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Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

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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Lemon, turmeric & black pepper salmon

We loved this spiced side of salmon from Sabrina Ghayour’s book Sirocco and its a great dish to feed a crowd. The mixture of lemon,  turmeric and black pepper smells almost medicinal in the oven but the served up on the plates the aromas and flavours are really good. Serve with a green salad or as we did here with green couscous and roasted veg with black garlic & preserved lemons and pomegranate, cucumber & pistachio yoghurt.

Wine Suggestion: A bold dish like this really needs a bold wine that cope with and complement the flavours.  A good suggestion is an Alsace Pinot Gris which has body (the good ones will have texture too) and a roundness from the pepper. A little left-field would be a Collio Bianco from north-eastern Italy. Our favourite, the Zuani, is a traditional blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Friulano and Pinot Grigio; texture, freshness, richness and fruitiness.

Lemon, turmeric & black pepper salmon – serves 6

  • 1kg salmon side
  • finely grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 tbsp coarse black pepper
  • 4 tbsp garlic oil
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt flakes, crushed

Preheat the oven to 240C/Gas 9.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper and place the salmon on top, skin-side down.

Make a paste by mixing the lemon zest, black pepper, garlic oil and turmeric in a small bowl until smooth. Rub this mixture evenly over the salmon.

You can marinade now for an hour or up to a day ahead but don’t be tempted to salt it until going into the oven.

Season the salmon with sea salt and roast for 22 minutes.

(Original recipe from Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour, Hatchette, 2016.)

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Monkfish kebabs

We love the vitality this Yemeni spice mix (hawayej) gives to these monkfish kebabs from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi. We cooked these on a barbecue but you could also use a ridged griddle pan. Delicious served with rice, salad and a cucumber & mint yoghurt.

Wine Suggestion: Umani Ronchi’s Ca’Sal di Serra Verdicchio was our choice tonight as it has a lovely lemony character combined with a nutty, herbal twist; a good match.

Grilled fish skewers with hawayej & parsley – serves 4 to 6

  • 1kg monkfish, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 50g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve

HAWAYEJ SPICE MIX:

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric

First make the spice mix by putting the peppercorns, coriander, cumin and cloves in a pestle and mortar (or spice grinder) and pound until finely ground. Stir in the ground cardamom and turmeric, then transfer to a large bowl.

Next add the fish, parsley, garlic, chilli flakes, lemon juice and 1 tsp of salt to the bowl and mix well with your hands, massaging the spices into the fish. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge for 6-12 hours (or 1 hour at a minimum).

Thread the fish chunks onto skewers, leaving gaps between the pieces,  then heat a barbecue until hot. Gently brush the kebabs with a little olive oil and cook in batches for about 2 minutes each side, or until just cooked through.

Serve immediately with the lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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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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