It has been a while since I have posted any recipes. So had to get back with one of my all-time favorites Salmon Confit.
I got back home 3 weeks ago from a 3 week road trip across Vietnam. A trip that I can say changed my life forever. They always say travel changes you, and I know that it does. But I have never ever expected it to be in this way.
This post is not really about the Vietnam trip, as I will be writing a whole blog about the itinerary. However, I must mention it as this trip has changed the way I cook and write.
Major learning from this trip was that I understood more about real happiness and finding peace in myself. I was really puzzled while walking in the streets and alleys. Streets that were full of pain and tragedy that the years and war caused. Yet, in these streets you find people smiling, sharing their afternoon tea or a family meal. People are grateful for what they have regardless of what they don’t.
“If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” Roy T. Bennett
I enjoyed so many meals on my own. I came back and started cooking with happiness and joy rather than just cook to make sure I am taking care of myself.
Eating alone or cooking for yourself doesn’t mean that you are lonely. You might be simply in a long distance relationship or even just away from home for a couple of weeks. However, you must stop for a few minutes to prepare a meal and enjoy it as it is.
The recipe this week is a recipe that I was developing before leaving to Vietnam but didn’t have the time to finalize. As soon as I got a day off this week, I started working on finalizing it.
Salmon confit with Freekeh
Salmon became such a mainstream option and for a couple of years now it is considered as a healthy trend, but I have to disagree with the cooking method that is used. I personally and for several years now prefer my salmon in a confit. Had this along with freekeh which is basically young green wheat but I cooked it in a different way. I had it cooked with tomato and capsicum. Even if it is to be served without the Salmon it would be an amazing vegan option. I always cook more Freekeh so I would use the leftovers in a salad with some rockets and fresh vegetables.
What is confit?
Confit is a word used to describe the food that is cooked in fat, oil or sugar syrup, usually at a low temperature. It is a preserving method as a slice of confit meat that is salted and kept in the fat could actually last you a couple of months. In this method, the meat keeps all the flavors in. And I personally feel like it is actually enhanced with fat/ oil flavor.
For Salmon confit, you will need to control the temperature of the oil as the temperature should not go above 50 C or else the protein would start to coagulate and you will get all the white liquid out, which basically means that you are overcooking the salmon and making it dry. I personally believe salmon needs to be served velvety and pink in color.
Let’s get cooking…
In a saucepan, place the oil and all the other condiments. Doing this in sous vide or over water bath would give you better control of temperature.
Keep the oil at a 40-45 C degree. If you are using induction, then this would be easier to do if using flames then reduce the heat and use a simmering ring. Keep a thermometer in the oil to track temperature. If you don’t have one then a trick is to check with body temp the oil should feel a bit warm but not much more than body temp.
Place the salmon in oil, it will usually take from 10 to 15 min for the salmon to reach the desired temp. Remember that you should serve the salmon pink in color and velvety and don’t think that is under cooked.
For the freekeh
Saute the Tomato and capsicum in the oil for a couple of minutes. Add in the Aleppo pepper, salt, tomato paste followed by the Freekeh. Saute for a couple of minutes then add the hot water on top. Bring it to boil, then reduce the temp to medium for 10 min. Then reduce the temp for low and keep for an extra 5 min. Finally, switch off and leave the Freekeh in the pot for 5 min covered.
- I used Salmon steak as that is what I had that day but it is ideally done with a fillet.
- I haven’t made any sauce but could be served with any butter sauce of your preference.
- The leftovers of freekeh, I just keep it in the fridge and have it with rocket and any dressing the next day.
Salmon Confit With Freekeh
For the Salmon
- 1 Salmon Fillet/ Steak
- 2 cups Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon Zest
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Cardamom
- 1 Dried Chili
For the Freekeh
- 150 grams Freekeh 1 cup
- 1 Tomato (150 g), finely diced
- 1 Bell Pepper (150 g), finely diced
- 15 grams Oil 1 tbsp
- 5 grams Salt 1 tsp
- 2 grams Aleppo Pepper ½ tsp
- 10 grams Tomato Paste 1tsp
- 250 ml Water 1 Cup, hot
- Cashew nuts
- In a saucepan, place the oil and all the other condiments.
- Keep the oil at a 40-45 °C degrees.
- Keep a thermometer in the oil to track.
- Place the salmon in oil, it will usually take from 10 to 15 min for the salmon to reach the desired temperature.
- Sautee the Tomato and capsicum in the oil.
- Saute for a couple of minutes then add the hot water on top.
- Bring water to boil, then reduce the temp to medium for 10 min.
- Reduce the temp for low and keep for an extra 5 min.
- Finally, switch off and leave the Freekeh in the pot for 5 min covered.