Christmas In New Zealand
Spending a month in the North Island of New zealand over Christmas was one of the best experiences I’ve had to date. With picturesque views, lovely weather, the cleanest air and some of the freshest produce you have ever seen! This is a place I would eventually like to lay roots. It took me a while to shake off the London mentality and fully embrace my surroundings but once I did I felt a sense of freedom.
On Christmas day everyone created a dish to add to the spread. I chose to do a salt crust baked salmon. It added a bit of theatre to the table and delivered some serious flavour. Salt baking is designed to keep all the juices and flavour of the salmon in tact. As the steam hits the grease proof paper the juices are forced to drip back onto the salmon. You will know what I mean once you have tried it for yourself!
Fillet the salmon and removed the pin bones. Cut grease proof paper to the shape of the fillet covering the top and the bottom (it’s important to make sure the salmon is completely covered, you don’t want the salt crust touching the salmon – that will definitely kill the vibe)
For the salt bake crust use 1.5kg of sea salt and 2 large eggs. Combine the egg and salt to create a paste. Using a baking mat or grease proof paper on the tray (to stop it sticking). Spread a layer of your salt paste about 1cm thick on to the tray, place the salmon fillet onto the salt and incase the salmon in a salt shell using a pallet knife (or your hands).
Preheat the oven to 160℃ 30 minutes before cooking.
Bake the salmon for 25 minutes.
Crack open your salt crust and enjoy your sweet succulent salt baked salmon. The smell is unreal and I guarantee everyone will be looking on as you crack open that crust.
To accompany the salmon I made a fennel and orange salad with capers, radish and a lemon dressing garnished with fennel tops and borage flowers all picked from the garden.
Salt crusts and salt doughs are also great for baking root vegetables keeping all the natural flavours locked inside!
I will do a blog post on salt baked vegetables soon!