Saturday, 19 March 2011

Salmon with Herb Butter and Household Laundry Hints

I was thinking about general household ideas.  As today has been so glorious weather wise, I did a couple of loads of washing.  I had a top with a couple of chicken fat splashes on it (ew) which hadn't come out even after washing three times.  I didn't have any stain remover in the house and vaguely remembered my mum using washing up liquid in the past.  It was a cheap top so I was prepared to give it a go, dabbed some on the stains straight before washing and they've come out!  (Obviously beware this could damage delicate clothes people!)  


My aunt used to have a job helping elderly people out in their homes.  She gave me a tip once because she used to have to dry sheets very quickly on the line.  If you hang them up by their corners rather than folding them over the line, it acts like a sail and dries much more quickly even in light winds (obviously in high winds this might not be the best idea!)


I also use laundry tablets in my wash and at risk of sounding like a 1950's housewifery magazine, I'd like to add a thrifty tip.  It's recommended on the pack to use two tablets but I've never had any issue only using one.  Obviously that then doubles the number of washes from a pack saving a good few £'s!


Anyway, onto the recipe.  I have been worrying that due to my son's love of cheese, he might be getting too much salt.  I don't add any salt to his meals, nor does he have processed meals but when you start adding up what he gets from cheese, bread, a crumpet I gave him.  Blimey, it soon adds up considering 1g is the maximum he should have.  So this recipe is an adaptation in a way from the fish pie recipe but you could imagine serving it in its constituent parts when he's onto using cutlery properly (see adaptations below).  The herb choice I used just happened to be what's looking good in my garden right now.  Sorrel has been a real surprise and a winner for it's ability to overwinter and it's already sent up loads of fresh green leaves.

Salmon with vegetables and herb butter - for babies with adult adaptations


Ingredients

Salmon - can use fresh or frozen.  Look out in supermarkets for packs of frozen salmon you can microwave from frozen.  It comes out far too overcooked for my taste but that's fine for a baby and better if you cook it as I've indicated below with the butter on top.
Green vegetables, chopped (your choice, I used green beans, mange tout and broccoli.  The beans and mange tout were chopped to be around 2-3mm in size, the broccoli was in small florets)
A potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
Unsalted butter
Your choice of fresh soft herbs (I used parsley, sorrel and garlic chives)

Method

Cook the potato until soft and mash through a ricer.  Boil the green vegetables until cooked.  Microwave the salmon as per pack instructions with a tbsp water and the herbs and butter on top until fully cooked.

Mash the broccoli and flake the salmon.  Mix together with the butter and any juices from the salmon.  The sorrel gives a gentle zing; sorrel used to be used to give a sour flavour before citrus fruits were available in this country.  Although after cooking this for my baby, I've since found out that the flavour is from oxalic acid (which is rather poisonous.  Oops!)  However, you have to eat a huge amount of it to cause any problems and the toxicity is reduced by cooking.

You could use other vegetables if wanted but I think green vegetables go best with salmon.  Possibly serve new potatoes separately as finger food rather than mashed potato if you want and your child is good with finger food.


Adaptations


You could make this recipe by poaching or baking the salmon for adults or older children and making the herb butter by mashing together the herbs with softened butter then chilling.  Either add the herb butter on top of the salmon before wrapping in foil and baking or add to the top after cooking and allow to melt.  For younger babies than my 10 month old (certainly under 7 months or babies who aren't on soft lumps yet), it would be a good idea to puree the salmon and vegetables with the butter and juices, adding more water if needed.  Also perhaps miss out the sorrel.  Hmm.


Anyway, toxicity aside, (ahem) I think it's a good idea to get your baby used to eating a wide variety of different herbs and spices (possibly leaving chilli for a while).  I certainly cook with a lot of herbs and spices anddon't want to be making separate milder dishes for my child for years.  I also hope my child will have varied tastes.  I remember hearing of a distant relative's partner who was nicknamed "bread roll" as that's all she would eat when she was at a restaurant.  That's just sad.

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