I. Little changes, New beginnings

Salmonspudfinal

The story of this dish begins very late at night in an awkward little kitchen in Sheffield. Struggling to come up with what to cook for my boyfriend who was coming back from a shift at a fancy Brazilian churrasco restaurant [fancy meat restaurant] [I don’t think churrasco means meat but all I know is there was a lot of meat being served there] I really wanted to pull this one out of the bag and surprise him with something delicious.

An obvious solution for me was to of course, turn to my best friend [and also the best cook you’ll ever meet] – my mum. The amount of times I ring her up to discuss potential recipes or last-minute fix ups with what’s left in my fridge, we could have written a series of cookery books by now.

The consensus was; I do a nice mash and I need something to go with it. My mum suggested salmon wrapped in bacon – a heavenly combination. The reason I know she has talent for food is because she doesn’t eat meat, yet she understands it like no one else. To add a fancy element to the meal – and because my boyfriend is Northern – I needed gravy a sauce.

Though I understand this may cause outrage, we eventually decided to go for a blue cheese sauce, which of course is not gravy, but does possess sauce like qualities.

Safe to say, the food was a success; not quite sure whether that was because it was 2am and he was starving, but nevertheless, it’s achieved its purpose. Food really is about love at the end of it all. And thanks to my mum, my love for food is endless.

I brought this recipe with me when I was away on a term abroad in a small French town. I was working in a family run hotel, and though I had trouble finding my feet in the kitchen at work, one of my colleagues gave me a chance and took me in. I made the salmon for her, she made the most amazing profiteroles and together we fantasised about getting a van and selling our creations as street food.

Though our project didn’t work out, I thought of condensing the dish into a jacket potato extravaganza. The result, my friends, is here to stay. This 4 ingredient meal makes me think of my mother’s ingenuity, her love for food, and how she’s always close by even when I’m far away. It makes me think of change; because having the basics means you have thousands of possibilities to spice things up whenever you feel like it – and because as a Slovak person, a jacket potato is a foreign way to cook a potato (but tasty as).

Biting the mood today with a sprinkle of love and a shit load of spontaneity. You’re welcome.


Jacket potato with salmon, honey and mustard bacon, and a blue cheese sauce 

For a single portion, we’ll need:

1 jacket potato

1 piece of salmon

2/3 thin slices of bacon (alternatively, leave the bacon out!)

honey

mustard

butter

blue cheese

double cream

salt

pepper

lemon

Method:

Wash and pierce the potato a couple of times with a fork. I normally sprinkle a little bit of salt and sunflower oil over the top and pop it in the oven for at least an hour or until ready.

Meanwhile, prepare your salmon. Take the skin off, season with salt and pepper and a little bit of lemon juice. Then take a slice of bacon, and slowly wrap it around the salmon, securing it with toothpicks on the sides. Don’t worry; it’s a messy job – I don’t really care what it looks like as long as it tastes good!

Use two or three bacon slices until the salmon is fully wrapped like a happy burrito. If you don’t eat bacon, skip this step!

With or without bacon, I would be putting the glaze on next. Mix honey, mustard and a couple of drops of lemon in a bowl and brush it over the top. When that’s done, pop the salmon in the oven for about half an hour. Maybe do this towards the end of the potato’s time in the oven, so when you take it out you have a bit of time to get your sauce done.

The potato’s ready to go, the salmon has 10 more minutes left; it’s time for the sauce.

In a small saucepan, combine double cream with any blue cheese. If you really hate blue cheese, just use cheddar! Make sure the sauce is not too thick; stir until the cheese has melted [don’t forget to taste as you go!] and season as you like.

Once that’s done, you can assemble your masterpiece. Cut a star into your potato, season it with salt and butter. Cut up the salmon into little pieces [it really doesn’t matter if it falls apart] and stuff your eager potato with it. If it doesn’t all fit in [which it most likely won’t] just put the rest on the side.

Finally, pour over your cheesy sauce. You can admire your work for a minute before you get stuck in.