We love the clean flavour of home-cured ocean trout, but shop-bought smoked salmon would work very nicely. Begin this recipe a day ahead to cure the trout.
- To serve: salmon roe (optional)
Cured ocean trout
- 120 gm caster sugar
- 80 gm sea salt flakes
- 40 ml gin
- ½ cup coarsely chopped dill
- Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 800 gm piece of ocean trout, skin on, pin-boned
- 270 gm plain flour
- 2 tbsp each finely chopped dill and chives
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 440 ml buttermilk, well shaken
- 2 eggs
- 100 gm butter, melted and cooled
- 250 gm celeriac, cut into julienne, placed in acidulated water
- 1 baby fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a mandolin, placed in acidulated water, fronds reserved
- ¼ cup coarsely torn flat-leaf parsley
- 1 golden shallot, thinly sliced
- 1½ tbsp buttermilk
- 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp each white wine vinegar and lemon juice, or to taste
- 1For cured ocean trout, combine sugar, salt, gin, dill, rind and juice in a bowl and mix well to combine. Spread half the salt mixture in a container large enough to hold trout snugly. Place trout on top, then spread with remaining mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to cure (overnight). Remove from salt mixture, brush off excess, pat dry and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Cured trout will keep refrigerated for 5 days. Slice thinly off the skin just before serving.
- 2For buttermilk waffles, combine flour, herbs, rind, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp sea salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk buttermilk, eggs and melted butter in a separate bowl to combine, add to well in dry ingredients, mix to combine, then set aside to rest (30 minutes). Preheat a waffle iron and cook batter in batches, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until golden and crisp (4-5 minutes) and keep warm.
- 3For fennel salad, drain celeriac and fennel and combine with parsley and shallot in a bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients in a separate bowl to combine, season to taste, drizzle over fennel mixture and toss to coat.
- 4To serve, pile slices of ocean trout on warm buttermilk waffles, top with fennel salad and roe and serve.
Drink Suggestion: Cool-climate chardonnay. Drink suggestion by Max Allen