My dear friend, Hugh Kearnley, an award-winning chef, sent me these recipes. Canned (wild) salmon is a good and a cheap way to get needed vitamin D and fish oils. Hughie, unfortunately, died last September, but he will live on through his tasty treats. I am leaving in some of Hughie’s commentary so you can get an idea how much fun this exuberant Scot was. (This actually sounds a bit orgiastic.)

Hughie’s words:

There’s so much more you CAN do with tinned Salmon.

Some days I’ll just wipe it clean, slice it wafer-thin and eat it raw, wrapped in lettuce with any old mix of dips I fancy. I quite like that with a tomato-chili salsa.

Other days: maybe I’ll cut it in matchsticks and steam it for just 1 minute,then mix through boiled rice with peas, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc. I don’t fry anything at all now. I quite like the slippery sensation of steamed salmon skin

[what alliteration!] on the tongue! Feels sorta – sexy?

OK – TINNED Salmon – I do buy the cheaper Wild Pink Salmon too. Perfect for slipping out of the can, drained and on a bed of mixed saladdy stuff and pour Garlic Mayo on top (I use an eggless Olive oil Mayo — not quite great but good enough. That with crusty bread.

Like somebody said, there are more available Omega-3’s in canned than in fresh, so don’t think that buying fresh is always best. As long as the can says “WILD” it’s fine.

The Can juices – I drink from the can with a dash of Tabasco! I LOVE the can juices!

I also eat the skin and the lovely soft bones — full of calcium. For sandwiches, simply fork the flesh down with vinegar, pepper & add salt to taste. I sometimes add equal parts Orange juice and vinegar. Sometimes Lime or Lemon juice, sometimes a sweet chili dipping sauce, or for more “bite” — Tabasco or any hot pepper sauce. The more moist it is, the more deliciously delectable!” Don’t use a spread for the bread, use salad cream or mayo spread very thinly.

I’m fond of canned salmon on a pizza as extra topping, in scrambled eggs, mixed with cold rice as a snack meal, warmed and coated with Parsley Sauce served with tiny new season potatoes and broccoli. Chopped into a Carbonara sauce instead of Bacon, and poured into slightly undercooked pasta shells — cheese on top and under the grill for 5 minutes.

Another quite tasty thing is a frittata stuffed with chopped canned salmon and wilted courgette [eggplant] dice — using some of the can juices to make the savoury custard. Eat that cold or on the run for breakfast or an “all-day-grazing” type snack. (Frittata is a sort of quiche without pastry — almost a cold omelette, but I make mine without yolks and use soya milk instead of dairy, the soya milk gives it a sort of slightly sweet caramel flavour that goes very well with the saltiness of the Salmon.)

Try mixing crushed Canned Salmon that’s highly seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil and orange juice into a sauce, and use it to serve with sliced or half avocados. The bits of soft bone add an interesting light crunchy texture — like peanut butter with “bits” in it. The same “sauce” used as a dip, for thin trimmed stringed celery ribs as a snack for TV. (With chillies added, a great dip for Nachos!)

Finally — try mixing an equal amount of well-drained canned salmon with an equal amount of DRY mashed potatoes — that is just mashed – NO butter and NO milk. Season well, mix in some chopped parsley and a few finely chopped chillies, while still slightly warm, form into little patties, then flour them, dip in a flour and water thin cream, then into fresh breadcrumbs and reform. Chill down and DRY-FRY gently or bake in a moderately hot oven just enough to lightly brown the crumb coating. Serve with — whatever you like, but certainly lots of Ketchup.


T0 Hughie:

“Fair and lovely as thou art, thou hast stown my very heart. I can die but canna part, my bonnie dearie.”

— Robert Burns