Pancetta-wrapped salmon with saffron and herb rice
- April 2008
- Serves 6
- Takes 45 minutes to make and 35-40 minutes to cook
Salty pancetta wrapped around succulent salmon is a perfect recipe if you’re entertaining guests at a dinner party.
- 44.6g (12.1g saturated)
- 26.4g (0.7g sugars)
- 350ml fresh chicken stock
- ½ tsp saffron
- 25g butter
- 50g shallots, finely chopped
- 175g long grain rice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon and chives
- Finely grated zest of ½ lemon and
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 x 550g thick pieces of skinned salmon fillet, taken from a large fish
- 16 slices thin smoked pancetta
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Put the stock and saffron into a pan, bring to the boil and keep hot over a low heat. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the shallots and fry gently until soft. Stir in the rice, stock and salt and bring to the boil. Stir, cover, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and fork through the chopped herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and put a large non-stick baking sheet into the oven to heat up. Trim the salmon fillets to the same size, then season on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon the rice mixture in an even layer over 1 salmon fillet and press down well. Cover with the other salmon fillet.
- Place 2 pancetta slices on a board with the ends slightly overlapping to make 1 long strip. Arrange next to this, another 2 slices, slightly overlapping as before. Repeat with the remaining pancetta. Lay the salmon down the centre of the pancetta sheet and bring up the slices to enclose the salmon, pressing down gently.
- Arrange the bay leaves on top. Tie at intervals with 6-7 lengths of kitchen string to secure.
- Carefully slide the salmon parcel onto the hot baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes for just cooked salmon, or a little longer if you prefer.
- Remove the salmon from the oven, cover and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice thickly and serve with homemade hollandaise sauce.
To make this recipe into a salmon en croûte:
It’s really simple to transform this recipe. Follow the recipe up to end of step 4 then take 750g fresh puff pastry, roll out 250g of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the size of 1 fillet and put on a baking sheet. Put the pancetta-wrapped salmon carefully on top and, using a pastry brush, brush the pastry around the edge of the salmon with a little cold water. Roll out the remaining puff pastry so it’s large enough to cover the whole salmon and seal around the edge. Trim off and discard any excess pastry. Chill for 30 minutes. Score the parcel in a diamond pattern with the tip of a knife, brush with beaten egg and bake at 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 for 35-40 minutes.
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