I stopped buying magazines years ago. One day as I flipped though the pages, it occurred to me that everything in the beautiful book had been plumped, coloured or enhanced. The highly stylised shots that spread across the slick pages were of settings I didn’t even aspire to. If I attempted to recreate the glossy contents, I’d likely be disappointed when my efforts didn't resemble the magazine’s polished product.
The object of my dismay? Beautiful looking food. Air brushed tucker, purposely undercooked for photographic purposes and fancy, on-trend ingredients, included with little consideration of taste.
Lately I’ve noticed a trend emerging where the importance of how the food looks has eclipsed how the food tastes. What if I told you that the best tasting food often looks, well, a bit ugly?
This month I’m embarking on a crusade to end discrimination against ugly food. I’ll be sharing tasty, healthy, easy recipes that will never go viral on Pinterest because they’ll never take a good photograph. The good, the yum & the ugly. First out of the blocks: salmon rissoles.
These salmon rissoles tick all the ugly food boxes: they’re tasty, affordable, unlikely to adorn the cover of Gourmet Traveller and my kids love them.
You have two options with these fish cakes: make them in the food processor so the salmon pieces are fine (my kids prefer their food pre-chewed) or for those of us who prefer our food recognisable, mashing the ingredients together with a fork.
- 415g tin pink salmon
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
- salt and pepper to taste
- for crumbing:
- 1 egg, beaten
Remove the bones and skin, and mash the salmon. Add the mashed potatoes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
Form the fish into rissoles, dip in the beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs.
Fry in hot oil until cooked through. Serve with sweet chilli sauce and salad.
Somewhere along the way homely became an insult: synonymous with ugly and plain but, in my book, homely is the very best kind of food.
Homely food nourishes my family every day. Homely food scratches that itch when you’ve been feeling like something all day. Homely food is comforting, satisfying and the stuff of happy, low-fuss family dinners.
ready to join the ugly food revival?
tell me your favourite ugly food!
Twinkle in the Eye says
Mac and cheese is a good ugly food!
Vive la Ugly Food Revolution! My home is built on such classics as stew, mash & fritters. My personal favourite is porridge - homely, comforting, delicious & plain ugly!
Love this idea for a series. Thing is, you will need to take worse photos - you have managed to make those salmon rissoles look very pretty!
Oh god I love these so much but haven't made them in ages! There's my weekend dinner inspiration sorted 🙂 I heartily endorse this series - so much good stuff isn't photogenic but tastes absolutely divine.
I have loads of vintage cookbooks where the foods look hideous and yet taste great. Sometimes, you've just got to choose your bakes based on the ingredients.
This is probably why I couldn't get my head around my Mum's Oxtail soup as a kid. It just looked like a bowl of....not soup. But I tried it again recently and it was comforting and delicious. I'm sick of the food porn. I just want something tasty and easy to prepare. I'm a lazy cook! Ugly food sounds good to me!
I never knew homely was ugly!!??!! I see homely as 'warm, cosy, loving, classic, comfortable, safe, delicious" Love the logo by the way and those rissoles don't look too bad if I'm allowed to say so. Bet they taste amazing :))
Sonia Life Love Hiccups says
I actually think those rissoles look pretty damn good. My fave ugly food would have to be Dahl. It looks like puke but dang it tastes good xx
I love ugly food, my favourite would have to be slow cooker throw whatever you have in the bowl (veggies and Chicken usually a tin of toms) and cook!
I think your rissoles look great! x
Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid says
Yay! You're a woman after my own "homely" heart! My favourite food is all ugly, an unattractive array of stews, curries and bakes, that are all yummy, affordable and easy to make. It's not how it looks, it's how it tastes that counts. Now, are we going to have a hashtag for this or what?!
There's nothing ugly looking about these! One of the twins refuses to eat mashed potato at the moment so I reckon these rissoles would be a great solution
these look delish and moreish, not at all ugly. I would love a plate right now #pleaseAndThanks