Peasy Salmon En Croute

When at my first summer law firm placement, one of the people at work mentioned that she went to “Peas and Cheese” church. Slightly bewildered and because the conversation was then interrupted, I didn’t have the chance to quiz her further. Was this a church with an unorthodox approach to Communion? (Blog readers who don’t speak Christianese: drinking red wine to remember Jesus’ blood poured out for us when he died, and eating bread to remember his broken body.) Or perhaps the music was very “cheesy”? Kumbaya? Why were the members of the congregation so proud of this fact? Having other stuff to do, my imagination stopped there and I googled “Peas and cheese church, Edinburgh”. This, however, failed to find anything of use. In hindsight, that was to have been expected.

Fast forward a few weeks and I was out with her visiting the flat of someone that had just passed away. (Blog readers who don’t speak private client lawyer: the woman had died.) Talking to an old man who had been looking after the flat, she (person at work, not ghost of the old lady) referred again to Peas and Cheese, but this time she added an explanation to allow for his age: actually, she went to St Paul’s and St George’s… aka Ps & Gs. This sounded more promising, and was also brought up by the girl in whose flat I am currently squatting as the church she intends to go to next year.

Fast forward another few weeks, and I went along a couple of days ago to said Ps and Gs. I did, however, get lost on the way, so when I saw an odd looking church next to some shops, I thought I’d ask in there for directions. It was only after the man and woman on the door had consulted and tried to find me a map, then a member of the congregation had pointed me on my way, that I realised that maybe asking at one church for directions to another was a bit of a faux pas. (Blog readers who don’t speak French: false step, aka big no-no. Interesting side note is that it’s pronounced the same as faut pas, which means “must not”.) Got there in the end and it was actually really good; one song admittedly was cheesy and did have actions, but it was an all-age service so 1/6 isn’t too bad. And had the chance to chat to someone working as a lawyer in the courts who was involved in the Lawyers Christian Fellowship, who sat next to me which was lovely as I didn’t know anyone there.

Anyway, that had very little relevance to the recipe, except that when I was doctoring Jamie Oliver’s recipe for salmon en croute I used a pea and cheese purée which was surprisingly tasty.

(serves 4) [I made it for one, but I think it would be more worth the effort for more people]

  • Approx. 400g shortcrust or puff pastry (bought or make-your-own) (puff would be better [or filo] but I had only shortcrust, which needed using up, and it was tasty if quite heavy)
  • 4x salmon fillets of approx 140g, or a 600g big one (skinned if applicable – slide a sharp knife away from you between flesh and skin)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 225g peas
  • 1/2 tsp dried garlic
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Cook the peas as per packet instructions in the microwave, then rinse in cold water.
  2. Add the grated cheese, garlic, and some pepper. Whiz with a hand blender.
  3. Grease and dust a baking tray
  4. Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface until it is the same size as the baking tray.
  5. Put the salmon in the centre, drizzle with some olive oil, then cover with the pea purée, spreading out into a thin layer.
  6. Top with tomato slices.
  7. Gather up the sides of the pastry and pinch and push them together (they do not meet in the middle)
  8. Bake 30 mins at 200oC/400oF/ Gas 6, in the bottom of the oven – put a baking tray on top so it doesn’t brown too quickly.

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