Recipe: Make Mark Hix’s ‘salmonata’
- Credit: Archant
Mark Hix shares his love of home smoked fish and gives his take on a classic dip
Before I opened the HIX Oyster and Chop House in 2008, I wanted to do something unique on the menu. I quite liked the idea of smoking some salmon and so I bought a Bradley Smoker, then I called up Richard Cook at the Severn and Wye Smokery for a bit of friendly advice. He suggested a dry cure of rock salt and brown sugar for the Loch Duart salmon. I attached a flexible cooker extract ducting from a building supplier to connect the smoke box with the smoking chamber. This cools the smoke down for cold smoking and keeps the fish intact. That worked a treat with a successful ten-hour cure and a ten-hour smoke. Not only was my home smoked salmon ready for the restaurant opening, I also entered it into the Great Taste Awards where it won gold.
Over the years, I’ve moved the smoker around, at one time it was on the roof of Selfridges when I had the restaurant there. Now the smoker is at my house in Charmouth, and I’m currently smoking about 16-20 sides of salmon a week. The Charmouth smoked salmon is flying out of my truck (HIX Oyter & Fish Truck) and The Oyster & Fish House in LYme Regis, and my friend Annie at the Monmouth Pantry in Broad Street is also selling it.
This is my take on the classic taramasalata, using the belly and tail trimmings from smoked salmon. Serve this salmonata dip with warm flatbreads
Serves 4 as a starter
30-40g white bread, with the crusts removed
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150-180g smoked salmon belly and trimmings, cut into small pieces with skin removed
100ml vegetable oil
juice of half a lemon or more if you wish
pinch of cayenne pepper
Soak the bread in water for a couple of minutes, then squeeze out the water and put into a food processor with the smoked salmon. Blend to a purée, then gradually add the oil until well mixed and smooth. Add the lemon juice (to taste), cayenne pepper and enough ice-cold water to lighten the mix. Blitz again, the consistency should be smooth and shiny. Check the seasoning and serve.