Food for Thought: Fresh Green Peppercorns for a Light Meal
For most of us, buying fresh green peppercorns is uncommon. We’re used to buying black and white pepper or whole peppercorns. While I would usually suggest you buy whole white or black peppercorns (and roast and grind them yourself) this week’s recipe uses green peppercorns, which are unripe black peppercorns.
So what are the differences between black, white and green peppercorns? To start, all come from the pepper plant, piper nigrum. The plants produce berry-like fruit (the peppercorns), which ripen from green, to red and finally brown. Peppercorns are harvested at various stages of maturity.
Black pepper — the world’s most traded spice — is a whole red peppercorn that has been dried and has strong and pungent flavor. It is one of the most common spices added to European cuisine and is ubiquitous in the modern world as a seasoning, most commonly paired with salt. White pepper consists of ripe peppercorns with the outer husk removed. It is the most common peppercorn used in Asian cuisine.
Green pepper consists of unripe peppercorns, which are usually sold dried or pickled in vinegar or brine. I adore green pepper. It has light, pungent flavor and is more fruity than other forms. It also has a touch of sweetness. Surprisingly, it is very easy to buy in local supermarkets. Green peppercorns are a common ingredient in French cooking, such as in fish terrines and some salads.
For this week’s recipe, I have prepared a very simple dish but it’s full of flavor: Pan-fried salmon with green peppercorns. Enjoy!
Salmon fillet with green peppercorn
This fish dish is so easy to prepare and can be served simply with your favorite mixed salad. To make it a full meal I serve it with silky mashed potatoes and stir-fried vegetables, such as button mushrooms, broccoli and cherry tomatoes. But feel free to use your favorite vegetables. There is no sauce for this dish but you will be surprised how tasty it is.
4 x 125 gram salmon fillets or any fish such as tuna, red or white snapper; juice of 2 limes; 2 tablespoons fresh green peppercorns or green peppercorns in brine; salt to season; 4 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil.
For the mashed potatoes:
700 grams of butter potatoes, 100 grams of butter; 100ml milk, salt to season.
For the vegetables:
50 grams of button mushrooms, sliced to a thickness of abour ½cm; 150 grams of broccoli, cut into florets and blanched; 50 grams cherry tomatoes, cut into halves; 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped finely; 3 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil, salt and black pepper to taste.
- First prepare the mashed potatoes. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks.
- Place potatoes in a pan with just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil then cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender, drain.
- Put the potatoes into a blender, add the butter and process until silky and smooth. Transfer into a new pan and add the milk, reheat and keep warm.
- For the vegetables, simply stir-fry all the vegetables with garlic for 4-5 minutes and keep warm.
- To prepare the fish, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Season the fish with salt and lime juice. Place the fish fillets into the pan. While the fish is cooking, crush the green peppercorns and season with salt. After 4-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish, turn each over and sprinkle with crushed green peppercorns. Cook for an extra 2-3 minutes.
- Make sure all the food is hot. To serve place one tablespoon of mashed potatoes, some vegetables and a fillet fish on each serving plate. Serve immediately.
The post Food for Thought: Fresh Green Peppercorns for a Light Meal appeared first on The Jakarta Globe.
Source: The Jakarta Globe