Day 103: Fish burger and chips, high maintenance style

April 13, 2007

This evening I made Salmon Burgers with Ginger-Wasabi Mayo and Sesame-Crusted French Fries. I was really excited to have oven chips/ fries, because it seems like forever since we got to eat really, really low maintenance food. But the easy bung the chips in the oven part of the meal was pretty much offset, effort-wise, by making the salmon burgers from scratch. The salmon fillets were ground up in the food processor, with garlic, ginger, scallions, red pepper, tamari and grill seasoning added. Formed into monster burgers, they were then fried in vegetable oil. Meanwhile, I mixed the mayonnaise with ginger, lime juice and enough wasabi paste to make L pant (I opted out in favour of tomato ketchup, old habits die hard). When the oven chips had 3 minutes left to cook, they were encrusted in sesame seeds, and put back in the oven. The burgers were served on sesame rolls with lettuce and the spicy mayonnaise; the fries piled alongside.

If this recipe was mine, I would go one of two ways. Either acknowledge that making burgers from scratch is a bit of an effort, and so call them fishcakes. These Asian-style fishcakes would be great with a tangy dipping sauce, served with any vegetable and maybe a little rice. Or, buy a good quality fishburger, ditch the Asian styling, and just have fishburger and chips. The fusion style food didn’t particularly work in this instance. The enormous doughy breadbun masked the taste and effort of the burger, making it seem like much more run-of-the-mill food than it actually was. The fries with sesame seeds just didn’t happen. We sprinkled the seeds and tossed the chips with a spatula as directed, then put them back in the oven. Three minutes later, we had fries with sesame seeds alongside- they certainly hadn’t stuck to the potato and were far from Sesame-Crusted. Surely some sticky element was needed for that to be successful.

The whole meal was a little disappointing and anaemic-looking. Part of this could have been our use of organic fries, which didn’t have any other additives, colourings etc so stayed a bit on the whiter side of pale throughout the cooking process. The fish burgers were good, but completely overshadowed. As I mentioned earlier, I ended up eating my serving with ketchup in the bun and salt and vinegar on the chips, completely obliterating the fusion elements, as I is classy an’ that. Still, I did consider ditching the fish entirely and putting the chips in the bun for a delicious chip butty. But, on a rare day when I haven’t been sick, I thought the fish and vegetables may provide some much-needed nutritional relief. I did counteract any good work with a gigantic bowl of ice cream and crushed biscuits/ cookies, in case you’re concerned.

Tomorrow we will be eating Garlic and Herb Chicken with Romesco Sauce on Spicy Greens. Presumably my slightly schizophrenic use of English and American words will calm down when we go back to talking about chicken. Unless we’re eating it on the pavement/ sidewalk, or making heavy use of the rubbish bin/ trash can. Don’t get me started on the bum/ fanny conundrum, and the terrible misunderstandings that can cause.

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