As you know, I am lucky to be training with Kathryn who owns Get Cooking Edmonton. Kathryn and I have been working together since January, and I finally feel that I've made a giant leap towards that career in food that I've dreamt of, well, since Masterchef, actually. For the past two years or so, I've been drifting along, not sure where life was taking me. Careerwise, I had stalled. I wasn't getting any job interviews, even though I was applying everywhere I could. I was also very ambivalent as to what I actually wanted to do. Did I want to go back into the education sector? Or stay in academic support? Or start a new career as a communications professional?
Of course, I wanted a career in food, but it felt like a bit of a pipe dream, actually. Blogging is a great way to keep my finger in the food world, but while I was creatively fulfilled by it, it wasn't going to pay any bills :-)
When Kathryn offered me the chance to train with her (and assist her with her classes) I jumped at the chance. I've been so happy with what I've been doing. Each class is an adrenaline boost, and even though we're on our feet pretty much all the time, the tiredness comes with a real feel-good factor, that I am finally doing something I've wanted to do all this time, but had no clue as to if it was actually going to happen.
A few weeks ago, we hosted our first ever Match Food and Wine class. This was a unusual event for us, as we usually are cooking away with all our students. But this time, we did a lot of our prep ahead, so we were able to indulge ourselves in a little wine, and enjoy the food with our guests.
And what a spread it was too! You can read all about it (and drool away) on Kathryn's blog here, and view some gorgeous photos here. In this post I want to concentrate on this absolutely delicious wild salmon tartare. Kathryn and I tested this dish out the day before, which is why I actually have some photographs that are styled, rather than taken on the fly, like most of our pictures are.
I loved this tartare. I have only recently started liking sushi, and I still won't eat completely raw fish. I really liked this tartare though, because its almost like a ceviche. The lemon juice 'cooks' the salmon, and the resulting dish is just chock full of flavour, and is so soft and almost creamy. The cucumber salad just adds an extra dimension of flavour and texture to the dish, and the whole plate of food just sings with flavour.
As the salmon is the star of the dish, I urge you to use the freshest fish you can find. Kathryn actually caught the one we served when she went fishing this summer in Tofino (she went with Jayne's Addictions Charters) and I almost always only eat salmon that Kay's caught on the Skeena River with his brother. The flavour of the fish is just stunning in this dish, and if you're not a salmon lover, this might just be the dish to change your mind :-)
Reproduced with kind permission from Kathryn Joel (Chef Proprietor, Get Cooking Edmonton)
400g salmon fillet (Kathryn used wild Chinook)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsps capers, rinsed and finely chopped
2 tsps fresh chives, finely chopped
Sea salt (Kathryn used Maldon Sea Salt) and freshly ground white pepper
Skin the salmon, removing any brown flesh, and use a pair of tweezers to pull out any bones.
Dice the salmon finely.
Mix the salmon with the lemon juice, shallots, capers and chives.
Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper, and more lemon juice to taste.
Allow the flavours to infuse and the lemon juice to “cook” the salmon for about 10 minutes.
Serve with Cucumber Salad and some good whole grain, rye or sourdough bread.
1 medium cucumber
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground white pepper
Halve the cucumber lengthways, then use a spoon or a melon baller to scoop out the seeds.
Slice the cucumber finely then put it in a colander and toss it with the salt.
Leave the cucumber to drain for about 30 minutes then rinse it with cold water and dry it well with paper towels or with a tea towel.
Dress the cucumber with the vinegar and olive oil and season to taste with white pepper.
Serve with the Salmon Tartare.