Cook confit vanilla king salmon like a MasterChef
How does king salmon with fennel puree and a macadamia, finger lime and Thai basil pesto sound? Learn how to cook this impressive MasterChef-quality meal.
- 5 x 80gm portions NZ king salmon, boneless, skinless and bloodline removed
- 20ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 bunch watercress, picked
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large fennel, diced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 50ml white wine
- 40ml cream
Macadamia, finger lime and Thai basil pesto:
- ½ bunch thai basil
- 100g roasted and salted macadamia nuts
- 5g freeze dried finger lime powder
- Pinch citric acid
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 90°C.
To make the vanilla oil:
- Carefully cut the vanilla bean in half then, using the back of a knife, scrape the seeds out of the bean and add to the oil. Add a pinch of salt then mix with a spoon until the seeds are dispersed in the oil evenly.
- Place the salmon fillets, evenly spaced, onto a tray lined baking paper with the presentation side up then rub the salmon on all sides with the vanilla oil and set aside at room temperature.
For the fennel puree:
- Heat a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter.
- Once melted, add the fennel and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
- Add the wine and cover with a lid and turn down to low.
- Stir every 4-5 minutes and cook until soft with no colour.
- Once the wine has evaporated and the fennel is soft add the cream then puree, season (sea salt and ground white pepper) and pass through a fine sieve and reserve in a small sauce pan with a lid.
For the finger lime oil:
- In a bowl mix the evoo and finger lime flesh making sure to remove any seeds.
To cook the salmon:
- Place the tray into the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until just cooked.
- Warm fennel puree and put a nice circle slightly to the left of centre on the plate.
- Using a fish spatula carefully transfer each piece of salmon and place it half on and half off the puree.
- Top with a quenelle of the pesto then garnish with 4-5 pieces of very lightly dressed watercress and finally drizzle some finger lime oil around the plate whimsically.