Forkful's speedy suppers: Smoked Irish salmon platter
One of our most beautiful native culinary traditions is our smoked salmon and to me, Christmas isn't complete without a platter of smoked salmon. It's a time to splash out and get the best smoked salmon that you can afford. Seek out artisanally produced smoked Irish salmon, of which there is plenty to choose from in Ireland.
One of my favourites is The Burren Smokehouse (burrensmokehouse.com), run by Peter and Birgitta Curtin from their smokehouse in Clare. Their smoked Irish organic salmon is widely available nationwide, stocked by Sheridan's Cheesemongers and most good food delis.
The Connemara Smokehouse (smokehouse.ie) sits atop Bunowen Pier at the edge of west Connemara. John and Bridget Roberts founded the company in 1979, and their son Graham is now at the helm of the smoking kiln. They source their wild Atlantic salmon from local Connemara fishermen, while their organic salmon is from Clare Island and their farmed salmon comes from small Atlantic farms.
Frank Hederman near Cobh in County Cork is an exceptional smokehouse with a beautiful and informative website (frankhederman.com) and Kinvara Smoked Salmon (kinvarasmokedsalmon.com) counts food writer Nigel Slater among their fans. The last day for online orders within Ireland for their organic smoked salmon is Monday December 19.
So, you see, there is plenty to choose from when it comes to smoked Irish salmon. Make sure you get the best for you and yours whether it's for a speedy supper to keep you going between socialising or for a platter to bring with you to next potluck gathering.
Smoked Irish salmon platter
Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon of honey
For the platter
About 200g of smoked salmon
1 cooked beetroot
Half a small shallot
Half an orange
3 tablespoons of soft goat's cheese
Handful of fresh dill
Rye crispbreads or soda bread, to serve
1. Make your dressing by mixing together the rapeseed oil, red wine vinegar, orange juice and honey. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside.
2. Arrange the smoked salmon on a platter.
3. Finely slice the radishes. Finely slice the cooked beetroot into thin rounds. Peel the shallot and finely slice.
4. Cut the orange in half. Peel one half and then slice the flesh into segments. Slice the other half of the orange, with the skin on, into segments and set aside.
5. Arrange the radish, beetroot, shallot and peeled orange segments on top of the salmon. Add dollops of the soft goat's cheese around the salmon. Arrange the fresh dill around the platter.
6. Just before serving, drizzle about two tablespoons of your dressing over the salmon. Serve the rest of the dressing on the side, alongside rye crispbreads or thick slices of soda bread, and the unpeeled orange segments for squeezing.
This week's storecupboard essential:
Crispbreads and Crackers: To me, Christmas means cheese and crackers. Recently I've been having trouble controlling myself around Peter's Yard crackers, in particular their Swedish-style sourdough crispbread crackers, made in the UK by a Swedish baker. Pick up a packet in Fallon & Byrne in Dublin or visit petersyard.com.