I have always felt that Easter is the “kick-off” for summer.
This is the time when we, if we are lucky, could sit outside on the deck, having breakfast in the nice and warm spring sun. Not this year though. Even though we had a very mild winter it isn’t warm enough. I was hoping for some garden furniture to come out from the shed but I guess I will have to wait a little longer. It’s actually good, since I am about to re-arrange my whole back yard. I am building new and better flower beds, a little higher than before. It is a huge project but I can’t wait.
This is also the time when I pick the first flowers to decorate the house with. So far, I have tulips, pearl hyacinths, daffodils, violets and some apple blossom branches placed in champagne glasses.
I always try to take good Friday off, it gives me that extra day to work outside and prepare for summer. It is very soothing to just do physical work and “lift things up and put them down..” as they say in a popular commercial here.
A tradition for me, is to eat poached salmon on good Friday. It is good, healthy and fresh. As one of the side dishes, my mom used to make these little “poison mushrooms” made of eggs, tomatoes and spinach. As a sauce to the fish, we would always have a sour cream. mayo, dill & frozen vegetables mixture. It is just soo delicious (a great summer dish too.) On saturday, we would eat anything but on Easter sunday, we would have lamb.
I don’t like my meat to be pink so I cook my lamb long and slow to make it super tender and infused with flavours. I marinate the lamb in the fridge for a few hours or over night. For anyone who thinks they don’t like lamb this is really a great way of cooking it. I use a steak/ roast, but you could always use any other part of the lamb. Serve with a mint sauce or a delicious rosemary garlic sauce.
Fresh Salmon. Preferable wild caught. Either one whole salmon or a piece of salmon. As much as you would need for the amount of people you are serving. (Just remember that you can do so many things of the left overs, so don’t be scared of poaching too much.)
Water to almost just cover the fish in the pot.
Black pepper corns, about 10-12.
1 carrot. Cut into medium size pieces.
2 bay leaves.
It would be great if you have a fish pot but if you don’t, use a large pot. You can also use a cast iron pot /dutch oven. If you are using portion pieces of salmon, you could just use a frying pan to poach them in. Add the pepper corns, carrot pieces, cut up onion & the bay leaves. Let cook for about 10 minutes to create a broth. Add the fish & the dill. Make sure the water covers about half the fish. Squeeze one lemon and the 1/2 orange into the pot. Let the peel boil with the fish. Some people likes to add some vinegar. I don’t, it makes the meat a little lighter, I use the lemon for that.
Let come to a boil, then let simmer for about 30 minutes depending on the size of the fish. If you are using portion pieces of fish it will ready much faster. Keep checking it. You know that it is done, when it is starting to loosen from the bones.
Let the fish cool down in the broth. Lift up and plate. You can easily take off the skin if it is cool. If you are experiencing any problems, use a little piece of paper towel as a help.
Cut the last lemon into very fine slices. Add them onto the top of the fish. It is supposed to look like fish scales. Some people use finely cut cucumber slices to decorate the salmon with.
You can serve it hot or cold. Boiled potatoes are great to this poached salmon. As a sauce, I prefer a cold sauce made of sour cream, mayo, dill & some frozen vegetables. Pepper to taste. I of course use hot sauce in mine.
Tomatoes, too big.
Boil down the spinach. I just put them in a pan and let them “melt” with a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper. You could also use frozen defrosted spinach.
Hard boil the eggs and let cool. Cut the tomatoes. Use 1/3 of the upper part. Cut the very ends of the egg on top and bottom. Stand the egg up with the more narrow part facing up. Add the “hat” meaning the tomato. Cut up the egg white you just cut off the egg. Decorate the “hat” with a few pieces. Stand them around the salmon with the spinach being the “ground”.
I roast of Lamb.
10 cloves of garlic.
1 sprig of rosemary.
3 tbsp. of olive oil.
1-2 tbsp. of hot sauce (optional.)
Mint, fresh or dried. About 3 tbsp.
Herbs, Dried or fresh. About 1/4 cup.
A pinch of salt & pepper.
Add all herbs and the garlic to a food processor. Mix well. Add the olive oil. It will become a pale version of pesto.
Add the mixture to the roast. Massage it into the meat. Make sure it covers any place you can reach. If possible, let marinate in the fridge over night, if not just for a few hours. Turn on the oven on 250 degrees. Put the roast into an oven safe dish. Cover with foil. Let cook for about 3 hours depending on how big it is. You need to look at it after a few hours. It will shrink a bit. When done, just take of the foil and raise the temperature to 450 and make a little colored crust on the roast.
Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before starting to cut into it.
I prefer to cut very thin slices of the lamb. Serve with any kind of potato side or perhaps just vegetables.