Thursday, April 28, 2011

Transparency of Marlborough


Having settled in Marlborough over a decade ago after eating the grass on the other side of the fence, it was not a hard decision to start using local produce.

While the rest of the world is busy hunting and gathering from exotic corners of the Earth, the real tastes can be found right here in our own backyard.

We have some of the best aquaculture farms, and practices that produce a word-class product that can be found not only on New Zealand dinner tables but all around the world.

While I am not tempted by flashy promotions and marketing campaigns for the latest food fad or trend, I put just as much emphasis on getting to know the people who produce our proteins and starches as I do on cooking them. This gives me transparency and awareness of what I am cooking and serving to my guests and family.

Having been involved with New Zealand King Salmon for at decade, it is no wonder that the company is now seeking to increase the size of its operation as it meets the needs of the marketplace. I have visited the salmon farms and worked with the staff through the highs and lows

The proof of success is in the pudding or, to put it into context, in the taste of the salmon that is dispatched from Marlborough every day of the week.

Transparency comes with years of hard work, and this is part of the story of why New Zealand King Salmon has become one of the world leaders in salmon production and sustainability.

If a product is local, it gets my attention. If a product is local and tastes great, I am interested. If a product is local, tastes great and has a sustainable and proven record, then I am more than interested. If a product is local, tastes great, has a sustainable record and is produced by a transparent company or people, then it will take pride of place at my dinner table for my family and guests.



Ingredients

2 large salmon fillets

1 cucumber

3 litres water

200g brown sugar

300g salt

3 lemons, sliced

Dressing:

3 egg yolks, beaten

3 tsp dried mustard powder

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp dried oregano

15 drops Tabasco sauce

Olive oil

5 Tbsp white vinegar

Combine all the dressing ingredients except the olive oil in a blender, using low speed. Maintain speed and add the olive oil very slowly until the mixture thickens and is the consistency of mayonnaise.

Season to taste and refrigerate for up to a week, using as needed.

Place the salmon pieces in the brine for at least two hours and then rinse well. Pat dry and place on a smoking rack.

Place 2 cups of smoking chips in the smoker and hot smoke for 15-25 minutes or until the salmon is medium cooked.

Cut the cucumber in half, scoop out the seeds and peel the flesh into long, thin strips. Place the smoked salmon on top, sprinkle with the capers and drizzle with the garlic dressing.

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