Monday, 1 April 2013

Fish and not chips

This is baked salmon with steamed greens, soy, lemon, garlic, chilli and ginger. No carbs, I hear you say? No, this is 5:2, chaps, and should come in around the 450 calorie mark. It is also bloody delicious. If you're not watching the calories, of course, bring on the spuds/noodles/rice.

Serves one
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

One smallish salmon fillet, skin on
200g young broccoli and asparagus
Half a red chilli
A small piece of ginger
A clove of garlic
A sprig of thyme
Lemon juice
Hot water
Olive oil and possibly butter

Heat the oven to 190 degrees C. Wash and dry the salmon fillet. Brush the skin with a very little olive oil and rub with salt (this will help to crisp the skin - if you're not going to eat the skin, ignore the oil and salt and go straight to the oven).

Heat a frying pan over a high flame then add the salmon, skin side down and allow to sizzle, turning the heat down to medium, moving a little if it starts to catch, for about five minutes until the skin is crisp and golden.

Transfer the salmon to a lined roasting tray, skin side up, add a good dash of tamari (or soy sauce) and place in the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes.

With an eye on the timings, deseed and slice the chilli, and peel and mince the ginger and garlic. Melt a very small piece of butter - a blob the size of your fingernail is all we're after here - in a very little olive oil (say, quarter of a teaspoon) and then fry the garlic, chilli and ginger for a minute or two. Now pour in the hot water - just enough to cover the bottom of the pan in a very thin layer (possibly even a bit less); the pan will hiss and the fat and water will form an emulsion (merci, Raymond Blanc!). Toss the vegetables to coat. Throw in the thyme sprig, bring to the boil and cover the pan, reducing the heat to medium/low - you want to hear a bubbling but not a fierce hissing. Steam the veg for five to seven minutes until tender. Remove the lid, add a dash of tamari and a squeeze of lemon juice and allow to reduce a little if there's still a lot of water in the pan.

Serve the salmon and the vegetables drizzled with pan juices.