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Posts Tagged ‘Fish’

Rich Salmon Macaroni

This is super rich and luxurious and needs no other accompaniment than lots of dressed salad leaves (and a glass of wine of course).

Wine Suggestion: There are two options here. One is to balance the richness of the dish with an equally weighty wine and for this we’d drink a good white Burgundy, Meursault preferably. Conversely you can cut through the richness with something a bit more fresh and zingy such as a good Sancerre, the key here is to make sure the wine has texture and concentration so it’s not overwhelmed. Again, choose a very good producer if you can. 

Salmon with macaroni – serves 4

  • 600ml double cream
  • 400g piece of salmon fillet
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150g macaroni
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 50g sourdough bread
  • large handful of fennel fronds/dill

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Pour the cream into a saucepan and add the salmon, bay leaf and some freshly ground black pepper. Bring almost to the boil, then turn the heat down and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until the flesh flakes easily, then remove from the heat.

Boil the pasta in lots of salty water for about 9 minutes, then drain and tip into a baking dish. Remove the salmon from the cream and flake into large chunks, discarding any skin and bones. Tuck the salmon in amongst the pasta. Add the mustard to the cream with a little salt, then pour over the salmon & pasta.

Put the sourdough bread and fennel/dill into a food processor and pulse to coarse crumbs. Scatter the herby crumbs over the pasta. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crumbs are golden.

(Original recipe from The Kitchen Diaries III by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2015.)

Mac n Salmon

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Thai salmon cakes with carrot salad

We like to use the Thai curry pastes that come in plastic tubs, Mae Ploy is a good one. There’s always more in the tub than we need which forces us to search for lots of recipes to use it up. This is a bit different for a weeknight, tastes really good and is healthy too.

Wine Suggestion: a light aromatic white is what we’d suggest, like a QbA or Kabinett Riesling from the Mosel. They tend to have a welcome low alcohol (7 to 9 % abv), delicate and vibrant fruit and a refreshing zing to cut through the little bit of residual sugar. A dry Riesling doesn’t work as well; the touch of sweetness helps balance the chilli and curry paste perfectly.

Thai Salmon Steaks with Carrot Salad – serves 2

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets, about 300g in total, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • small handful of coriander leaves
  • groundnut oil

CARROT SALAD:

  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • a small chunk of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 3 scallions, shredded lengthways
  • 1 red chilli, shredded lengthways
  • handful of coriander leaves

Put the salmon, curry paste and coriander in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, then form into 6 fishcakes and chill while you make the salad.

Mix the rice wine vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves, then add the ginger. Toss all the other salad ingredients together with the dressing.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the salmon cakes for 2-3 minutes per side until golden and cooked through. Serve with the salad.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, April 2011.)

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Big pieces of fish are particularly well suited to the large cooking space you’ve got on the barbecue. We’ve invested in a fish basket for the barbecue but when we cooked this we didn’t have one and it was tricky to turn. If you don’t have a fish basket you might find it easier to cut the side of salmon in half.

We also really like this without the cucumber yoghurt and served with some champ (mashed potatoes with scallions and loads of butter for any of you non-Irish readers).

Wine suggestion: White and fresh, but also with a full body and a good texture. Out of fashion somewhat we tried a Chablis  … a 1er Cru Montmains from Domaine Bois d’Yver that we had lying around. It was a couple of years old but the extra age added extra layers of depth to a wine that was still fresh and dynamic. If you’d prefer a red then lightly chill a young Pinot Noir for 20-30 minutes and you’ll also have a treat.

Barbecued Side of Salmon with Cucumber Yoghurt – serves 4-6

  • 1.5kg side of salmon, scaled and pinboned (order this from your fishmonger)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • large bunch of basil/fennel tops, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled lengthwise at intervals to make stripes
  • 300ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • small bunch of mint/oregano, leaves picked and chopped

Brush the bars of the barbecue clean or your fish will stick (the fish basket will help with this), then light it and get it nice and hot.

Put the salmon skin-side down on a board and slash the flesh side with a sharp knife, about 1cm deep. Scatter the lemon zest and most of the fennel tops/basil over the salmon, then push into the cuts that you made with your fingers. Rub the fish lightly all over with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Put the salmon on the barbecue, skin-side down. Check it after about 4 minutes by which time the skin should have got nice and crispy. Turn the fish carefully and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes. You can carefully take the skin off the salmon at this stage and place it back on the heat to get really crispy.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Chop the seedless cucumber and mix with the yoghurt. Add some lemon juice, half the chopped chilli, and half the mint/oregano. Drizzle over some good olive oil and season well.

Break the salmon into portions with a fork and serve with the cucumber yoghurt, sprinkled with the remaining chilli and herbs. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with a piece of the crispy skin if you like.

(Original recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2007.)

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Haddock Pie

We are mad about fish pie and this one is particularly good. Yet another excuse to never through away our old food magazines!

Wine Suggestion: you need a fresh, vibrant white with a medium to full body; try to avoid heavily oaked and super-rich wines though. A good choice would be Chenin Blanc and the choice here is getting better each day. We’ve tried well made but simple ones from both the Loire and South Africa to good effect as well as some more complex ones like Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs from Swartland and some Savennieres too.

Haddock Pie – serves 6

  • 1 small onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 600ml creamy milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 450g haddock fillet with skin
  • 200g undyed smoked haddock fillet
  • 4 eggs, plus 1 extra egg yolk
  • 100g cooked peeled prawns
  • 100g butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 5tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1.25kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Pipers, peeled and cut into chunks

Stud a couple of the onion slices with the cloves and put into a large pan with the bay leaf, 450ml of the milk, the cream, haddock and smoked haddock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Lift out the fish and strain the cooking liquor into a jug.

Wait for the fish to cool and meanwhile hard boil the whole eggs for 8 minutes, then drain, cover with cold water and leave to cool.

When the fish has cooled a bit, break it into  large flakes, discarding the skin and any bones. Sprinkle the flakes of fish over the base of a shallow 1.7 litre ovenproof dish. Scatter the prawns over the top. Shell the eggs and cut into chunky slices. Arrange these over the fish and prawns.

Melt 50g of the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the reserved fish cooking liquor. Return to the heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Take the sauce off the heat, stir in the parsley and season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish and leave to cool.

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

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, mash well and beat in the egg yolk and remaining butter. Season with salt and white pepper and beat in enough of the remaining milk to make a smooth mash that’s easy to spread.

Spoon the mashed potato over the filling and mark the surface with a fork. Bake for 40-45 minutes until piping hot and golden brown.

(Original recipe by Rick Stein in BBC Good Food Magazine, June 2001.)

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Hake and scallion mash with a soy butter sauce

The soy butter sauce here is absolutely delicious and we were perhaps a bit over-generous with it when plating up. You can do some sort of drizzly thing if you want it look a bit fancier. Either way your guests will be impressed!

Wine Suggestion: We went off-piste and served a light bodied, Loire Valley red from Saumur-Champigny, the Chateau Hureau “Tuffe” 2010. As it was a warm evening we’d chilled the bottle for 30 minutes in the fridge and it was charming and a delightful match proving that red wine can go with fish. We think the depth of flavour in the soy butter sauce helped too.

Hake on Scallion Mash with a Soy Butter Sauce – serves 4

  • 4 x 200g pieces of thick hake fillet, with skin on
  • melted butter for brushing
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • sea salt flakes and coarsely crushed black pepper

FOR THE SCALLION MASH:

  • 1.25kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • a little milk
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper

FOR THE SOY BUTTER SAUCE:

  • 600ml chicken stock (preferably home-made)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 1 tomato, skinned, seeded and diced (plunge into hot water for 1 minute to make peeling easier)
  • 1 heaped tsp chopped coriander

Lay the fish in a shallow dish with the skin-side down and sprinkle with the sea salt flakes, then set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse the salt off and dry the fish with kitchen paper. Brush the fish pieces with the melted butter and put skin-side up on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle the skin with a few sea salt flakes and some black pepper.

Cook the potatoes in boiling unsalted water for 20 minutes or until tender.

Start the sauce by putting the stock and soy sauce into another pan and boiling rapidly until reduced by half.

Preheat the grill to high and grill the hake for 8 minutes on one side only.

When the fish is almost done, add the butter to the sauce and whisk it in. Take off the heat and add the tomato and coriander.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pan, then mash until smooth. Heat the butter in another pan and toss the scallions in the hot butter briefly. Beat scallions and butter into the potato with a little bit of milk and some salt and white pepper. Spoon the scallions mash into the centre of warm plates. Rest the hake on top and spoon the sauce around the outside.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein Fish & Shellfish, Random House, 2014.)

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Hot & sour fish soup

This is a quick and very low-calorie but very tasty soup. Buy some really fresh fish – we used hake. Hot & Sour Fish Soup – Serves 2

  • 2tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 dried red chilli (or use a small tsp of chilli flakes)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 stem lemongrass, lightly bashed
  • 700ml chicken or fish stock
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 400g skinless white fish fillets, cut into big chunks
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • cooked noodles

Put the ginger, chilli, scallions, lemongrass and stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the soy sauce, vinegar and fish, and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the spinach and season with the fish sauce. Adjust the vinegar and soy sauce to your own taste. Put the cooked noodles into soup bowls, discard the lemongrass and dried chilli from the soup, then pour over the noodles and serve. (Original recipe by Lulu Grimes and Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive February 2015.)

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Salmon Tartare

A perfect starter for the festive season. Get the freshest and best salmon you can as it will make all the difference; ours was meltingly tender while cutting it up and we were rewarded with a melt in the mouth starter.

Wine suggestion: Try an appropriately festive and indulgent Vintage Champagne like the Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blanc which has a richness and depth alongside a minerally freshness and great purity of fruit. Alternately if on a budget, but another classic match, would be a zippy and herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc or for a bit of a lemony twist a Verdejo from Rueda in Spain.

Smoky salmon tartare with lemon and capers – serves 6

  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
  • 400g skinless salmon fillet
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp small capers
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • olive oil
  • melba toast, to serve

Put the shallot into the lemon juice and leave to soak.

Cut the salmon into tiny cubes and finely chop the smoked salmon. Put all of the fish into a bowl, add the dill, capers, mustard, crème fraîche, 1 tbsp olive oil and the shallot and juice. Fold together gently and season with salt and black pepper.

Serve in rounds with the melba toast and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, December 2014)

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