Robert May was born in 1588, a son of distinguished chefs. At the ripe old age of ten he was sent off to Paris to continue learning his family trade of cooking. He spent seven years as an apprentice in London. He ended up living a very long life, cooking for many members of the British aristocracy. “The Accomplisht Cook” was written in 1660 (he was 72 years old when he wrote it), and in it he shares his experiences and secrets of his profession.
The extravagant was explained along with the modest dishes of the time. Restoration was happening during this time period, but he wanted to share what he cooked for the Nobility.
Two Fat Ladies (Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright), which is a TV Show that originally aired in the 90’s and now being reshown on Cooking Network, had just done on a “lunch” show one of Robert May’s episodes.
Salmon with Oranges
2 pounds darne of salmon (thick slice cut across the fish, just behind the head)
3 oranges, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
Juice of 1 orange
Skin the darne of salmon. In a saute pan, or other pan just large enough to accommodate the fish, make a layer of orange slices. Put the salmon on top and season with the nutmeg and salt to taste. Pack the remaining orange slices around the sides and over the top. Pour on the wine and orange juice and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked.
Serve with triangles of toasted bread–made from good bread, not sliced or supermarket.