RECIPE: Smoked salmon with Soda Bread, Sorrel and Cress

Northern Irish food straight from The Great British Menu

Award-winning chef Richard Corrigan took on the Northern Irish mantle for the 2006 series of The Great British Menu, with this smoked salmon starter making it into the final. He lets CNI in on his secrets.

Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

Ingredients

For the Irish soda bread

100g / 3½ oz wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
100g / 3½ oz self-raising flour
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
50g / 2oz jumbo oat flakes
25g / 1oz wheatgerm
25g / 1oz wheat bran
10g / ¼ oz salt
75g / 3oz (approx 5 tbsp) runny honey
25g / 1oz (approx 1¾ tbsp) black treacle
225ml / 14fl oz buttermilk (or milk soured with lemon juice if you can't get buttermilk)

For the blini mixture

85g / 3oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 free-range whole egg
1 free-range egg yolk
150ml / 5fl oz milk
115g / 4½ oz warm, cooked mashed potato
knob of butter
25g / 1oz St Killian cheese, or other similar soft cream cheese

For the salmon and woodland sorrel

50g / 2oz woodland sorrel
50g / 2oz wild cress
25ml / 1fl oz olive oil
½ lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g / 1lb 2oz wild smoked salmon

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
2. First make the soda bread. Put all the soda bread ingredients into a large bowl and mix by hand to make a soft dough.
3. Using floured hands, shape the dough into two equal oval shapes and place on a floured non-stick baking tray. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bread soundS hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, make the blini batter. Put the flour in a bowl with the salt and the nutmeg and stir in the egg and egg yolk. Whisk in the milk, then fold in the cooked warm potato and the cheese. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge until ready to cook.
5. For the salmon and woodland sorrel, pick the woodland sorrel and wild cress by removing just the soiled end and washing in a little salted water. Leave to dry on kitchen towel, then place in a bowl. Just before serving, dress the leaves with the olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. To cook the blinis, heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Add spoonfuls of the blini batter and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. This will make eight blinis.
7. To serve, cut the smoked salmon into 2cm / ¾in slices and arrange three slices on each serving plate. Add two blinis to each and dress the plates with the sorrel and cress. Slice the bread and serve alongside.

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