Baked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes

Salmons are filled with goodness.
Granted.
But the fish is tasty indeed.
And that is why it is always a favourite at home.

Early morning drive to the fish section of the nearest hypermarket.
The Salmon is filleted and packed.
Back home, these fillets need to be checked for tiny pin bones.
Remove any found, best to use a pair of tongs.
One may also choose to use the tip of a paring knife.

Clean glass bowl.
Olive oil.
Fresh Parsley, chopped.
Dry Basil.
Lemon juice.
Salt and pepper.

Fillets are placed skinless side down on the marinade.
2 hours. Lemon juice partially cooks the fish!
Oven preheated to 150 degrees Celsius.
Baking tray with aluminium foil lining readied.

Fish goes in, skinside down.
Around 16 minutes, flaking begins.
Care must be taken not to over cook the salmon.
Chewy, it becomes as experience has taught.

Sautéd Zucchini, Mangetouts, Mushrooms and blanched Broccoli.
One can also try Asparagus shoots.
Cream of Tartar uses so much mayonnaise
usually not used much at home therefore.

Yoghurt can substitute mayonnaise.
Capers and gherkins complete the picture.
Cream of tartar was skipped
and the focus was now on potatoes.

Russet Potatoes.
3-4 times more expensive than ‘regular’ ones.
Flaky not sticky.
Gives a silky finish to the mashed potatoes.

Unsalted butter.
Milk.
Salt. White pepper.
More salt…

Later, watching the harvest moon, with the family; a cup of Rooibos tea.
Over the tea the discussion on baked or roasted happens.
Roasted, it is.
Would you disagree?

Advertisements

Farmers’ Market

pic-5791

Highway leading to Budaiya, the venue of Farmers’ Market 2017, got slower from almost a mile away. Typical of any event. Almost all the vehicles carried families with children. After finding a parking nearby, the place was a short walk away. It was a sunny and pleasant Saturday in January. Mild breeze among the many date palms lining the tiled walkways carried smell of vegetables. The botanical gardens in Budaiya, maintained by the Agriculture Ministry, hosted the Farmers’ Market as it did for past several years. Photographs were shot randomly while walking around the market…

pic-5719

A mild climate conducive of growing vegetables in Bahrain starts from October typically. However, the summer lingered on till late November in 2016 and the weather turned mild towards mid- to end-December. Christmas really felt like that in Brisbane; warm. Farmers’ Market in Bahrain usually started in early December and lasts till the first few months of the following year. All Saturdays of the month, from 8 AM till 12 noon, Budaiya gets some extra action.

Breakfast Corner (actually it is an open space) visit was top on the list. Not that we three were hungry. The idea of tasting some authentic Bahraini food always appealed to us. Fresh vegetables were so appealing that from the moment we saw the first stall, the shutter was relentlessly moving up and down (or was it sideways? Should have paid more attention during the many photography workshops attended.) Tomatoes, Cauliflowers, Pumpkins, Chillies, Zucchinis, Cucumbers, all those leafy vegetables – that the family doctor always reminded to consume more, Beetroots, Bell Peppers, to name more than a few. Mint led the list of herbs. Those on sale were so fresh and untouched so unlike what is sold by the regular stores that it seemed to have made just for decoration and not for cooking.

pic-5755

Flowering plants were on sale. Hyacinths and Pansies were more popular. Geraniums were rare. Bougainvilleas scattered themselves among others. As we walked forward, the air began to smell of waffles. Waffles would have been a complete misfit in such an atmosphere. We followed the waffles that led us to a stall where several people – women and children mostly – patiently waited for their turn to collect their favourite snack: pan-baked bread. Thin, crunchy, mildly sweet made up of batter.

pic-5831

pic-5728

pic-5765

pic-5774

pic-5773

pic-5809

pic-5826

pic-5859

pic-5852

pic-5838

pic-5881

pic-5901

pic-5928

pic-5941

The best part of the Farmers’ Market was not the display of the local produce. It is about the people and the smile on their face. Met several families that included expatriates and the local ones. Business was casual with occasional bargaining (well, no one ever bargained in a super market) and tasting of the fresh produces.

Stall owners found time to chat about their farms in different parts of Bahrain. 17 years of stay made it almost possible to locate many. Children played as the sun rose while other wide-eyed ones kept wondering about the many colours of vegetables. From red, green, yellow and purple that is grown in their own Bahrain.

pic-5925