Have you heard about Macadamia Oil?
Macadamia oil is a delicious buttery, mild tasting oil that is mostly monounsaturated and low in the damaging saturated fats. This means it's healthy and you can eat lots of it!
When I got my package of yummy Brookfarm products recently, there was a bottle of Chilli Lime infused Macadamia Oil. It has a light nutty flavour that lets the chilli and lime through beautifully. It's great for salad dressings, drizzling over meats and even stirfrying as it has a high smoke point and won't burn easily.
Today I'm going to try something a little different, I'm going to use it to confit a salmon steak.
Confit is cooking something gently in oil or fat; it leaves the meat beautifully soft and delicate as the indirect heat wraps around it and seals the salmons natural moisture in. Don't be afraid of the oil. The fish won't soak it up or be unpleasant, it will drain off at the end and just leave a lovely lingering flavour.
I'm going to serve it with a green pawpaw salad for a great textural contrast, and some rice to complete the meal.
I got a lovely piece of salmon for my recipe. I left the skin on the fillet to help it hold together as it cooks and to protect it in case the bottom of the pot got a bit too warm. I also trimmed the thin end off as it would cook a lot quicker than the thicker part.
Place the salmon in a small pot and add enough olive oil to almost cover. Top up with a quarter cup of lovely Macadamia oil and leave to infuse while you make the salad.
For the green paw paw salad, or you can use green mango instead, use a shredder tool that you can get from most cookware shops or asian grocers. This finely shreds hard vegetables so easily and quickly, that it's well worth investing the $15 or so in getting one.
Green Papaya Salad
3 handfuls of shredded green papaya
2 handfuls of shredded carrot
about 1 handful of green beans cut into batons
about 10 cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 large chilli
1 tab raw or palm sugar
2-3 tab lime juice
same amount of fish sauce
In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and sugar into a paste. Add in the chilli and bash away. Now add the beans and bruise, but don't smash. The idea is to use a hit and scoop action. Hit the vegetables with the pestle with your right hand, then scoop them up and turn them over with a spoon in your left hand. It's not as hard as it sounds, and you get a good rhythm going. Next add the papaya, then carrot. Lastly add the tomatoes, then the juice and fish sauce. Pound lightly a few more times to crush the tomatoes and to mix their juices and the other liquids through the salad.
Put the salmon on a gentle heat and slowly bring up the temperature. It should be just a bit too hot to leave your finger in comfortably. Place a lid on the pot and pull off the heat and leave for about 5mins to finish cooking. If there is only just enough oil, you can turn the fish over carefully first to make sure it's covered completely.
When the salmon is ready, put it on a rack over a tray to drain off the excess oil. You can also pat it gently with some paper towel if you like.
Now to plate up.
Remove the skin from the bottom of the fish, it's done it's job and isn't needed now. Yucky soft skin isn't pleasant at all. The fish is nice, soft and moist, with the subtle hints of lime and chilli just coming through. You can serve this hot or warm, I prefer it warm as I think the flavour is much better.
Place on a plate with the salad and rice. I topped this all off with some toasted macadamia nuts and a tiny last drizzle of fresh macadamia oil.