“Vietnamese Caramel Salmon” from “Dinner”

Kirstin: We have been away for the weekend, having an ace time in the Cotswolds, eating and drinking at all the pubs. And I mean ALL the pubs. So I have to say I was looking forward to some simple fish and salad. After finally finishing the unpacking I started to make this and you know when you just KNOW when you are making a recipe. Just KNOW that the recipe is a winner. This was the case with THIS recipe. All my favourite ingredients. Beautifully simple. And with salmon too. One of the reasons I adore this book is the wonderful use of jalapeño with everything and the other is the use of Turkish chile with everything else (or at least with the recipes I have chosen to make). She also uses skillets quite a lot which we don’t really use in the UK very often, but I am learning to figure it out (I made her caramelized lemon chicken yesterday but the picture was even worse than this one if you can imagine). So yes. Make this recipe. Add the jalapeño chillies. And enjoy. Again and again. You will love.

“Vietnamese Caramel Salmon” from “Dinner”

“Roasted Salmon Tacos” from “Cooking for Jeffrey”

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One of the things I love about this book already is that Ina Garten makes no apologies for using butter, cheese, double cream and other yummy things in her dishes. In a world full of “Clean Eating” tomes– particularly in January– Garten’s attitude is a breath of fresh air.

Saying that, this recipe doesn’t use any of those things. In fact, it might even be considered (whisper it) a little bit healthy. But I made it for my family anyway. It is January, after all, and while we’re not detoxing or dieting or doing anything similar, we still did have a lot of rich delicious meals over the holidays, so it’s time to reign it in somewhat.

The roasted salmon was delicious and easy. You get one large piece of salmon and cover it in chipotle chile powder and lime zest. Here in the UK, I couldn’t source chipotle chile powder, but I do have a chipotle sauce, so I used that instead. Then you roast it for 12-15 minutes. It’s super easy.

It’s a clever take on traditional tacos, using salmon like that. However, we were all less convinced by the coleslaw that went with it. No one really liked the shredded cabbage with cucumber and dill. (I didn’t mind it, but I was very much in the minority.)

When I make this again, I will again roast the salmon in chipotle, but I think I’d serve it with iceberg lettuce and maybe some tomatoes, like a traditional taco. The simple guacamole I made to go with it was also good.

 

To make this yourself, click through here to find the recipe on Redbook online.

“Roasted Salmon Tacos” from “Cooking for Jeffrey”

“Salmon with Tomatoes, Pea and Basil Puree” from “Simple: Effortless Food, Big Flavours”

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Maureen: FISH FRIDAY!

Andrew (17): This is absolutely delicious.

Nicholas (13): Yum.

Andrew: This is the best fish you’ve made in a long time.

Nicholas: I agree.

Maureen: I’m surprised you like it so much. I agree it’s great, but I don’t think it’s radically different from other fish I’ve done.

Andrew: I don’t know. It’s just really good.

Maureen: Well, one for the books then. We should definitely have this again if you like it so much.

Andrew: Yes. We definitely should.

If you’d like to make this yourself, the recipe can be found on Google Books by clicking through this sentence.

“Salmon with Tomatoes, Pea and Basil Puree” from “Simple: Effortless Food, Big Flavours”

“Lemon, Tumeric & Black Pepper Salmon” from “Sirocco”

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Fish Friday!

I have to admit, at the outset, that I wasn’t convinced by this one. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with turmeric, given that it once stained a favourite top of mine, and also left a stain on one of our tablecloths. I can appreciate that it tastes good, but I also feel a frisson of fear when it’s on the plate because I don’t want it to stain something else.

For this salmon dish, you make a paste with turmeric, lemon zest, black pepper and garlic olive oil and spread it over the top of the fish. In the book, Sabrina uses a whole side of salmon. I just used it on two large pieces instead because by the time I got to the fishmonger, they didn’t have any sides left. Also, a whole side would have been way too much food for the four of us, (even with two hungry teenage boys) so I just bought the two remaining pieces of salmon, knowing that I could make it work.

That’s one of the good things about this recipe: it’s adaptable. I made slightly less paste than was called for for the whole side, but the math I had to do there was really the most complicated thing about this dish. You make the paste. You bang it on the fish. You roast the fish for 22 minutes. Bam. You’re done. Next stop? Dinner.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of easy, interesting, healthy and delicious fish dinners for dinner. I can include this in that category, even with the inclusion of  turmeric. The adults loved it, but the teenagers were split. The younger teenager (who didn’t like it) *might* have been put off by the bring orange glow that came off the fish. That’s too bad. He was missing something.

I would also imagine that you could spread the turmeric-lemon paste over any white fish and you would get a similar (read: tasty) result. Something to think about the next time.

Would we eat this again? 75 percent of us would. Happily. That’s a percentage I can live with.

If you’d like to try this recipe, click through this paragraph to find it on A Little Bird blog. 

“Lemon, Tumeric & Black Pepper Salmon” from “Sirocco”

“Coconut and tamarind salmon curry with mustard seeds” from “My street food kitchen”

Kirstin: Salmon curry tonight! Daddy’s away so it’s just us. What do we think?

Ella: Mum has endeavoured to curry on with her endeavours to make us like salmon.

Kirstin: Seriously? A pun already?!? Why don’t you try it?

Miles: I don’t like it.

Ella: I really like it! Look, I’ve eaten loads.

Kirstin: It’s YUM! Would you eat it if I made it again because I’ve missed cooking with spices, so I’m totally up for this one.

Ella: Yes!

Miles: No.

Kirstin: Because you know salmon is good for you…

Miles: Why?

Kirstin: Gah! Let’s I’ll explain it another time.

“Coconut and tamarind salmon curry with mustard seeds” from “My street food kitchen”

“Salmon with Macaroni” from “A Year of Good Eating”

IMG_8101Fish Friday!

I have to say upfront that I made this dish with a fair amount of trepidation, since I made something similar (Crab Mac and Cheese*) from the last book and it was– not to put too fine a point on it– GROSS.

Things change, tastes evolve and people mature. Perhaps that’s what happened in this case, because believe it or not, we liked it.

Maybe it was the generous amount of double cream used. Maybe it was the salmon. Maybe it was because it was a cold winter’s night and we needed the stodge. Whatever the reason, it was a hit.

Easy. Yummy. Popular. I’m sure we’ll have this on Fish Friday again.

If you’d like to give a try yourself, click through this sentence to find the original recipe in The Guardian.

*If you go back and look at that post, you’ll see that I used the exact same serving dish.

“Salmon with Macaroni” from “A Year of Good Eating”

“Salmon, Avocado, Watercress and Pumpkin Seed Salad”

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Anna: I committed the schoolboy error of not reading the recipe properly before embarking on it. Well, truth be told I read it just in time. Frustratingly I had been working for over an hour, during which time the salmon could have been cooling (apparently this takes an hour after poaching and cooks the salmon through, according to Nigella). But having taken the recipe at face value I thought it was just an assembly of a few, easy to prepare, ingredients. Which is essentially what it is, apart from the salmon-cooling curve ball. So at 8.30pm I had to make a swift change of plan and postpone making this for a day. It was worth the wait. This is a proper bowlful of food. And by that I mean: it tastes good and healthy but is filling and delicious at the same time. We have had it twice in two weeks, and now I have read the recipe intro properly the cooling hour has been abandoned. Hurray!

“Salmon, Avocado, Watercress and Pumpkin Seed Salad”