Vanilla Salmon with Fennel Puree and Smoked Hollandaise

Cook time 1 hour
Servings 4

Ingredients

4 x 80 gm ōra king salmon, skinless and bloodline removed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 heilala vanilla bean, halved & scraped into the oil
1 bunches watercress
1 small jar salmon roe

Fennel puree
2 fennel, sliced
50 gm butter
50 ml white wine
1 tbsp. cream
Salt and pepper

Smoked Hollandaise
200 gm butter, diced and very cold
Wood chips
100 ml chardonnay vinegar
2 shallots, sliced
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 egg yolks

Vanilla Salmon with Fennel Puree and Smoked Hollandaise

Method

Preheat oven to 100C.  Fillet salmon and pinbone.  Cut into 80 gm portions.  Rub with vanilla oil and return to fridge.  Pull out from fridge 30 minutes prior to serving and place on a lined oven tray.

For the puree:  Heat the butter in a saucepan and then add the fennel, stir well and cover with a lid.  Allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.  Remove the lid and then add the white wine.  Cook until very tender and until almost all of the wine has evaporated.  Add the cream and season.  Puree and adjust seasoning, and then pass through a fine sieve.  Keep warm in a small saucepan.

For the smoked hollandaise:  Prepare a smoker on the stove by using an old pan or wok lined with foil.  Place some wood chips in the bottom of the pan.  Turn the heat on high and place a lid on the pan. Once the smoke is going well add the diced butter in a metal bowl and turn the heat down to keep the smoke going but to reduce the heat.  Smoke for 15 minutes.  It doesn’t matter if the butter melts a bit.

Meanwhile, place the vinegar, shallots, bay leaf and peppercorns in a small saucepan and reduce by half.  Once reduced strain and cool.

Place the smoked butter in a small saucepan and heat to just above lukewarm.  Place the egg yolks and vinegar reduction in a stainless steel bowl and whisk together over a bain marie until thick, creamy and light.  Slowly drizzle the butter in to create an emulsion and keep whisking until all of the butter is incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  If it is a little thick you can thin it down with a little warm water.  Place in a small container, and cover with plastic wrap and keep somewhere warm.  It will thicken up a little as it sits.

Pick the watercress and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve:  Place the salmon in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until just set and warm through.  Place the fennel puree on the plate and then top with the salmon, and then place a spoon of the hollandaise on top and garnish with the watercress. Finally spoon some of the roe around the plate.