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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

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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Moroccan fish tagine

Perhaps not so festive but we find everyone is relieved at this time of year when you serve them some fish. We often turn to fish pie but this tagine is really tasty too and a welcome rest from richer dishes.

Wine Suggestion: A good, youthful Muscadet was our choice; in this case one made by Pétard Bazile that we picked up last time we were in France. There is such quality coming from this region in the Loire and we think the vibrantly fresh Muscadet’s work so well with seafood and fish. This didn’t disappoint.

Chermoula Fish Tagine – serves 4 to 6

  • 1kg white fish fillets with skin removed, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • ½ a preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 600g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

FOR THE CHERMOULA MARINADE:

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • small handful of coriander (include the stems)
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon

Start with the marinade by pounding the garlic, chilli, salt, coriander, saffron & cumin seeds together with a pestle and mortar. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mix to form a smooth paste (you could also use a mini blender if you’ve got one).

Reserve 2 tsp of the chermoula and put the rest into a large bowl or sealable plastic food bag. Add the fish and toss gently to coat, then leave to marinate for 2 hours (or 1 hour if time is short).

Put a large casserole dish or saucepan over a medium heat and add the 3 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened, then stir in the reserved chermoula and preserved lemon, tomatoes & potatoes. Pour in 300ml of water, season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are almost cooked.

Add the fish along with its marinade, and simmer very gently for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the fish is opaque. Divide between bowls and top with coriander.

Serve with couscous or crusty bread.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, Harper Collins, 2013).

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