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Episode 30: Parmesan Jacket'd Salmon & Couscous.


Hey look, a new episode of CoverVersions! Now if only I can remember how to do this…



Yes. It was a long time between updates. Again. But a lot of things have been going on! I went to Germany! There was Christmas! I went back to work! Things were busy! But anyway, enough excuses. I told myself that I was going to be more regular with my updates this year, and I mean it. So! Recipe. This is one that I have only made once, when I made the video. I haven't made it since, but every time I look back at it, I say "Wow, I need to make that again." It's extremely tasty, and for all that there's a lot going on, it's not that difficult or time-consuming. 

Another note: watercress. I had never had or used watercress before. I only knew it because of a joke made in an Archie comic where Archie took Veronica to a fancy restaurant, but couldn't afford anything, so he ordered two watercress sandwiches & tap water. Well, my ignorance shows because today I saw watercress at the green grocer and it does NOT look like what I used in the video. So I guess any salad leaf will do.

Another thing I'd like to point out: after 30 episodes, it's getting tougher & tougher to come up with new and interesting music, so I've decided to outsource/ask for help. And on that note, I present Joel, aka @gingerexplosion on Twitter, who is going to be helping me with the music side of things for the foreseeable future. Welcome Joel! As a starting point, I had chosen some music that were not actual covers, but instead evoked a certain sound, much like when I used the Raveonnettes in the Bikkits episode. Come to think of it, I had Joel's help with that one too! Go figure.


Music notes, by Joel:

The Last Shadow Puppets - "In My Room", "My Mistakes Were Made For You", "Separate And Ever Deadly", all from The Age of the Understatement, 2008

Adele's theme for Skyfall, like the film itself, remixes James Bond's history into a more modern form. The John Barry brass, the Matt Monro/Nancy Sinatra coo, the Shirley Bassey drama; all its elements are as iconic as the shaken-not-stirred martini, or the Walther PPK. Bond themes are a genre unto themselves, and 'Skyfall' Frankensteins its conventions into something that sounds simultaneously retro and contemporary.

Alex Turner and Miles Kane did something very similar on The Age of the Understatement, the only album to date of their project The Last of the Shadow Puppets. All sixties melodrama and twanging guitars, songs like 'In My Room' are Bond themes in waiting. With arrangements by Owen Pallett (the artist formerly known as Final Fantasy) performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra, the only thing separating 'Skyfall' and 'My Mistakes Were Made For You' is the film to legitimise the latter. Turner's heart-worn and sentimental lyrics aren't exactly a natural fit with Daniel Craig's stiff upper lip, 'I'm not not crying' version of Bond, but, as Adele's 'Skyfall' proves, lyrics aren't everything.


Parmesan Jacket'd Salmon with Tomato Couscous & Cress Salad

serves 2


400g salmon fillet, skin on

100g parmesan cheese

150g couscous

1 egg

1 bunch basil

1 clove garlic

1 bunch watercress or salad leaves

1 tomato

1 lemon

50g flour

olive oil

salt & pepper



  • Fill the kettle & get it boiling.
  • Get a pot (one with a lid) and put it on medium heat.
  • Peel & chop up the garlic, and put it in the pot with a bit of oil.
  • Pick most of the leaves off the basil, but keep the stems.
  • Chop the stems finely, put them in the pot with the garlic (once the garlic is coloured) and AGITATE. 
  • Cut the tomato into chunks, and add that to the pot as well.
  • Add the couscous and 225 ml of water, mix it all up, put the lid on, and take it off the heat.
  • Get a decent-sized frying pan on medium-high heat, with some oil.
  • Crack the egg, into a biggish bowl, and beat it until combined.
  • Get out two plate-accomplices. In one, spread out the flour. In the other, grate the parmesan cheese. 
  • Arrange the bowl and two plate accomplices into a little assembly line, flour-egg-cheese.
  • If your salmon is in one piece, cut it lengthwise into two long pieces. 
  • Take each piece and dunk it in the flour, coating it completely, and shake off the excess. Then dunk the fillet into the egg, coating again, then finally into the cheese, so it sticks. You want nice even coverage.
  • Put the fish into the hot pan & cook for 2 minutes per side (I did it for 8 minutes total).
  • While that's happening, bifurcate the lemon. Squeeze the juice of half into a big salad bowl.
  • Add three times as much olive oil as you have lemon juice. Yes, really. 
  • Pinch of salt, a bit of pepper, then taste it to see if it's alright. Adjust if you need more of anything.
  • Wash the watercress & tear it up. Add the torn cress to the salad bowl & toss to coat.
  • When the fish it done cooking, lay it out on paper towel.
  • Take the lid off the couscous, fluff it up with a fork, then stir the basil leaves through, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the fish, couscous & salad on a plate, seize, and consume!



Reader Comments (4)

You've been really busy! how was Germany? And did you have a good Christmas?

Lorraine: Christmas Germany was amazing (and not just because of the cricket-ball-sized marshmallows). I'm still sorting through pictures.

March 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterLucas

Landed here through fig jam & lime cordial. Trying this recipe for dinner tonight because I bought a large wedge of not very cheap Parmesan yesterday from Woolworths deli. I have avoided buying butter and cheese for over a year now but it was time. Thanks for the idea.

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick

@Nick: Welcome! Let us know how it turns out.

April 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterLucas

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