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