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Posts Tagged ‘Easy’

Fish in Tahini (Samak bi Tahina)

There is a recipe for fish in tahini sauce in almost every Middle Eastern cookbook, and for good reason. The caramelised onions really complement the slightly sour tahini sauce. Serve with rice and salad.

Wine Suggestion: Not having had tahini with fish before we weren’t sure what to open, so went with our classic standby for seafood – Muscadet. The Domaine de la Chauviniere worked a treat and we would highly recommend this as a match.

Fish in Tahini (Samak bi Tahina) – serves 2

For the fish:

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground Aleppo pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 fillets of white fish

For the sauce:

  • 80ml tahini
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt, to taste
  • 80ml water

For the topping:

  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • a handful of coriander, chopped
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts

Mix the spices and oil and rub over the fish, then leave to marinate in the fridge for half an hour.

Caramelise the onions by frying them over a very low heat until soft and browned – about half an hour.

Make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and water in a pan. Don’t worry if it curdles just keep stirring vigorously until it becomes smooth. Warm the sauce over a very low heat.

Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and fry the marinated fish for a few minutes on each side, then remove from the heat and place in a warm dish.

Fry the garlic and coriander in a pan with a little oil for a minute.

Pour the warm tahini sauce over the fish, then sprinkle over the onions, followed by the coriander, garlic and pine nuts. Serve with bulgar wheat or rice and a salad or vegetables if you like.

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

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Mussels & cockles with garlic breadcrumbs

This is a great starter from Polpo that tastes similar to stuffed mussels but is nowhere near as fiddly to prepare. We used cockles instead of clams as that is what we could get the day we cooked this.

Wine Suggestion: we’d suggest a white from central or sourther Italy for this dish. Tonight it was a Verdicchio from the Marches, the Tralivio by the Sartarelli family which combines citrus, apricots and wild herbs with texture, body and hints of a bitter almond on the finish. Very attractive, refreshing and a perfect food wine.

Mussels & Clams with Garlic Breadcrumbs – serves 4 – 6 as a starter

  • 100g old bread
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a small handful of flat parsley leaves, chopped
  • a large pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • flaky sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 kg mussels
  • 1kg clams
  • 100ml white wine
  • bread, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4.

Tear the old bread into pieces, then scatter over a baking tray and pour over plenty of olive oil over them. Put the tray into the oven for 5 minutes or until the bread is crisp and golden, then set aside.

When the bread has cooled blitz it in food processor with the chopped parsley, half the dried chilli, half the garlic and some seasoning. When the bread has turned to fine crumbs, taste some and adjust the seasoning and add some more oil if they are too dry.

Clean the mussels and clams in cold running water and discard any that are damaged or that stay open when tapped.

Heat a large pan and add some olive oil. Throw in the mussels and clams with the rest of the chilli and garlic and stir until the shells start to open. As they do, pour in the white wine and cover the pan with a lid. The shells should all have opened after a couple of minutes, throw away any that haven’t opened.

Add a handful of breadcrumbs to the pan to thicken the sauce. Spoon the mussels and clams into shallow bowls and sprinkle with the rest of the crumbs. Serve immediately with crusty bread if you like.

(Original recipe from Polpo by Russel Norman, Bloomsbury, 2012.)

 

 

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Carrot & parsnip soup with chorizo

A soup that looks like sunshine, perfect for grey days!

Parsnip & carrot soup with chorizo – serves 2

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 800ml chicken stock
  • 2 cooking chorizo, chopped

Fry the onion, garlic & cumin in a little olive oil in a saucepan until softened.

Add the parsnips, carrots and chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are soft.

Purée the soup and loosen with a little water if it’s too thick, season to taste.

Fry the chorizo in a little olive oil until crispy.

Serve the soup with the chorizo on top.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, January 2013.)

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Fusilli with Chestnut Mushrooms, Leeks and Mascarpone Cheese

This pasta sauce can literally be made in the same time as it takes to boil the pasta. The recipe is easily halved for two and therefore good for using up mascarpone.

Wine Suggestion: A tasty supper like this pairs well with unoaked Chardonnay, particularly from slightly cooler areas like the Maçon in Burgundy. Tonight’s choice, the Domaine Manciat-Poncet Maçon-Charnay which has a fresh joy to it with red apples and citrus flavours.

Fusilli with chestnut mushrooms, leeks and mascarpone cheese – serves 4

  • 45g butter
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 4 pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 400g fusilli pasta
  • plenty of freshly grated Parmesan to serve

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the butter and allow to melt. When the butter is foaming add the mushrooms, leeks and garlic and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the mascarpone and cook for another minute or so, stirring continuously. Stir in the chives and cayenne pepper, then season carefully with salt and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in lots of salty water according to the timings on the pack, then drain and return to the same pan.

Pour the mushroom sauce into the pasta pan and stir together for 30 seconds before dividing between warm bowls.

Sprinkle over the Parmesan and serve.

(Original recipe Gino’s Pasta by Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Books, 2010.)

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Scallop & prawn risotto

We brought in the new decade with this fabulous scallop and prawn risotto. Couldn’t be simpler to make but tastes really special. Scallops aren’t cheap but you only need a few for this and they are totally worth it.

Wine Suggestion: A special occasion with a special person requires a special wine. Made by the brilliant Dermot Sugrue, his Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan is multilayered, multidimensional and complex. To be honest this is the best English Sparkling we’ve tasted and it has a great roundness and weight alongside it’s natural freshness which allowed us to start with seaside, fresh oysters and then segue to a much richer risotto without breaking a sweat.

Scallop & Prawn Risotto – serves 4

  • 100g butter, plus a bit extra
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 450g risotto rice
  • 750ml-1 litre, hot fish or light chicken stock
  • 350-400g raw peeled prawns
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone
  • 12 scallops, orange roe and side muscles removed
  • a bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • a small bunch of basil, chopped

Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan and gently cook the shallot until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated in butter.

Gradually add the hot stock, stirring all the time, until the rice is just tender – about 20 minutes. Add the prawns when the rice is cooked but al dente, then season and add the lemon zest and juice. Turn the prawns until they have turned pink all over, then add the mascarpone and gently fold in.

Allow the risotto to rest for 5 minutes while you fry the scallops for a minute on each side in a knob of butter in a frying pan. Add these to the risotto and sprinkle with the herbs.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, December 2015.)

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Vegan Achari Brussels Sprout Curry

Sprouts are not just for Christmas. They’ll be around for ages yet and we love them. This is also a useful dish for those choosing a spell of Veganism. Serve with yoghurt (non-dairy if you wish) and naan breads.

Wine Suggestion: tonight we opened a German white lager, the Grevensteiner Naturtrübes Helles. A slightly cloudy and smooth beer with fruit hints and a refined malty touch. This has character and roundness and is a good foil to the curry and a compliment to the Brussels.

Vegan Achari Brussels Sprout Curry – serves 2

  • 750g brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered or halved depending on size
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 green chillies, very finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Bash the mustard, cumin, coriander and fennel seeds together in a mortar as finely as you can, then stir in the nigella seeds.

Heat a large frying pan, then add 2 tbsp of oil. When hot, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes before adding the spice mix, then continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and browning. Stir in the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and the salt, then cook for 15 minutes. Add 400ml water and the sprouts, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for until just tender – start checking after 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with lemon juice before serving.

(Original recipe by Meera Sodha in The Guardian, Saturday, 21 December 2019.)

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Turkey Tetrazzini

A creamy turkey and mushroom pasta bake for the inevitable leftovers. Tetrazzini was created by Italian immigrants to the USA adapting family recipes to local conditions and evolving tradition. We like this.

Wine Suggestion: Given this is American in origin we opened a Californian Chardonnay, the Cline Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast. The richness of fruit and hints of oak were a great match.

Turkey Tetrazzini – serves 4

  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 50g butter plus a bit extra for frying the mushrooms
  • 2tbsp flour
  • 250ml hot chicken stock
  • a few drops of Tabasco
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp single cream
  • 300g cooked turkey
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Start by frying the mushrooms in a little butter until softened and browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water for the time indicated on the pack.

Meanwhile, make your white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir and cook for a minutes or so. Gradually whisk in the hot chicken stock until smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the tabasco, egg yolk, sherry and cream, then stir in the cooked turkey and mushrooms.

Layer the cooked spaghetti with the turkey mixture in a ovenproof dish, finishing with a layer of spaghetti and the Parmesan sprinkled over.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until piping hot and bubbling. Put briefly under a hot to crisp up the spaghetti on top if needed.

Serve with a green salad.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, January 2008)

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