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Posts Tagged ‘Fish’

Baked Cod with Tomatoes, Chorizo & Butterbeans

The beans in this dish are absolutely delicious. This is really straightforward and tasty for a weeknight.

Wine Suggestion: Nathalie & Gilles Fèvre make a delcious Chablis that we’re quite partial to. Despite the Mediterranean-Spanish influence to the dish, this northern French, unoaked Chardonnay has the texture, minerality and vibrancy that food like this needs.

Baked cod with tomatoes, chorizo & butterbeans – serves 2

  • 125g chorizo, diced into 1cm pieces
  • 400g tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 500g mixed tomatoes, roughly diced, small ones can just be halved
  • 20 black olives
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 large piece of skinless cod fillet (300-400g) or 2 smaller fillets
  • a few pinches of smoked paprika

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Put 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, add the chorizo, then put over a gentle heat until crispy and the chorizo has released lots of oil. Scoop the chorizo out with a slotted spoon and reserve the oil.

Put the chorizo into a large bowl with the butterbeans, tomatoes, olives, parsley, vinegar, sugar, tomato purée and lots of seasoning, then toss.

Put a large piece of baking paper into a roughly A4 sized tin leaving some hanging over the edges. You might need to use two pieces of paper, the idea is to have a sealed parcel.

Tip the chorizo and beans into the paper, then set the fish on top. Sprinkle the fish with some smoked paprika and seasoning. Drizzle the chorizo oil over everything.

Gather the paper up and scrunch together to make a parcel, then put the tray into the oven for 20-30 minute, or until the fish is cooked.

(Original recipe by Sarah Cook in Olive Magazine, September 2015.)

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Baked Cod & Butter Beans

An easy, midweek fish dish that’s perfect for two.

Wine Suggestion: despite being a fish dish this works with red wine, though we’d suggest nothing too heavy or rich. Tonight Domaine Rochette’s Morgon Cote du Py added an earthy texture and density and is a good example of why we should be drinking more Beaujolais.

Baked cod and butter beans – serves 2

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 400g tin butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 chunky pieces of skinless cod loin
  • 35g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 25g grated Parmesan

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the fennel seeds and cook for a minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in the butter beans and season.

Sit the cod pieces in the beans. Mix the breadcrumbs with the rosemary, Parmesan, seasoning and a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the crumbs over the fish and bake for 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and the fish cooked.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, July 2019.)

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Thai Minced Fish & Courgette Curry

This is from an old but very reliable Thai cookbook from Australia. We chose the recipe to use up some courgettes and curry paste and it was delicious with just a handful of ingredients.

Wine Suggestion: this goes excellently with a dry Riesling with a little age and good fruit which rounds off the edges; some in youth are a little crisp and edgy and will fight with these flavours. Tonight a Vickery Eden Valley Riesling from 2017, the couple of years age have brought this together brilliantly.

Thai minced fish & courgette curry – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp veg oil
  • 2 tbsp red or green curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh kaffir lime leaves (or if you are using dried, soak them for 10 minutes in hot water), sliced
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 500g white fish fillets, we used hake, minced
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 courgettes, diced (or you can use an aubergine instead)
  • 1 tbsp basil leaves

Heat the oil in a wok , then stir-fry the curry paste and lime leaves. Add about 125ml of coconut milk and simmer until the oil rises.

Add the minced fish and stir slowly until well separated. Add the rest of the coconut milk, the fish sauce and the courgettes. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to a nice consistency.

Turn off the heat, stir through the basil and serve with steamed rice.

(Original recipe from Thai Cooking Class by Sami Anuntra Miller & Patricia Lake, BayBooks, 1994.)

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Hot Smoked Trout & Dill Spaghetti

A lovely weeknight treat and so easy and quick to make. We used Barbecued Rainbow Trout from Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Kilkenny but any hot smoked trout or salmon will work perfectly.

Wine Suggestion: this works with lightly / judiciously oaked Chardonnay which gives structure and a touch of butteriness but retains the fruit and texture; your choice.

Hot Smoked Trout & Dill Spaghetti – serves 4

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 100g frozen petits pois
  • 100g hot smoked trout or salmon (see above), remove the skin and break into bite-sized chunks
  • a small packet of dill (about 25g), remove any thickish stalks and roughly chop
  • 3 tbsp of crème fraîche

Cook the spaghetti in loads of boiling, very salty water, for a minute less than the time given on the pack. Add the frozen petits pois and cook for another minute, then drain and return to the pan. Reserve some of the pasta water to thin the sauce.

Stir the hot smoked trout, dill, crème fraîche, salt and lots of black pepper into the pasta. Add a couple of tbsp of pasta water to the pan and toss everything together over a very low heat. Keep adding pasta water until you have a silky sauce, then serve in warm bowls.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Spiced Salmon Skewers with Parsley Oil

We started these kebabs from the Falastin cookbook on the barbecue and then finished in the oven. Oh my goodness, they’re delicious. This is the best cookbook we’ve bought in ages!! You can make the parsley oil and marinade the salmon well in advance.

Wine Suggestion: to avoid fighting the spices we opened a La Source de Chateau Vignelaure Blanc from Provence. A blend of Vermentino, Semillon and Sauvignon it was uncomplicated joy in a glass; pure freshness with light fruits and a textured core.

Spiced salmon skewers with parsley oil – serves 4

  • 800g salmon fillet (no skin & bones), cut into 4cm chunks
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 3½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, halved lengthways, then each half quartered into 4 chunks
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, quartered into wedges, to serve

PARSLEY OIL:

  • 40g parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 90ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut off the ends, then remove the skin and cut between the membranes to release the segments

Put the chunks of salmon into a large bowl with the cardamom, cumin, paprika, turmeric, sumac, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, ¾ tsp salt and plenty of black pepper. Mix to coat the fish, then leave in the fridge for at least an hour but it will be fine made earlier in the day and cooked when you need.

Put 1½ tbsp of olive oil into a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured, they’ll fall apart and that’s fine. Scoop them out of the pan and set aside.

To make the parsley oil whizz the parsley, garlic, oil, ¼ tsp of salt and plenty of pepper in the small bowl of a food processor for about a minute, or until, smooth. Add the lemon segments and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 230ºC and get your barbecue going (if you don’t want to barbecue you can use a well-greased griddle pan).

Put a tomato onto 4 long metal skewers, then alternate chunks of salmon with pieces of onion. Finish with another tomato at the end.

When the barbecue (or griddle) is smoking hot, add the skewers and grill for 3-4 minutes, turning so they’re charred on all sides. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment and put into the preheated oven for 6-7 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked.

Drizzle over the parsley oil and serve the lemon wedges on the side.

(Original recipe from Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, Ebury Press, 2020)

 

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Spiced Haddock with Bombay PotatoesThis is really simple but full of fresh and spicy flavours. Great for a weeknight as it only takes 30 minutes to cook.

Wine Suggestion: matched with a perrenial favourite, the ALLO by Quinta Soahleiro from northern Portugal. Enough fruit for the spices and complimentary texture and vibrancy.

Smoked haddock with Bombay potatoes – serves 2

  • 2 thick skinless haddock fillets
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • groundnut oil
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • lemon wedges, to serve

FOR THE POTATOES:

  • 500g waxy potatoes, diced (peel if you prefer)
  • sunflower oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 100g cherry tomatoes

Boil the potatoes in salty water until just cooked, then drain well.

Put the haddock in a dish. Mix the curry powder, groundnut oil and turmeric together with a good pinch of salt. Rub all over the fish and leave for 10 minutes.

Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Gently cook the shallots until softened then add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Fry until fragrant, then stir in the turmeric and potatoes. Stir to heat through and coat in the spices, then add the tomatoes and cook until they start to break down. Season with salt. Stir in half the coriander.

Grill the haddock for a couple of minutes on each side until just cooked, it will flake easily with a fork. Divide the potatoes between two plates and gently place the haddock on top. Scatter with the remaining coriander and serve with a lemon wedge.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, May 2013.)

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Salmon with Greens & Crème Fraîche

It’s often fish at ours on Friday and this one tasted of Spring. The perfect end to a sunny day. We don’t freeze much veg but are never without frozen peas and broad beans. We served with steamed waxy potatoes with butter and mint but mash would be good too.

Wine Suggestion: a light, seafood friendly white. One of our favs is the Allo from Northern Portugal which has a salty tang and tastes of sunshine in a glass.

Salmon with Greens & Crème Fraîche – serves 4

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

Season the salmon with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan with a lid. Add the leek and cook gently for 5-10 minutes, until softened but not browned.

Add the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for a few minutes to reduce a bit.

Add the crème fraîche, peas and broad beans and season, then nestle in the salmon fillets. Cover and simmer gently for about 12 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.

Sprinkle over the chives to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Fennel, Pernod and Red Mullet Parcels

We cooked this the night that further restrictions were placed on Ireland. We were a bit unsure how it would all work and if we would still be able to get fresh produce in the local shops or if we’d be stuck with supermarkets. Yesterday we heard that we’d be home for another few weeks but thankfully we can still get fresh fish and almost anything else we need (except plain flour!) from our local shops. We served this with some steamed waxy potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: Light, white and minerally. Our choice is the Allo by Quinta Soalheiro from northern Portugal made from Alvarinho for texture and body, and Loureiro for the fruity, aromtic white flowers. All at 11.5% abv.

Fennel, Pernod and red mullet parcels – serves 4

  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp chopped herb fennel leaves
  • 180ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp Pernod
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 fillets of red mullet or sea bass

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

You need large 4 pieces of double thickness  tin foil – probably bigger than you think. Divide the sliced fennel between the sheets – keep the edges turned up so you don’t lose anything. Divide the rest of the ingredients between the parcels and lay the fish fillets on the top with the fennel leaves sprinkled over. Season everything well with salt and pepper.

Fold the foil up around the ingredients to make parcels, twisting the edges together to seal, make sure you leave some air inside.

Place the parcels on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove the fish and ingredients from the parcels and arrange on warm plates. Pour the juices from the parcels over the top.

(Original recipe from Herbs by Judith Hann, Nourish, 2017.)

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Spicy fish soup

We often have fish on Fridays. It’s quick to cook and light enough that we’ve room for cheese afterwards. Mussels are a favourite too and they’re fantastic value. This soup by Nigel Slater is crammed with them, and full of flavour.

Wine suggestion:  an old favourite white wine, the always versatile ALLO by Quinta Soalheiro. Light bodied so it doesn’t overwhelm the delicate play of flavours in the dish, but textured and concentrated at the same time. A wine that is the sommeliers’ secret weapon for matching.

Spiced fish soup – serves 2

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded, chuck any with broken shells or that don’t close when you give them a sharp tap
  • 2 large banana shallots, peeled and separated into layers
  • a splash of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 250g white fish fillet – we used hake – cut into 4 pieces
  • a handful of chopped coriander

Put the cleaned mussels into a large pan and add 500ml of water. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and cook until the mussels have opened (a couple of minutes).

Remove the mussels from the liquid but keep the cooking water, you need to strain this through a fine sieve. Remove the mussels from the shells and set aside.

Heat a splash of oil in a deep frying pan, then fry the shallots over a gentle heat until softened. Add the mustard seeds, chilli powder and turmeric, and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour in the reserved mussel stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Lay the pieces of fish in the liquid and cook briefly until opaque (just a couple of minutes should do it). Return the mussels to the pan, season to taste with salt, and stir in the coriander.

(Original recipe from Eat by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

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Spaghetti with Roasted Red Mullet

It feels a bit weird posting recipes like this but at the same time we think its important to remember that there are no food shortages. The fish shops are open and fishermen continue to fish and while this continues, we’re going to make the most of it.

Wine Suggestion: a good rule of thumb when matching wines is to look at the source of the food and see what is being grown nearby. Today, an Italian seafood pasta drags us to the Poggio ai Ginepri Vermentino, grown on the Tuscan coast; both floral and salty in equal amounts with a good dollop of tasty fruit in the middle.

Spaghetti with roasted red mullet – serves 2

  • 4 small fillets of red mullet – ask the fish shop to fillet them for you and make sure you check them over for tiny bones
  • a handful of black olives, pitted
  • a dried chilli or half a tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • your best extra virgin olive oil
  • some fresh thyme, leaves stripped
  • 200g spaghetti

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.

Prick the cherry tomatoes with a fork, then toss with a little olive oil, season and spread over a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

Put the fillets of red mullet in a single layer in a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with thyme and the dried chilli, then season. Drizzle with oil and roast in the oven for 5 minutes.

Cook the spaghetti in loads of salty water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.

Add the olives and tomatoes to the pasta with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season. Add the red mullet and toss gently, then serve.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy: Simple Recipes form the London River Cafe by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006)

 

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Baked salmon parcels with ginger, soy, honey, toasted sesame seeds & broccoli

We love a simple salmon recipe and this one, by Neven Maguire, is particularly handy as it’s all cooked in a tidy parcel in the oven. Serve with steamed rice with a some scallions sprinkled over.

Wine suggestion: delicious with a good, dry Riesling like Weingut Korrell’s Slice of Paradise from the Nahe in Germany which has a delicate dance of fruit, aromatics and a wonderful core of bright acidity and texture.

Soy and honey salmon parcels with tenderstem broccoli – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (just toast them gently in a dry frying pan)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • rapeseed oil, for brushing
  • 4 x 100g salmon fillets, skin and bones removed
  • 250g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • steamed basmati rice, to serve
  • finely chopped scallions, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Whisk the sesame seeds, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and garlic together in a bowl, then set aside.

Cut out 4 squares of tin foil about 50cm square. Brush the foil with oil and put a piece of salmon in the middle of each one.

Blanch the broccoli for a minute, then drain and refresh in iced water.

Sprinkle the ginger over the salmon, then divide the broccoli between each parcel. Spoon over the soy sauce mixture and drizzle each piece of fish with about ½ tsp of oil. Fold the edges of the foil together to seal and place them on a baking tray.

Cook the parcels in the oven for 10 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked. You can leave it for a bit longer if you prefer your salmon well done but we wouldn’t recommend it.

Serve the parcels with a large bowl of rice sprinkled with the scallions.

(Original recipe from Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook, Gill Books, 2016.)

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Carrot & Ginger mash with pan fried codSo, this is a full-on diet dish, but the carrot and ginger mash is spectacular and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough for nights when you need some restraint. We are a greedy household and require restraint on a regular basis – no wine for us tonight!

Carrot & Ginger Mash with Pan-fried Cod – serves 2

  • 2 large carrots (about 300g), thickly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 15g fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 15g butter
  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 thick, skinless cod fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dried chilli flakes

Put the carrots, garlic & ginger in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until soft.

Take the pan off the heat, reserve a ladle of the cooking water, then drain. Return the carrot mixture to the pan and add 3 tbsp of the reserved cooking water, the butter, and the lemon juice. Whizz the carrots to a purée with a stick blender, adding a bit more of the water if needed. Season with salt and black pepper.

Season the cod with sea salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the cod for about 4 minutes, then turn, sprinkle with a few chilli flakes, and cook on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how thick they are.

Spoon the purée onto warm plates and serve with the fish on top and plenty of green veg.

(Original recipe from The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Claire Bailey & Justine Pattison, Short Books, 2019.)

 

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Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce with Capers and Olives

It seems like so long since we’ve cooked fresh fish, but tonight was the night. We’ve had Rachel Roddy’s book (Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome) for ages now but this has been its first outing (for reasons that we won’t bore you with here). This dish was everything we hoped for – quick for a Friday night but absolutely packed with all the flavours that this family loves. We served with couscous but rice or bread are also suggested. Well done Rachel!

Wine Suggestion: we were seduced by the Sicilian white, the Gulfi Carjcanti, a blend of Carricante and the ancient Albanello. Lively and herbal alongside a salty sapiness in the flavour making this a great wine to pair with seafood, let alone the olives, capers and tomatoes in this dish.

Fish in spicy tomato sauce with capers and olives (Pesce all ghiotta) – serves 4

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, remove the strings and finely dice
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500g fresh tomatoes, or tinned plum tomatoes drained of the juice
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional but sometimes good if using tinned tomatoes)
  • a pinch of red chilli flakes
  • 50g salted capers, rinsed
  • 60g olives – we used a mixture of green and black
  • 4 fish fillets (cod, bream or hake – we used hake), about 120g each
  • 1 heaped tbsp of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Take your fish out of the fridge and season it with a little salt.

Gently fry the onions in a deep frying pan, large enough to fit the hake fillets in a single layer later, until soft and translucent.

Add the celery and cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and chilli and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the capers and olives and simmer for another couple of minutes.

Take the pan off the heat, make a space in the sauce and arrange the fish fillets, skin-side down, in a single layer, then spoon over some of the sauce. Put the pan back over a low heat and simmer very gently, spooning more sauce over occasionally, until the fish is cooked through – watch carefully as it shouldn’t take too long. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from ‘Two Kitchens – Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome’ by Rachel Roddy, HEADLINE HOME, 2017)

 

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Kedgeree Fish Pie

This spicy fish pie makes a nice change from the traditional version. There’s a few processes but it can all be assembled ahead of time and baked when needed.

Wine Suggestion: Open a white with a bit of backbone and depth but not too much acidity; a Chardonnay or similar is our suggestion. Tonight we opened Domaine Rochette’s Beaujolais Blanc, a Chardonnay  from an area more famously known for its reds.

Kedgeree Fish Pie – serves 6

  • 12 quail’s eggs
  • 400g tin light coconut milk
  • 400ml whole milk
  • ½ small pack coriander, leaves chopped, stalks left whole
  • ½ small pack parsley, leaves chopped, stalks left whole
  • 350g skinless smoked haddock fillet, cut into 2-3cm cubes
  • 350g white fish e.g. cod or haddock, cut into 2-3cm cubes
  • 85g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 85g plain flour
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 200g fresh or frozen peas

FOR THE MASH

  • 1.4kg floury potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 25g butter
  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 300ml milk

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the potatoes and turmeric. Simmer until tender, then drain well and dry over a low heat. Meanwhile, melt the butter for the mash in a small pan. Add the curry powder and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the milk and warm through. Mash the potatoes until smooth, then stir in the curried milk. Season well and set aside.

Bring a medium pan of water to the boil. Add the quail’s eggs and boil for 3 minutes, then plunge into a bowl of cold water to cool quickly, then peel carefully.

Mix the coconut milk and whole milk in a frying pan with the coriander stalks and parsley stalks. Heat until just coming to a simmer, then add the fish, cover and cook gently for 5-8 minutes or until just cooked. Remove the fish onto a plate and strain the milk into a jug.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry gently until soft. Stir in the flour for 2 minutes, then gradually stir in reserved milk to make a smooth sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continuously until thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice, peas and chopped herbs with some seasoning.

Put the fish and quail’s eggs back into the pan, then tip into an ovenproof dish. Spoon the mash on top. Cover with cling film and chill until ready to cook.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling underneath.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Kedgeree Fish Pie topping

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Confit Salmon with Citrus & Herb Salad

Alison Roman is often featured in the New York Times and her recipes have a huge following – check out #alisonroman on Instagram. Jono was gifted a copy of her fabulous cookbook, Dining In, and it has now been released in the UK. We suggest you order a copy and in the meantime try her excellent method for cooking salmon. You’ll find the salmon almost impossible to overcook and it ends up meltingly tender.

Wine Suggestion: We think that a fresh white works best and we’d suggest either a Verdicchio or a white Bordeaux made from Semillon & Sauvignon blanc both of which have fresh acidity and texture but won’t overwhelm the melt in the mouth flavours.

Slow Salmon with Citrus & Herb Salad – serves 4 to 6

  • 700g piece of skinless salmon
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 blood orange or regular orange, thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs of thyme, rosemary, oregano or marjoram (optional)
  • 375ml olive oil
  • a large bunch of parsley, coriander, dill and tarragon, leaves picked
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Season the salmon with salt and black pepper on both sides and place in a large baking dish with the lemons, oranges and herb sprigs (if using).

Drizzle the olive oil over everything and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until almost cooked through.

Toss the herbs with the lemon juice and some sea salt flakes and serve with the salmon.

(Original recipe from Dining In by Alison Roman, Clarkson Potter, 2017.)

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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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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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Thai-style crispy Sea bass

This was a  delicious Friday night feast and oh so simple! Serve with some roast new potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: Although not a regular choice we had a Pinot Grigio by Bonotto delle Tezze in our fridge and it was a pleasant surprise in how well it went with this dish. However, we shouldn’t have been surprised as it has all the elements you’d need to look out for: round and generous fruit to work with the spice, and a freshness and texture despite having moderate acidity.

Thai-style crispy sea bass – serves 2

  • 4 scallions
  • ½ a bunch of coriander – about 15g
  • 2 x 300g whole sea bass, scaled, gutted & trimmed
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 lime

Trim and halve the scallions, then finely shred lengthways and put into a bowl of ice-cold water to crisp up. Pick in the coriander leaves and reserve the stalks.

Score the sea bass at 2cm intervals, then rub all over with the curry paste including inside the cavity. Put the coriander stalks into the cavities and season with salt and pepper.

Put a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-heat. When the pan is hot add a tbsp of oil and cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until dark golden and cooked through.

Drain and shake the water off the scallions & coriander then pile onto two plates. Place the sea bass on top and spoon over any spicy oil from the pan. Finely grate over the lime zest and squeeze over some juice to serve.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

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Pepper crusted Salmon with garlic chickpeasWe really liked this simple fish dish and the garlic chickpeas are delicious! Nice and easy for a Friday night.

Wine Suggestion: We opened a Muscadet, as it was in the fridge and they typically work with fish and seafood. That said we weren’t sure it would hold up to the stronger salmon, pepper and spices but were refreshingly surprised at how it more than held it’s own.

Pepper-crusted salmon with garlic & chickpeas – serves 4

  • 4 skinless salmon fillets, about 150g
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

FOR THE CHICKPEAS:

  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 130g bag baby spinach

Heat oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas 5.

Put the salmon into a shallow ovenproof dish in a single layer. Roughly crush the peppercorns with a pestle and mortar, then mix with the paprika, lime zest and some sea salt.

Brush the salmon lightly with oil, then sprinkle over the pepper mix. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked.

Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas and rinse well under cold water, then drain. Heat the oil in a pan, then add the garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes without browning. Add the chickpeas and stock and warm gently. Crush the chickpeas lightly with a potato masher, then add the spinach and stir well until the leaves are wilted. Add the lime juice and some salt and pepper, then heat through before serving with the salmon. Serve a lime wedge on the side if you like.

(Original recipe by Dhruv Baker in BBC Good Food Magazine, December 2008.)

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