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Cooking for Wine #6 - Ceviche Salmon and Picpoul de Pinet

This weekend the weather has been beautiful and Spring is most definitely in the air. In response, instead of typical Sunday lunch, I was inspired to create something altogether more fresh and lively. I had a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet, Chateau de la Mirande in the wine rack so decided to attempt Ceviche Salmon. Ceviche is a method of 'cooking' fish that I have seen before but never been brave enough to attempt myself. In hindsight I'm really not sure what I was afraid of as the whole thing really is very simple. It involves a lot of chopping things very small but thankfully I find this quite cathartic. So, off to the supermarket I trotted to stock up on the ingredients I needed: 2 salmon fillets (any firm fish is fine but I particularly like Salmon) 1 lime 1 lemon 1 red chilli 4-5 scallions, depending on how big they are sea salt cracked black pepper  

Ceviche Salmon - what to do

Hailing from South America, Ceviche (pronounced se-vee-chee) is essentially a marinade that acts as a method of 'cooking' fish that hails from South America. Citric acid, found in lemons and limes, breaks down the proteins in the fish and chemically cooks it. The first thing to do is zest both the lemon and the lime before chopping them in half and squeezing out their juice; be careful to catch the pips. [caption id="attachment_880" align="aligncenter" width="452" caption="Everything you need for Ceviche"]Ceviche Salmon with Picoul de Pinet[/caption] Next, chop the scallions as finely as you can. [caption id="attachment_886" align="aligncenter" width="452" caption="Finely chopped Scallions"]Ceviche Salmon with Picpoul de Pinet[/caption] And now chilli gets the same treatment. Discard the seeds and chop finely. [caption id="attachment_888" align="aligncenter" width="452" caption="De-seeded and chopped chilli"]Ceviche Salmon with Picpoul de Pinet[/caption] Add the juice, zest, scallions and chilli into a bowl and mix well together. Add a generous pinch of sea salt, a few grinds of black pepper and leave to one side so all the flavours have chance to infuse. The acidity breaks down the bite of the scallions and chilli so if you prefer it with a bit more kick feel free to add more. [caption id="attachment_890" align="aligncenter" width="452" caption="Ceviche marinade"]Ceviche Salmon with Picpoul de Pinet[/caption]   Leave the marinade for a few hours, or overnight if you can. Meanwhile, slice your salmon. Leave it in the fridge until the last minute as it is easier to slice when it's nice and cold. Using a very sharp unserrated knife slice the salmon into strips of up to 5mm thickness. The narrower you slice, the quicker the fish will 'cook'. A top tip is to only cut into the fish as you push the knife away from you, this gives a much cleaner line and avoids dragging the flesh. To dress the dish simply pour some of the marinade onto a plate, lay the fish over it, cover with more marinade, lay more fish and another splash of marinade until everything is covered. Take each piece of fish and twist into a rosette before placing on the serving plate. Repeat with all the salmon. You'll notice that the colour of the fish changes as the citrus gets to work. If you leave the fish for too long it will break down too far and become mushy so only dress the salmon about 5 minutes before you are ready to serve. [caption id="attachment_892" align="aligncenter" width="452" caption="Rosettes of Ceviche Salmon"]Ceviche Salmon with Picpoul de Pinet[/caption] I served my Ceviche Salmon with lightly toasted sour dough bread and a crisp glass of Picpoul de Pinet. [caption id="attachment_894" align="aligncenter" width="452" caption="Served with sour dough bread"]Ceviche Salmon with Picpoul de Pinet[/caption] Picpoul de Pinet is a white wine found in the Languedoc region of France where it is generally enjoyed with seafood and fish dishes. It is fresh and crisp so ideal for light dishes but when served chilled, rather than cold, there are myriad flavours to behold. It has a herbal quality and a hint of spice so matches to the marinade perfectly. Fruity notes of lemon, apricot and melon balance the citrus whilst an umami quality works with the fish. Overall it rounds off the dish perfectly; no wonder it is one of our Top 10 best-sellers. Enjoy! [caption id="attachment_895" align="aligncenter" width="452" caption="Clean plates."]Ceviche Salmon with Picpoul de Pinet[/caption]

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