Eats, Shoots & Reads

Eats #2: Zing, Zing, Zingy…

Ingredients: [Sauce] sprig of fresh rosemary, 5 anchovy fillets in oil, juice of half a lemon, extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper. [Other] 2 x 200g salmon fillets, olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, 250g purple sprouting broccoli.

Note: I reduced the ingredients by half to serve 2 people.

Difficulty: 2/5
Rating: 5/5

Yesterday I cooked “Pan-roasted salmon with purple sprouting broccoli and anchovy-rosemary sauce” (page 213, Cook with Jamie).

When I first flipped through the pages of my book to page 213 and found this recipe I was a little disappointed. In comparison to my first “Eats” challenge this is a very simple dish to create and doesn’t require anywhere near as much skill as the first recipe – In hindsight I’m extremely glad…

Although I’ve never pan-roasted anything before I was reasonably confident at my capabilities. The first hurdle I had to tackle was the lack of gadgets in my kitchen so I went for a wander around the cook shops in Cardiff. I was really surprised at how much a mortar and pestle costs and don’t even get me started on the cost of an oven-proof frying pan! It suddenly became clear to me that this may turn out to be quite an expensive 2012!

After searching several shops and being reluctant to pay the silly amounts asked for kitchen goods I headed home, defeated and thinking about alternatives. In the end, Nick very kindly bought me a mortar and pestle as a gift and I decided a baking tray would do instead of an oven-proof pan – Thank you Nick!

I finally tackled the recipe with a mild hangover from my weekend away, so I was very glad of the simplicity this dish offered.

The first step was the anchovy-rosemary sauce. I chopped and then pounded the rosemary in my shiny new mortar and pestle, added the chopped anchovy fillets, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper. I was a little concerned at the murky brown colour but it looked similar to the book and tasted ok so I carried on regardless.

I heated my pan on a high heat, patted the salmon fillets with extra virgin olive oil, seasoned them and fried them skin side down for 2 minutes. As this is the first time I’ve pan-fried salmon I wasn’t sure if 2 minutes was long enough but I’m starting to realise I need to trust the recipe book. After 2 minutes I whacked them in the oven on a hot baking tray and popped the purple sprouting broccoli in boiling salty water.

I’d never heard of purple sprouting broccoli before and finding it in the supermarket wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped – good old Sainsbury’s to the rescue again.

Once the salmon was cooked I tossed the broccoli in some of the sauce, plated up and voilà! Pan-roasted salmon with purple sprouting broccoli and anchovy-rosemary sauce – Yum!!

Review

This weeks recipe was really light, fresh, simple and tasty with a lovely zing from the anchovy-rosemary sauce. The lemon juice really cut through the sauce and despite being nervous about the saltiness of the anchovies the flavours worked well together.

The salmon was juicy and the crispy skin contrasted nicely with the flaky pink chunks. The broccoli was a really nice surprise and something I would definitely try again.

Despite being disappointed initially with the simplistic nature of the dish I was extremely happy with the outcome and pan-roasted salmon is definitely going to become part of my regular diet.

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