March 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 6:39 pm

At least, they have around here. I apologise to all of you that have attempted to e-mail me and contact me via comments during the last six months. I must have appeared very rude. 

It’s mostly my fault really. What kind of plonker starts a job before they’ve taken their PhD exam? Generally the kind of plonker who doesn’t understand that their job will take up 70 hours per week during term time. I possibly would have thought twice about it if I had known. I certainly would have delayed the start of my career if I knew I was going to write a grand total of 9 sets of reports during my first term and that my commute would total 2.5 hours a day. 

I have reason to believe that things will be very different next academic year. I really hope I’m right. As for now, I’ve just started a four week holiday and, now that all my thesis corrections are done, I’m properly free for the first time in nearly five years. So now I’ll try and catch up with everyone who I managed to ignore over the last two terms. 

And now that I won’t be spending at least 3 hours a day writing worksheets* and/or reports, hopefully my brain won’t have turned to mush by 8pm and I’ll be capable of creating some posts for this blog.

My cooking didn’t cease completely this term but time pressure meant that I couldn’t spend hours experimenting in the kitchen. I resorted to reasonably quick meals and, to my suprise some of them turned out to be quite good despite the lack of preparation. The reipe below was one of my favourite school-night suppers. It’s comforting, yet very healthy and doesn’t take much time to make. Plus there’s the added bonus that all the ingredients can be found in our depleted local Sainsbury’s or, more often, in the small Turkish stores across the road.

Salmon with Spiced Lentils and Minted Yoghurt

salmon, puy lentils, yoghurt


  • two large piees of salmon fillet, skin on
  • Enough seasoned cornflour to dust the salmon skin (I think any flour will work here)
  • 3 handfuls puy lentils, rinsed
  • fresh, unherbed vegetable stock (two to three times the volume of your lentils)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped coriander, plus some extra oursley chopped leves to garnish
  • 8 heaped tablespoons of plain natural yoghurt you might want to scale this down- Goon REALLY liked the yoghurt)
  • around 30g mint leaves, very finely chopped


  1. Fry the onion gently in olive oil with the cumin and ground coriander until the onion is soft. 
  2. Add the garlic and continue to fry for another few minutes until the garlic is cooked.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and lentils, stir well and bring to a gentle bubble
  4. While the lentils are cooking, mix the mint and yoghurt and set aside 
  5. Grill the salmon skin side down over a medium grill for three minutes.
  6. Dust the seasoned flour over a plate and then turn up the grill to medium/high  
  7. Lift the salmon of the grill, press the skin into the seasoned flour then return the salmon to the grill, skin side up, and grill until the skin turns a crisp golden brown.
  8. Remove the salmon from the grill.
  9. One they are cooked, drain the lentils. Stir in the fresh coriander.
  10. Spoon the lentils onto a serving plate and top with dollops of minted yoghurt. Place the salmon fillet, skin side up, on top and sprinkle over chopped coriander.
  11. While this meal was sufficient for me, if you are serving a carb fiend, you may want to have some basmati rice on hand to keep them satisfied. 


*I imagine that any teacher reading this is thinking ‘Why are you spending so much time writing worksheets?!’. In response, my school’s maths department has an unusual policy of not teaching through textbooks so all our resources are created by hand specifically for each lesson. This has a lot of advantages and I’m in favour of it 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time, I just want to sleep.


  1. So that will include my email to you inviting you and Andy out for a meal in a few weeks time when I’m back in London, then.

    Comment by Trig — March 21, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

  2. Happy Easter to you and Andy.

    Comment by Trig — March 23, 2008 @ 4:11 pm

  3. It’s Easter? Sorry- I got caught up in the fact it was the HOLIDAYS! :D

    Happy Easter to you too. I hope the kitchens don’t work you too hard this weekend.

    Comment by ros — March 23, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

  4. This sounds like a wonderful “schoolnight supper”! We did a very fussy version of this for one of our Cookbook Cooking Club meals, but the thing is that the basic flavours work so well together that it is wonderful in a simpled format like this too - thanks for the idea! I adore cooking but my working hours ae just such that I get home too late on weeknights to be really inspired to make anything complicated; or I stand in front of my freezer and curse all the stuff I forgot to defrost :o ) One of my schoolnight favourites is pan fried trout fillets with toasted almonds. Feels like such a treat but it’s oh so simple.

    Comment by Jeanne — April 21, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

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