The Good Life France

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Hay-smoked salmon with a citrus sauce

Dish with salmon and a light citrus sauce

Salmon or trout fillets cooked over hay on the hob is an easy dish to cook but it packs a whole bunch of flavour. And it has plenty of wow factor.

I first made this delicious dish in Haute-Savoie with top chef Julien Valero of Le Marcel restaurant in Annecy. I was at a gourmet food festival in the fabulous little town of Thones. It takes place every year in September and if you’re a foodie – you will love this event…

Chef Julien was holding outdoor cookery lessons and I joined several keen participants from around the world to create a three-course lunch. The lessons were in French but there was help for English speakers and it was easy to follow the instructions.

We made barbecued toffee apples, barbecued beetroot and beet salad and this fabulous salmon trout dish which you can easily make at home to get that top chef taste – utterly delicious !

Ingredients  for 4

4 salmon or salmon trout fillets
2 large handfuls of clean, dry hay
150g cold butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme
1 bunch of parsley
1 tbsp sesame oil
Juice of a grapefruit, a lemon and an orange
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place the hay in a thick base metal saucepan.

Pop the seasoned fish fillets on top. Add a drizzle of water, thyme and sesame oil, cover with a lid and cook over a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile peel and chop the shallot and pop in a saucepan with the citrus juices and bring to a boil then drop the chopped herbs in.

Season lightly and boil for about 2 minutes.

Pour into a mixing bowl, add some chopped raw chives and the butter cut into pieces, stirring all the while to get a glossy sauce.

Check the fish is cooked and serve with the sauce. It goes lovely with new potatoes, baked potato, salad, a wedge of bread and even rice.

More French fish dishes

Dish with Sole Meuniere and a slice of lemon

Classic sole meunière – the dish that made great American cook Julia Childs fall in love with French gastronomy

Salmon en papillote -easy to cook and very delicious

Pissaladière a southern French style pizza flavoured with anchovies

Coquille St Jacques with a truffle and Sauterne sauce – nothing more to add!

Sea bream in garlic bouillon by Michelin Star chef Gérald Passedat

Pan-fried red mullet with thyme by Michelin Star chef Daniel Galmiche

Details of the Salon Gastronomique Palais Gourmand

For inspiration and loads of ideas for what to see and do in and around Annecy Mountains head here: www.annecymountains.com

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