My friend Urs cooked me this exquisite dish when I was staying at the Hyatt in Adelaide, which was the place – you will remember if you have read the first half of this book – where I also had the waiters completely confused by having pie floaters and tomato sauce served up in my presidential suite.

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Ingredients

For the Champagne Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons fish stock
  • 4 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 225 g (8 oz) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • 4 tablespoons champagne or sparkling wine (Australian, of course)
  • 1 kg (2 lb) salmon trout (sea trout) fillet, cut diagonally into 1 cm (½ pint) thick escalopes, or use 4 × 175–200 g (6–7 oz) fillets
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 225 g (8 oz) beansprouts
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • 50 g (2 oz) salmon caviar (optional)

Method

First, make the sauce. Put the fish stock and wine in a pan and simmer together until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cold butter, a little at a time. Stir in the cream and reheat very gently, preferably over a pan of simmering water. Add the champagne or sparkling wine just before serving.

To cook the fish, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the trout escalopes and cook quickly on both sides – about 2 minutes in total. If cooking fillets, allow 5–8 minutes, depending on their thickness. Transfer to a warmed serving dish. Briskly Stir-fry the beansprouts for a few seconds and serve with the fish. Pour the sauce round and garnish with lime zest and salmon caviar, if using.

Did you know that some famous French champangne growers own vast tracts of Austrialian vineyards?

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