Still no camera, folks (I could have a little rant here towards the people who I ordered it from, but I’ll be restrained :(), so you’ll have to use your imagination for tonight’s edition.

The call went out early morning – what the hell can I do with the salmon fillet in my fridge?!

What possessed me to buy salmon when I’ve never cooked it before and had no idea what to do with it? Quite simple really – it was on special. There’s never been a better reason for me to buy something, even something I have no idea what to do with. Although, I buy random bits of fish, and Lyndal buys random pairs of shoes, so I don’t think I’m the worst offender around! Luckily we have the same shoe size, so it all works out for the best. Except…

This is a tough call for Lyndal – she doesn’t eat salmon and has never cooked it before. It required all of the skills in her arsenal, but she pulled through.

OK, really finding this one hard, I have actually never cooked fish.  Not surprising when you don’t eat it.  So, how about:

Mix bread crumbs, random herbs and some parmesan and crumbled walnuts with just enough oil to moisten but not drown crumbs.  Place salmon on baking tray and press crumb mixture into the fillet.  Grill for a few mins (just to brown the crumbs and make them crunchy) then bake to your liking of done-ness.  Dice kumara and pumpkin (quite small) and sauté in a little oil and a crushed garlic clove.  Add diced zucchini and toss around until cooked but not mush. Just before removing from the pan, toss through baby spinach (can also add tomato to make a bit moister, or for something completely different, try a drizzle of maple syrup instead of tomatoes.  Goes so well with pumpkin and kumara).  Season and serve fish on top.

Mix together cumin, chilli powder, a garlic clove and some cinnamon with a little oil to make a paste.  Brush onto salmon and let sit for 10 min.  Pan fry or grill fish.  Slice kumara and zucchini very thinly (try a veg peeler) to make thick ribbons.  Toss quickly in a hot pan until they are just tender.  Mix these with baby spinach and (maybe) chickpeas (and if you have bread, fresh croutons made by baking it sprayed with oil and some herbs) and drizzle with balsamic.  If you don’t have balsamic try a little honey, lemon and olive oil.  Just a touch of sweetness to balance out the hot fish. (I’m really tempted to try this one with some white fish – I think chilli and cumin might be a bit too strong for salmon – but then again, I might try it with salmon just to check it out! J)

Finally (I’m clutching at straws here!!  It’s hard when you don’t eat fish!!), steam fish.  Slice carrot, zucchini and kumara julienne and stir fry.  Mix in sauce of soy, garlic, ginger and a touch of honey or chilli sauce (or both!). If you have vermicelli noodles add them too.  Not very imaginative, I know!!

So, armed with a vague plan of how to cook salmon, and some firm options for vege, I proceeded to mix and match to my hearts desire and came up with the following:

Baked salmon fillet with a warm kumara and zucchini salad

I mixed up grated vintage cheddar cheese (I had no parmesan, so substituted) and my current addiction of crumbled walnuts. I scored a pile of fresh vege from a photoshoot at work, so fresh thyme was a last minute addition (keep an eye out for a radish recipe later in the week!). I pressed this on to the top of the salmon fillet and then wrapped it all up in tin foil to bake until nearly cooked. I finished it off under the grill to toast the cheese and nuts up awesomely.

Meanwhile, I grated the zucchini and kumara (this is sweet potato, but I like the word kumara better) as per Lyndal’s directions, and chucked in a fry pan with some garlic. When the kumara was pretty much done, I threw in a pile of baby spinach and rocket, then added some toasted pine nuts and balsamic vinegar, cooking just long enough for the spinach to wilt.

The perfectly cooked salmon was served up on top of the bed of shaved vege, and it all added up to deliciousness.

Even if Lyndal wouldn’t have touched it with a ten-foot barge poll!