The velvety beet cured salmon looks so beautiful, almost like a jewel. That sparkle on top is a gin and cucumber sorbet. It contributes a cool fresh sensation to balance the richness of the cured salmon. A potato pancake forms the foundation of this delicious combo.
Wash around 4-5 medium beetroot, wrap in foil with a little olive oil, and roast for an hour at 200 degC. Alternatively, boil for 30 minutes.
When cool, slide the skins off the beetroot and grate.
Crush the coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle.
Grate the rind from the oranges.
In a bowl, combine the sugar, salt, coriander seeds, orange rind, pepper, and grated beetroot.
Lay the salmon fillet on a suitably sized tray, skin side down.
Pour the curing mixture on top of the salmon and distribute evenly.
Cover the salmon with some plastic wrap.
Put another suitably sized plate or tray on top of the salmon and way it down with something heavy (like a saucepan or a couple of cans of something). This will help press the moisture from the salmon.
Leave in the refrigerator for 48 hours.
Wash off the curing mixture and pat dry with paper towels.
Cucumber fennel and gin sorbet
Wash and finely dice the fennel bulb, green stalks and leafy bits included.
Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Stir in the fennel, remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
When cool, strain the fennel from syrup and discard the fennel.
Peel, de-seed, and chop the cucumbers. Add the cucumbers to a blender together with the syrup, lime juice, and gin. Blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (1 to 2 hours).
Add the cucumber mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to the unit’s instructions. If you have the cheaper variety, you will need to have put the ice cream maker bowl into the freezer 24 hours earlier.
After churning in the ice cream maker, transfer to a suitable container with a lid (wide and flat rather than tall and deep) and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degC.
Wash the potatoes, keeping the skin on.
Pat the potatoes dry, smear with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Pierce the potatoes a few times with a fork. This will allow steam to escape.
Bake the potatoes in the oven until done, about 50 minutes. They are done when piercing with a knife offers no resistance.
When the potatoes have cooled off a little, half them length wise and scoop out the flesh.
Use a potato ricer to mash the potato flesh. Alternatively, use a normal potato masher. Or even a fork. A potato ricer makes the lightest fluffiest pancakes.
Stir in the whisked eggs, flour, crème fraîche, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and parmesan.
Bring a skillet to a medium high heat and add the oil.
Drop in the pancake mixture, 2-3 Tbsp per pancake.
Cook until golden and crisp on the bottom, then turn over and do the other side.
Drain on paper towels.
Slice the salmon very thinly, leaving the skin behind.
Lay some salmon slices on top of a potato pancake.