We were discussing our gardens at work the other day, when Renai mentioned she had a whole heap of beetroot growing, and no idea what to do with it. On hearing that I still had to make beetroot salad (p175) she offered me some, which I accepted very readily.
I came home today with a bag of Renai's lovely fresh beetroot, gave them a quick scrub before putting them on to boil - roots and base of stalks attached. These were going to take a while to cook, which fit in quite nicely with cooking the soused fish (p118) I intended to serve with it.
If I were following the soused fish recipe correctly, I should have got a whole fish and cut it into steaks. I didn't see the point in that (how long would it take me to eat that many fish steaks?) so I figured I'd just buy a single fish steak and cook it in the same way. Salmon was one of the suggested fish, and salmon steaks aren't hard to come by, are they?
Well, I couldn't find any at the local supermarkets. Not this week, anyway. I wasn't in the mood to go traipsing all over town for a particular ingredient, so I just got a salmon fillet instead.
A quick Google search has given me a rough definition of 'sousing': it means 'to pickle or drench in liquid'. That's pretty much what I did here - placing the fish in a casserole dish, then covering with water and adding vinegar, herbs, salt and peppercorns, before putting it in a low oven for an hour or so (the recipe is for 1 1/2 hours, but it's also for a whole fish worth of steaks. I figured one hour would be plenty for a single fillet).
Oops: I just noticed that the fish was supposed to be covered while cooking. Oh well, too late now.
When the fish came out of the oven, I let it cool a little, the removed it from the cooking liquid (it doesn't say whether to do this or not; I just figured it would chill quicker) and placed it in the fridge. That's right: this fish is to be served cold.
Around the same time as I took out my fish, I took the beetroot off the heat. They looked like they were cooked - the skins seemed loose and wrinkly, which was a good sign.
I drained the beetroot, and as soon as they were cool enough, I began to slip off the skins. They came off without difficulty - a definite improvement on previous attempts. When the skins, roots and stalks were removed, I had a bowl of tidy-looking little bits of beetroot - and hardly any purple splatters around my kitchen!
I cut the beetroot into wedges, then added the other ingredients: chopped spring onion, parsley, sugar dissolved in boiling water, salt and pepper, and a generous slosh of malt vinegar. I quickly tossed these together, and put the salad in the fridge to cool.
A little while later, I served myself up some of the salad, and about half of the salmon fillet, adhering strictly to the recipe with a garnish of lemon and parsley.
The salad didn't look quite as colourful, now that the beetroot had bled a reddish tinge into the spring onion, but that didn't matter: it was really pleasant to eat. The The beetroot was soft and tender, and the dressing was tangy, but not overpowering. Come to think of it, I might put some beetroot in my garden next year!
And the salmon? You'd think it would be weird, eating cold fish, but it's not. It's actually quite tasty - moist and juicy with a slight hint of vinegar. One part of my fish was slightly dry; this was the thickest part from the centre that wasn't quite covered with water during the cooking. Next time (yes, I might make this again) I'll make sure all the fish is totally immersed - and let's not forget the casserole dish is supposed to be covered durng the cooking, too! I also think it'd be better to chill the fish in the cooking liquid, instead of taking it out.
Popular posts this week
After several days of variations on the chilli con carne theme, I decided it was time for a change. I put the remaining chilli in the free...
There's a recipe in the 'breakfasts' chapter for Creamoata (p155). I hadn't given much thought to this, but I had a vague id...
Pumpkin soup (p89) was an obvious recipe to be making during my budget challenge; pumpkins are particularly cheap at the moment. Even so, ...
I've been on holiday this past week. I don't mean I've been off gallivanting around somewhere exciting, merely that I haven'...
On Tuesday, Mum made an impromptu visit to Chch to help me sort out some alterations on my bridesmaid's dress. When I got the text sa...
I got a text from Lauren last week, inviting me to a 'spag bol and pilsner' party for Tom's birthday. On hearing that spag bol a...
Or ex-neighbour, actually: today my old neighbour Vera came to have a look around my new place. Since I love showing off my little house, I ...
Coq au vin (p148): a French recipe from the collection of international dishes. I gather that this can be roughly translated as 'chicken...
I'd hurriedly got a chicken breast out of the freezer before I left for work this morning, but when it came to making tea tonight, I cou...
Back when I'd finished my first 100 recipes, I wrote an entry listing my ' top 10 ' so far. I'd actually intended to do thes...