Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mother's Ruin?

It has been an awfully long time since my last food blog, for no other reasons than I am trying to restrain the ramblings on my personal life elsewhere and that my newly acquired single-status does not lead to the most scintillating of sensory overloads. As yet.

However last night I had a rare opportunity to cook, and not just for anyone, but for someone I love. My mother.

The older I get, the more I appreciate my parents and I increasingly relish the tastes and pleasures in which we share. And for mum and I, one of these little joys has to be the fragrant and heady flavours of gin. Dubbed 'mother's ruin' for a whole host of reasons in the 18th century (on which I can bore for Britain, my specialist degree subject bizarrely encompassed such matters - a hint is the works of Hogarth), I am happy to reveal that my mother and I find that gin, rather than ruining an evening, tends to enhance it.

The situation for our happy reunion is immaterial, suffice to say we found ourselves alone, in an alien kitchen with salmon fillets, a bottle of gin, sparse store-cupboard goodies and a camera on its last legs (hence the dirth of images). Mother's ruin? More like Mother's Success.

Tipsy Salmon (for a tipsy mother/daughter combination)
olive oil
2 leeks - washed and finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
juice of half a lemon
bay leaf
flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
two salmon fillets

Preheat the oven to 180-200 centigrade.
Put the leeks, garlic, bay leaf and parsley in a shallow oven-proof dish. Sprinkle over a good glug of olive oil, lemon juice and a sizeable glug of gin. Season and cover with tin foil. Pop into the oven for approx 20 minutes, turning at least once. When the leeks are soft, nestle the salmon fillets on top of the leeks (skin down), re-cover with foil and cook for approx 15-2o minutes depending on how well one likes one's salmon cooked. Baste at least once during cooking time to prevent the fish dying out, adding more gin/lemon juice or even a splash of apple juice if necessary.

Enjoy with steamed greens, possibly jasmine rice, but certainly with one's mother.