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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

Fish pie with leek mash

No sooner had we given up all hope and planned a hearty fish pie for dinner, than the sun finally came out. The leek mash brightens it up a bit and if served with some green peas it works not too bad for a fine weather dish – just pity the poor cook stuck in the kitchen! We fear you might be horrified when you read the list of ingredients but if the rogue ingredient turns you right off you can always leave it out. It’s also our secret weapon for a prawn cocktail so there’s usually some in our fridge, and it turns out that it tastes surprisingly good in a fish pie too.

Wine Suggestion: this works with a crisp version of Chardonnay; we chose an organic Chablis made by the Gueguen family.

Fish pie with leek mash – serves 6

  • 900g white fish fillets, in large chunks (we used cod)
  • 425ml full-fat milk
  • 100g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • juice of ½ a small lemon
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tbsp Heinz salad cream (optional)
  • 125ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped dill or parsley
  • 200g cooked, peeled prawns
  • 500g leeks, sliced
  • 800g floury potatoes, in chunks

Put the fish and milk into a sauté pan. Bring to a simmer and poach for about 3 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve the milk.

Melt 50g of the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition. When the milk has all been added, return the pan to the heat and keep stirring as you bring it the boil. It should be very thick. Season, then add the lemon juice, mustard and salad cream. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cream and herbs and continue to simmer for another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning – you want this well-flavoured.

Put the fish and prawns into a 2.4 litre pie dish. Stir any liquid under the fish into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the fish and mix gently, then leave to cool before refrigerating to make it easier to spoon on the mash.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Melt the remaining 50g of butter in a heavy saucepan and add the leeks. Turn to coat in the butter and season, then add 2 tbsp of water, cover and sweat over a low heat for about 15 minutes or until very soft. Check occasionally and add another spoon of water if needed.

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, then drain. Return to the warm pan, cover with a clean tea towel and a lid, then place over a very low heat for a couple of minutes to dry.

Mash the potatoes until smooth, then add the leeks and their juices and season well. Spread the mash over the fish and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Serve with peas – as with all pies.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchel Beazley, 2010.)

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Smoky Chorizo Salmon

It’s still cold but there’s a bit of sunshine and promise of warm spring days to come. We can’t wait for the spring veg to start but this bright dish is not a bad compromise.

Wine Suggestion: in the mood for Spring we chose the Chateau Vignelaure, La Source Rosé which we often find a good match for salmon and it came through yet again. Vibrant, fresh fruit and a long dry finish.

Smoky Chorizo Salmon – serves 2

  • 2 x 150g salmon fillets, skin on
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 black olives, remove stones and finely chop
  • 30g chorizo, finely sliced

Put the salmon in a large cold non-stick frying pan with the flesh side down. Put over a medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes or until it is sizzling underneath. Flip the salmon over on to the skin side and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until the skin is very crispy and the fish is just cooked through.

Meanwhile, tear up most of the basil leaves and mix with the cherry tomatoes, the red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix the chopped olives with 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of water.

Add the chorizo to the pan with the salmon for the last 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes for 30 seconds. Divide the tomatoes between two plates and top with the salmon, then spoon over the olive dressing and the rest of the basil leaves.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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Broccoli & salcmon bake

This was Friday night dinner in our house. Really easy to put together, with heaps of flavour and you can even prep it up to 4 hours in advance and chill until you’re ready to bake. You could serve some salad on the side if you like but it works pretty good on its own.

Wine Suggestion: Fresh, minerally, Chardonnay is our go to wine for this. You need fresh acidity for the rich salmon and creamy sauce and a broadness on the palate to match the body of the dish. Today it’s the Ventenac Préjugés, 100% Chardonnay from a plot that exceeded the expectations and prejudices of the winemaker, being atypical Languedoc; all freshness, juiciness and minerality.

Broccoli & salmon bake – serves 4

  • 250g penne pasta
  • 300g broccoli, cut into large florets
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 600ml full cream milk
  • 100g mascarpone
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes preserved in oil, drained and thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp small capers, rinsed (optional)
  • 10 large basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 4 fresh skinless salmon fillets
  • 50g mature cheddar, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5/170C.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 6 minutes, then add the broccoli and time another 4 minutes when the water returns to the boil. Drain.

Meanwhile, put the butter, flour, and milk in a very large saucepan and heat, whisking the whole time, until it thickens enough to make a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and basil, then add the drained broccoli & pasta and season well.

Halve the salmon fillets widthways to give you shorter stubby pieces and put into the a large baking dish in a single layer. Spoon the fish and broccoli mixture over the top, then scatter with the cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until starting to bubble at the edges. Don’t be tempted to brown it too much or you will overcook the fish.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Thai-style crispy Sea bass

This was a  delicious Friday night feast and oh so simple! Serve with some roast new potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: Although not a regular choice we had a Pinot Grigio by Bonotto delle Tezze in our fridge and it was a pleasant surprise in how well it went with this dish. However, we shouldn’t have been surprised as it has all the elements you’d need to look out for: round and generous fruit to work with the spice, and a freshness and texture despite having moderate acidity.

Thai-style crispy sea bass – serves 2

  • 4 scallions
  • ½ a bunch of coriander – about 15g
  • 2 x 300g whole sea bass, scaled, gutted & trimmed
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 lime

Trim and halve the scallions, then finely shred lengthways and put into a bowl of ice-cold water to crisp up. Pick in the coriander leaves and reserve the stalks.

Score the sea bass at 2cm intervals, then rub all over with the curry paste including inside the cavity. Put the coriander stalks into the cavities and season with salt and pepper.

Put a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-heat. When the pan is hot add a tbsp of oil and cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until dark golden and cooked through.

Drain and shake the water off the scallions & coriander then pile onto two plates. Place the sea bass on top and spoon over any spicy oil from the pan. Finely grate over the lime zest and squeeze over some juice to serve.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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Pepper crusted Salmon with garlic chickpeasWe really liked this simple fish dish and the garlic chickpeas are delicious! Nice and easy for a Friday night.

Wine Suggestion: We opened a Muscadet, as it was in the fridge and they typically work with fish and seafood. That said we weren’t sure it would hold up to the stronger salmon, pepper and spices but were refreshingly surprised at how it more than held it’s own.

Pepper-crusted salmon with garlic & chickpeas – serves 4

  • 4 skinless salmon fillets, about 150g
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

FOR THE CHICKPEAS:

  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 130g bag baby spinach

Heat oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas 5.

Put the salmon into a shallow ovenproof dish in a single layer. Roughly crush the peppercorns with a pestle and mortar, then mix with the paprika, lime zest and some sea salt.

Brush the salmon lightly with oil, then sprinkle over the pepper mix. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked.

Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas and rinse well under cold water, then drain. Heat the oil in a pan, then add the garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes without browning. Add the chickpeas and stock and warm gently. Crush the chickpeas lightly with a potato masher, then add the spinach and stir well until the leaves are wilted. Add the lime juice and some salt and pepper, then heat through before serving with the salmon. Serve a lime wedge on the side if you like.

(Original recipe by Dhruv Baker in BBC Good Food Magazine, December 2008.)

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Goan fish curry

This is a light curry but not without a good bit of chilli heat in the background. Serve with some steamed basmati. A perfect dinner for two – when’s Valentine’s day?

Wine Suggestion: Indian food is notoriously tricky to match with wine. We chose a Muscadet-Sevre et Maine (more because it was cold in the fridge than any particular inspiration) and it surprisingly held it’s own brilliantly with this dish. We often turn to Muscadet when serving light fish dishes or mussels and from now on we’ll be serving it with fish curries too.

Goan Fish Curry – serves 2

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli or 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • a small piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 clove of garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 to 2 green chillies, finely sliced lengthways
  • 300g firm white fish fillets, we used cod, cut into chunks
  • steamed basmati – to serve

Toast the seeds and dried chilli in a dry frying pan, then grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.

Heat a little bit of oil in a deep frying pan and cook the onion with a large pinch of salt until soft and golden. Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric and ground spices and fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, the tamarind and the green chillies and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the fish and cook for 3-4 minutes until just cooked. Serve with the rice.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, January, 2010.)

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Crab crostini

Just when you think it’s all over and you’ve eaten enough to persuade you to try just about any diet… comes New Year. More food, more drinks, late night – resistance is futile. If you’re in charge of the first course for a New Year’s party then you can’t go wrong with these delicious crab crostini. You can toast the bread and make up the crab mixture early but don’t combine until you’re ready to serve.

Wine Suggestion: Everyone has their favourite sparkling wine which for NYE is a must; we like vibrant bubbles with a creamy mousse. For this we opened the Bouvet-Ladubay “Saphir” Sparkling Saumur which is brilliant value for money and properly sophisticated. We’ve also tried the Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Blanc which we agree with Jancis Robinson, “is really joyful, happy and upbeat, with real vivaciousness yet quite a bit of serious undertow too.”

Crab Crostini – makes 15

  • 100g white crabmeat
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • a handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp small capers
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 15 slices from a skinny baguette, toasted

Mix the crab with the lemon juice, shallot, parsley, chilli, capers & mayonnaise. Pile the crab mix onto the baguette slices and serve.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe for  BBC Olive Magazine, December 2011.)

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