This beautiful, clean balanced fish dish from Owen Morgan at Asador 44, would make for a wonderful starter on Valentines day starter. It gives the wow factor, with a bit of forward planning, making you a professional chef at home using ingredients that are easy to find.


For the cured salmon:

Blitz the spices, salt and sugar together in a blender.
Mix with the cider to dissolve, then submerge the salmon in the curing liquor. 3 days will be needed for this, so plan ahead like any good partner!
Cover and refrigerate, then turn the salmon over once a day.
It is then ready to slice and serve.

For the crab meat:

Pick through the meat to double check for any shell. Simply season and add lemon to taste whilst mixing.

For the apple and fennel alioli:

For this you need your sharpest knife and best knife skills. You need to dice your apple and fennel into what’s called a brunoise, a very very fine dice. Slice some half of your apple into thin discs, then stack them together, and slice into thin matchsticks. Now slice the other way across them and keep them uniform and fine. Do exactly the same with your fennel.

To make your alioli, mix your garlic and salt paste with the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Very slowly, start adding the oils, a few drops at a time, whisking vigorously at the same time to emulsify the egg and oil. Keep doing this, slowly, making sure it doesn’t split. Soon you’ll be able to add a steady stream of oil whilst whisking. Keep going until you have a mayonnaise like consistency. Add your lemon juice to taste, which will thin the mix out slightly. Season to taste if necessary.
Now add your diced apple and fennel to the alioli, reserving some for garnishing the salmon should you wish. Also keep some fennel tops/fronds for garnish too.

And you’re ready to plate up and enjoy with an ice-cold Estrella Galicia beer.

Bar 44

Bar 44 was founded by Owen Morgan, in 2002. Having fallen in love with Spanish food, drink and culture over time, he wanted to bring his favourite tapas dishes and a slice of modern Spanish culture to the UK. Tom Maynard joined Bar 44 six years ago after working for Caprice group in London for 5 years; he is now Head Chef at Bar 44, Bristol. Their menu focuses on impeccably sourced ingredients served with modern touch and a lot of Spanish passion. Support Bar 44 during these times and buy a voucher to be used for a night to remember at one of their restaurants.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4-6 as a tapa


For the cured salmon:
½ a side of salmon, skinned and pin boned
375ml of Trabanco Asturian cider – or use the driest cider alternative
175g sea salt
175g caster sugar
1 tablespoon of toasted coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds

For the crab meat:
75g picked white crab meat
Juice of ½ a lemon
Season to taste

For the apple and fennel alioli:
1 Granny Smith apple
1 head of fennel
2 free range egg yolks
10ml lemon juice
½ clove of garlic, minced with sea salt
125ml light olive oil or rapeseed oil
75ml extra virgin olive oil
Season to taste
Zest of 1 lemon to garnish


Estrella Galicia

A traditional flavour of marked bitterness and refreshing aftertaste.

Available from: Waitrose, Wholefoods, Majestic, Co-op and Greene King online.