Salmon Supper for Parents

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There has been an incident at my house. The equilibrium of our middle class lives has been shattered. My mum has sprained her ankle. It is the biggest news of the year. The ground troops have been called in for back up, i.e. me. My first good turn (a brownie guide must do three good turns everyday) as substitute woman of the house was to cook everyone dinner. Sound easy, not so. My dad had been instructed to buy Salmon, easy dinner she thought. My first thought was salmon tacos with guacamole, roasted peppers and rice. My dad doesn’t really like Mexican. So then maybe a nice warm salmon salad with grilled courgette. He doesn’t really like salad either. Basically give my dad an overcooked pork chop with overcooked veggies and boiled potatoes and  he will be happy, he’s old-fashioned that way. The recipe I came up with is traditional with a twist. It was completely made up but I think it works. It is not the cheapest dish in the world but for entertaining or pleasing fussy parents it is perfect.

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By far the easiest way to cook salmon, or any fish in fact, is in a tinfoil parcel, in the oven. You don’t get the crispy skin that frying would give but on the other hand the fish will not dry out, it stays lovely and flakey. If this recipe looks a little complex/ pricey for you you could equally make the risotto on it own but I would add a little grated parmesan and perhaps some int to give it more depth of flavour. You could also save money by using less salmon and at the last minute, just before adding the veggies, stirring it into the risotto. This is a bit less fancy but equally delicious!

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Oven Baked Salmon with Courgette and Runner Bean Summer Rissotto Serves 4

  • 4 nice salmon fillets
  • Half a large lemon
  • Half an onion
  • One small courgette
  • 4 runner beans
  • About 150g risotto rice (one handful per person)
  • A jug of chicken stock
  • A dash of white wine if you have some open.
  • A spoon of cream.
  • Thyme

   How To Make It……

  • Start by sorting out the salmon. Lay the salmon on a large square of tinfoil. Drizzle it with sunflower or veg oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over a teaspoon of dried thyme or add a few sprigs of fresh thyme if you have it (I didn’t). Add a couple of nobs of butter and a couple of slices of lemon. Cover with another sheet of tinfoil and fold the edges together so that it becomes a parcel. Make sure to leave space for the steam to circulate inside. Pop the fillets in the oven at 180 degrees they should take around 20-25 minutes depending on the size.
  • Now make a basic risotto: dice the onion, it doesn’t matter what colour it is, and soften in a pan with a glug of oil. Add the risotto rice, as I said, I used about a handful per person, it does’t need to be a lot as it is not the main event. Squeeze in the rest of the lemon but leave a bit for the end. Add a splash of wine and stir until all the liquid has evaporated.
  • Now add your first bit of stock and stir until it evaporates, continue this process, you do not need to stir it consistently but you must keep an eye on it. Once you have used about half the stock put in a third of the courgette in small cubes.
  • Make the rest of the courgette into ribbons using a peeler and thinly slice the runner beans. When the rice is nearly ready turn off the heat and add a dollop of cream, the rest of the lemon juice, a pinch of thyme, some salt and pepper and the thinly sliced veggies. stir everything through then add a tiny bit more stock or hot water and leave with the lid on for two minutes.
  • If the salmon is already ready take it out of the oven and leave to rest in the tinfoil parcels until ready to serve.

Cost Rating ** I used 2 packets of Salmon fillets at £4.50, 1/2 a lemon costing 33p, half an onion costing 21p, one courgette costing 20p, half a pack of runner beans costing £1.50, 1/3 a pack of risotto rice costing £1.10, a chicken stock cube, dried thyme and a spoon of cream. Total cost: £10.60, £2.65 per head.

Washing up rating *** I used a knife, a chopping board, a pan, a wooden spoon, a measuring jug, a peeler and plates and knives and forks.

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