Saturday, 2 July 2011

SIMPLE YET ELEGANT SATURDAY SUPPER

Eight for dinner tonight, and I wanted to make something simple and elegant. One of the guests does not eat meat, so rather than make a dish especially for her, everyone will have fish.

I've got a bit of a "thing" for Thai food at the moment, ever since that glorious (and somewhat boozy) supper at Caroline's last month, and my discovery of the local Asian supermarket. Perhaps it has something to do with the change in the weather, for the better, that I crave bright, fresh flavours, rather than sultry stews and slow roasts?

This recipe is from the Sainted Delia, her 'Summer Collection', a book I return to fairly frequently, as it does contain a lovely selection of summery food (the homemade lemonade recipe is hard to beat). Like many of the dishes I cook, this can be easily made in advance and set aside until you are ready to cook. For a starter, I'm doing my take on Chinese pancakes: instead of crispy aromatic duck, I'll fill them with a mixture of crab meat, flavoured with lime zest, lemon grass, ginger and fresh mint, and thinly sliced spring onions, cucumber and baby corn. I've never made this before, but the crab mixture smells delicious, as it happily steeps in the fridge..... Audrey is bringing the pudding.

This recipe is for two, but it's dead easy to double, or treble, up the ingredients. Find filo pastry in the freezer at the supermarket.


Delia's Thai Salmon Filo Parcels

2 thick-cut salmon fillets
4 sheets of Filo pastry
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 small spring onion, finely sliced
grated zest and juice of a lime
1 oz butter, melted
salt and pepper

Delia says: "First of all, in a small bowl, mix together the ginger, lime zest, garlic, coriander and spring onion, then stir in the lime juice. Now melt the butter in a small saucepan, then lay 1 sheet of filo pastry out on a flat surface, brush it all over with some of the melted butter, spread another sheet of filo on top and brush this lightly with melted butter as well. Now position one of the salmon fillets near to one end of the filo, season it and sprinkle half the lime and herb mixture on top (picture 1). Next, fold the short end of pastry over the salmon, then fold the long sides inwards (picture 2), roll the salmon over twice more and trim any surplus pastry (it's important not to end up with great wedges of pastry at each end). Wrap the other piece of salmon in exactly the same way and, when you're ready to cook, brush the parcels all over with melted butter, place them on a lightly greased baking sheet (picture 3), and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is brown and crisp. Serve, garnished with sprigs of coriander and wedges of lime to squeeze over."

I'm serving this with boiled new potatoes and a salad garnished with edible flowers (available from Waitrose and M&S).

Picture 1. Place the salmon at one end of the pastry sheet....

Picture 2. Fold over the short end and the sides of the pastry

Picture 3. Place the parcels on a prepared baking sheet

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