26 June 2011

Salmon & Leek Gratin, Elderflowers and a Wonderful Food Shop in Cornwall

~  Menu  ~

Salmon & Leek Gratin
A little Salad
Elderflower Cordial and Sparkling Water

I was counting all the meat in the freezer this morning (you have to make your own entertainment in rural areas) when I found a salmon fillet.  As I always have a few leeks about which are a basic for me, this enabled me to have a little gratin for my lunch.  This is something we used to have on the menu at our restaurant, The House on the Strand, years ago.  It was a popular dish.

Salmon & Leek Gratin – serves 1 (because that’s how many I am, real man not wishing to eat such fancy cooking).

170g salmon fillet
1 small leek – cleaned and thinly sliced
15g butter
90g double cream
a girly handful of breadcrumbs

~   Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the leeks to coat thoroughly.
~   Turn down the heat and press something suitable (ie. a butter wrapper, greaseproof paper of piece of foil) directly onto the surface of the leeks.  Cover the pan.
~   Cook gently for 10-15 minutes keeping an eye on things and giving the occasional stir till very tender.
~   Place the piece of salmon on top of the leeks and cook for another 5 minutes till the fish flakes easy with the simple application of a fork. 
~   Set the fish aside, and stir the cream into the leeks.
~   Taste and season – I added a little crumbled veg Oxo.
~   Bring to a boil and cook a minute or two.
~   Remove from the heat, flake the salmon and fold into the creamy goo.
~   Turn into a heatproof dish, sprinkle with the crumbs, dot with butter and finish under a hot grill.

The elderflowers are fast fading in the lanes.  I wanted to have a go at making elderflower cordial but the caravan is just too small for such outrageous behaviour.  I’ll do it next year when we’ll be in a real house – grown up or what! 

In the meantime I contented myself with picking a few of the flowers (and learning that they don’t last long in a vase) and drinking some cordial a friend made.

A few days ago I wrote a little about St.Austell,  my soon to be home town, and how well it is doing re-inventing itself.  One great addition is Nature Kitchen, a small, interesting and wonderfully fragrant shop.

It is stacked with numerous pots of herbs and spices including hundreds of hard to find ingredients - just look at this small section!

In addition to all these wonderful herbs and spices they sell whole foods, natural remedies, plants, a few interesting kitchen utensils, fresh fruit and veg and have a deli which also offers delicious salads, sandwiches, soups etc..  This really is a lucky find – look for it on your right when leaving the main car park on your way down to the main shopping area and rejoice!
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