Cooking With Mia Dyson
Herb-Crusted Salmon With Mashed Potatoes & Asparagus
‘The Moment’ Mia Dyson’s current album frames a three-year journey into the mythic American landscape and the depths of uncertainty. It is an album about grabbing hold of what scares you most and letting go of trying to control your own fate. Mia is currently touring and will be stopping in to play the Sydney Blues and Roots Festival on Saturday 27 October, 2012.
What were your food influences when you were growing up and what kind of food did you eat at home or with your family?
My parents were pretty hippy-ish. We had a mudbrick house out in the bush and we ate a lot of healthy hippy food – greens and grains and fruit. I wasn’t exposed to a lot of the world’s cuisines until I was a teenager when we moved to the coast. My dad would cook stir fries, and my mum was big on roasts veggies.
What dish or cuisine do you most like to eat on tour and why?
Sushi! Particularly fond of Unagi and salmon sushi. I love to eat it on tour because it’s delicious and filling but really light and easy to digest and also quick to make, so great for when I have to eat and sing.
What type of food do you hate, and what is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?
I really detest baked brie. I tried it once and was throwing up all night. It doe not agree with me, or me with it. The most disgusting thing I have ever eaten I’m not even sure what it was. I was 15 and travelling to Paris to visit relatives. We had dinner at my cousin’s friends house. The hostess insisted that I eat these things that looked like pale sausages in a beige sauce. My stomach churned when I tasted them but I had to keep eating to keep the hostess happy. They were so greasy and grim…
What type of food do you make sure to avoid before a gig or going on stage?
Definitely anything really heavy like mashed potatoes, fries, pasta – all the carbohydrates. To sing on that stuff feels quite unpleasant
Imagine for a second you can request anything on your rider at a gig. What food do you put on it?
What has been your biggest cooking disaster to date? Tell us the story.
My grandmother makes a mean pavlova and I really wanted to know how to make this weird delicious desert. The meringue came out all chewy and it just looked all saggy and wrong. I think I didn’t get the egg whites whipped right. I relied on her since then for my pavlova supply.
When you tour overseas, what food from home do you miss the most?
Vegemite. A cliché, but true. Vegemite on toast in the morning is like my coffee (but I drink tea) – en essential ingredient to have a good day, and it’s tough not getting it on tour.
This is your last day on earth, what is your final meal?
Some grilled, buttered asparagus, garlic mash, encrusted Cajun grilled salmon, followed by sticky-date pudding with lots of cream
For full tour details go to: miadyson.com
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, diced
One half cup Milk
3 Tbsp Keller's Butter, unsalted, cubed
12 stalks Asparagus, cut off woody ends
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup Fresh herbs, mixed and chopped (chives, thyme, Italian parsley)
3 - 6 oz. Salmon filets, no skin (6 oz. each)
2 Tbsp Oil
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Herb-Crusted Salmon With Mashed Potatoes & Asparagus
For mashed potatoes:
Put potatoes in pot of salted water. Cook until soft, but not falling apart. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Heat on low to evaporate moisture, but not enough to brown. Rice the potatoes into a bowl. (Note: a ricer is like giant garlic press that you push potatoes through. It makes them nice and light.)
Heat milk. Pour into bowl with riced potatoes. Add butter. Mix with a spoon or spatula-- not a whisk. Add salt and pepper. To keep warm: place potatoes in double boiler over warm water and cover with a piece of buttered wax paper, parchment paper or the wrapper from the butter. Potatoes can also be reheated in the microwave or oven.
Bring water to boil. Add salt then add asparagus. Count to ten. Take asparagus out of boiling water and put it into an ice bath (water with ice - this stops the cooking). Make sure the asparagus is totally submerged. Drain asparagus and set aside.
To reheat: Put a pot of water on and bring to boil then turn down to simmer. Add butter and asparagus. Do not leave asparagus in for more than 30 seconds. Note: Don't put the cooked asparagus in the oven or it will dry out.
Put breadcrumbs and herbs in food processor. Process until it becomes a homogenous mixture.
Season the fish with salt and pepper. Pour breadcrumb mixture onto plate. Press seasoned fish onto crumbs. Press. Crumbs will stick. Put oil into a non-stick sauté pan and heat to medium high. Place fish, crumb side down, into the pan. Cook for approximately 1 minute. Flip and cook for another minute. Then, finish fish in oven at 500 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes. (Note: Since the pan will be placed in the oven, use a non-stick pan with a metalhandle. Do not use a pan with a wooden or plastic handle.)
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