New old recipes ~ Collines de Saumon

I recently had a friend over and decided to serve a dish that I hadn’t made in quite some time.  I’m still searching for just the right name for it but so far I seem to have settled on Collines de Saumon or Salmon Stacks (Mounds?)… sounds more elegant in French non?!

Whatever name I end up settling on, they were very tasty.  In the past I’ve made them with a layer of my homemade freezer pesto but not having any on hand, I decided to dispense with that filling and use a herb encrusted goat cheese between the layers of salmon. This recipe has very few ingredients and is really quite easy and quick to whip up.

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The inspiration for this dish came to me while I was watching cooking shows that featured layered recipes using cooking rings ~ that was at least 10 years ago.  Naturally, I had to purchase my own cooking rings at, yes you guessed it ~ Placewares in the St. Lawrence Market.  I have since found other shapes and sizes to build my collection and have seen some shapes in silicone, but I prefer stainless steel.  I’ve made these without the metal cooking rings but you could also take strips of aluminum foil and wrap around the salmon stacks.  It’s just to help keep everything contained so that the layers stay in place.

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You shouldn’t have any problem finding them though since they have become quite popular and can be easily found in many kitchen gadget stores.  You can also use them when you’re plating your food; stacking a salad, shaping your steak tartar, even mashed potatoes.  You can be really creative using these rings when you’re plating as long as what you fill them with isn’t really runny when you remove the ring.

Years ago I made this recipe without the cooking rings when I was visiting friends in France.  It just takes a steady hand to remove them from the steamer so that the layers don’t slide apart and you end up with your lovely cooked salmon splattered on your kitchen counter or, worse, the floor.

And now for the recipe…

What you will need:

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A citrus zester (or a rasp)

2 x 9cm (3.5 inch) round cooking rings (or whatever shape you prefer)

Parchment paper

Steamer

Collines de Saumon

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Ingredients:

560 grams fresh salmon

½ mango (you can also use peaches)

Zest from 1 lemon

43 grams finely diced onions (1.5 oz)

200 grams herb coated goat cheese

Note: If you can’t find herb coated goat cheese, bring your goat cheese to room temperature and mix in 10-30 mills (1 or 2 tablespoons) or so of fresh chopped dill. Don’t use an herb that’s too strong though, you don’t want it to overpower the salmon.

Instructions:

1.   Remove the zest from 1 lemon and set aside.

SAM_13272.   Finely dice 42 grams of onion.

3.   Peel and finely dice ½ mango.  If you don’t care for mango or peaches, you can omit this ingredient.

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4.   Cut the goat cheese into slices and press into larger rounds.  Put on parchment paper or plastic wrap and place in fridge.

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5.   Remove skin from salmon.

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6.   Press 2 cooking rings firmly into the salmon to cut thick circles.  Use a small sharp knife to make sure the circle has been completely cut all around the ring.

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7.   Lightly press the palm of your hand on each circle of salmon and slice horizontally through the salmon circles to create 2 discs per salmon circle.  You should have 4 circles.  Don’t worry if your salmon doesn’t cut through properly.  Keep the best disc for the base.  The second layer can be pushed together.

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8.   Dice the remaining salmon pieces as though you are making salmon tartar.  Add the onion and lemon zest to the salmon.  Mix zest and onions using cutting motion of knife.

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NOTE: I don’t suggest using a food processor for this because you will likely end up with a paste and what you want is a bit of texture for the top

9.   Stir in diced mango.

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10.  Place cooking rings on pieces of parchment.

11.  Place one salmon disc in each of the rings.

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12.  Place a goat cheese round on top of the salmon.

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13.  Place second salmon disc on top of goat cheese.

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14.  Place second disc of goat cheese on top of salmon

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15.  Using a soup spoon, mound the chopped salmon mix on top of the goat cheese and form into a ball, pressing with the spoon to create the shape.  Sort of like an ice cream cone.

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16.  Bring water to boil in steamer.

17.  Holding the edges of the parchment paper, carefully lift and place salmon in steamer.  You could also slide a spatula under the parchment paper and transfer the salmon to the steamer.  (The teardrop shape you see in the picture was a bit of leftover that I didn’t want to add to the top. )

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18.  Put lid on steamer and cook for 14 minutes.

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19.  Squeeze fresh lemon over the tops of the salmon mounds before removing from steamer.

20.  Using a spatula, carefully remove the hot salmon, ring and parchment paper from steamer and put on a plate.

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21.  Using a sharp small knife, cut along inside of ring to release the salmon.

22.  Gently remove the hot cooking ring.  Rubber tipped tongs work the best and will save your finger tips from blistering.

23.  Remove the salmon mounds from the parchment paper using a spatula and place on your serving plate.

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This recipe is wonderful served with a salad, herb roasted baby potatoes, or steamed asparagus on the side.  I have even served it on a bed of citrus flavoured polenta or risotto.

Whatever you decide to serve it with, I hope you enjoy trying it!

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