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Baked Salmon Escalopes

In this week’s Scottish Quotations, the former footballer and football pundit Pat Nevin reminds us that football has played an important part in Scottish history and culture. Football, at a rudimentary level, has indeed enjoyed a long history in Scotland and was first mentioned in an act of the Scottish Parliament, The Three Estates, banning the game! Too much time was being devoted to football and golf as against, for the defence of the realm, necessary archery practise. Football at that time was a very rough game as recorded by an anonymous medieval poet –

Brissit brawnis and brokin banis,           (torn  muscles,
                                                               broken bones)
Stride, discord and waisite wanis;          (broken homes)
Crukit in eild, syne halt withal-                (old age)
Thir are the bewties of the fute-ball. 

(The Bewties of the Fute-ball)

From the formation of Queen’s Park in 1867 the much more civilised modern sport quickly expanded to every village, town and city in Scotland. Indeed much of the expansion of football world-wide was due to expatriate Scots. At home football still plays a vital role in the social fabric of the nation and is much prized by local communities as was evidenced on Saturday (19 April 2008) in the towns of Hamilton, Dingwall and Methil as their local senior teams won their respective Scottish Football League titles. Hamilton, winners of the First Division will now ply their trade in the Scottish Premier League, Ross County as Division Two champions bounced back to the First Division after only one season in the lower league, and East Fife in the Third Division enjoyed their first league title success in 60 years. The Fife were the first club in Scotland to achieve championship status (15 March 2008) this season and with backing from businessmen Willie Gray and Sid Columbine hope to make their mark in the higher division next season.

Since becoming the only lower division club ever to win the Scottish Cup in 1938, East Fife  supporters have always looked upon The Fife as being the footballing ‘Kings of Fife’ and our recipe this week features the King of Fish – the salmon.

Baked Salmon Escalopes

Ingredients:  450 g/1 lb salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces; 30 g/1 oz melted butter; 4 tbsp white wine; 4 bay leaves

Method:  Cut 4 large discs of bakewell paper (12” diameter) and brush them lightly with melted butter. Lay an escalope in the centre of each, season well, place a bay leaf on top and pour a tablespoon of wine over each. Fold the paper over the fish and crimp the edges ‘en papillote’ – like a Cornish pasty. Lay the parcels in a hot oven (200 deg C/ 400 deg F – Gas Mark 6) for 15-17 minutes. Unwrap the papillotes and serve the escalopes with mange-tout and baby carrots.

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