Thursday, August 10, 2006

From midweek rags to riches

A most miserable meal the other night, comprising two slices of processed supermarket bread toasted and spread with some fridge-cold factory-processed pesto. It was the kitchen refit that had sealed it, again, and the associated cost optimization procedures of base-units, tiles, sinks, taps, worktops, dishwashers, … So the following day, to use up some mince, I made a couple of burgers and served them with some soft halved potatoes roasted skin-on with rosemary and good olive oil, plus some leaves and salad. The mince I had seasoned generously and a pinch of mustard powder made the patties even tastier.

“Life” seems to be getting almost too busy to make space for cooking. So last night I continued with the midweek quickies with small bowls of spaghetti with a few tomatoes and some garlic warmed in lots of good olive oil, toasted pine nuts and a grubby great handful of fresh basil leaves. It was a sincere improvement over the pesto toast, completed by loads of fresh salty parmesan and some black pepper and the browning remainder of a Tesco salad pack.

Today, however, I cooked up a birthday treat of pan fried salmon fillet with crushed potato salad and a caper dressing. The fish I had trimmed into two halves from the bony chassis and placed skin-side down on a hot Teflon pan, pressing to ensure the whole surface was covered. The tatties I had boiled and crushed with a fork, and then mixed with leeks that had been sliced and sautéed in butter with salt and black pepper; a little cream left over from the making of my birthday cake to loosen it all up. And then applied, cement-like to the centre of the large white plates and topped with two crisp Fillets O’ Fish. My belly full of a buttery sponge with cream, jam, icing and marshmallows. Thirty two years old. And a birthday present that may top the lot: a day out at The Duck.

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