Bargain of the Day

Hello Campers and welcome to Wednesday!

What a beautiful morning it has been down here in the Garden of England!  It was rather cool

Autumn in Kent

and crisp when we got up at 5:00am.  The sun finally showed its bright face later on in the morning and it has been pleasantly warm, yet cool.  Autumn has definitely arrived; in fact I was almost tempted to put the heat on this morning!  Instead, I’ve now got a long sleeved top on and a cardigan and I’m quite comfy.

The kitties too, are all enjoying the warmth of the sun as they are all in their favorite sunny spots, snoozing.

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On Monday, Chef P stopped at the store on his way home and checked out the Reduced to Clear section, as he always does.  He called to ask me if I wanted any plums, but I still have a few left to turn into something yummy, so told him not to bother.

When he got home a little while later, he came in with a big grin on his face and said ‘Wait until you see what I found in RTC!’

This has got to be one of the best bargains he’s ever found, even better than herbs for 5p.  Out of the bag, he pulls a whole salmon.  Now as some of you may know, we often find whole salmon at reduced prices so this was nothing new…until I saw how much he paid for it.

The normal price was £8.00/kg and had been reduced/rolled back to half price; £4.00/kg.  The salmon weight was 1.896 kg, so you figure almost £8.00.  Ah, but remember, this was at an even lower and reduced price. Take a look….

Awesome!

Do you believe this??  £1.50 for a WHOLE SALMON!  Woo hoo!  At the normal price, it would have been £15.16.

So yesterday I scaled it and cut off its darling head and fins and filleted it, removed all the pin bones and cut it up into 10 serving pieces and frozen.  All the bits I cut off get thrown into a pot and boiled, then I pick out all the meat and freeze it to use for fish cakes later.  The remaining bits get thrown out back and then all the seagulls come down to have a feast.  Not one bit of this fish (except the bones) gets wasted and we can get a few meals out of it.

So let’s see what dinner cost last night (plus leftovers for Chef P’s lunch)…..

3 pieces salmon = 45p,  1/2 of an RTC cabbage = 18p,  egg noodles, home made (200g flour, 2 eggs) = 23p,  incidental condiments (olive oil, salt & pepper, butter) = 25p

So for a grand total of £1.11 or .37p a serving, we ate salmon and home made egg noodles.  OK, so it wasn’t very fancy, but we had a decent meal!

I don’t want to hear anyone say they can’t eat well on a budget.  You can if you know where the bargains are.

When was the last time you found a great bargain?

  Terri  

Friday Foodie Word ~ ABULON

Today’s Foodie Word was selected by one of my furried friend readers, Texas.  Texas is a Parisian cat who immigrated to New York because…well, his staff owners did!  Go check out this four-legged handsome boy.

On to today’s word…

Texas chose Page 4 and the 4th word down.

In this dictionary, some of the words given are just in another language to English, as is today’s word,

ABULON

Spain ~  Abalone.

A bivalve mollusc, Haliotis tuberculata, and other species of the genus Haliotis, found in warm sea water worldwide.  it is larger than the oyster (up to 13cm/5in).  The edible part is the foot; the frilly mantrel is discarded.  Abalone may be eaten raw if very young, but normally must be tenderized before being braised or sauteed lightly (less than 1 minute).

Maybe Texas the cat would like a sampling of this!

So who’s going to give me next Friday’s word?….

Salmon Cakes

We don’t normally have fish two nights in a row, but it’s what I took out of the freezer this morning.  I’m using the meat from the salmon we got a couple of weeks ago.  After cutting it up into fillets, I boil the rest of it (head, bones, tail, etc.) and then pick out the meat and freeze it to use for fish cakes.

Even though this is a recipe I’ve made a few times, when I just put the cakes together, I realized I didn’t read the recipe through like I should have because I forgot that I was supposed to saute the onions and celery BEFORE mixing with the other ingredients, so I’ve put raw shallots (in lieu of onions) and celery in the mix.  Hopefully they will soften a bit when I cook the cakes.

I like this recipe because it doesn’t contain any potatoes although it does have some cracker crumbs.  When I eat a fish cake, that’s what I want; not a fish and potato cake.  Many of the recipes I see for fish cakes seem to have more potato than fish!  This recipe also fits in to the South Beach Diet (Phase 2) if you use whole wheat crackers.

~~SAVORY SALMON CAKES~~

Serves 4 – Chill time 20 minutes or until needed

2 tsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped OR 1 shallot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1/2 C crackers, crushed (saltines, cream crackers, whole wheat crackers, whatever you wish to use)

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

14oz/400g cooked salmon, canned or fresh, skinless and boneless

1 egg

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3-4 dashes Tabasco sauce or to taste

freshly ground black pepper

1/4 C crackers, crushed, for coating

1 Tbsp olive oil

Tartar Sauce, to serve

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and celery and saute 4 minutes or until tender.

Combine onion mixture in bowl with crackers, mustard, salmon, egg, mayo, lemon juice, sauces and black pepper and combine well.

Divide and shape into 4 large or 8 small patties.  Coat with crackers, place on plate, cover and chill 20 minutes or until needed.

Heat oil in skillet.  Cook patties 6 minutes each side for large patties; 5 minutes each side for small patties until lightly golden and crisp.

Serve with tartar sauce.

 

SAVORY SALMON!

What do you call a literary fish?…Salmon Rushdie
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In my previous post I mentioned about purchasing a cheap salmon, and as we had some last night for dinner, I thought I would post some pictures to show what I did with it.
I start off with putting a piece of foil large enough to fold over onto a baking sheet and coating it with a bit of olive oil, extra virgin in this case.  I then lay the fillets on top.
Then in a small bowl, mix the following using amounts suited to your taste.  As I was only going to coat two fillets, I used about 1-2 tsp. of each item(except olive oil) and and all finely chopped.
Sun dried Tomatoes
Green Olives (mine were stuffed with garlic…yum!)
Capers
Red Onion
Parsley (fresh if you got it, otherwise about 1/2 tsp. if dried)
Lemon juice and zest
2-3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Mix thoroughly and put equal amounts onto each fillet.


Feel free to drizzle a bit more olive oil or even some white wine over the fish so that you have a little sauce to pour over after it’s cooked.  Fold up the foil tightly to form a packet as you don’t want any liquid seeping out.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C for about 12-15 minutes.  I usually cook it for 13 minutes then take it out and let it sit for 2-3 minutes while I plate up.

I served with potato wedges and cabbage.

I love doing salmon this way.  It stays moist and the toppings give it great flavor. 

This will definitely be my last post until I return from Holiday in London.  So everyone stay safe out there and keep on cooking!

Terri’s Tasty Tip….
Basil Bruschetta
 
Toast thin slices of French Bread, then spread a little pesto onto each slice while still warm, top with a small piece of wafer-thin ham, some chopped fresh tomato and a basil leaf…delicious served with a glass of chilled white wine as you wait for the barbecue to heat up.
Happy Eating! 

THE CLEARANCE SECTION

 Currently 59F/15C Rainy 😦
Did you hear about the dumb girl who got locked in a grocery store…and starved to death?
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Now, by no means are my husband and I poor, but we’re not loaded with money either.  We are, how shall we say, comfortable.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t like a good bargain…

Every Saturday, we do our grocery shopping.  We try to get out reasonably early to avoid the crowds (see my post ‘At the Grocery Store’) and get back home to enjoy the rest of the day.

One of the first sections we hit is the ‘Reduced to Clear’ in the meat/fish section.  We try to look for the items that are in the ‘white bags’ meaning that they came from the fresh meat or fish counters. There are many times we have picked up some really nice pork joints, rack of lamb, stewing beef or sirloin steaks.  For fish, we’ve gotten sea bass, cod, haddock or our favorite, whole salmon, all at a reduced price.

Hubby stopped at the store last night and checked out the reduced section, and what did he find, but  a whole salmon!  Woo Hoo!  Originally priced at £17.00, reduced to £11.05.  Yes, as I said, we love a bargain.  Luckily, it’s already gutted, even though that’s really not a problem as I have gutted many a fish before.  I thought I would take a picture of it to show you…

I measured it too…25 in./64 cm.  We should get lots of fillets from this.  Now I need to get in there and slice it up!

Terri’s Tasty Tip…

As the weekend is fast approaching, here’s a tall, cool drink to have while you’re sitting at the side of the pool.  Make sure you listen to Elvis singing ‘Blue Hawaii’ while flying through the eye of this hurricane!

Hurricane

1 oz. each of the following: vodka, gin, light rum, Amaretto, Triple Sec
1/2 oz. 151 proof rum
grapefruit juice
pineapple juice
grenadine

Put ice cubes into a tall glass.  Pour all of the alcohol into a cocktail shaker.  Add equal amounts of the grapefruit and pineapple juices along with several ice cubes.  Shake vigorously and strain into glass with ice.  Top up with grenadine.

Don’t forget the sun screen!

CHOOSING AND BUYING FISH

Two fish swim into a concrete wall.  One turns to the other and says…’Dam’!

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I’m making Lime Marmalade today as someone requested it at the Market last Sunday.  I try to please my customers!  Someone also asked if I had any Quince Jelly.  I’ve never worked with Quince before but I may have to give it a go.  It’s related to the apple and pear and is one of those fruits that really must be cooked prior to eating as it’s very bitter.

Quince

Terri’s Tasty Tip…

How to choose fresh fish:

When buying whole fish, look for flesh that’s firm and shiny, with no discoloration and that bounces back when pressed with your finger.  The eyes should be clear and bright and not sunken.  The gills should be pink, not brownish.

Fish fillets should have a moist surface and firm texture, with no mushiness.  A little separation of the individual flakes is normal.

Fresh fish doesn’t smell ‘fishy’ – it should have a light aroma of the sea.  Oily fish such as salmon or mackerel, should have a light, fresh oil smell, and not a rancid oil aroma.

Refrigerate fish as soon as possible – the lower shelf of the fridge is best as it’s the coldest part – remember, cold descends (heat rises).  Fresh fish can also be frozen; defrost it overnight in the fridge before use.

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Make your own Tartar Sauce.  It tastes much better than store bought and will keep for a few weeks.  If you already have a jar of store bought tartar sauce, use that up and keep the cleaned out jar for your homemade sauce.  These are ingredients that I always have so can make this whenever I need to.  It’s really best to make it before you need it to allow the flavors to mix, but it’s not a necessity.

1 C. mayonnaise (full fat or light – your preference)
2 tsp. mustard powder
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. green olives, finely chopped
1 tsp. gherkins or dill pickles, finely chopped
1 tsp. capers, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh chives, chopped (1/2 tsp. if dried)
1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped (1/2 tsp. if dried)
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all together and keep in jar in fridge.

Enjoy!