Sunday, June 10, 2007

Salmon noodle parcels with chilli, coriander and lime butter

This recipe is one I found in BBC Good Food Magazine ( and is ideal for a quick but delicious weeknight supper, or even worthy of serving at a casual dinner party. It caught my eye as it was part of a feature on flavoured butters and I just so happened to have some chilli, coriander and lime butter in the freezer which needed using up. Flavoured butters are so handy to have stored in the freezer or the fridge as they instantly perk up all sorts of plain dishes from grilled meats to steamed vegetables. In one book I have, it suggests they will keep for up to 9 months in the freezer (BBC Good Food suggest one month), but certainly they will last a good while and are an excellent standby.

So first, the butter...

250g/8oz unsalted butter, softened
1 large handful of chopped coriander
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice AND/OR the rind of 1 lime
Good pinch sea salt
Good grinding black pepper

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and whizz until well blended.

2. Scrape out the butter onto a square of foil or cling film and roll up like a sausage, securing the ends -

3. Refrigerate or freeze. Slice small rounds off the butter as and when needed.

Notes - this butter is delicious with corn on the cob, grilled chicken and most fish.

Other ways to flavour butter (thanks to 'Barbecue' by Eric Treuille and Birgit Erath as well as BBC Good Food for ideas)-

Garlic and parsley (5 crushed cloves, 1tbsp lemon juice, handful parsley)

Blue Cheese (use 4 oz and plenty of pepper but not salt). Great on steak.

Black olives (use 100g and some thyme leaves)

Basil, Parmesan and tomato (4tbsp grated Parmesan, basil and 1tbsp sun dried tomatoes).

Horseradish and chive (2 tbsp horseradish cream, lots of pepper, 2 tbsp chopped chives). Try with trout.

Onto the salmon dish -

Ingredients (for 2)

2 salmon fillets

100g/2oz rice noodles

2 handfuls of frozen peas (or fresh, when in season)

85g/3oz chilli, coriander and lime butter

3 spring onions

1. Pre-heat oven to 200C. Put noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 2 minutes until bendable but not too soft. Drain well. Add chopped spring onions, peas, salt and pepper and a third of the butter.

2. Mix until butter starts to melt (see notes).

3. Pile noodle mixture onto 2 large squares of baking paper and place salmon on top. Slice remaining butter and place on top of the salmon.

4. Make a parcel with the paper - bring both sides to the centre and fold, tuck ends under so there are no gaps.

5. Bake in the oven on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes - My local shop did not have regular rice noodles, only the ones that are already cooked and go 'straight to wok'. I was worried these would not be as good, but they were in fact excellent. Of course they were cold so I had to melt the butter before mixing in and then cooked the salmon for slightly longer as the dish did not have the initial blast of heat from the noodles.

If you have guests, I would recommend serving these in their parcels at the table as the aromatic fug that emanates upon opening the parcels is wonderful!

Wine Suggestions -

A nice fresh, aromatic sauvignon blanc from New Zealand or South Africa would work well here, as would a limey New World Riesling. We enjoyed it with a slightly herby, slightly off-dry rose from Bandol which was delicious

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