16 February 2011

Pepper-poached Salmon

Last week, when we were trundling around our local supermarket doing the shopping, I noticed that they had on offer a bag of four Young's salmon fillet pieces for around the £3 mark.  Now for me, that’s almost affordable so long as the remainder of the ingredients of your dish aren’t too expensive.

So, when I was researching what we were going to eat this week, I had salmon in the back of my mind.  As it was, I turned up three salmon recipes that looked good, but this one won the toss as it looked to be extremely simple to prepare, I already had a certain amount of the ingredients and the remainder weren’t expensive.

It’s another one from that inspirational resource that is the BBC Good Food website.  I only tinkered around with the recipe a little bit, in that I extended the cooking time to ensure that the peppers were really soft and the baby potatoes were really cooked (as it was, some were still a little hard, so I’ll have to microwave them for longer next time).  I also wanted to ensure that the sauce was as reduced as it could get before I introduced the salmon to the pan, as being frozen (and “cook from frozen” at that), I didn’t want the sauce to become all washed out with the water that was bound to be released.

Oh, and I changed its name.  “Pepper poached salmon” describes it far better than “Basque-style salmon stew”.  For one, the word “stew” had hubby looking a bit worried and the “Basque-style” I understand (because of the peppers and tomatoes), but it’s either Basque or it isn’t, and if it isn’t, then why not call it something else?  So I have.


Ingredients :

1 tbsp olive oil
3 mixed peppers (I used 2 red Romano Peppers), de-seeded and sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
enough baby potatoes for your 3 people, unpeeled and halved
1½ tsp smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, grated (or finely sliced)
1½ tsp dried thyme
400g can cherry tomatoes
4 salmon fillets (or 3, if they’re large ones)
1 tbsp chopped parsley, to serve

Method :

1.  Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan and cook the onion slowly for 5 minutes.

2.  Add the peppers and continue to cook.  You may need to increase the heat for the first few minutes.

3.  In the meantime, microwave the potatoes on high for 3 minutes, or until they are partly cooked.  Then add them to the onion & pepper mixture and continue cooking until everything is softened.

4.  Add the paprika, garlic, thyme and tomatoes and bring to the boil.  Stir and cover, turning down the heat and continuing to simmer for some 12 minutes.  If your sauce becomes too thick, you can add a little water.  However, I found that the condensation that formed on the underside of the lid did the job and in fact, I had to take care to not let it run off into the pan in the later stages of cooking.

5.  Taste and season the pepper mix, then lay the salmon on top skin side down and burrow it into the mixture a little.

6.  Replace the lid and simmer until the salmon is cooked through.

7.  Scatter with parsley and serve with sugar snap peas.



  1. I think it's really good that we have fish, in this world, other than dear old Carne, (Meat).
    It is so easy to prepare, takes little time, and looks good, as the above proves.
    And, take one of the tastiest fishes in the sea, that feeds only on rubbish, waste, and is basically a scavenger. The Mackerel. Cheap, always available, and even cooked in boiling water and vinegar, superb.
    My Dad, he was English, but l don't hold that against him, lol. Always used to say to me, "fish gives ya brains boy" "AND, you need a lot of fish". Eaten a lot of fish over the years, AND,l've still got the IQ of a rocking horse........! :0) BUT....l can cook....Grazie Mama....x :)

  2. Mackerel is one of my favourites too, Willie. I often have mackerel on horseradish on toast for brekkie! :)

  3. Sounds lovely, although not sure my fussy husband would eat it. I'll try it myself when he's away or something!

  4. Mrs M : if he likes all the component parts, I don't see how he could fail to enjoy this. It's true it's not a "meat & two veg" dinner (it's more a fish & five veg dinner, lol) but I'm sure you could present it looking like a meat & two veg dinner would look, if that's what he's used to. :)


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