“ Type: Fish „
PRICE: £2.69 for 170g (one piece)
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per pack):
(of which sugars): Trace
(of which saturates): 12.8g
(of which mono unsaturates): 11.9g
(of which polyunsaturates): 6.4g
Omega 3: 4.8g
Salmon (91%), butter, parsley, chervil, basil, tarragon, black pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, chives
ALLERGY AND OTHER WARNINGS:
Contains fish and milk (butter fat)
Filleting removes all major bones, but some small ones may still remain
Some while ago, the powers that be were onto us about eating lots of Omega 3 for health, but though this isn't now being ignored, the emphasis seems to have shifted onto us eating our 'five a day'. I've always been a lover of fish and eat plenty of it, but salmon has never been a great favourite. Being as I'm in possession of some John Lewis vouchers, I'm in the process of gradually spending them in Waitrose, buying items of food to try that I otherwise wouldn't bother with - partly because of them being too expensive to have on a regular day to day basis, and partly because to me it's a false economy to buy foods which aren't my favourites, as I can then sometimes end up throwing them away. The John Lewis vouchers have put me in a position where (because I won them), I can afford to spread my wings a bit food-wise, even if only temporarily - and this is how I arrived at a place where I thought I'd give a ready-made salmon dish a try. I've always mostly trusted Waitrose's brand of food, so felt that even if I wasn't too keen on the salmon itself, at least it would be a quality product, which would quite likely mean that I'd eat it all.
Waitrose Salmon Fillet With Herb Butter is to be found in the frozen food section of the supermarket. It comes in a rather smart-looking, fairly shallow dark blue box with images of a serving of the salmon on the front and sides. The rear of the pack shows nutritional information, ingredients list, allergy advice, a bone warning, storage/cooking instructions and Waitrose's quality claim together with their contact details.
The pack actually looks quite small, yet there is definitely a 'tardis' element present in that once opened, the piece of salmon inside is much larger than the outer impression hints at. The salmon is sealed inside a plastic wrapping which is microwave-proof, and has a generous blob of butter on top which is greenish, from the herbs which are mixed into it.
To cook the salmon in the microwave, you don't need to remove the plastic wrapper or pierce it in any way, but I opted for the conventional oven method whereby all outer and inner packaging must be removed. The salmon must then be placed in a cooking vessel (I used a foil tray), in a medium pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes. It is important to remember to remove the plastic wrapper before cooking in a conventional oven. There was no mention in the cooking instructions that the salmon should have, say a sheet of tin foil placed over it to stop it drying out in a conventional oven, so I took a risk and left it uncovered.
During the cooking process, my kitchen was filled with a wonderful smell of herbs and butter, faintly tinged with fish. At the time, I hadn't read the ingredients list to see what the herbs were, and was trying to identify them by the smell alone but couldn't - all I could say at the time was that it was heavenly.
I cooked the fish for the full recommended time of 30 minutes and opened the oven door to inspect the results. I was half expecting a shrivelled, shrunken piece of fish, so was pleasantly surprised to see that the salmon was exactly the same size as it had been before cooking. The herb butter had melted, coating the piece of fish beautifully, with a little having run down into the bottom of the foil cooking tray.
My chosen accompaniment for the meal was mashed potato mixed with finely shredded raw dark green cabbage, and tomatoes with sweetcorn.
As I lifted the salmon from the foil tray onto my plate, it didn't break at all, and I could see that it was much thicker than I'd previously realised. The top was lightly glazed with the melted herb butter, and the fish piece looked delicious and very colourful next to the other items on my plate, plus smelled divine, although I still couldn't quite pinpoint what herb or herbs was/were giving off this wonderful aroma.
Straight away I cut into the salmon as I was eager to see if it lived up to its smell and appearance. It was cooked right through, and despite me not placing a piece of tinfoil over it whilst it was in the oven, the whole piece of fish was still beautifully moist and tender. The inside was a lovely rich salmon pink colour, and as I probed around with my knife, the fish gradually broke down into large, firm yet tender and succulent flakes. I must say at this point, that there was skin on the bottom part of the piece of salmon, but for anybody who hates fish skin, I found it very easy to remove - I happen to love it though.
On placing a forkful of the fish into my mouth, I experienced a beautiful, very pronounced and delicious, yet delicate flavour of salmon, butter and herbs, all infused together - and it tasted absolutely beautiful. The combination of herbs was just right, not one flavour overpowering any of the others, and I just scoffed the whole lot, relishing every mouthful, and not wanting the experience to end. Sadly I finished the salmon, and can say that I easily could have devoured another piece, despite the one I'd just eaten having been very substantial and an extremely generous serving - possibly big enough for two people who have moderate to small appetites. Another plus point was that despite the warning on the packet of the possibility of some small bones still being present, I found none!
It's sad that the combination of Omega 3 and butter makes this product quite high in fat, but 409 calories for the whole piece of fish isn't really too bad, despite it sounding a lot - it really is a large, satisfying portion which is loaded with good protein and those Omega 3 oils. Plus, it's astonishingly tasty - quite possibly one of the nicest things I've ever eaten in my life.
It could be said too that £2.69 per portion is on the expensive side, but it isn't really if you'd be able to eke two meals from one piece of salmon, and it's certainly cheaper than say a small piece of rump steak or a couple of lamb cutlets. I'd say it's definitely worth the money simply from the point of view of its superb enjoyment value, even if you can only make one meal from it.
Hats off and hands up to Waitrose for producing this amazingly delicious salmon meal, which is very simple to cook, and a truly divine experience to eat. A full house, and I just wish I could give it more than 5 stars!
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Waitrose / Frozen single red salmon fillet (microwave or oven-bake) with herb butter