Smoked Salmon, Fennel, and Potato Hash
- 1 Pound russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- kosher salt
- 2 medium fennel bulb with their lacy stalks
- 0.25 cup olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 0.5 Pound hot-smoke falmon fillet, skin discarded and salmon flaked (see market note)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed (see cooking tip below)
- freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large saucepan filled two-thirds full with water to a boil. Add the potatoes and 2 tsp salt. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife but still hold their shape, about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside.
- Cut off the stalks from the fennel bulbs. Remove the thin lacy fronds and chop enough of them to make 2 tbsp; set aside. Reserve a few lacy sprigs in a glass of water for the garnish. Halve the bulbs lengthwise, and with a sharp knife, cut out and discard the tough triangular cores. Then chop enough fennel to yield 2 cups/260 g. Save any extra for another use.
- Add half of the olive oil to a large, heavy frying pan set over medium heat. Add the chopped fennel and onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same frying pan and, when hot, add the potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Return the fennel and onion to the frying pan and stir 1 minute to reheat. Add the flaked salmon and the crushed fennel seeds and cook 1 minute more. Season hash with more salt and with several generous grinds of pepper. Sprinkle with the reserved chopped fennel fronds.
- Mound the hash in a serving dish and garnish the center with some fennel sprigs. Serve warm.
There are two basic ways of smoking salmon--cool smoked and hot smoked. The former, usually sold thinly sliced, has a delicate smoked flavor and is readily available in many groceries. The hot-smoked variety is typically cut thicker, is firmer, and has an intense smoky flavor. Hot-smoked salmon is sold in some supermarkets such as Whole Foods, and comes plain and sometimes scented with light maple, pepper, or other seasonings. The plain or light maple-flavored varieties work well in this recipe.
To crush fennel seeds, place them in a self-sealing bag and pound with a meat pounder or rolling pin, or use a mortar and pestle. Or, use a small spice grinder and grind the seeds coarsely.
Recipe courtesy of Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings by Betty Rosbottom/Chronicle Books, 2012.