Home > 5 Star Foodie Makeover Cooking Group > Apple Challenge: Salmon Tartar, Forbidden Black Rice and Cider Gastrique

Yes, apple is present everywhere in this dish!

I always try to take the theme of these challenges to some place different … some place unexpected. I knew immediately it would be featured in a savory dish: (1) for the obvious reason that I’m not a dessert-maker and (2) I love the yin and yang of sweet and savory.

You might think at first glance that this is complicated or fancy, but it’s really very simple.

Apple (either peeled, unpeeled, raw, cooked and/or liquefied) is in each part of this dish.

I was planning to use Fuji Apple. It seemed like the right choice for the Asian flavor profile. But, in the end, I chose to go with the Granny Smith variety. It’s crisper, slightly tart and its bright color plays better with (against?) the other ingredients in the dish.

•     •     •

I may not be a perfect cook, but this is a perfectly balanced dish.

A little sweet, a little heat,
some acid and a dash of saltiness play with your palate.
The aromatics of ginger, sesame oil and cilantro tickle the nose.
Nutty and chewy rice as well as
raw and cooked components provide the textural counterpoints.

Apple Salmon Tartar
• Finely chop partially frozen wild organic Scottish salmon; refrigerate.
• Juice fresh lime, add a splash of fish sauce, soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar; set aside.
• Finely mince apple and mix with a little jalapeno, chives, grated ginger and cilantro; toss with prepared lime juice.
• Add salmon to the mix; season with a little sea salt and a dash of sesame oil.
• Serve immediately.

Forbidden Black Rice with Apple
Black rice is available in some supermarkets, specialty stores and/or online.
• Finely chop apple, green pepper, scallion, and garlic.
• Saute a few minutes to slightly soften.
• Remove from heat and add a splash of rice vinegar, a dash of mirin, a little soy sauce, a drizzle of sesame oil; set aside.
• Cook black rice with standard 2-1 method; set aside to cool and dry completely.
• When cooled down, toss with reserved apple mix.

Cider Gastrique
The raw apple in the tartar was much more evident than the cooked apple in the rice, but the gastrique brought it all together. It was made by pureeing a few slices of skinless apple with apple cider vinegar, anise seed, brown sugar and a little oil.

Use a metal mold to assemble first the rice, then the salmon.

Finishing Touch: Drizzle gastrique, add sriracha dot for a little extra heat (and color).

Wine Pairing
It paired well with a Spanish blend of Albariño and Chardonnay … not too acidic, not too heavy … again, a perfect balance.

I love doing these monthly challenges. In fact, I’d happily do them twice a month! Thanks, once again, to Natasha and Lazaro for coming up with fun themes and all the work that goes into the behind-the-scenes organization. A round-up of everyone’s dishes will be published Friday. Can’t wait!

43 Comments, RSS

  • Victoria

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Really beautiful dish! I love all the bright colors and your use of apple throughout each component of the dish. Very well done 🙂
    Victoria recently posted..5 Star Makeover: Apple Cinnamon Bread and French ToastMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 9:05 am

      Thank you Victoria. I look forward to seeing yours.

  • liz

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Great ingredients making a great presentation.

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 9:05 am

      Thanks. It was really fun (and super tasty).

  • Faith

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Really lovely dish, Joan. All the flavors and textures you’ve layered together look wonderful!
    Faith recently posted..Lazy Sauerkraut Pierogi Casserole {With Apple}My Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Thanks! I’m on my way over to see your pierogi casserole.

  • Platanos Mangoes & Me!

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

    A really beautiful dish Joan and the plate and plating perfect.
    Platanos Mangoes & Me! recently posted..MOFONGO DE MANZANA – APPLE MOFONGOMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Thanks, amiga. I’m off to check out your apple mofongo.

  • bellini

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

    This is certainly a very creative dish Joan. Apples are overflowing from the markets right now.

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

      I bet you get some really good ones in your neck of the woods. Totally unrelated, but I notice when I find yellow cherry tomatoes in the market that they’re from Canada.

  • Flavors of the Sun

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 9:59 am

    How original (of course, of course) and how very pretty. You have knocked it out of the park once again, Joan!
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Mexican Fiestas, el Mes de la Patria, and a RecipeMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks, I really do appreciate your feedback!

  • Erica

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

    What a beautiful dish,Joan!Love all the colors and textures and presentation is amazing! Great job!
    Erica recently posted..Lentil Patties or Meatless BurgerMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks for the visit and your comment.

  • Abigail (aka Mamatouille)

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Your food is art!

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      So sweet of you to say. (blush, blush)

  • Shannon

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    oh my gosh, what a great dish!! in presentation, combination of flavors and textures, and i can only imagine the taste as well 🙂
    Shannon recently posted..Peach ShortcakeMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks Shannon – I’m anxious to see yours and what everyone else did for the challenge.

  • Robin Sue

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Wow, I am blown away. When one says apples I think of all things typically apple. My mind would have never gone here. You are a true chef and artist!
    Robin Sue recently posted..Let’s grab a PINT: snacking on the goMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you! ♡

  • Laz

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Love the thought process that went into the creation of this course. Color, flavor, textural contrast. A+++. And a wine pairing to boot.


    • Joan

      says on:
      September 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks mucho – you know I love these challenges!

  • 5 Star Foodie

    says on:
    September 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    A gorgeous presentation – I love the contrast of the black rice and light apples and salmon. The flavors are incredible here!
    5 Star Foodie recently posted..5 Star Makeover: Apples Tartare and Caramelized Apples with Scallop and Peanut Butter Coconut Milk NageMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 25, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Thanks, Natasha. I’m seeing a lot of creativity as members begin to post their dishes. It was a good challenge.

  • Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz

    says on:
    September 25, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    You outdid yourself here, gorgeous plating and every element is wonderful. I have had that rice before, liked it a lot.

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks – I look forward to seeing what you bring to our communal table.

  • A Canadian Foodie

    says on:
    September 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Looks gorgeous – would be fairly straightforward to make and a show stopper. The apple gastrique might need to be served in a small bowl along side. It sounded YUMMY!

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Yes, a small bowl alongside would be a good idea. Thanks for your comment.

  • Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    says on:
    September 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Beautifully presented, beautifully explained or should I say DECONSTRUCTED? A work of art – I wish I was there to take a chuck off! You shine at these challenges Joan!

    chow 🙂 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors recently posted..A Blue Plate Special ~ Salmon & Vegetable Loaf with Lemon-MayoMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Thanks Dev. You’re welcome to stop by and chuck off any time!

  • Lori Lynn

    says on:
    September 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Wow Joan, way to rock the challenge!
    Love the color, flavor, presentation.
    Serious and smart incorporation of apple.
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Pappardelle ~ Apple, Fig, Pistachio, Mint, Saffron CreamMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 28, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Thanks, LL. I really enjoyed this challenge and was pleased with the outcome. Can’t wait to find out the theme for next month!

  • Rosa

    says on:
    September 28, 2012 at 3:47 am

    A beautiful dish and combination! Forbidden rice is so great. Love its taste and color.



    • Joan

      says on:
      September 28, 2012 at 8:55 am

      I so agree. I’ve also been using green bamboo rice. They sure make for winning looking plates.

  • FreeSpiritEater

    says on:
    September 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Joan, this recipe is so inspiring! Wow! Congratulations on once again bringing the challenge to a whole other level. Bravo!

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you. It’s a good group to be in!

  • deana sidney

    says on:
    September 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

    As you say, a perfectly balanced dish. I love forbidden rice. It has so much personality and can imagine it shining with that apple gastrique.
    you’ve done great work with the apple challenge… bravo!
    deana sidney recently posted..Dennis Sever’s House, London and Victorian Apple Fritters with Caramel Ice CreamMy Profile

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)

    says on:
    September 30, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Having an apple orchard, I am always looking for new dishes to prepare featuring apples. This sounds wonderful.

    • Joan

      says on:
      September 30, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Thank you — and lucky you, having an apple orchard!

  • Trix

    says on:
    October 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    You are right, this does seem perfectly balanced … which, in my book, does indeed make you a perfect cook! ; )
    Trix recently posted..Ice Cider Cocktail with Spicy Chile Apple ChipsMy Profile

    • Joan

      says on:
      October 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      Hah! Thanks – that is a ‘perfect’ comment!! 🙂

  • angela@spinachtiger

    says on:
    October 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Wow Joan. This one was a home run. Love the salmon with the apple.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Apple & Grape Tart, for a Beautiful Holiday Pie TableMy Profile

  • Laurie

    says on:
    October 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    What a fun challenge Joan. I love apples and salmon together.. what a lovely pairing. Yes.. the yin and yang of savory and sweet is my fav!

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