?
- A handful of fresh dill
- A couple of drizzles of rapeseed oil
- Salt to boil them in
- A pinch of salt after boiling them, should it be needed
Now this is how you make it all. If you follow this order, you’ll have dinner in 40 minutes including preparation…
- Pour water in a big container of some kind, and set the water to 50 degrees using a water circulator for sous vide cooking, or by keeping track of the temperature manually.
- Cut the salmon into individual serving size pieces.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (why freshly ground? Because it tastes better!)
- And either put the fish pieces in individual water proof bags or all of them in the same
- Add lemon juice and sesame seed oil into the bags with the fish
- Vacum seal the bags, or if you don’t have a vacuum sealer just lower the bags into the water and the water will press out the air. Then attach the opening to the rim of the water container using a clamp or something
- Let it sit in the water for 30 minutes sharp, and while you do…
- Prepare water in a saucepan, together with some salt and a lot of bicarbonate (or baking powder). The bicarbonate will raise the PH level and the colors will be preserved somewhat.
- Pour in the peas into the water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water is boiling, remove it from the heat and let the peas lay there in the hot water for 2 minutes. Then drain them.
- Mash the peas thuroughly with a hand mixer or whatever mixer you have.
- Put pea mash in a fine sieve, and run a spoon or spatula across them again and again, over a saucepan, so that the puré is pressed through the sieve. The skin will remain in the sieve, and the gooey good stuff will drip into the container. Don’t forget to run the spatula across the other side of the sieve so scrape off the good stuff that is stuck.
- Add cream, bullion (or chicken stock cube if you have to!), olive oil and mint. Combine it all, and let the puré simmer on very low heat until it’s time to serve (if you’ve been quick, it should be around 20 minutes left on the fish, right?)
- Clean the potatoes using the scrubbing part of a clean dish sponge. Say about 3-4 little potatoes per person?
- Boil in lightly salted water. If you use tiny early crop potatoes, it doesn’t take long to cook them. When they’re soft, drain them.
- Chop up a handful of dill and add to the potatoes.
- Drizzle a lot of good rapeseed oil.
- Add some salt to taste.
- Now the fish has been in the water for 30 minutes. Take it out.
- Heat up some rapeseed oil on a none-stick pan. High heat!
- Put the fish with the skin down on the pan, and fry it for about 10 seconds until the skin is really dark and krispy. Very dark! Careful not to burn it, it’s a balance act!
- Remove fish, and to the oil in which you fried the fish, add baby tomatoes cut in half. Fry them until they get some color and soften. Add some salt to taste.
- Now serve it all. The puré, the fish, the potatoes with dill and rapeseed oil, and the tomatoes. Garnish with some fresh dill, and you’re set to eat!