Sunday, 5 April 2009

Paper Chef #39

How time flies..
Its that time of month where my creative idea's start running wild & my part just starts running, scared, away from what ever concoction I dream up. Ah yes, the joys of The
Paper Chef.
This month's ingredients were selected by Adrienne from
Hungry Bruno. Adrienne's friends randomly selected three ingredients: Blackberries, Artichokes, Bulgar. The fourth ingredient was her own selection: Salmon. This was going to be fun!
First up, its the wrong season for artichokes & blackberries have just finished. So I had to rely on tinned artichokes & frozen blackberries. Now, what to create :)
I was toying with the idea of a bulgar salad with the artichoke petals, flaked salmon & blackberries, but was worried that the blackberries would turn it into a black mess... So I tossed around a few different ideas & did a bit of googling and decided on pan fried salmon with a blackberry sauce. I was tempted to use the bulgar as a coating on the salmon before frying, but decided against it, maybe next time. The bulgar you can treat like Couscous and is one of the main ingredients in Tabbouleh. My partner Paul decided to pilfer some of the bulgar & artichokes and make a salad (in case my concoction was inedible?). I decided to use the bulgar to coat the artichokes & roast them. Did it work?
Sort of...
The salmon is very hard to get wrong, the blackberry sauce was a complete success & I'll be making it again (Paul says it will be perfect to accompany pork), the texture of the cooked & roasted bulgar was good, but even after repeated rinsing the tinned artichokes tasted of vinegar. So while the ingredients may not have all been in the one dish, they did all work well together.

for the blackberry sauce:
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup red wine (I used Shiraz Cabernet)
1/2 tbls finely chopped fresh ginger
5-10cm stalk of bruised lemongrass
2 tbls vincotto
2-3 tbls sugar
Pinch salt
pinch ground black pepper

Salmon fillets
seasoned flour
400g tin artichokes, thoroughly rinsed
1 cup prepared bulgar
20g butter
Olive oil
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1/2 finely chopped onion

For the blackberry sauce:
Place the blackberries, wine, ginger, lemongrass & 1 tbls of the sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat & simmer until its reduced by about half
Remove the lemongrass stalk and pass the remaining contents through a mouli or fine sieve to remove the blackberry seeds.
return to the heat & balance the sourness of the wine with some sugar
Season to taste.

Halve the tinned artichokes & rinse thoroughly.
in a saucepan, melt the butter and a dash of olive oil. and soften the onion & garlic.
When softened add the bulgar and season to taste.
Add the artichokes and toss to thoroughly coat the artichokes.
Place the artichokes into a greased oven proof dish & spoon the blugar mixture over them
Place into a pre-heated oven (200c) & cook until the bulgar starts browning & crisping up.

Rinse & pat dry the Salmon fillets
Coat in the seasoned flour
Quickly shallow fry on both sides
remove & drain on paper towel.
Serve immediately with the blackberry sauce.


Murasaki Shikibu said...

I really like the way you used the bulgar to create this crisp layer on top of the artichokes. As for getting the vinegar out. I might use some of mine to do this with other vegetables! :)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Question: How did you prepare the bulgar prior to throwing it all in? Did you do anything to it?

Mikey said...

Hi Murasaki,
I followed the directions on the pack, generally 1 part Bulgar to 2 parts boiling water, cover & let it absorb. You can treat it the same way as you do couscous, add herbs, spices during the absorbtion to flavour it.

Tricia said...

how funny, I actually *did* use the bulgar as a coating on the salmon before frying! and I made a blackberry sauce for it (with artichokes in it). Great minds think alike, and all that. :^)