Country Life

Red-cabbage and gin-cured salmon with red-cabbage slaw and blinis

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Method

In a bowl, mix together the sliced red cabbage, gin, salt, sugar and lemon zest. Take a large piece of clingfilm and add half the red cabbage mixture to it, spreading it in an even layer. Place the salmon fillet on top, skin side down, then add the remaining mixture on top. Ensure the whole fillet is entirely covered. Wrap the clingfilm all around the salmon, so that it is entirely enclosed. Place in a serving dish and refrigerat­e for 48 hours to cure. Once cured, wash the salmon clean and refrigerat­e again until ready to serve. Make a slaw by finely slicing or grating the other half of the red cabbage and the red onion, then mixing them with the mayonnaise, sour cream and vinegar. Refrigerat­e until ready to serve.

Make the blinis by simply adding the dry ingredient­s to a bowl and then pouring in the milk, egg and melted butter and whisking until smooth. Refrigerat­e for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours) before using. To make the blinis, melt butter in a nonstick pan and then add dollops of the batter, turning to brown on both sides. (They can be frozen. When you want to use them, defrost and reheat in a low oven or, if only doing a few, you can toast them gently). Slice the cured salmon on an angle and arrange on a serving dish with the warm blinis, slaw and a scattering of fresh dill. This makes a perfect starter for the Christmas entertaini­ng season—especially as all the elements can be made in advance.

Ingredient­s

For the cured salmon

½ red cabbage, finely sliced 100ml gin 100g sea salt 60g caster sugar 1 lemon, zest of 500g salmon fillet, skin on

For the slaw

½ red cabbage

1 red onion 2tbspn mayonnaise 2tbspn sour cream 1tbspn apple-cider vinegar

For the blinis

(or use store bought)

120g self-raising flour 1tspn caster sugar A pinch of salt 250ml whole milk 1 egg

25g butter, melted Fresh dill to serve

Stop red cabbage turning blue when cooking by blanching it in boiling water for two minutes, then dropping it into an ice bath

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