Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Better Late then Never

Summer days cry out for interesting dishes that can be made ahead of time, and this 'salmon loaf' is one of those perfect dishes worth making to serve when entertaining, but equally good sliced to take to picnics. Even better, it is made with canned salmon - this often being 'on offer', and so worth keeping a couple or so cans in store for a recipe such as this.
If serving warm with the cucumber sauce (recipe below), either use two-thirds of a large lemon for the loaf, and one-third for the sauce, or use a whole (smaller) lemon for the loaf, and half a small lemon for the sauce. The remaining half of the lemon can be sliced and used as garnish.

Citrus Salmon Loaf: serves 4 - 6
4 oz (100g) fresh white breadcrumbs
5 fl oz (150ml) milk
2 egg, beaten
3 oz (75g) celery, chopped
1 x 400g (14oz) can salmon, drained and flaked
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Put the breadcrumbs into a bowl and stir in the milk and eggs. Leave to stand for 15 minutes, then gently fold in the flaked salmon, chopped celery, and lemon zest and juice. Season to taste.
When evenly blended, pour into a buttered 1 lb (450g) loaf tin and bake for 1 hour at 180C, 350F, gas 4 or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the loaf in the tin to cool slightly (if eating warm) or cool for longer (if eating cold).
Serve in slices, warm or cold, with cucumber sauce (see below).

cucumber sauce:
1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped
cold water
1 oz (25g) butter
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 egg yolk
1 tsp plain flour
Put the prepared cucumber into a pan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring gently to the boil, then simmer for for a few minutes until tender. Remove the cucumber with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain. Set aside.
Pour the cooking liquid into a measuring jug and add enough water to make up to half a pint (300ml).
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, stir in the flour and cook/stir for 1 minute, then gradually add the measured cooking liquid/water , and keep stirring until the mixture thickens, then stir in the lemon rind and the cooked cucumber.
Put the egg yolk into a cup, break it up with a fork, and stir in a little of the 'cucumber sauce', then pour this back into the remaining sauce in the pan and heat gently (but do not boil) until the sauce has thicken slightly more. Add seasoning to taste.
To serve, pour this over, or at the side of the sliced salmon loaf.