Emma (chef) and John (sommelier) take us out to sea with this salmon tune and white wine feast awash with great white wines
Salmon or Trout Gravadlax
85g Caster sugar
70g Flaky sea salt
2 tbs Schnapps, gin or vodka
2 tsp Freshly ground pepper
100g Fresh dill
500g Centre-cut salmon fillet, skin on, bones removed
To cure the salmon, blend together the sugar, salt, alcohol, white pepper and dill in a food processor to make a paste.
Place half of the mixture into a container that will accommodate the fish snugly (a plastic tub with a lid is ideal). Lay the salmon on top, flesh-side down, press it down, then cover with the other half of the mixture, smearing it well over the surface of the fish.
Secure with a lid or cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 48 hours, turning the fish occasionally, until firm to the touch.
Seared sesame seed Tuna
1 tbs Honey
50g Light soy sauce
2 tbs Sesame oil
1 tbs Rice wine vinegar
4 Tuna steaks (150g – 180g each)
70g -100g Sesame seeds
1 tbs Olive oil
For the salad:
1 Can of chick peas
In a bowl, stir together the soy sauce, honey and sesame oil. Divide into two equal parts. Stir the rice vinegar into one part and set aside as a dressing for salad leaves or for use as a dipping sauce.
Spread the sesame seeds on a plate. Coat the tuna steaks with the remaining soy sauce mixture, then press into the sesame seeds to coat.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan over high heat until very hot. Place the steaks in the pan, and sear for about 30 seconds on each side.
Slice the tuna and serve on a salad of Rocket, chick peas, cherry tomatoes and mint.
To go with the salmon tuna and white wine:
White wine in a sea of red
John finds delicious wines in the most unexpected places.
I am always searching for unusual wines and if people are turning right I usually turn left. Most people are aware of the wine appellations of Saint Emilion and Pomerol. Sitting on the right bank of the Gironde river, they are famous for their red wines. There are nine other lesser known regions that are rarely visited, all concentrating on red and, very rarely, white. I am of the opinion that if you are going to stick your neck out and make white wines in a sea of red then you had better make a very good job of it. Here are three that do just that. A great combination: salmon tuna and white wine.
Château de la Rivière in Fronsac produces a 67 % Sauvignon Blanc and 33 % Sauvignon Gris, with 10% of the wine spending some time in oak. The result is a superb, elegant wine that is a wonderful blend of tropical fruit and grapefruit. €12.00.
Château Beynat in the Cotes de Castillon produces a splendid 100% Sauvignon Blanc that is clean and fresh with hints of jasmine and lychee, and a limey grip at the finish. €8.00.
The real discovery for me, whilst having lunch at the marvellous La Table de Catusseau in Pomerol, was the amazing Château la Perrière Blanc from Lussac. A blend of Sauvignon, Semillon and Muscadelle, the wine is minerally with a balanced flavour of apples, lime and honeysuckle, and is my top pick for a wine with fish and seafood. €7.00.
Emma and John Gilchrist have been running their gîte and cookery school, Les Caulins, in Lot-et-Garonne since March 2016. Emma has worked with great chefs in some of the best restaurants around the world and John, a former UK Sommelier of the Year and winner of the Mondavi award for the best wine list in the world, is an enthusiast for the smaller wine producers.
Emma and John
First published in the Oct/Nov 2020 issue of The Local Buzz