Fear Not, Delia

Trout with Rosemary and Ginger Sauce*


I am not a natural cook. Even on a good day and yesterday was not one of those.

Cabin fever is reaching crisis point here, after yet more cold weather incarceration in front of the computer. This time searching fruitlessly for a new theme for the blog. If anyone popped by and found the place in disarray I apologise, for it may happen again.


Lack of time and lack of inclination mean that we rely heavily on ready meals. Since the completion of the new kitchen though I’ve been sufficiently motivated to cook from scratch at least a couple of times a week. Mike provides support as a reluctant sous. Can a person still be said to volunteer if there is coercion?

First, pour a glass of wine. This is not for the recipe, it goes in the chef.

I used salmon fillets, because that is what I had and it works just as well. They have to be cut in half lengthways, as though you were going to use them like the bread in a sandwich. Which you are. To have any chance of success with this the fillets need to be quite thick. Difficult to control when someone else picks your shopping and it arrives on the back of a van.

Chop a generous handful of fresh rosemary, and a similar one of flat leaved parsley. NOTE that half the parsley should be set aside for garnish. I overlooked this bit so all of my parsley went in to the filling. I still blame Mike for turning on the TV news at this point but, yes, it could also have been the wine.

Mix together the rosemary and the right quantity of parsley with some fresh root ginger. Season the two halves of fish fillet and assemble the ‘sandwich’ with the herbs in the middle. What could be simpler? Shove in the oven and go back to watching the news.

A second chef has his uses. “When should we be putting on the beans?”


The dressing is the making of this dish. Honey, orange zest and juice and a dash of soy sauce. Under supervision, Mike did an excellent job. I just had to toast some pine nuts. Which burnt.

Just before serving, wilt a large bag of spinach in a pan. Choose a large enough pan, it saves an awful lot of angst.

Serve the fish on a bed of the spinach, scatter with the pine nuts, pour over the dressing and sprinkle with the parsley that you remembered to reserve.

It would have gone well with rice. Very well indeed. Why did the recipe only mention this at the end?


*Image and original recipe from waitrose.com


2017-11-10T09:23:45+00:00March 26th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. rachel March 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    There’s nothing worse than cooking when you don’t really want to. I don’t use ready meals, but I have some shocking shortcuts!

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      Oh do tell!

  2. Wendy March 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    This made me laugh, Jessica. This is cooking how it really is i.e. cooking in the real world. But I’m intrigued to know, now – what did it taste like?

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      It was superb. It’s the sort of food I’m trying to move more towards, light and healthy. And even Mike liked it!

  3. Vintage jane March 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    This sounds lovely and I’m going to try it … wine included of course! I am lucky in that I only cook once or twice a week – my man loves to cook and takes over the rest of the time.

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      I’d call that really really lucky!

  4. LYNDA Kling March 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Hello from another reluctant cook!
    There is hope..after a miserable, cold and snowy day yesterday, the sun is out today, snow gone and spring temperatures. I will send it on over across the pond to you shortly! Keep warm until it arrives…

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      Hello and welcome to rusty duck Lynda!
      Oh we so need our Spring weather back, you couldn’t find a better gift! Enjoy the sunshine.

  5. Jill Chandler March 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Best way tocook withwine

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      It helps in getting cooperation from the sous chef too.

  6. snowbird March 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Hahahahaha….what a BRILLIANT post. A woman after my own heart. It does look lovely I must say!
    I simply refuse to waste good wine in food, that always goes in me while cooking to!xxxxx

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks snowbird, it was lovely.. in the end!

  7. Denise March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    ‘Shove it in the oven’. A most technical term , Jessica, and one that every cook should follow! I know I do. I learned to cook with my grandmother. She never weighed anything, and she never seemed to follow a recipe.

    ‘Fuzz it all in,’ is another favourite technical term. I learned that one from Vera over at Labartere.

    Continue with your excellent cuisine, chef!

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Some other technical terms were uttered, but we won’t go into that..

  8. Simone March 26, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Did yours resemble the photo jessica? I think I may even try this recipe!

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      Maybe a little more ‘deconstructed’ as they say on Masterchef!

  9. steph March 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    I do a lot of cooking ‘on hand’—-and that includes my equipment. I just about threw in the towel (literally) a couple minutes ago—-chocolate chip cookies put me over the edge this time…..too much batter, too little mixing bowl. I almost ran out to buy a KitchenAid (I know, but I think there is a shop in town having a 30% off everything just today….I still might go—when the cookies come out of the oven).

    Your substituted salmon looks quite amazing……I think I’ll have to give that one a whorl!!!

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      Choc chip cookies!!! Yum yum. I’d have just eaten any mixture that overflowed..

  10. Pats. March 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Who’s a clever Duck, then! Save me a bit!

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      A waddling duck, not a runner. In the kitchen anyway.

  11. Countryside Tales March 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Give me enough wine and everything tastes wonderful. Made me chuckle Jessica, thanks!

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      So true! Thanks CT.

  12. starproms March 26, 2013 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Funny! I have the same experiences. Cabin fever here too Jessica and it’s still so cold. I am getting lazy and don’t even want to do anything these days. This evening I couldn’t even be bothered to open a tin of spaghetti. Oh well! the sun will shine again, one day (I hope).
    Your recipe looks lovely. Please come round to my cottage and cook it for me? while I stretch back on the couch?

    • Jessica March 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      It’s Mike’s turn tonight so I get a rest too… ‘pierce film lid several times…’

  13. Viv March 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    I’ll try this on the kids (they are all grown up now) when they come over sometime. I find Salmon quite easy and quick to do when they all descend on me at short notice. Don’t worry mum they always say we will eat what you eat. I always have a sneaking suspicion that for their partners who grew up in meat eating households Lentils just don’t do it for them! I notice the look of relief on their faces when I produce Salmon or chicken!

    • Jessica March 27, 2013 at 9:31 am - Reply

      I am edging towards more veggie stuff too. I’d prefer not to eat meat but convincing Mike is another thing.. If we could get to veggies and fish that would be a start.

  14. Josephine March 26, 2013 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    The dish looks tasty, and not many carbs since the rice was an afterthought 🙂
    I have a gourmet night once a week, chips and egg……free range only of course.

    • Jessica March 27, 2013 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Love your gourmet night!!! ‘Shove in the oven’ chips I hope..

  15. haggiz March 27, 2013 at 7:19 am - Reply

    I go in fits and starts with cooking, enjoying it one week and then can’t be bothered the next. The conversation at the tea table last night Son “So Dad are you eating out with mum all next week when you’re on holiday” Dad “No, we will a couple of times” I just glared… I think I made my point! That salmon sounds and looks lovely though, will have to try it. Julie x

    • Jessica March 27, 2013 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Oh lovely, a break from cooking!
      I wish we could afford to do it more often, it’s the only time I get to eat veggie without complaints!

  16. Anne March 27, 2013 at 8:41 am - Reply

    We shall be having salmon tonight, as Wednesday is “fish day” …….. the fishman should be arriving any minute now (it’s 8.40) with a wonderful selection of fish on his van. He parks in the drive and Malcolm pops out to buy the fish …. and catch up on all the local gossip!

    • Jessica March 27, 2013 at 9:41 am - Reply

      Wonderful! The fish man hasn’t found us yet 🙁

  17. BadPenny March 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    ah well we have salmon tonight but having been flicking through 101 low fat feasts I fancy stuffed roast butternut squash ( which I’ve never made before ! ) No wine for me tonight – drat !

    • Jessica March 27, 2013 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      Keep thinking about the blue dress…

  18. Abby March 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    I’m with you on all of that (apart from the fish, I’m veggie) – well, really I’m mostly with you on the wine (large glass of Sauvignon with me as I type this…..). I used to love cooking, but I think I’ve just got bored with producing so many meals over the years! – hate it now. I like meals that are just ‘put together’, rather than cooked – Greek salad and garlic bread, Pasta and pesto, Baked potato and houmous………..

    • Jessica March 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      I would dearly love to go veggie, but it would mean cooking two different meals every night and that isn’t going to happen anytime soon! When I do ‘cook’ I like simple things too.

  19. Rosie March 28, 2013 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Looks delicious! I have to be in the mood for cooking meals and usually opt for the everything in one pot stuff like casserole, ratatouille or pasta type dishes. I love making cakes though and my husband makes bread. We were vegetarian for years but have recently gone back to eating a bit of fish occasionally, usually fish pie, still can’t eat meat though:)

    • Jessica March 28, 2013 at 10:33 am - Reply

      If I can get more out of the veggie garden this year we will be eating a lot more home grown food, the basis for a healthier diet I hope!

  20. My Life In Sweden March 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    That sounds really delicious and healthy. Yum!

    • Jessica March 31, 2013 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      I will have to make it again, too many buns and chocolate consumed over Easter!

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