vegetable oil, for greasing
250g/8¾oz smoked salmon slices, each slice cut into a 7.5cm/3in disc using a chefs' ring (trimmings reserved)
250ml/8¾fl oz fresh fish stock (see above)
150ml/5½fl oz double cream, whipped until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 lemon, juice only
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the pickled cucumber, place the cucumber halves into a large dish and sprinkle over the salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water and drain well. Chop the cucumber into thin half-moon slices and place into a clean dish.
Mix together the sugar, white wine vinegar, coriander seeds and black peppercorns until well combined. Pour the mixture over the cucumber and set aside for 2-3 hours.
Meanwhile, for the fish stock, place the fish bones, onion, fennel, parsley stalks, garlic and bay leaf into a large pan. Pour over the dry vermouth and white wine and then add enough cold water to completely cover the fish bones.
Bring the fish stock mixture to a simmer over a high heat. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, then skim off any foam that has collected on the surface of the liquid with a skimmer or slotted spoon. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming as necessary.
Strain the stock through a sieve and discard the fish bones and vegetables (reserve the strained liquid).
Stir the gelatine leaf into the warm fish stock until dissolved.
For the smoked salmon mousse, grease a baking tray with oil and lay the salmon discs onto it. Grease the inside of four 7.5cm/3in chefs' rings with vegetable oil.
Blend the remaining smoked salmon trimmings in a food processor until smooth, then push through a sieve, reserving the salmon purée.
Fold the salmon purée into the whipped cream until well combined. Add the warm fish stock and gelatine mixture and mix until well combined. Add the cayenne pepper and lemon juice, then season, to taste, with freshly ground black pepper.
Place the greased chefs' rings over four of the salmon discs (reserve the remaining smoked salmon discs). Spoon the salmon mousse mixture into the chefs' rings on top of the salmon discs so that the salmon disc forms a base. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a bowl, mix together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined.
For the prawn tempura, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180C. Alternatively, heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and cornflour. Gradually whisk in the sparkling water until the batter mixture is smooth and has the consistency of double cream.
Dip the king prawns into the batter, then carefully lower the coated prawns into the hot oil. Fry the prawns for 1-2 minutes, or until the batter is crisp and golden-brown and the prawns are pink. Remove from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
To serve, place one salmon mousse into the centre of each of four serving plates. Carefully remove the chefs' rings. Top each with one of the remaining discs of smoked salmon, then place one tempura prawn on top of each. Wrap the pickled cucumber around the salmon mousse. Sprinkle over the dill. Serve a handful of mixed salad leaves in each of four separate serving bowls and drizzle over the dressing.
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James Lewis takes on Mark Franks as they visit an auction in the Norfolk town of Diss.
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