Devilled Salmon with Fennel & Pineapple Recipe

Something poky and punchy to clear the pipes! As much as I love a roast or a hot soup in the colder months, they need to be interjected from time to time with dishes like this: full of pop and vivacity. Devilling is an old English technique and flavour profile, perhaps best known for eggs but equally good with rich fish such as salmon or crab (this recipe would also work well with the frozen prawns available to buy from LMDC). The devil spices work here as a dry rub to bring the salmon to life. Make sure you use a heavy pan to achieve a nice toast to the spices and crust to the salmon. When pan-frying fish, I generally use a mix of 50/50 olive oil and vegetable oil. Using just vegetable oil can be a bit mundane and greasy; using just olive oil can burn and taste bitter. Using an equal parts mix of the two will give a higher smoking point whilst carrying enough elegance from the olive oil. Fennel and pineapple may sound like I just made it up on the spot but it really does work; key though is to have it all thinly sliced so it becomes a delicate tangle rather than something chunky and clumsy.

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Celery salt

1 tsp Fennel seeds

½ tsp Peppercorns

½ tsp Dried oregano

¼ tsp Mace or ground nutmeg (or a few strokes of nutmeg on the grate)

Pinch Mustard powder

2 Salmon fillets, scaled (keep the skin on or off as you wish)

½ Lime, grated zest & juice

1 tbsp Chardonnay vinegar

1 tbsp Water

1 tsp Honey

4 tbsp Olive oil

Pinch Salt

½ Fennel, thinly sliced

¼ Pineapple, core removed and thinly sliced

1 tbsp Parsley or basil, roughly chopped (optional)

- In a pestle & mortar, or using a small bag and a rolling pin, or a spice grinder, crush and mix the herbs and spices (the first 6 ingredients in the list above).

- Season the salmon all over with the spice mix and leave for 30 mins.

- Whilst waiting for the salmon to cure, make the salad. Whisk together the lime zest and juice, vinegar, water, honey and oil.

- Place the fennel shavings in a bowl and season well with salt, then add the pineapple and herbs.

- Pour over the dressing and mix well. Leave to sit for at least 15 mins.

- Colour the salmon in a very hot pan in the oil (see intro notes) until well toasted on all sides, then remove from the heat and leave to rest for a couple of minutes.

- Serve with the fennel and pineapple salad on the side.

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