Steamed Salmon and Ginger

Salmon has a richness to it that you don’t get with many other fish, and you don’t need that much to make a meal from it.  I do find that it needs a sauce to help cut through the richness and add to the flavour – this recipe caught my eye for both those reasons.  I also like the idea of cooking lettuce on a griddle pan (cooking salad ingredients seems like one of those things that you shouldn’t be allowed to do!).

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Other than using the griddle pan for the lettuce, everything else cooks in the steamer.  I always cook rice this way (I’ll be writing a blog post on this in the future) and it’s a real bonus that the fish can also be cooked in the same vessel.  I took a peeled 2cm piece of ginger and grated it into a bowl and added 4 sliced spring onions followed by 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce.  I then added 3 pieces of salmon (approx. 350g), gave it a mix and left it for 5 minutes.  I then poured this into a separate bowl that had been lined with cling film and wrapped the fish up to make a parcel which you then pop into the steamer.  The cling film has a dual purpose – it ensures the fish cooks in the sauce to maximise the flavour and prevents the cooking odours permeating your whole house!

I steamed the fish for 15 minutes and served it on top of the cooked rice – just use your normal rice-cooking method.  About two minutes before the fish was cooked I brushed the lettuce with olive oil and cooked it on a hot griddle pan.  This must have tasted alright because my youngest sprog – normally highly suspicious of salad-related foods – tried it!

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Cod wrapped in Prosciutto with Green Lentils

Mrs B sometimes tells me that this is her favourite meal.  If I haven’t cooked it for a while then she will regularly tell me that it is her favourite meal!  As a former vegetarian/pescetarian (and yes, I did spell it correctly first time) she often complains that we eat too much meat.  I sometimes struggle to think of ways to cook fish but this dish has always worked well.  I normally make it with pancetta, but on this occasion the shop had run out so we had prosciutto as a substitution which seemed to taste just as good.

DSCN1153 (2)This, along with dhal, is a pulses recipe I cook regularly and proves that you don’t need to do much with lentils to turn them into a delicious accompaniment to a meal.  I had a meal similar to this in a pub which had fish served with puy lentils.  I have tried this using puy but I find green lentils much easier to cook with.  As well as giving the meal a delicious flavour, the prosciutto also helps to prevent the fish from drying out too much in the oven.

Serves: 2 Adults + 2 kids

Ingredients:
Vegetable oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Tinned tomatoes (400g)
250g green lentils
450mls chicken stock
A chunk of butter (about 30g)
2 pieces of cod loin
6 slices of prosciutto

1. Chop the onion and fry gently in the oil until it starts to brown slightly. Then add the chopped garlic and the tomatoes and give it a bit of a stir.
2. Add in the lentils and the stock (I just made this from a stock cube) and stir. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat so that the lentils are simmering away and leave for 35 minutes. Cover and stir every ten minutes or so to check the lentils aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan (you might need to add a splash of water near to the end if it is looking a bit dry).
3. Whilst the lentils are cooking you can prepare the fish. Cut the loin up into portion sizes (I’m afraid I forgot to weigh the cod, but you can see from the picture how big they are). Wrap the cod in the prosciutto and place it on an oiled foil-lined roasting tin:

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4. I then roasted this in the oven (200oC fan) for 20 minutes – although it might take slightly more or less time depending on the thickness of the cod.
5. Right at the end I stir in the butter to the lentils to provide a little extra richness – after all the rest of the meal is healthy so why not?!

We had this with a nice Sauvignon Blanc (the boys having water of course!) DSCN1174which went really well with the flavours in the lentils.  You could probably cook the lentils for longer if you wanted but I like them to still be a bit firm.  If you are someone that likes the look of all those delicious products on the fish counter but never knows what to do with plain fish then I would say this is a great place to start.