When I started out on this blog, it did cross my mind to write a few recipes – I’m passionate about food. However, I almost as quickly dismissed the idea. I’m not an expert. I haven’t studied food, I don’t know the science of food. Actually, I don’t even know, at what temperatures different meats cook. Phew! I’m just the average ‘home-cook’ whose only armoury besides the ingredients is her intuition and love for food.
That said, ‘home-cooking’ has seen a huge shift in the last decade. The generation that knew only bhunna, chhaunkna and pressure cook karna is replaced by the generation that braises, poaches and confits. This is the generation that knows an ice-cream from a semifreddo and a consomme from a soup. Today’s kitchen world allows anyone who wants to, to feel like Nigella – even if only for a passing moment and I am no exception.
I figure, I do not need a chef’s hat to write a recipe. I just need a little creativity and the ability to put a successful experiment down to paper. My successful experiment is a Lemon Butter Salmon with Baby Thai Asparagus and Parsnip Puree.
PS: Please bear with me on only being approximate on measurements
- Fresh Salmon
- Chilly Flakes
- Fresh Rosemary
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Ginger Paste
- Coarsely Ground Pepper
- Baby Thai Asparagus (or regular asparagus)
- 1/4 cup milk
- Olive Oil
For the Puree:
Peel and cut the parsnips into small chunks. Pour olive oil in a wok and warm it. Put the parsnip chunks into the oil and stir lightly for about 5 mins. Make sure the oil evenly coats the parsnips while ensuring that the chunks don’t become brown or start to crispen up. Add salt and water (enough to cover the parsnips) and cover the wok with a lid. Cook the parsnips till they are soft and yielding to the touch of a fork. Reduce the water by more than half and add milk. Bring the milk to a soft boil, add a stick of butter and cook for another 3 minutes and turn off the gas. Using a stick blender puree the parsnips to a soft and creamy consistency. Add a sprinkling of pepper just before serving.
TIP: You can pass the puree through a drum sieve for added smoothness but I skipped the step and really didn’t compromise on the texture!
For the Asparagus:
Peel and prepare the asparagus by removing the hard part of the stalk and only keeping the soft & young bits. Cook over a high flame in olive oil. Add salt right at the beginning to keep the asparagus from charring. Cook without covering to retain the fresh, green colour and for about 5-6 mins till the asparagus becomes tender.
TIP: The cooking time really depends on the quality of the asparagus but you need to watch over it like a hawk and keep shuffling it in the pan!
For the salmon:
Marinate the salmon in ginger, a few tablespoons of lemon juice, fresh rosemary, salt and chilly flakes and keep aside for 20-30 mins.
In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice, salt, pepper and a melted stick of butter as the sauce for the finished dish. Cook the salmon skin side down for 4 mins. Turn them and cook them on the reverse side for 3 mins till the salmon is tender and pink.
To serve, spoon some puree on to a plate, lay some asparagus on it and place the cooked salmon on top. Drizzle over the lemon butter salt and serve.
I’m not fibbing – it really is that simple!