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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

Smoked Salmon, Horseradish & Dill Crostini

Do try this. It looks like regular smoked salmon crostini but the balance of ingredients is perfect, including the rather generous portion of salmon per toast. Don’t be tempted to scrimp on either quantity or quality!

Wine Suggestion: excellent with sparkling – your choice of Crémant, Champagne, or your local version. Just make sure that it a fresh, more acidic style … Prosecco need not apply as it doesn’t have enough zing for this. Tonight the Soalheiro Espumante, a sparkling made from alvarinho in northern Portugal and wonderfully citrus, vibrant and refreshing.

Smoked salmon, horseradish & dill crostini – makes 20 crostini

  • 250g crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • about 3 tbsp freshly grated horseradish
  • pinch of caster sugar (optional)
  • 1 French stick, cut into discs and lightly toasted
  • 500g thinly sliced top quality smoked salmon
  • 20 dill sprigs
  • lemon juice

Make the horseradish cream by mixing together the crème fraîche, mustard and horseradish. Season with salt and pepper and add a little sugar if it tastes tart.

Put a generous slice of salmon in each piece of toast and top with a spoonful of horseradish cream. Decorate with a sprig of dill. Add a few drops of lemon juice and some black pepper before serving.

(Original recipe from Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of sorts) by Russell Norman, Bloomsbury, 2012.)

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Syrian Spiced Fish

This Syrian fish dish is bursting with delicious herbs and spices. We loved it! Really great with spinach & sumac and spicy potatoes. One of the best meals we’ve had in ages!

Wine Suggestion: Our choice tonight was the Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay which had power and complexity but also elegance and a beautiful, supple balance so it finished light and persistent. An excellent wine well worth seeking out and a great match for this dish.

Spiced Fish (Samaka Harra) – serves 2

  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 40g walnuts chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • 2 whole fish e.g. sea bream or snapper (we used bass)
  • a bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped, including stems
  • 1 lemon, plus ½ a lemon, sliced

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Mix the garlic, chillies, cumin, walnuts and 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Stuff the fish with the mixture, keeping 2 tbsp aside for later, then add a handful of coriander, saving some to garnish.

Squeeze the lemon over both fish, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Marinate in the fridge for a good half hour.

Put the fish into a large oven tray with the reserved stuffing sprinkled over the top and some lemon slices, then bake for 30 minutes.

(Original recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, Trapeze, 2017.)

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Valentines baked potatoes with caviar

This was our Valentine’s dinner and very special it was too!

Wine Suggestion: it’s any excuse for bubbly in our house and it makes a natural pair for this dish too. Our choice was the Domaine de la Paleine Cremant de Loire, a blend of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc that celebrated the saltiness of the caviar and went seamlessly with the creamy potatoes.

Baked potatoes with crème fraîche and trout caviar – serves 4

  • 4 small baking potatoes
  • 1 ½ tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 40g trout caviar

Heat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.

Drizzle the potatoes with ½ tbsp of the oil and a good pinch of salt and toss well. Put onto a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthways and scoop the flesh out into a bowl, careful not to damage the shells. Mash the potatoes, then stir in the parsley, 120ml of the crème fraîche and seasoning. Brush the potato skins with the remaining oil, then spoon the potato mixture back into them.

Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through and crispy on the outside. Spoon the remaining crème fraîche on top, followed by a spoon of caviar and some black pepper.

(Original recipe by Clodagh McKenna in Olive Magazine, February 2019.)

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Bandari fishcakes

These Persian fishcakes are full of herbs and make a delicious starter or light lunch. They can be made up in advance and cooked when you need them.

Wine Suggestion: the only option here is a youthful, light, off-dry Riesling where the aromatics, herbs, date and tamarind all play with each other. Tonight we drank the Dr Loosen Estate Riesling, his entry level wine made with his own fruit in the Mosel and it was an excellent match. Along with the Mosel we’d recommend the fruity styles (Kabinett & Spätlese) from other German regions such as the Nahe and Rheingau. Further afield the Aussie Rieslings tend to be too dry for a dish like this but there are some excellent NZ examples, Forrest Estate and Felton Rd spring to mind.

Bandari fishcakes with a tamarind and date sauce (Kuku-ye mahi) – serves 4

  • 300g potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
  • 200g white fish fillets e.g. cod/haddock
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 50g coriander, finely chopped
  • 25g parsley, finely chopped – plus extra to garnish
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaf (menthi)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 medium egg
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 3 tbsp sunflower or olive oil

FOR THE TAMARIND & DATE SAUCE:

  • 50g tamarind pulp soaked in 100ml just boiled water for 10 minutes
  • 75g Iranian or Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 150ml hot water

Put the potatoes into a large pan and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil, then simmer until tender. Drain, mash the potatoes, and put into a large mixing bowl.

Add the fish to the potatoes. Dry fry the cumin seeds in a small frying pan for a minute or until fragrant. Grind the seeds with a pestle and mortar, then add to the bowl along with the fresh herbs, fenugreek leaf, garlic, cayenne, turmeric, lemon zest, egg, 1¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper.

Mix well with your hands, then shape into eight round patties. Dust with a little flour and place on a plate, cover with cling film and chill.

To make the sauce, put the tamarind and its soaking liquid, the dates, brown sugar, cayenne, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Add the hot water and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat until the dates are very soft.

Take the sauce off the heat and sieve into a bowl, use the back of a spoon to rub as much through as possible.

To finish the fishcakes, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the cakes on a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes, turning every few minutes, until golden brown and crusted. Garnish with parsley and serve with the sauce.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

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Smoked Mackerel Loaded Leaves

This is the kind of nibble we like before dinner. Really tasty but light so it won’t spoil your appetite. Radicchio and/or chicory leaves are preferable but if you can’t find these you can substitute Little Gem lettuce – as we did.

Wine Suggestion: Your choice of bubbles, whether it’s Prosecco, Cremant, Cava or Champagne

Smoked Mackerel Loaded Leaves – serves 4-8

  • 200g smoked mackerel fillets, skin removed and flaked
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • small bunch of chives, snipped
  • small handful of dill, chopped
  • 1 small radicchio, separated into leaves
  • 1-2 chicory heads separated into leaves

Gently mix the mackerel with the crème fraîche, lemon juice, half the herbs and some pepper. Chill until ready to serve.

Spoon generous amounts of the mackerel mixture into each leaf and arrange on a plates or a platter. Sprinkle over the remaining herbs and the lemon zest.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Smoked salmon & crab timbales with cucumber parpadelle

This luxurious starter of smoked salmon timbales filled with creamy crab can be made up to a day ahead. You do need to find big slices of smoked salmon as you need to completely line the moulds to stop the filling leaking out.

Wine Suggestion: as befits the occasion these go great with bubbly. We love good Champagne, but have recently been sampling various Cremants from around France and enjoying the variation and character each brings. With this we served the Manciat Poncet Cremant de Bourgogne which our friend brought along to dinner.

Smoked salmon timbales with cucumber pappardelle – serves 8

  • 12 large slices of smoked salmon
  • 225g full-fat soft cheese
  • 100-150ml sour cream
  • 100g white crab meat
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh dill, plus some sprigs to garnish
  • lemon wedges, to garnish

FOR THE CUCUMBER PAPPARDELLE:

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 150ml olive oil
  • a few black peppercorns
  • 1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 large cucumber peeled

Line eight 100ml ramekins with the smoked salmon making sure there are not gaps and hanging it well over the sides.

Beat the cheese to soften and mix in 100ml soured cream – loosen with a little more cream if still too firm to spoon.

Pick over the crab and remove any tiny bits of shell. Stir into the cheese with the chopped dill and season. Spoon into the moulds and fold over the overhanging salmon, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 2 hours (you can do this up to a day ahead).

Make the dressing for the cucumber. Put the sugar and 3 tbsp of water int a small saucepan and bring quickly to a simmer. Add the lemon zest and juice, oil and peppercorns, then taste and add 1-2 tsp of vinegar. Season with salt. Return to the boil, then cool (this can also be made up to a day ahead).

Use a swivel peeler to shave long strips of cucumber until you get to the seeds. Discard the centre. Don’t do this any more than 30 minutes beforehand or it will go soggy.

To serve, unwrap and run a knife between the salmon and the ramekins to pop them out onto plates. Strain the dressing through a sieve, mix a few tablespoons with the cucumber and arrange next to the timbales. Garnish with lemon wedges and dill and drizzle over some more dressing.

(Original recipe by Gary Rhodes in BBC Good Food Magazine, December 2004.)

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Roasted Cod with Wild Thyme & Pul Biber

Thick pieces of cod look so pretty when scattered with dried herbs and chilli flakes. Also an opportunity to use our new fish bone tweezers – interesting what excites us as we get older! This is a simple but very tasty idea from Sabrina Ghayour’s book ‘Feasts’.

We served this with some rice, greens and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Wine Suggestion: this dish begs for a Greek Assyrtiko from the island of Santorini. A white that should always have a savoury profile, stony minerality and citrus freshness and a complimentary nature with the thyme and Aleppo pepper. If you’re fortunate to find one with “Nykteri” mentioned on it then this should be just as fresh as it is picked at night, and yet with a few months in oak fuller and deeper in flavour.

Roasted Cod Loins with Wild Thyme & Pul Biber – serves 4

  • 4 cod loins (about 200g each)
  • garlic oil
  • 4 tsp dried wild thyme
  • 2 tsp pul biber chilli flakes (Aleppo pepper)
  • finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Put the fish fillets onto the paper and coat each piece generously with garlic oil. Sprinkle over the wild thyme, pul biber, lemon zest and plenty of sea salt flakes and black pepper.

Roast for 8-12 minutes depending on how thick your fish is, or until cooked through. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

 

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