Don’t be daunted by that diva de­meanour – Fri­day’s very own chef Sil­vena Rowe is happy to an­swer all your kitchen queries

Friday - - Good Food -

To cal­cu­late the cook­ing time, it’s im­por­tant that you know the weight of the por­tion of sal­mon

Q I love to have baked sal­mon fil­let for din­ner but I of­ten for­get to take the fil­let out of the freezer so it can thaw be­fore cook­ing. Can I bake frozen sal­mon straight from the freezer?

A Yes, you can – and what’s best is that it tastes just as good as fish that has been thawed.

Pre­heat the oven to 200°C. Rinse the fish un­der cold run­ning wa­ter to get rid of any ice crys­tals, then pat it dry with a kitchen towel. Place it skin-side down in a slightly greased oven-proof dish. Sprin­kle with lemon juice, sea salt and freshly crushed black pep­per. You can add a pinch of dried dill for ex­tra flavour.

Cover the bowl with alu­minium foil, crimp­ing the edges to en­sure the fish is well sealed. Place the dish in the oven and cook un­til the fish is opaque. To cal­cu­late the cook­ing time, it’s im­por­tant that you know the weight of the por­tion. For ev­ery 30g of sal­mon, it should cook for 5 min­utes. So if the por­tion you are cook­ing is about 250g, then bake the fish for about 40 min­utes.

Once cooked, take the dish out of the oven, still cov­ered with foil, and set aside for 5 min­utes, al­low­ing the fish to rest and the juices to flow back in. Re­move the foil, add some herbed but­ter and en­joy the sal­mon with salad, grilled as­para­gus or any other vegeta­bles. Ab­so­lutely de­li­cious.

Q My hus­band has just come home with a big wa­ter­melon. What can I do with it, apart from eat­ing it as is?

A There is a lot you can do. Here are my ideas: First is wa­ter­melon, feta and mint salad. Cut the melon into bite-size pieces and toss with sliced white onion and crum­bled feta. Driz­zle with red grape vinai­grette and ad­just the sea­son­ing. Add some chopped fresh mint leaves and en­joy.

For some ex­tra flavour, you can even grill your wa­ter­melon pieces. Cut the wa­ter­melon into large chunks, driz­zle with olive oil and place on a hot grill pan. Cook for no more than 2 min­utes on each side – just so that the wa­ter­melon gets those gor­geous grill marks – and then spoon the onion, feta, mint and dress­ing over it.

You can even make a wa­ter­melon gaz­pa­cho. Just purée to­gether 1 large tomato, 1/2 a spicy chilli and 1 cup of chopped wa­ter­melon un­til smooth. Mix in 1 tsp of red grape vine­gar and 4 tbsp of ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil. Now add about 2 tbsp of minced red onion, half a cu­cum­ber that has been de­seeded and minced, and 2 tbsp of finely chopped dill. Blend again un­til smooth. Re­frig­er­ate un­til chilled and serve with a gar­nish of some wa­ter­melon pieces, chopped dill and crum­bled feta. Per­fect!

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