Family food and weekend feasts, 244pp.
by Janelle Bloom
Random House Australia, Sydney, 2010
Cooking on page 32
Janelle Bloom is one of Australia’s most-loved TV chefs and food writers. In addition to being queen of the microwave, she is a food stylist and has written four cookbooks (I have two, including her first microwave cookbook).
Hundreds of thousands of Australians would know Janelle best from her regular appearances on the afternoon TV cooking series Ready Steady Cook. In fact, she was in the first episode, which aired in 2005.
I met her once at a cooking demo she gave in Canberra on chocolate. That’s when I bought the microwave book, which she was gracious enough to sign. Not sure how I came by the current book but it’s full of recipes with flavours I like. We’re cooking today on page 32.
Chilli, mint and lime seared salmon
800g salmon fillets, skin removed
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
3 garlic cloves crushed
1/3 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lime, juiced
Papaya and cucumber salad
1 green papaya, peeled, quartered
3 Lebanese cucumbers
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Cut the salmon into pieces. Combine the chilli, garlic, mint, olive oil and lime juice in a ceramic dish. Season with salt and pepper. Add the salmon and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for no longer than 10 minutes.
For the papaya and cucumber salad, peel the papaya into long thin ribbons with a potato peeler, then finely shred and place in a bowl. Peel the cucumber into long thin ribbons with a potato peeler, then add to the papaya with the mint. Combine the yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, the water and brown sugar in a screw-top jar. Shake until well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.
Preheat a barbecue grill on high heat. Thread the salmon onto 4 long metal skewers or 8 bamboo skewers. Barbecue the salmon, basting and turning occasionally, for 4 minutes for medium, or until cooked to your liking.
Serve the salmon with the papaya and cucumber salad.
Note: The acid in the lime juice will quickly start to ‘cook’ the salmon. Don’t leave it to marinate too long or the texture of the flesh will deteriorate.
How it played out
There are only two people at home this week so I made half a batch of both the salmon and salad.
I’m glad I started the salad first, because peeling and shredding the papaya and cucumber are time-consuming (much more than the 10 minutes needed to marinate the salmon). Fortunately I remembered that I own a rarely-used julienne peeler (see picture), that made quick work of the task.
I also roasted two lime halves to squeeze over the salmon—a useful trick I learned from another page-32 recipe.
Loved the salmon and enjoyed the salad. But in future I’ll stick with the Thai papaya salad shared here last year. In fact, I think I’ll make that this week because I still have half a papaya to use.