If you say to some people you are having a dinner party on a Tuesday they think you’re a lunatic. But, I find that by the time Friday night comes along I am way too tired to think about cooking for other people and if I do, by the end of the main course I’m ready for bed.
So I try to run my dinner parties by the 7 P’s. For those of you that haven’t heard of these they stand for Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents P*ss Poor Performance. I wish I could say I’ve always lived by this rule – apologies to those of you have had to wait literally HOURS for food cooked by me. It does, of course, always help if you ply your guests with alcohol while they’re waiting.
Last night there were 6 of us and I decided to do 2 out of 4 courses that I’d never done before. But it was all in the preparation.
2 salmon fillets
1/4 tsp garlic puree
1/2 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp runny honey
A handful of fresh watercress
Filo pastry (bought – don’t even contemplate making it – life is too short)
Butter (for brushing)
1 tbsp Lemon juice
- The first 6 points you can do the night before
- In a normal sized bowl mix together the tomato and garlic puree with the honey and water
- Put the salmon fillets into the bowl, cover (leaving an air hole) and pop in the microwave for 4 minutes on high
- While that is happening roughly chop the watercress and pop it in a mixing bowl
- Once the salmon is done, let it cool a little and flake it into the bowl with the watercress along with about 2 or 3 tbsp of the cooking liquid
- Add the lemon juice and season
- Gently stir it around – not too much you want some lovely chunks of salmon
- This is as far as you can go if you’re doing preparation the night before – cover it and leave in the fridge
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees
- On the night, unwrap the filo and place a sheet of pastry in your pastry tins with a good-sized edge around the outside – try to use the removable bottom ones
- In a microwave gently melt the butter
- After the first layer using a pastry brush put a little butter on the pastry
- Add another layer, not in the identical position to the first but rotated a little
- A little more butter and continue until you have 4 layers
- Add the salmon mixture to the pastry – gently as the filo is so so delicate
- Using another sheet of filo crumple it in the middle of the top of the salmon and wrap the edges over it to form a parcel
- A little more butter
- Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes or until browned – remember the salmon is cooked and the filo will cook very quickly
- Serve with some fresh watercress
This is a great showy starter and would be an excellent vegetarian option. My guests (I think) were suitably impressed, which is of course my intention!
The method for this is quite long – I know – but I am trying to ensure that it is as easy to follow as possible. Hope someone tries it out!