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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Saint Mungo, Salmon and the Ring

Change of plans. Today’s post shifted gears about 10:30 this past Sunday night. I was all prepared to greet the world with the announcement that it was Chef Pierre Franey’s birthday today and share this article I found in the July 1961 issue of The Chef Culinary Review published in July 1961.

Pierre Franey | 1961Chef Review Magazine | July 1961

Apparently The Chef Culinary Review was a publication of the American Culinary Federation back in the ’60s. It’s filled with all kinds of “chef talk.” I have quite a few of these magazines from the 60s and plan on sharing them one day but, dear readers, today is not the day:)

Chef Pierre was born in 1921 so you do the math as to how old he is in that picture up there. I have other things to do:) But wait, if you really want to know more about Pierre Franey, there’s a link in my sidebar to a post I did about him a while back.

As luck would have it, I also stumbled upon this article about Salmon in the same magazine.

Poaching Salmon

If we delve into the reasoning behind Pliny the Elder’s observation, we discover he was inspired by reports from Julius Caesar’s armies, which while marching through Gaul in 56BC, had noticed a new variety of fish leaping on the banks of the Gargonne. They called the fish “salmo” or “leaper.” This undated vintage booklet from the Canned Salmon Institute explains it a bit more.

Canned Salmon Recie Booklet | Undated
Did You Know? Salmon

A while back, I think is was around St. Patrick’s Day last year, I wrote of the Celtic legend about the Salmon of Knowledge. Today, I would like to reveal another saint associated with this leaping fish; Saint Mungo,also referred to as St. Kentigern. Today, January 13th, is his Feast Day. (January 14th in the Orthodox Church)

Saint Mungo appears in the crest of Glasgow's coat of arms along with his miracles.
courtesy of wiki
Glasco Coat of Arms

Not only is Saint Mungo the patron saint of Salmon, in Scotland he is considered the patron saint of those needing help against bullies and those accused of infidelity.

The Story of the Salmon and the Ring

The story goes that a servant informed the king that his wife Queen Longuoreth was having an affair with a soldier of the king’s army. Not wanting to believe the story, the king, however, noticed that the soldier was wearing the ring he had given to Longuoreth on his finger. Planning to denounce his wife publicly, he invited the soldier to go hunting with him and when he got him drunk, slipped the ring off his finger and threw it in the River Clyde. The king then went back and demanded that his wife show him the ring. She could not show it, so he denounced her and put her in prison to await execution. She sent a messenger to Mungo asking for forgiveness and help. Mungo told the messenger to go fishing in the Clyde and bring back the first fish he caught. This turned out to be a salmon, which on being cut open contained the ring. Mungo sent this back to the queen, who showed it to her husband. Though he did not understand, the king duly forgave her and she then berated him for suspecting her in the first place. It was in this way that Mungo became symbolic of God’s mercy. Source

One of my go to cookbooks for all things Salmon is this book by James McNair.

James McNair's Salmon Cookbook

Before I share a recipe or two from the book, I would like to tell you about the amazing plate of Salmon I cooked up for Marion and myself just the other night. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it but, I’m here to tell you it was dee…li…cious! The inspiration for my Miso Glazed Salmon came from Pam over at Sidewalk Shoes and her Miso Glazed Tilapia. There's no doubt n my mind that Pam's Tilapia was just as yummy!

From Chef McNair, we have Coulibiac.

Coulibiac
Russian in origin, this awe-inspiring presentation features salmon encased in rich brioche dough. It looks like a very complicated production, but the various steps are spread over two days, making the preparation manageable for a very special feast…

I’m not sharing the recipe from the book as it is three pages long. However, if you are so inclined to try your hand at this spectacular presentation, I will gladly scan the recipe for you. Just let me know OR, you can check out this recipe I found online for Salmon Coulibiac. Emeril has a recipe over at the Food Network for Susan’s Coulibiac of Salmon. The recipe doesn’t include spinach mushroom filling. Personally, I think this dish would be a beauty to serve during Lent:) I must say, McNair’s recipe is quite detailed with step by step instructions:)

This recipe for Baked Dill-Stuffed Fillet is more up my alley.

Baked Dill Stuffed Salmon Recipe
Baked Dill Stuffed Salmon Fillet Recipe

Just a note, we got our very first blanket of snow for the season today. Actually, it was just a dusting:) As I was looking out my not so clear windows, I decided it was about time I gave Phyllis the Amaryllis some “show time!” (I saw that name on someone’s website and just loved it so I christened Marion’s Amaryllis Phyllis. Learning that Phyllis means "foliage" in Greek clinched the deal:)

I took this picture yesterday. (Monday) The hanging plant in the background is called String of Hearts. Needless to say, I LOVE it too!!! Phyllis is just about ready to bloom.

Amaryllis

Here she is today (Tuesday) Although it snowed a bit, the sun did manage to shine and Phyllis LOVED it! I’m actually going to be taking her off the window sill. She’s had a rough past couple of years, which is a story for another day, and I read that while they are blooming, it’s best not to keep Amaryllis in direct sunlight. I’m going to give it a whirl and see what happens.

Amaryllis

Enjoy your week everyone. I’ll be back next Wednesday, January 20th. I haven’t decided if we’ll be celebrating, National Penguin Awareness Day, Cheese Lovers’ Day OR preparing for National Pie Day which is the 23rd. I can tell you for sure, it will only be one:)

P.S. For you Winnie the Pooh fans out there, check the January calendar in the sidebar. Winnie the Pooh Day is right around the corner:)

Resources
1. Seattle Smoked Salmon Hot Dog
2. Salmon Candy and Salmon Pickles Two unique ways to enjoy your next catch

Remember theses?
1. St. Urho and the Grasshoppers
2. "Burial of the Sardine"
3. Celtic-Salmon of Knowledge Tale + Irish Whiskey Cured Salmon

47 comments:

  1. Pretty sure there's a coulibiac recipe in one (or more than one) of Julia Child's books, too.

    I always thought St.Mungo was some kind of joke... Are you putting us on? Funny that he protected the guilty party, isn't it!

    That's a very amusing and informative post! best... mae from maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. I finally figured out why I thought St.Mungo was imaginary: Harry Potter! "St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries is a wizarding hospital located in London, England. It was founded by famous Healer Mungo Bonham in the 1600s"

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  2. These look delicious Louise. But I recently failed at encasing fish fillets in puff pastry, so I may just need to be a spectator here (or practice more...). If you've kept Phylis for multiple years, you must tell us the story. I am into frugal gardening!

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    1. I need some practice myself, Inger but, boy oh boy, I sure would love to try it! Phylis most definitely has a story. I will tell it one day:)

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  3. Ha! The reassurance that Coulibiac is manageable since preparation can be spread over several days does not make a complicated recipe seem any less intimidating.... I guess I'm not the kind of cook the writers had in mind!

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  4. Hi Dear Louise!! How are you doing??
    Love salmon and all these recipes look amazing!!
    I hope to try one of these Louise.
    Hugsss
    xoxoxox

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    1. We are doing just fine, Gloria. Thank you for asking:) I hope you get a chance to try a salmon recipe. We love salmon around here any ol' way!!!

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  5. I've never made Coulibiac. Really need to one of these days -- Julia Child has a recipe that looks quite approachable. But I'm with you -- the baked salmon (stuffed with dill! Yum!) is more up my alley, too. Really fun read -- all sorts of fascinating stuff you've found. Thanks!

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    1. You really do need to make it one day, John and then you need to share, lol...I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. It was such fun to put together:)

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  6. Hi, Louise!
    The only Mungo I’d ever heard of was a character in Mel Brooks’ ‘Blazing Saddles’. Who knew there was a saint?
    Your Amaryllis is lovely! We were having a mild winter in Winnipeg. A couple of days of snow in December took care of that. Oh, well, we’ve had worse.
    Enjoy your salmon (will try the Baked Dill-Stuffed Fillet) and say hi to Marion!
    xoxo Marg

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    1. Marion says HI back Margaret. She's been feeling mighty fiesty the last couple of days, lol...Of course, now she wants me to make some salmon!!!

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  7. I have 2 Pierre Franey cookbooks, and love his recipes. Just last night, I made a chicken dinner from one of them, and forgot to take pictures, of course. Oh, well, my brain is still not back to normal. Your salmon article is interesting; citing Pliny the Elder in a cooking magazine isn't something we'd expect to see today.

    BTW, I knew that Pierre had been hired by Howard Johnson to spiff up their menu; I've also read that he refused to leave New York at the end of the World's Fair because of the hostilities in France. There is also a story in one of his cookbooks where he says he never cooked anything before going off to become an apprentice to a chef, where, for the first year, the apprentice's duties are peeling potatoes, mopping and cleaning the kitchen. Great way to learn to cook, eh?

    Enjoy your snow, Louise; it's supposed to warm up again this weekend!

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    1. Cool info, Marjie...thanks:) No warming up this weekend, (of course, it is a week later, lol...We're in winter storm mode. Hope you miss it. We might!

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  8. Hi Louise ,
    I do so love this post and salmon , I will try to get up enough courage to make the dill salmon recipe ,
    The picture is so pretty , my gang will love it , they all love most any type of fish .
    Phyllis the Amaryllis is quite pretty and she will be very beautiful in full bloom .
    Can almost see the end of the tunnel , this year hit us with a wallop , lots of employees are out sick , hubby's auntie fell again , thankful she didn't break anything . I will be back to posting soon I hope , I am helping out at the property in HR . Think about you and Marion often , will drop you a note soon , keep wiggling those toes and hugs to you and Marion . Nee :)

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    1. Sounds like you have yours hands full, Nee...Please go slow. We will be here for when you return:) Check your email!!!

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  9. My son is a huge fan of salmon, so I'm always thinking of the various ways to cook for him. Thanks for these lovely ideas, Louise! xoxo

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    1. You are more than welcome, Shirley...I hope your son gets a chance to enjoy:)

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  10. Great post. I love the story of Saint Mungo. I love salmon and I loved the recipes you shared. It is so nice to have you back!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post, Dawn. Thanks for dropping by...

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  11. Hi Louise,
    My first encounter of canned fish was canned sardines when I was a little girl. My late parents' favourite canned food. The Baked Dill-Stuffed Fillet looks very tempting and I'm sure my girl would love this dish. Thank you so much for the sharing. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Canned Salmon is been around for quite a long time, Karen. I do believe it was one of the first canning products. Fresh Salmon is perfect with Dill. I hope your little girls gets to try it:)

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  12. Dear Louise, I love old cookbooks. They have the recipes that are full of flavor and wonderful presentation ideas.
    It has not snowed here on LI yet, though one day is cold (freezing) and two days later back to temps in the 40's.
    Salmon is one of my favorites; actually the 3 of us enjoy it very much. There are so many good ways to prepare it.
    I hope you and Marion are doing well and I send you my very best. xoxo Catherine

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    1. Marion and I are doing just fine, Catherine. we were lucky enough to miss the inches and inches of snow. Unfortunately, I hear Long Island was not as lucky. Be careful out there:)

      Salmon really is quite versatile. I made mushrooms stuffed with salmon last night and they were oh so yummy!!!! Thanks for visiting Catherine...

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  13. The baked salmon with dill sounds tasty. Phyllis the Amaryllis is beautiful! Love her name too. :)

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    1. Thanks Pam. I'm glad you enjoyed this post:)

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  14. Oh dear - I got lost at the story of St Mungo and the salmon with the ring - it is such an unchristian act to hoodwink the king that I am not sure I like St Mungo much any more and yet another reason not to like salmon - I never ate it after a friend had salmon food poisoning! Love phyllis - hope the snow is looking pretty

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    1. I'm so sorry to have upset you Johanna. That's terrible that your friend got salmon food poisoning! We actually don't have much snow. It's more messy than pretty:)

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  15. I am with you I would love to try the baked dill stuffed salmon...looks pretty and sounds delicious!
    I love salmon, but somehow my husband does not, so when cooking salmon I always have to have an alternative fish for him...
    Enjoy your weekend Louise :)

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    1. I haven't made it yet, Juliana but I plan on it and Marion won't have it any other way, lol...I guess it's a good thing your husband enjoys other types of fish:) Thanks for dropping by, Juliana...

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  16. i know that salmon and dill are often paired together, and that pairing (along with some wood-fired grill action, has been the only way i've ever enjoyed that fish!

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    1. Add some mashed potatoes and perhaps that potato bread of yours and I'm in Grace!!!

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  17. That salmon dish is so pretty. The colours are beautiful and the flavours must be wonderful xx

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    1. Thank you Charlie. I'm so glad you enjoyed it:)

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  18. I love salmon and can't wait to try some new variations. Who knew saints and salmon were so interconnected?!

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    1. I do too, Channon. I'm thinking of trying to steam it!

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  19. Hi Louise!
    I'd love to see your files....they must take up an entire room! And your cookbooks!
    The Salmon Coulibiac looks divine....I bet it's delicious. I do like salmon and eat it often.
    Hope all is well....stay warm!

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  20. Not sure I had ever heard the story of St. Mungo. Thanks for all the delicious information, Louise!

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  21. Salmon is the best and the baked salmon with dill sounds delicious. I used to have a String of Hearts, very pretty, and it would be great to find another one at the nursery. Phyllis is gorgeous and perfect color for winter. Thanks for the salmon trivia, it's leaper from now on. :-) Take care

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    1. Salmon and Dill go so well together Pam. I happen to like mine with mashed potatoes too but lately I've been passing on the potatoes:) My string of hearts has been blooming like crazy. If you can't find it at a nursery, I will gladly send you a clipping. (the flowers are pretty but for this plant, it's really about the foliage:)

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  22. Hi Louise, I saw your comment on my blog. My husband died almost two weeks ago. I have not been offline for a while through his illness. I hope to come back to the blog when I am ready. I could not find your email address or I would have sent this more privately.

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  23. Hi Louise,
    Fabulous post on my favorite fish, Salmon....This fish is so good for you as very tasty.. Love it steamed with a little lemon and some spices. Your info and recipes are the best..thanks for sharing dear friend...
    Love and hugs Dottie <3 :)

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    1. I've never steamed or poached salmon, Dottie. I really should one day:) Hope your Mom is doing better:)

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  24. This post reminds me of my dad's salmon cakes!! They were delicious.

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    1. Salmon Cakes are oh so yummy, Brandi. Now, I want some!!!

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise

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