Ballotine of salmon/corn and asparagus succotash/serrano ham
4 slices of Serrano ham 2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 side of salmon weighing 800g 1 tsp Murray river salt For cooking: 1 tbs canola oil salt and pepper
Corn and asparagus succotash:
1 tbs canola oil 2 ears of fresh sweet corn ½ cup cooked white cannellini beans ½ red onion 1 clove garlic 1 small red pepper 1 large tomato (de-seeded and diced) 100g pancetta 1/2 tbs each fresh parsley and tarragon (chopped) 1 tbs white balsamic vinegar 12 spears of cooked white or green asparagus salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Red pepper couli:
1 large red pepper 2 shallots (sliced) 1 clove garlic (crushed) 100ml extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper
To make the ballotine:
Trim the salmon. Trim the tail, the top piece and the some of the belly so that the salmon is a perfect rectangle. Remove all the pin bines and sprinkle the flesh with the Murray river salt. Cut the salmon in half length wise. Place one piece on top of the other so that the skin is facing out. Roll in cling film so that a nice barrel shape is achieved. Make sure it is very tight. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Once chilled and leaving the cling wrap on, cut 1cm off each end. Then cut into four equal portions.
To make the Succotash:
Fill a medium sized saucepan ¾ full of water and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Shuck the corn, removing all the silk. Cut the corn from the cob. Blanch in boiling water for two minutes and then strain and cool under cold running water. Dice the red onion and the red pepper so it is about the same size of the corn. Do the same with the pancetta. Crush and finely mince the garlic. Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan and add the pancetta. Sauté until crispy, being careful not to burn the fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on kitchen paper. Add the onion and garlic,
sauté until the onion is translucent; add the red pepper, cannellini beans and corn and sauté until for a further two minutes. Chop the herbs and set aside. Season with the salt, pepper and white balsamic vinegar. Add the herbs and tomatoes.
To make the red pepper couli:
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Cut the red pepper in half and remove all the seeds. Place cut side down into an oven proof dish. Brush with a little of the extra virgin olive oil and bake for 10-15 minutes until completely soft. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling wrap set aside to cool. Once cooled, remove the skin and discard. Roughly chop the red pepper flesh and reserve aside. In a saucepan add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat to a shimmer on a medium heat. Add the garlic and the shallots and cook until soft and translucent. Add the chopped red pepper and mix together. Put all the contents of the saucepan into a blender and switch on. Slowly drizzle the rest of the olive oil a bit at a time to achieve a smooth puree. Store in a airtight container in the fridge until needed.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Season the cut sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. Pre heat a sauté pan over a medium to high heat. Add the canola oil and seal each side of the salmon for two minutes. Remove from the pan and with a pair of scissors cut the cling wrap away and discard. Place the salmon on to an oven tray and cook in the pre heated oven for 10-12mins. While the salmon is cooking, place a slice of Serrano ham onto four warm serving plates. With the back of a spoon spread some red pepper couli onto each plate. Arrange three pieces of asparagus on each plate and divide the succotash between the four plates. Place the salmon on the plates and sprinkle with chopped chives. Serve.