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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

Trout with brown butter & almondsA simple and delicious idea for trout fillets. Serve with steamed new potatoes and asparagus or other seasonal greens.

Trout with brown butter & almonds – serves 2

  • 4 small trout fillets with skin on
  • a handful of flaked almonds, lightly toasted
  • 50g butter
  • 3tbsp of chopped mixed herbs, we used parsley, thyme & chives
  • juice of ½ a lemon

Heat the butter in a frying pan until it starts to turn a nutty brown colour. Add the trout fillets, skin-side down, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Transfer the fish carefully onto warmed plates.

Add the almonds to the pan with a squeeze of lemon juice, some seasoning and the herbs. Toss the almonds gently in the buttery juices and pour over the fish.

Serve with steamed new potatoes and greens.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, June 2005.)

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Cheesy tuna pesto pasta

Oh this is soooo easy and has become a regular feature in our house at lunchtime on Saturdays. Also adored by the resident 3 year old which is always a bonus. Maybe save the wine for after 7pm 😉

Cheesy Tuna Pesto Bake – serves 4 generously and the leftovers are good

  • 400g penne pasta
  • 200g tin or jar of good quality tuna in olive oil
  • 190g jar of pesto (we find that off the shelf rather than out of the fridge works better here as the fresh-made pestos make the dish a bit oily)
  • 100g cheddar, grated
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.

Meanwhile empty the contents of the tin of tuna (including the oil) into a large bowl and add the pesto. Mash together with a wooden spoon. Stir in about a third of the cheese and all the tomatoes. Heat the grill to high.

Drain the pasta and stir into the bowl with the tuna and pesto mixture, then tip into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Put the dish under the grill for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese has just melted.

Serve with salad and garlic bread if you like.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

 

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Salmon with greens & creme fraiche

Spring is such a lovely time for fresh ingredients, encapsulated by greens like peas and broad beans. It’s broad beans with pretty much everything in our house at the minute. Serve with steamed new potatoes or mash.

Wine Suggestion: We went with a fresh Chablis that had a similar Spring vitality to the food; a Domaine Gueguen from 2015 which had hints of white flowers and smokiness with green apple skins. It was crisp with a wonderful chalky, flinty, limestone character – a good match.

Salmon with greens & crème fraîche – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 250ml chicken stock or fish stock
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 140g frozen peas
  • 140g frozen broad beans
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets
  • small bunch of chives, snipped

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan with a lid. Cook the leek until soft but not coloured, about 5-10 minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer until reduced slightly, then add the crème fraîche and season. Cook for another minute.

Add the peas and beans, then gently add the salmon fillets, nestling them in amongst the veg. Turn down to a simmer, then cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle with chives and serve with mash or steamed new potatoes.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Coconut fish curry

We love to serve a fish curry alongside other Indian dishes to serve a crowd. Try this with some chicken tikka, mint & yoghurt chutney, cinnamon lamb curry, steamed basmati rice & some naan bread from the takeaway. Also great on its own with rice of course.

Coconut Fish Curry (Fish moilee) – serves 4

  • 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped (deseed if you don’t want too much heat)
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil/rapeseed oil
  • 20 fresh curry leaves (optional but handy to buy fresh, then keep in the freezer for dishes like this)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 big ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 4 white fish fillets e.g. hake, haddock or cod (we use hake as it’s cheaper)
  • 1 lime, quartered

Put the ginger, garlic,  green chilli and a pinch of salt in a pestle & mortar and bash until you have a paste.

Put the oil into a wide, shallow pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the curry leaves, followed by the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes or until pale gold. Add the ginger, garlic & chilli paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1½ tsp salt, the turmeric & chilli powder. Cover the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, dilute the coconut milk with 100ml of water and add to the pan. When the milk begins to bubble, add the fish, then turn the heat down, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Serve with a squeeze of lime and rice on the side.

(Original recipe from Made in India by Meera Sodha, Penguin, 2014.)

 

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Slow cooked squid in brandy and cream

This is cooked quick and hot, then low and slow. A bit disconcerting if you’re used to cooking squid quickly to avoid the rubber band effect but have faith, the result is tender squid in a rice sauce.

Wine Suggestion: This went perfectly with a Bodegas Tradición dry Oloroso VORS whose very refined character plus muscle and body stood up to the rich brandy, cream and tomato flavour, while the deep nutty flavours complimented the squid. A dry, smooth and round wine with a gentle and persistent texture.

Squid with Brandy & Cream – serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 garlic loaves, chopped
  • 300ml passata
  • 1kg cleaned large squid
  • sunflower oil
  • 125ml brandy
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (to serve)

Melt the butter in a casserole dish, then add the onion, thyme and bay leaves with plenty of black pepper. Fry gently for about 15 minutes or until the onion is soft and golden. Stir in the garlic. Turn the heat off and stir in the passata, then leave to stand while you fry the squid.

Cut the squid in half lengthways, then chop each half widthways into ribbons. Cut the fins and tentacles to a similar size. Dry the squid well with paper towels.

Put a large frying pan over a high heat and wait until it get smoking hot. Add a glug of sunflower oil and about a third of the squid with a good pinch of salt. Fry hard, stirring occasionally, until well coloured. Repeat until all the squid has been browned. Put each batch into the casserole dish with the tomato sauce.

Put the casserole back over the heat and add 100ml water. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Add 100ml of brandy and put the lid back on. Simmer very gently for 40 minutes, then a further 20 minutes with lid ajar so the juice reduces a little. When the squid is tender stir in the rest of the brandy and the cream. Serve with chopped parsley sprinkled over.

(Original recipe by Valentine Warner in BBC Good Food Magazine, March 2010.)

 

Good Food March 2010

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Monkfish & saffron pilaf

The traditional fish used for this dish from Central Asia is sturgeon, which we don’t see so often in Dublin, so we substituted monkfish to very good effect. Don’t be shy with the pepper as this really informs the character of the dish providing a warm and distinctive flavour. We were really excited by the flavours here and have made this a few times now as we enjoy it a lot.

Wine Suggestion: Black pepper has it’s own umami-rich tannins which for some people means that it won’t work with wine very well. What you need to do, though, is work with this and use either a red with appropriate tannins or spices, or a white with pepper characteristics too. We chose a rich, dry F.X. Pichler Grüner Veltliner Loibner Loibenberg which we picked up from our friend Gerard Maguire in Glasthule. A stunning wine that stood up magnificently to the bold pepper flavours; a lighter wine would have felt short and inadequate.

Fish & Saffron Pilaf – serves 4

  • 275g basmati rice
  • 4 onions (1 halved and 3 thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a small bunch of flatleaf parsley
  • 4 sturgeon, monkfish or halibut fillets
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • a small handful of dill
  • 1 tsp dill seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • large pinch of saffron strands, soaked in 3 tbsp water
  • 120g sour cream
  • juice of 1 lemon

Put the rice into a large bowl, cover with water and leave to soak.

Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a large pan and add the halved onion, crushed peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley stalks (keep the leaves aside for now). Season the water well with salt and gently lower in the fish fillets. Cook at a very gentle simmer until just opaque, about 10 minutes depending on how thick your fillets are. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and set aside. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve. Set the pan aside for using again later.

Heat a second large cooking pot for cooking the rice. Heat the sesame oil until almost smoking, then add the onions and carrots. Stir-fry until starting to soften. Drain the rice and add to the pot, smoothing it down with the back of a spoon. Pour over the fish broth until it covers the rice by about 1cm and add plenty of salt. Bring to the boil and cook on a high heat until the broth has boiled off. Poke a few steam holes in the rice with the end of a spoon to help it along. Cover with a lid or tight-fitting layer of foil and remove from the heat. Leave to steam for 20 minutes by which time the rice will be cooked through.

Chop the parsley and dill and add to the empty fish pan. Add the dill seeds (if using), ground black pepper, saffron and its soaking liquid and season with salt. Stir in the soured cream and set over a low heat to warm through. Carefully return the fish fillets to the pan to warm through before serving.

Turn the rice out onto a large platter and squeeze over the lemon. Spoon the fish and creamy sauce over the top.

(Original recipe from Samarkand by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford, Kyle Books, 2016.)

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Cod in a tahini sauce

Our menus have featured a lot of meat recently so we’ve focused and had a few fishy weekends to redress the balance. This is another great recipe from Moro, really delicate and delicious. We followed their suggestion and served with a chickpea salad and saffron rice. A rare Saturday night treat for just the two of us; we made the full sauce but only used two cod fillets.

Get started early as the rice needs to soak for a few hours.

Wine Suggestion: a light, dry white wine with good flavour and texture is what we think goes best. We had a good Muscadet from Domaine de la Chauviniere which has a good depth of flavour despite it’s light body. Alternately a good Alvarinho/Albariño would be a good match too.

Cod Baked with Tahini Sauce & Saffron Rice – serves 4

  • 4 thick cod fillets with skin, about 200g each
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Tahini Sauce

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp tahini paste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp water

Saffron Rice

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods, cracked
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 200g basmati rice, washed and soaked in salted water for 3 hours
  • a good pinch of saffron threads infused in 4 tbsp boiling water

To Serve: 

  • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Start by making the tahini sauce and the rice as the fish won’t take long at the end.

For the Tahini Sauce:

Crush the garlic cloves with a good pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until you have a paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and whisk in the tahini and lemon juice. Add the water until you get a sauce the consistency of double cream. Taste and season.

For the Saffron Rice:

Gently melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and black peppercorns and fry gently for about 4 minute or until aromatic.

Drain the rice and add to the butter, stirring to coat in the butter. Turn the heat up to medium-high and pour over enough water to cover by about 1cm, season with salt.

Place a piece of greaseproof paper on the surface of the water, then cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and paper and drizzle the saffron water evenly over the rice. Cover again with the paper and the lid, turn the heat to low and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

For the Cod: 

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

You need to cook the cod on the hob first ideally in an ovenproof frying pan or failing that a roasting tray that can go on the hob.

Add the olive oil to cover the base of the pan. Season the cod generously with salt and pepper, then place in the pan with the skin side up, keep shaking the pan all the time to prevent sticking. Cook for a couple of minutes to seal. Turn the fish over carefully and put the pan in the oven for 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of your fish. The fish is cooked when it is easy to flake and looks completely white inside.

Pour the tahini sauce into the pan with the fish to warm for 30 seconds, then transfer to hot plates. Spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with the parsley and pomegranate seeds.

Serve with the chickpea salad, saffron rice & lemon.

(Original recipe from Moro the Cookbook by Sam & Sam Clark, Ebury Press, 2001.)

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