All I have to say is YUMMMM!!! This has to be the best dish I've attempted so far. However, I think I liked it so much because it was quite challenging. From the recipe, the ingredients read like a J.R.R Tolkien novel, long and confusing. Each step was time consuming, but yet so enjoyable. And I just absolutely loved bringing the whole thing together at the very end. It was like building a piece of art. With each step needing a steady hand and careful consideration....or am I over thinking this? But in the end it was just oh so nice to eat the thing and be left with the pile of dirty dishes. All I need is that dish fairy I've been asking Santa for some many Christmas's.
So lets start from the start. I cheated, yep....I cheated. The whole time I've been attempting this challenge I promised that I would strictly stick to the original recipe, in order to give it full respect. But on this occasion I wavered. Instead of using Ocean trout, I used Rainbow trout. Not a massive sin I know, but quite different in taste and texture. I had gotten some farmed rainbow trout from a workmate and thought this would be a perfect recipe to use the trout with. To tell the truth, this worked really well. The subtle taste was tantalising on the palate. Considering there were so many ingredients in the dish, if something was fuller flavour than another component it would have overshadowed the dish and ruined it.
I can see how someone could really dislike this dish though. It was extremely fishy, which I actually like. But if you have an aversion to seafood, or the smell of fish, this is probably not the dish for you. The main culprit of the fishy flavour is the salted cod. I used much less than the recipe called for, simply because I knew just how salty it could be. But I thought it worked well. There was no need for extra salt, the cod supplied more than enough.
I love the translucent texture of the salted cod when you slice it very thinly. If you hold it up to the light you would be able to see straight through it. I don't know why you would do such a thing, but its always good to know, especially when you get into those unexpected dinner party conversations.
Dinner party conversation:-
Me: "Did you know salted cod is almost see through when sliced thinly?"
Host: "Is that right? tell me more"
Another aspect of the dish that I really enjoyed was the herb mayonnaise. I adore basil, in fact I always joke that when I get married, I will have a bunch of basil as my bouquet when walking down the aisle, but somehow I think it would wilt before reaching the other end, but think how delicious I would smell! Anyway I lost the point. The herb mayonnaise was delicious.
Herb oil, after straining.
It was so easy to make and the flavour held a massive punch. Drizzled across the plate like this is both pretty and practical. It helped to cut through the fishy flavour, and added a dimension of summer, even though we are dead smack in the middle of autumn. I will make this mayonnaise over and over again.
So here are the construction pictures, from the foundation, up.
Step 4: Finish plating by adding rest of ingredients and expertly drizzling mayo onto plate
Step 5(Not shown): EAT!
The only criticism I had is that this dish was pretty expensive to create, at about $15 per serve, despite my frugal shopping skills. It might be due to some of the ingredients being out of season, which I know is a no no. But I think I made up for this by re-using and recycling. I HATE throwing perfectly good food away. I would rather put on a few kg's before throwing something edible away. So the left over herbs from the herb oil was transformed into a Pesto sauce for pasta...yum yum, and the left over mayo, which there was quite a bit of, turned into the most amazing potato salad. I mean it was FANTASTIC! Best potato salad ever. It was just potatoes, this mayo and same freshly chopped parsley, simple and delicious. I have a craving for it right now!
I'm loving this challenge, I seriously get to eat restaurant food at home at a fraction of the price, and I get to have so much fun doing it! Bring on the next one!