28 February 2014

Zesty glazed salmon on butter bean mash - the week's unexpected hit!

I love butter beans and I don't mind who knows it.

Now I do know that there are folk out there for whom a butter bean is the epitome of disgusting - strange folk who need to have their eyes opened to the beauty of the butter bean when engaged in the most delicious of things - butter bean mash.

However, I am getting a bit ahead of myself, so let's back up a bit and do a bit of explaining.

I have been looking for carbohydrate alternatives.  It is just too easy to say "hmmn, pork chop.  What shall we have with it?  Oh, new/roast/mashed/dauphinoise/boiled/chipped/Hasselback (and ever onwards) potatoes".  There are so many different types of potato dish that you can choose from!  However, I think I might have exhausted my range of all known potato types and have probably cycled through them all a number of times.

So it was time to try some creative alternatives.

With that in the back of my mind, I was doing my usual thing of browsing the foodie internet for possible dinner ideas.  One dinner ingredient that we all enjoy but we just don't eat enough of, is fish.  Having discovered that Asda's range of frozen fish is compatible with several different methods of cooking, I was particularly after a fish recipe when all of a sudden there appeared a recipe that solved the two requirements in one.  Sara Buenfeld's Sizzling Salmon with Bean Mash, on BBC Good Food.

Mmmmn ... butter (or Lima) beans
Salmon - tick!  Butter beans - tick!

Even better, from a balanced meal point of view, it included wilted Rocket in the mash and the fish was grilled (albeit with a sweet mustard glaze).  Add a couple of likely looking veggies and that is dinner sorted - completely without recourse to a potato.

However, I had temporarily forgotten - in my butter beany enthusiasm - that hubby "isn't keen" on the beautiful creamy giants of the bean world.  For that, read "have yet to sample them in anything that makes them even palatable, never mind edible".  Humm.

I knew that I'd never sampled butter bean mash and I knew that I'd had it recommended to me by more than one person - and more than one of those more than one people were like hubby in their dislike for the ordinary butter bean.  However, they reported that butter bean mash was a definite thumbs up.  My caution went for a fly around in the wind and I put the dish on the menu plan.  *gulp*

Now the naughty boy has been teasing me all day with various comments about the three (THREE!) tins of organic butter beans I'd had him buy in the shopping this morning, but I held out, stood firm and went for it.



Do you know, he likes it!  No, in fact, I'd say he really rather liked it (which is a bit more than your average "like" - in case you were wondering).  We've just finished dinner and having gone from a plaintive "Well if I don't like it, what am I going to eat?" to "This is delicious!  ~suspicious look from me~  No, seriously delicious!", I call that a very definite win.

Son and heir left a little of his mash, but then I did give him rather more - hollow legs and all that.

The salmon was lovely with the lime/honey/mustard glaze and took minutes to cook under the grill.  The butter bean mash was simplicity itself, even with my changing the order of cooking around a little bit to include sauteing the garlic in the butter for a minute or two, so that I didn't get a reaction to it.  They are right in the original recipe when they say that the mash requires a good wallop of seasoning to bring out the flavours - I seemed to be endlessly adding pepper, but once you reached sufficient, you realised why.  The creme fraiche is a master stroke, as it loosens the flouriness of the beans and combines with the butter to make an overall creaminess.  Just so tasty!



I served the fish and mash with some broccoli and carrots that I drizzled with the cooking juices.  Everyone was happy with the quantity of food on the plate and I am quietly cock-a-hoop that it was as much of a success as it turned out to be.

I most definitely recommend this one.  It's a keeper!

ZESTY GLAZED SALMON on BUTTER BEAN MASH   (serves 3)

Ingredients :

3 salmon fillets, skin removed
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp runny honey
1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
3 x 400g tins of butter beans, rinsed
25g butter
1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped finely
4-5 tbsp creme fraiche
50g rocket
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method :

1.   Place the salmon fillets face upwards on a heatproof flat tray.

2.  Into a bowl, combine the lime zest, lime juice, honey, mustard and a good pinch of salt.

3.  Spoon a little of the mixture onto the face of each salmon fillet, then turn each upside down and leave to marinate for a few minutes while you prepare the mash.

4.  Drain the beans and place into a flat bottomed bowl.  Using a potato masher, mash until the beans are quite broken up, but still retain some texture.

5.  Place the butter into a saucepan large enough to take all the butter beans and put it on a low heat to melt.  Add the garlic and cook very gently - do not allow it to brown - for a few minutes.

6.  Once the raw garlic smell has dissipated add the crushed butter beans, a large pinch of sea salt, a whole heap (to taste) of freshly ground black pepper and the creme fraiche.  Vigorously mix the combination together - a wooden spoon is good for this as you can crush any randomly whole butter beans as you go.  Heat the contents of the pan until bubbling.

7.  Spoon a little more glaze over the fish fillets and place under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes.

8.  Turn the fillets and spoon the remaining glaze over them, then return them to the grill until done.  The cooking juices should be bubbling and hot.

7.  Just before you are due to serve, add the rocket to the butter bean mash pan and stir through.  You are wanting the rocket to have just wilted and not be cooked.

8.  Serve with steamed broccoli and carrots, with the cooking juices from the fish drizzled over.

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