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Maple Salmon with Creamed Leeks and Black Pudding ...

On a recent trip to one of my most favourite places in the world, Edinburgh I was lucky enough to be invited to a wonderful restaurant called The Dome. The building has a fascinating history that is well worth reading. If you plan on visiting the magical city of Edinburgh then definitely take note of this restaurant, located in the New Town on George Street, and make it a ‘must see’ stop on your journey. Not only were the staff warm and friendly but the food was delicious and their pre dinner martinis kicked ass. It must have been the Tanqueray No 10 Gin they used!

While perusing the menu in The Grill Room, what caught my eye right away was the Fillet of Salmon served on Spicy Black Pudding Mash with Local Mushrooms, finished with Truffle Oil. I adore salmon and mushrooms (never mind the added bonus of truffle oil!) so I knew I was on to a winner, but what worried me was that I had never tried black pudding. Feeling adventurous after the martinis I decided that spicy black pudding mash was something I needed to try.

It was the right decision!

The slightly crisp chewy texture of the black pudding worked really well in the creamy mashed potatoes. The slight spiciness also complemented the salmon and mushrooms beautifully. It wasn’t overpowering at all. Honestly it was one of the greatest meals I have ever eaten and it has been on my mind ever since.

Feeling brave even without the help of a martini (or two) I took a stroll to our local butchers and bought some black pudding. The only tip I was given was to make sure I removed the rind – otherwise I would be extremely disappointed in the overall dish and most likely would still be chewing on it several weeks later.

The salmon itself is really easy to prepare. Years ago while looking at the All Recipes website I found a recipe for Maple Salmon by one of their members – Starflower. Being a devoted lover of all things maple I knew I had to give this a try. In my recipe book this dish has 6 out of 5 stars. It is amazing. Here is Starflowers recipe for Maple Salmon from the All Recipes website page.

Maple Salmon by Starflower

Ingredients

• 1/4 cup maple syrup

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

• 1 pound salmon

Directions

• In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.

• Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

• Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

Salmon Fillets Marinating in Maple Syrup Mixture

Salmon Fillets Marinating in Maple Syrup Mixture

To accompany the salmon try this wonderful black pudding mash.

Luna Raye’s Black Pudding Mash

Ingredients

• 5-6 medium sized potatoes (King Edward or Maris Piper are good choices)

• Black Pudding (I used 3 medium sized slices which added up to approx ½ a cup after I cut them into squares – remember to remove the rind)

• Knob of butter

• Splash of milk

• Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

• Get some salted water boiling and add the peeled potatoes.

• When potatoes are about ¾ of the way done (you can just start to get a fork into them) start on the black pudding.

• Add a wee bit of butter to a frying pan and when melted add the chopped black pudding. (o.k. I was a bit nervous so I think I may have overcooked it a bit as it did start to disintegrate slightly. I wasn’t able to maintain the ‘squares’ and keep the nice, perfectly formed pieces of black pudding that I had at The Dome)

• Once potatoes are cooked, drain them and put them back in the pot.

• Add a generous knob of butter and mash.

• When potatoes are fairly mashed add a splash of butter and season with salt and pepper.

• Give it a few more vigorous stirs before gently folding in the black pudding pieces. (It actually looked like a scoop of Oreo cookie dough ice cream!)

Black Pudding

Black Pudding

To go alongside the salmon and black pudding mash I wanted to do my old time favourite Creamed Leeks. Tasty and super quick to prepare here is a link to my previous post or you can see the recipe below

Luna Raye’s Creamed Leeks

• 2-3 medium to large leeks finely chopped.

• Add leeks to pan with a knob of butter and stir over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the leeks have softened.

• Add 2 Tablespoons of double cream and salt and pepper to taste.

Yes it’s that simple!

Maple Salmon with Creamed Leeks and Black Pudding Mash

Maple Salmon with Creamed Leeks and Black Pudding Mash

I will definitely make Maple Salmon with Creamed Leeks and Black Pudding Mash again. It’s the perfect meal for a romantic night!

Enjoy!

Horseradish: Where have you been all my life?...

I do know the answer to this question and shouldn’t really need to ask. Mainly because you are always there, generously dolloped on the side of my dad’s plate (or between slices of bread) every time he eats roast beef. I even remember, many years ago, the tiniest of portions being offered to me on a teaspoon so I could give it a try. Unfortunately, in giving it a cursory sniff, I foolishly stuck the spoon right up to my nose and promptly had my sinuses cleared for a year. That was enough for me to stay as far away as possible from horseradish for the next 30 odd years.

Well here we are in 2010 and for Valentine’s Day I wanted to prepare a really special and romantic starter. I looked through several recipes but kept coming back to the same one; Smoked Salmon with Prawns, Horseradish Cream and Lime Vinaigrette. The idea of covering beautiful salmon and prawns with horseradish cream filled me with dread, but I loved the look of this recipe so much that I decided it was time to confront my fear. I am so glad I did. This recipe from Mary Cadogan has been an absolute revelation to me.

• Firstly the use of smoked salmon that doesn’t rely on bagels laden with cream cheese.
• Secondly because it made me realize that even simple dishes can be stunningly elegant.
• Thirdly and most importantly for me, the use of horseradish, which I have discovered is….DELICIOUS!

The flavours of this dish are wonderful as the lime cuts through the heat of the horseradish cream bringing out the delicate flavours of the smoked salmon and prawns. It is refreshing and light with a subtle kick and it goes extremely well with a chilled white wine. Trust me this recipe is a keeper!

Since making this dish I have already worked my way through 3 jars of horseradish sauce and it is now something that is always in my fridge. This website offers some great tips for using horseradish in a variety of dishes. I have bookmarked quite a few to try. Top of my list for tonight is one of my favourite cocktails – a Bloody Mary! If you have a favourite recipe that uses horseradish I would love to hear about it.

Smoked Salmon with Prawns, Horseradish Cream and Lime Vinaigrette.