Tuesday, 5 May 2015

#readcookeat recipe : Sgt Windflower's Smothered Salmon

I recently read and reviewed Mike Martin's latest Sgt Windflower Mystery, A Twist of Fortune. The food-loving Mountie always goes into great detail about what he's eating (or dreaming of eating !) for breakfast, lunch, dinner and numerous snacks in between, so I knew I wouldn't be short of inspiration for a #readcookeat recipe. Last time I read one of Mike Martin's books, I did a whole post on the Newfoundland cuisine mentioned in the book and made some delicious raisin molasses bread.

This time, the first recipe that leapt out at me was for Jiggs Dinner.

Jiggs dinner
By celinecelines [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

p311 "When he snooped into the pots on the stove, Madge shooed him away, but not before he figured out supper was going to be a Jiggs Dinner, with a turkey to boot. Jiggs Dinner was a traditional meal commonly prepared and eaten on Sundays in many regions around the province. It got its name from a long-running comic strip years ago called Bringing Up Father whose main character was Jiggs. And Jiggs loved his corned beef and cabbage.
 The Newfoundland version featured salt beef or riblets boiled together with potatoes, carrots, turnips and cabbage. There were also two kinds of boiled puddings, pease pudding and figgy duff. Pease pudding had split yellow peas and generous amounts of salt and pepper tied up in a cloth bag and boiled along with the vegetables. Figgy duff was a dessert pudding you actually ate along with the meal, gravy and all.
 Windflower had learned from Quigley, the local expert on desserts, that figgy duff had nothing to do with figs. These so-called figs were actually raisins, which many people across the island used to refer to as figs. It was a traditional English or Irish pudding with butter, flour, sugar, molasses and, of course, raisins. He was also glad there was a turkey. The turkey was optional at a Jiggs Dinner, but welcome, and Windflower certainly welcomed all of the above."

However, a bit further on, I found another dish that appealed to me even more and that didn't even require any shopping because I had everything I needed !

p282 "Windflower gave Lady a couple of Milk Bones to buy her silence, and pulled out his stack of Canadian Living recipes to look for a nice sauce for the salmon.  He found one called Smothered Salmon Steaks, and it looked perfect for a mid-winter meal. He hadn't tried it before but when he checked, he had most of the ingredients including the requisite chicken broth and the spices. He greased the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil then added the onions with a heavy sprinkle of thyme on top. Then he poured in the chicken broth and a little lemon juice, stirring the whole mixture together. He microwaved the salmon for just over a minute to take the freeze out of the fish and then put the thawed fish in the dish. The final touches were salt and pepper, and zest from a lemon which Windflower had in the fridge.
 He covered everything in tin foil and put it into the oven to bake. While the salmon was cooking, he put two large potatoes in the microwave and chopped up some broccoli and carrots that he would steam at the last minute. "

The amazing thing is, this recipe actually exists online ! - http://www.canadianliving.com/food/smothered_salmon_steaks.php

I used the Canadian Living version and used leeks instead of Windflower's onions. I also served ours with spaghetti rather than potatoes, broccoli and carrots but it was still delicious so I'm sure he'd approve !

Linking up with the #readcookeat linkie at Chez Maximka.


  1. Oh, I love the sound of that recipe. Salmon cooked in chicken broth, who would have thought! very tasty!