Food. My third passion.

Almost all my novels feature good food and cooking somewhere. The reason is simple – food and cooking is my third passion. Oh, the first two are beautiful women, my beloved B in particular, writing is second, third cooking (And eating.) The writing means I have the time to devote to imaginative and original cooking. Sometimes that will involve exotic or expensive ingredients but more often than not, it will be something simple and thrifty. The one ingredient I can afford to be generous with is time.

I’ve decided to share some of these ideas with the blogisphere. So I will do a series on various dishes I cook over the next week or two. You will not find exact recipes – I don’t work like that, but all will be easy to do if you can spare some of that precious commodity – time.

First Salmon.

Salmon type fishy.

Good quality Irish sea farmed Atlantic Salmon is easy and inexpensive to buy here and in particular when bought whole. The salmon I used came from the fish counter of our local Dunnes Store and cost under thirteen euros.

My fish kettle is not often used, but it has been worth dragging around for years because when you need a kettle — you need a kettle. One can try roasting pans and faff about with strips of foil to lift the cooked fish but… just get a kettle.

The kettle and the multi use stove.

So Thai style salmon tart is what you see here. It was excellent and would feed six.

Thai style salmon tart.

I started poaching the whole fish with various veg, bay leaf and white wine. As you can see, I make use of our small stove for more than heating the house. It’s great for simmering too. The kettle was on there less than thirty minutes and then taken off and left to cool.

The fish was then peeled and the flesh taken off in large pieces. All the small bits and bobs were put with a tomato, a little ginger, a dash of Mirin a slice of white bread, mayo, tomato ketchup, Tabasco and whizzed into a moose. We had some of that on Swedish crisp bread as a starter.

Next day I made a thick white sauce with butter flour and coconut cream. To this I added a handful of prawns/shrimps, the rest of the salmon moose, grated ginger, chopped red chilies, a handful of chopped coriander/cilantro a dash of Thai fish sauce and a squeeze of lime.

I blind baked shop-bought short-crust pasty, in a spring-form cake tin, coating the inside of the pastry with beaten egg twice to seal it during cooking.

When it was cool I began to layer it. Salmon, thin sliced onion, sauce, salmon, thin sliced cucumber. and strips of pickled ginger. Final layer was slice ripe Papaya and strips of pickled ginger. (Fruit and Salmon are great together.) Top with the thick sauce. A final brush of the top with the left-over egg and into a moderate oven, 170 for thirty-five minutes.

Best served cool, room temperature. Good with salad but we had tinned mini peas and carrots.

It was fab! We couldn’t finish it – as often the case with my cooking – over generous.

Next time, two dishes with a Farmed Rabbit. Starting with my ‘Brilliant Blatered Bunny Burger’.