Delicious Ideas with Hot Smoked Salmon – Lettuce Boats
Nutritious and tasty, I love salmon. It’s a rich, oily fish full of vitamin B and D and in omega 3 fatty acids. So it’s good brain food as well as being protein rich. While it’s nothing like eating a sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream, Salmon isn’t the lowest calorie fish option though. But, I find that a little goes a long way – around 40g is enough to make me feel as if I have had a good lunch when mixed in with salads.
Hot smoked salmon differs from the thin slices of cold smoked salmon that you might be used to eating in a sandwich. Generally you’ll be sold a fillet and the hot smoking process makes the fish flakier and slightly firmer than a cold smoke. So it works very well used in something like these lettuce boats.
I’ve been doing a mixture of buying and reviewing fish from DelishFish in Scotland for some years now. It’s a fifth generation, family run business in Peterhead, right by the fish market. They sell online and through two retail outlets and, having bought their fish from the market there, they then prepare it all in house. I can remember John Milne, the owner, telling me that he hated fish as a child because of the bones. He now takes great care when he’s preparing fish to make sure that the individual labelled packs he sells are as free from bones as possible. And, I love the fact that everything comes packed in individual portions – perfect for a small household.
John also hot smokes his own fish. The hot smoked salmon he sells is unlike anything else I’ve ever tried and although he sells it with no added flavouring, he also has a small range where the fish has been smoked with ingredients like Thai Chilli, Orange and Drambuie and a Honey Roast salmon. The latest is a Sweet Mustard smoked salmon, a limited edition, which I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to sample. I wanted to make a dish which didn’t overwhelm the fish but which added a few complementary flavours and textures. And, I wanted something that was relatively low calorie!
I suspect the idea of making lettuce boats comes from eating these as canapes somewhere. Certainly if you pick out the smaller leaves to use, they could make a pretty dish to accompany a cocktail party. You could vary things a bit by using chicory too, though I suspect that might work a bit better with the sweeter, honey roast salmon. I’ve added a light, lemon pickled fennel for a bit of crunch and a dressing of creme fraiche with a little more mustard. We had a couple each as a starter and I liked them so much I made them again the next day, for my 5:2 fast lunch. They are ultra simple to put together and perfect for a hot summer’s day.
Do they work for the 5:2 diet? Well, it does, of course, depend on how you make them and how many you eat. 250g of salmon was enough for me to make 10 of these, and works out at about 50 calories each. Two made a good starter and three was a light lunch with a little extra tomato and cucumber salad
Disclosure: I was sent samples of fish from Delish Fish. All content is editorially given.