Over the past two weeks I’ve been on a mission to find out more about the fantastic salmon that’s produced in Scotland. Not any old salmon you understand, but the high quality & healthy Scottish farmed salmon that has become the country’s number one export. And, after my trip north to top salmon producer, Marine Harvest, with Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, it was time to get cooking.
Last weekend saw Scotland’s ultimate celebration of Scottish food and drink, Eat Drink Discover Scotland, showcase top notch produce with a stellar line up of celebrity chefs along with a packed programme of demonstrations, tastings, talks and sampling sessions. This was the ideal place to tell visitors about this truly wonderful fish. It was a great event, allowing farmers and producers to promote Scotland’s fantastic rich natural larder with fish, lamb and beef taking centre stage in many of the cookery demonstrations and I was on stand with Scottish Salmon Producers and chef Mark Heirs cooking up salmon dishes for visitors to the show.
Mark being a top class professional chef showed off some great culinary skill with his dishes, while I focused on a recipe that could could be cooked quickly and easily as a family meal. It was great opportunity to chat with people about farmed salmon and for them to see and taste the quality of the fish we were cooking with.
Visitors to the stand were surprised to see just how quickly a family meal with salmon and a few additional ingredients could be prepared and served up. The very talented Mark cooked up a variety of salmon recipes including this decadent gin cured salmon, and we both cooked simple but healthy and tasty salmon and pasta dishes that could be cooked quickly and easily at home.
Mark cooked hot smoked salmon carbonara, a fantastic dish with only a few ingredients and I cooked a quick and easy creamy salmon and broccoli pasta. Both of these dishes make ideal family meals but will also be great as impressive supper dishes when entertaining.
Prep: 5mins Cook Time: 10mins
Ingredients: 500g Rigatoni Pasta , 100g grated Parmesan Cheese, 25ml double Cream, small bunch chopped Parsley (flat or curly), 400g hot smoked Scottish salmon, 3 eggs.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook your pasta until tender but retaining a bite.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, cream, Parmesan and parsley together.
- Add the hot pasta to the beaten egg mixture and a little of the cooking water and stir to create a creamy but light sauce.
- Flake in the hot smoked salmon and serve in a warm deep pasta bowl
Rachel’s Creamy Salmon and broccoli Pasta
Ready in under 20 minutes – Preparation 5 Minutes – Cooking 10 – 12 minutes – Serves 4
Ingredients :- 350g Conchiglie pasta, 200g/7oz tender stem broccoli, 600g boneless skinless salmon fillet cut into bite size cubes, 200g cream cheese, 300ml milk, 2 tbsp sun dried tomato paste, finely grated rind of half a lemon, small bunch of fresh parsley chopped, freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet, adding the broccoli for the last 4 – 5 minutes.
- Mix the cream cheese and the sun dried tomato paste to make a smooth sauce. Add the milk to a large frying pan, add the cream sauce and heat slowly, stirring to ensure the sauce is smooth.
- Add the salmon to the sauce, gently mix through and cook gently for 10 – 15 minutes until the salmon is cooked.
- Stir in the lemon rind, most of the parsley and add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce, gently mixing together.
- Check the seasoning, and sprinkle with the remainder of the chopped parsley.
- Serve sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan (if using)
For more Scottish salmon recipes this recipe booklet ‘Salmon Recipes For Body and Mind’ can be downloaded from Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation website.
Photograph and artwork credits.
Thanks to Jon Brady for all the pics he took while I was cooking. You can see more of his work on his website. www.jonfaec.com
The salmon artwork at the top of the post is from Scottish artist, alicestrange at alicestrange.com