We've been smoking salmon in our open smokehouse in Howth, for many years. Suffice to say, we like a bit of smoked salmon and we think that a quality ingredient, smoked with care and attention is just perfect on its own, but we do eat it in different dishes too. One the best meals, especially at weekends, is brunch. You're not tied in to a rigid time and there's a lot of flexibility about what to eat. Smoked salmon fits in well with brunch, so if you're thinking of treating yourself or impressing someone else it's a perfect ingredient. Here are a few simple ways of bringing fuss-free but impressive salmon brunches to the table.
Blinis, Ukranian or Russian pancakes, are an easy way to showcase salmon. You can make them with wheat or buckwheat flour and we've seen a range of recipes with oil or butter, some without and some with yeast and some without. Blini purists probably have a lot to say about the variations, but we're using blini in the broadest terms here. A classic blini brunch with cream cheese, chopped chives and topped with smoked salmon is tasty and not too complex. One of the quickest and simplest blini and smoked salmon recipes comes from BBC Good Food. You can make the blini batter in advance or put it together in minutes. Perfect with a side salad too.
Puff Pastry Cheats
Not everyone has the time or inclination to be making puff pastry, but if you have some shop bought pastry in the freezer, you can whip up a really simple smoked salmon dish in no time. You can go for a cream cheese topping or try some goats cheese with smoked salmon. Asparagus also features in a lot of recipes. We like this recipe featuring pesto, ricotta, asparagus and smoked salmon. All you need to do a quick mix and layering of ingredients. Most of the work is done by the oven. Puff pastry is versatile and great if you're short on time.
You Can't Go Wrong with Eggs
You really can't. Eggs are versatile, quick to cook and fit perfectly into any brunch. Our love of avocados isn't declining so here's a really simple SuperValu recipe for poached eggs, avocado and smoked salmon. It couldn't be easier and it's really tasty to boot. You can also make a simple omelette with smoked salmon on top or try out some really easy smoked salmon quiches, again using the trusty puff pastry from the freezer.
Impress with Home Rolled Sushi
As daunting as it may seem to some, a bit of homemade sushi can be delicious without being complex. You can also serve ingredients separately and people can try making their own, but if you fancy something different for brunch at home, sushi is great for making for friends. All the ingredients are readily available in the supermarket and you can make your smoked salmon sushi in advance, chill it and just plate it when you're ready to eat.
Classic Brown Soda Bread & Smoked Salmon
When we're eating our own Irish Organic Oak-Smoked Salmon, we often go for a really simple option. If you're eating a really good quality product, the taste shines through and doesn't need a lot of additional flavours. Possibly the best way to eat smoked salmon is with brown bread and brown bread you made yourself. A classic brown soda is really easy to make and there is nothing like it with a good smoked salmon and a squeeze of lemon. If you're unsure about getting the loaf shape right, you can put the mix in a loaf tin and let the oven do the rest.
Our favourite soda bread recipes come from two places; first is Odlums Brown Soda Bread Recipe which is a little more detailed but really delicious and has all the soda bread nostalgia. Our second choice is Paul Hollywood's Soda Bread. Its appeal comes from it being so easy to make. Just flour, buttermilk, baking soda and a little salt. This recipe is foolproof.
Once you start making soda bread at home, you won't stop. After a while you'll be able to switch up the recipe a bit to suit your own taste. Either way, we reckon you just can't beat good quality smoked salmon on a bit of homemade brown soda. It's our brunch winner.
Nicky's Smoked Salmon
Ours is the only Open Fire Smokehouse in Dublin and one of a handful remaining in Ireland. For over 40 years it’s been the glowing heart of Nicky’s Plaice, scenting the air with oak as we tend to the fire and balance its power with the rise and fall of the sea winds. It takes time and real commitment to smoke the finest salmon over an open fire the traditional way, but the result is a taste like no other salmon. That’s why our customers keep coming back to Nicky’s.
About Nicky's Plaice
We're a family run business on the West Pier in the Dublin fishing village of Howth. Opened in 1961 by fisherman Nicky McLoughlin, we've now three generations of the family working together to bring you the best in fresh fish and seafood, the best home smoked salmon and seafood snacks to go at weekends.