Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just call me Julia Child. Actually no don't. That would be too huge an insult to Julia.

It's no secret that I'm somewhat of a slug in the kitchen. I build food and I marinate stuff but there's no flour or egg and milk action in my kitchen. Unless of course we're talking about lightly dusting vegies in flour until they're roasted to within an inch of their life. Or unless my mate and her man-the-antiques-dealer are whipping up some whitebait patties, in which case the question I generally get asked is, 'Exactly how old is that flour and have any small creatures recently bought up real estate there?'

I can slap up a meal and my guests will say lots of nice things, however the more cynical of my friends will be mumbling quietly 'Yeah, just don't invite yourself around for dinner next week, cause you might find that you will be feasting on exactly the same menu.'

Despite having a very limited cooking repertoire I am going to share a recipe that is bit like the Christmas decorations - it gets pulled out and dusted off each year. I know I've already shared it with many of you, but I know there's new people visiting who won't have read about it before and besides, I'm lazy like that.

This one is an absolute winner. It's so simple it's almost criminal. It's a Richard Till creation design and he reckons it used to pay the rent in his restaurant.

Salmon Hash Browns.

You will need:
Frozen supermarket hash browns
Cream cheese
Salmon - either smoked or hot smoked or left over salmon from Christmas day
Oil and vinegar dressing which you have also hiffed some seedy mustard, fresh mint and chopped garlic into.

You will need to:
Cook the hash browns (either in the oven or the toaster). Now here's the trick - make sure they go from being soggy and light brown and get to the crispy and darker brown stage. (The one in the picture could be crispier, but it's a personal thing).
Smear over some cream cheese.
Plonk and amount of salmon on top.
Plonk a caper or two on top of that.
Drizzle over your dressing.

If you like salmon, this is to die for. Bite me, it's good.

There is something decadently luxurious about the textures.

For the last few years I have been a bit of a hobo over the Christmas/New Year period visiting friends and family scattered around various beaches, and whenever I have whipped up these I have generally had my stay extended.

I think the most satisfying time I ever had them was two years ago. A team of friends from university had gathered for New Year, and after a lengthy night of channelling our inner rock star (and not enough sleep) we eventually tucked into these late on New Year's day morning. They were sensationally perfect.

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