Cured trout with mandarin oil & chervil
Trout fillet, sea salt flakes, demerara sugar and lemon
I can feel a new obsession coming on. Having always been fascinated in preserving, whether it be fermented soya beans, pickled cabbage, fruit jams and jellies, smoked fish, cured meats, pickled plums, salted cod, snow dried tofu, air dried game and mushrooms there is a whole new chapter of gastronomy to dive into. Man has been preserving food since ancient times and it's a wondrous thought that all over the world different methods were discovered to harness nature and preserve the hunt or harvest. Probably most fascinating is the Japanese art of fermenting and the painstaking process of snow drying tofu.
Jams, jellies and preserved fruit along with duck confit is as far as my practical skills have extended, so, enough of being fascinated from afar, I have now rolled up my sleeves and embarked on my new curing career.
An easy cured oily fish seemed a good place to start. A rainbow trout from the farmers market weighing about a kilo was filleted, and simply embalmed with some sea salt, demerara sugar, lemon zest and juice. Left in the fridge for 8 hours, washed, rinsed and dried very thoroughly and sliced finely. Served with a slurp of oil, I used mandarin oil and black pepper, garnished with chervil. This was a very satisfying place to start. All sorts of wonderful options await, vodka; beetroot; thyme; ginger......
The good news is that this recipe is totally fool-proof and a delicious rewards within just 8 hours.