When I was a kid we had two kinds of meals: regular and company. A regular meal always consisted of at least one meat, one vegetable, and one starch, and frequently other things, but the vegetable and meat were non-negotiable. So was a tall glass of milk, every night of my childhood. [I don't like to drink plain milk. Never liked it, even as a baby. I would disguise the taste with Bosco or Nestle's Quik or Ovaltine.]
Company dinners were altogether more "fancy" and involved more silverware, the "good" placemats, the "good" glasses, and lots of glaring eye contact between Mom and Dad and me, if I dared to put my elbows on the table, talk with my mouth filled with food, or any other unpardonable sin.
Anyway, I made poached salmon last night and it occurred to me that it would be a great "company" dinner.
Poaching salmon may sound hard but it's not. You don't even have to know how to cook. I don't really think you could screw it up, unless your salmon was bad. If you just cook the salmon within a day or two of purchase, you should be OK.
Years ago my mother devised this recipe.
1. Rinse off your salmon filets and feel of them in case there are small bones. [pull those out with tweezers]
2. Place them in a skillet and cover them with a mixture or water and white wine and lemon juice. The more wine you can use, the better.
3. Make sure you have at least one nice lemon, and you juice it. I have an old-fashioned juicer that I love and use every day. Pour some lemon juice in the water, and save back some for the sauce.
4. Bring the fish to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook it, covered, for about 10 minutes, unless you like rare salmon. [Then you're on your own because we eat thoroughly cooked salmon, sorry..]
5. While the salmon cooks, get a small bowl. Put in a dollop of Duke's mayonnaise [or whatever your fave brand is, but not Miracle Whip], or 2-3 spoonfulls, depending on how much sauce you want. Add lemon juice, a little sea salt and pepper, and lots of dried dill weed or chopped fresh dill. I like to add onion powder too, or you can chop some onion.Mix it up and TASTE it. Should be tangy.
Serve the salmon carefully as it tends to fall apart.
Last night, Michael looked at the bowl of sauce and shook his head. He asked me what was in the sauce, and made a bowl entirely for himself.
If you serve this with some warm french bread and a nice salad, it's a terrific company meal. I would recommend lemon pie for dessert, if you can hold dessert.
Of course, a great movie to watch after dinner would be Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Wonderful movie.
Here are some other recipes that would work with the salmon:
Elva’s Fabulous Salad
Part of the key to this salad is the lettuce. Forget iceberg. You want tender Boston lettuce (or other soft or spring lettuce). Buy at least two small heads of it and rinse it thoroughly. Either dry it carefully with paper towels, or put it in a salad spinner. We have a salad spinner and it does a great job.
2-4 cloves fresh garlic
Juice of one lime or enough to make a tart dressing.Taste and add more if needed.
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cups fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced.
½ cup Olive oil
½ cup good feta cheese, crumbled
Chop the garlic cloves fine, or use a garlic press, or buy a small jar of minced garlic. In a glass dish, place the mashed garlic; sprinkle with salt; mash the salt into the garlic using a fork or back of a spoon. (This releases the good flavor). Add the olive oil and lime juice. Beat with a fork or whisk. Add sliced mushrooms. Put it aside for an hour or so if you have time. All day is even better. Don't chill it. Meantime, wash the lettuce and put it in the fridge, or spin it and refrigerate it.
When you are almost ready to eat, tear the lettuce into bite size pieces, add the feta cheese to the oil, then add the lettuce leaves and the mushrooms to the dressing. Toss everything well, from the bottom. Don’t put any other dressing on it.
OPTIONAL: Can add : sliced scallions or cherry tomatoes.
Elva's Fruit Salad
Mix: 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and juice of 1/2 lime until sugar is dissolved, and taste - it should be quite tart so add more lime juice if you need. Next, fold in 1 cup miniature marshmallows, and 1 lg. can mandarin oranges, drained, 1 tall can pineapple tidbits, drained, then 2 cups washed, seedless grapes. Fold fruit into the cream mix. Cover and chill til ready to serve.
Just before serving , fold in 1 cup toasted walnuts, lightly salted
[below, me and Mom in the kitchen, and relaxing in the 1971 family room...]
TOTALLY UNRELATED BUT GREAT TO KNOW:
DeliberateLIFE is a digital magazine focused on inspiring people to live well and do good by making intentional choices about how they spend their time and money, engage in their communities, and understand global issues. In Issue 4 (their Back-to-School issue) writer Matthew Perry talks about 5 ways to remove the 'creative block' that often comes with the busyness of daily life. The magazine can be purchased on your iPad or on their online store. All profits from sales are going to build a school in Kenya.