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.

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.


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.


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:)

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