November 23rd, 2008


Salmon chanted evening

A tasty, easy, relatively quick & reasonably nutritious meal based on cheap stuff from the Co-op and storecupboard stuff:

Take 4 salmon steaks and put them in an ovenable dish with 1 fennel bulb (sliced), some crushed garlic, some of a lemon (juice squeezed over the fish and squeezed-out skins thrown in as well) and about half a pint of stock (half a veggie oxo cube). Stick it in the oven for 25 minutes at 180°C. Serve with green beans and couscous.

We drank: Cairn o'Mohr Autumn Oak Leaf wine.

A few notes about prices and availability, for posterity/interest/whatever:

The salmon steaks were £5 for the pack in the Co-op. I was sort of intending it to be enough to do for another day (or maybe for my lunch tomorrow) but we were both hungry and before we knew it we'd eaten the lot (omnomnomnom). Fennel was half price (49p) and green beans were reduced to 99p for the pack (I used about half of them), though I only realised later that they were from Kenya so a bit of a bad move on the food-miles front there. Couscous was in the cupboard and I can't remember how much it cost but it lasts forever and goes with everything. Garlic and oxo are things I always have in; I had to buy the lemon (I wish lemons lasted longer; I do freeze lemon slices for drinks, maybe I should freeze half-lemons for throwing in soups and fish stuff).

I'd forgotten we had the wine, but I found it when I was looking for some white wine & today was definitely autumnal. It was quite strong, dry in flavour but not in feel (if you see what I mean) and while it probably wasn't the best thing for that meal it was certainly tasty.

And some general related rambling:

We had salmon a bit like this when my mum and I went to visit Mémé and Pépé (my grandma and grandad) last week, only with onion instead of the fennel, and potatoes and various salads as accompaniment. That's Mémé's idea of a small quick lunch. (She loves salmon and often cooks it for us when we visit; when I was younger I remember she sometimes used to do a whole salmon with prawns and lettuce around the outside. It was amazing, display food but delicious as well.) After lunch Pépé was reminiscing about how when they were first married, Mémé had made a different meal every single night for a year ("bah, it was only really for the first 6 months", she chipped in). That was in 1950. I don't think I could make a different meal every night for a month without resorting to recipe books (unless you count "pasta and X", for every sensible value of X, as different meals), and I don't have rationing to contend with.

I don't aspire to being able to cook fancy food or invent innovative combinations of ingredients; all I really want to be able to do is what my parents and my grandmother did before me and still do now: make tasty and healthy food with which to feed a family. I'm still learning, slowly.