During the Christmas holidays I had the great pleasure dining at my sisters mother-in-law. Not curious as I am 😇 I went to her kitchen to see what she would prepare for us. I was not disappointed. For about 15 guests she chose a very simple dish that impresses with the quality of the products and the presentation. An additional bonus is that you can prepare individual parts of it well in advance. There were Julienne vegetables, excellent potatoes and spinach served with a whole side of salmon. There was also an incredibly good horseradish sauce. Everyone was enthusiastic and even my sons helped themselves several times.
I immediately added this dish to my repertoire because I often receive larger groups of friends and this dish is simply wonderful for it. I tried it out on my French friends here in London in January. It was a complete success.
Cut and cook the Julienne vegetables the day before. You can take any vegetables you want. I chose carrots, swede and parsnips. I washed them, cut them into strips and boiled them in salted water. Then I let the vegetables drain and put them in a Tupperware in the fridge.
In the morning of my dinner I prepared the spinach as my mother always does. She calls this type of spinach à la Romaine. I thawed frozen spinach and squeezed out the water well. Then I fried the onions in a pan until glassy, added the pressed leaf spinach and seasoned well with salt, pepper and a vegetable stock cube. Then I added a dash of cream to make it a little creamier.
I also prepared the wonderful horseradish sauce that I have already posted on the blog.
In the afternoon I cooked the potatoes. Since I discovered the purple potatoes at Christmas thanks to a very good friend, I decided on those. They have a wonderfully nutty taste and a beautiful, very exotic color. So I boiled the purple potatoes, let them cool a little and then peeled them. You can also use normal potatoes.
I have a chafing dish for my dinner paeties, which is a warming device in a water bath. If you don’t have something like that you can take a large dish and arrange the salmon and vegetables in it. This does not detract from the presentation.
Just before I changed for my guests, I placed the Julienne vegetables in a little butter and put them in a bowl from the chafing dish, put the spinach on the other side, and then turned the potatoes in a little butter. I put the whole salmon side (without skin) on the spinach, covered it with lemon slices and pieces of butter and covered the whole with an aluminum foil. I didn’t put the dish in the fridge, but wanted the salmon side to come to room temperature before I placing the dish into the oven. This helps to significantly reduce the salmon’s cooking time. I baked my salmon side without skin at 180 °C for 25 minutes under the aluminum foil in the oven together with the vegetables. Of course you have to check regularly whether the salmon is cooked through. It would be a shame to overcook such a gorgeous piece of fish.
Then I placed the dish in the preheated chafing dish, added the excellent horseradish sauce and had a stress-free dinner without having had to get up again.
I have served wonderful light and easy vegetable soups as appetizer / starter.
As dessert the delicious Sachertorte with whipped cream decorated with marzipan pigs as good luck charms for the new year.
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