Saturday, November 24, 2012

A lonely Thanksgiving dinner(no turkey)

How embarrassing - we made Thanksgiving on the wrong date! My husband, Brian, who spent 50 Thanksgivings in the US, thought it was on the 29th, not the 22nd.  I guess he's been in the UK too long already.  So we put a post on Meetup for American people in Nottingham, and then realized the next day was Thanksgiving. Even for us it was too late to prepare the dinner. 

So our Thanksgiving dinner was just Brian and me, with salmon with red pepper salsa, sour and spicey cabbage, and mushroom miso soup. Brian said salmon might be a more appropriate Thanksgiving course anyway, since there is no evidence the pilgrims actually ate turkey at the first feast.  And of course peppers are from the New World, while salsa celebrates the Thanksgiving feasts in Spanish colonial America which were even earlier than the pilgrims (says Wikipedia).

It's a cold Thanksgiving night and a little lonely since we are far from our friends and family. But we still give thanks for Brian still has a job, and we are both still healthy.

Baked salmon with red pepper and hazelnut salsa
recipe adapted from Ottolenghi cookbook

Serves 2
2 salmon fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

For the salsa
1 red peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
15g hazelnuts
7g chives, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
Juice and zest of half lemon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar


First make the salsa.
Heat oven to 200 C
Quarter the peppers and remove the seeds. Put them on a baking tray and drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil and a generous salt and pepper. Roast them for about 20 mins, until they are cooked through and slighly charred. Transfer to a bowl, cover and leave to cool. Keep any roasting juices.

While the peppers are cooking put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 10 mins, until lightly coloured. Remove and allow to cool. Then rub them in your hands to remove their skins. Chop roughly.

When the peppers are cool, peel them and cut into 5mm dice. Mix with the hazelnuts, the remaining olive oil and the other salsa ingredients. Taste and season.

Put a ridged griddle pan on the highest possible heat and leave for a few minutes. It needs to be very hot.

Line an oven tray with greaseproof paper. Brush the salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them on the hot griddle skin side up, and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the fish from the griddle and place them on the lined tray, skin-side down. Be careful not to scrape off the nice char marks when you handle the fish. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes, until the fish is just done and very light pink inside. Serve warm, with a generous spoonful of salsa on top.

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