Film (with rating): Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (PG-13)
Pictures Home Entertainment
visionary sheik (Amr Waked) wants to bring salmon fishing to the desert, so he
instructs his representative (Emily Blunt) to hire Britain’s leading fisheries
expert (Ewan McGregor) to achieve the impossible.
at first blush, this may sound like an “Out of Africa” type tale, it
is actually a rather charming romantic comedy. With a horrid title.
“Salmon” isn’t as snooze-worthy as it sounds, either. The outstanding
chemistry between Blunt and McGregor really lights up the film and helps smooth
over any rough edges. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, “Salmon” keeps
from being too heavy-handed with the symbolism or moralistic messages and
instead allows the viewers to be charmed by the interactions of the characters.
Based on the satiric novel by Paul Torday, the movie didn’t do very well at the
box office, which is a shame, because it is a sweet flick that really showcases
Blunt’s awesome acting abilities. Even if you don’t care about fishing or the
Middle East, “Salmon” will still hold some charm for you. It’s not a
“You Got Mail” rom-com, since “Salmon” does have some
brains behind it, meshing romance with faith, perseverance and passion. One thing
you have to turn off before you can enjoy this movie: your inner critic. If you
don’t question the logistics and actual realities of moving fish to the desert,
you’ll enjoy the film a lot more.
Watch the feature about Torday.
What to serve for dinner: Well, if this wasn’t a Meatless Monday, I’d serve
up (duh) salmon. But since we’re going vegetarian today, let’s try some
vegetarian fish and chips (www.hubpages.com).
I-2 packets of Halloumi cheese (This is a traditional Greek
Cypriot cheese made from a mixture of sheep and goats milk. It has a very high
melting point, firm white texture and a slightly salty taste.).
1 cup plain flour
tsp white pepper
Few drops of vegetable oil for the batter and enough to
cover the ‘fish’ as it fries.
cup warm milk and water, about half and half
1tsp baking powder
5 good-sized potatoes
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, make a well in the
middle of the flour and then add the oil and a small amount of the half milk,
half warm water mixture. Stir slowly bringing down more and more of the flour
mixture until it is all combined. Beat well until it is very smooth, you can do
this by hand or use an electric beater. For an extra crisp batter mixture add
an extra spoonful of baking powder to the dry ingredients.
Wash the potatoes but do not peel. Cut them into wedges or
chunky chip shapes and spread them out onto a lightly greased baking sheet,
sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste. Place the baking sheet onto the
middle shelf of an oven heated to 350 degrees. Cook for 40 minutes or so. Once
the wedges are cooked and golden, turn the oven down as low as it will go and
leave the wedges in to keep hot.
Cut the Halloumi into either thick finger shapes, wedges cut
to resemble fish filets or simply cut into chunks. Pat the cheese shapes dry
with kitchen towels or a clean tea towel and then dip them into the batter
mixture making sure that they are completely coated.
Heat the oil to 300 degrees in a shallow frying pan, but be
very careful not to overfill it.
Drop the battered cheese pieces into the hot oil one at a
time, do not overload the pan as it’s better to cook the cheese in batches than
risk it burning or sticking to the pan. Once cooked, drain well onto absorbent
kitchen paper. You can always put the cooked pieces onto a tray and keep them
hot in the oven with the wedges or chips.
Serve with minted peas, mushy peas, or a nice tossed green
salad, and garnish with fresh parsley, lemon wedges, malt vinegar and a little
What to talk about over dinner: What is the most insane dream you’ve ever had that
you wanted to make real? What do you love or hate about fishing? What is the
biggest fish you’ve ever caught? Who was your favorite character? If you could
fish anywhere, where would it be? What is the one thing on your bucket list you
would love to accomplish this year? What was your favorite scene?