Friday, 22 November 2013

Cod with chorizo, parmesan and spinach crust

I'm not a great fan of cod, finding it somewhat lacking in flavour but it does have a great texture. This recipe I really enjoyed. Sorry about the lack of measurements but it's got to be in your proportions - not mine ;-)

A couple of nice thick cod steaks.

For the crust:  chorizo, Parmesan, bread crumbs thawed frozen spinach, small knob butter, bit of nice oil. Blitz all together to make a thick paste.

That is about all the prep. Do what you will to accompany it.

I started the cod of in a pan quickly on all sides. Then I added the topping  plus a few very thin slices of chorizo. The topping I found was easier to flatten and shape before putting on the cod but is you do it looser or dryer this won't matter.
Into the oven at 180c fan for as long as it takes to get the internal temperature above 55c

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Mackerel with garlic & paprika

This is a lovely and inexpensive meal.
I used 3 filleted mackerel for 2 people.

3 mackerel       
1/3rd butternut squash      
80 gr cous cous      
1 med red pepper      
1 small red onion    
Cut the butternut squash in approx 1 inch cubes, lightly coat in oil with a splodge of chili sauce. I used Rasta Fire which has pineapple and papaya in it as well as the habenero chilies making a gentle but flavoursome sauce.
Roast for about 35 minutes until soft.

Cover 80 grams of couscous with 145ml of boiling water seasoned with a bit of chicken or veg stock cube. Then mix in with roasted or fried chopped red pepper and red onion.

Crush a garlic clove with salt and pepper, add oil whilst still mixing and about a level teaspoon of paprika. Coat the flesh of the mackerel.

Fry quickly.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Lamb tagine

I've done tagine before but never recorded the recipe. Heaven knows what the others were but here's this one which I would be more than happy to repeat.

Ingredients for 2 people

240gr cubed leg of lamb.
About 200 ml of a basic tomato sauce. I always make a good sized batch and freeze some for occasions like this)
About 100 ml stock.
1 medium onion quartered and sliced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 - 3/4 inch of root ginger (depending on thickness) crushed
A few strands of saffron in a little hot water

Dried apricots 50g }
Sultanas 50g          }  Chopped
Dates 25gr             }
Flaked almonds 25gr

1 teaspoon each of cumin and coriander seed ground up.
1/2 teaspoon each of sweet paprika and turmeric
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and smoked paprika
Good pinch of cayenne pepper
Mix the dry spices and coat the lamb cubes rubbing it well in. refrigerate for a few hours at least.

Sweat the onion in the tagine then remove. Add a little oil and toss the lamb cubes to colour them.
Add the dried fruits etc.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger, tomato sauce, saffron and sufficient stock to just cover the meat.

Bring to a simmer, cover and leave for about 2 1/2 hours. Check to see if more stock is needed.
When nearly done, remove lid and simmer to take to required consistency.

I served it with a red pepper and red onion couscous and some fresh green beans from the garden

Monday, 1 July 2013

Mackerel with Dijon Mustard

My wife is very fussy about fish bones so I can't do whole mackerel.
With this, I filleted them and then ran a knife down the edge of the pin bones to remove them all and leave the fillets cut in 2 lengthways.
I seasoned the fillets and lightly coated them with dijon and then floured them.
Pan fried and served with creme fraiche with capers, fennel frond, red onion and chives with a salsa and french green beans...and saute potatoes.

No complaints about bones!

Sunday, 30 June 2013


1st attempt at this Spanish classic.

I made the soffrito first with a medium onion chopped, a medium red pepper diced and 2 garlic clove finely chopped. The onion was slowly sweated then the red pepper added until soft, the garlic next and finally skinned tomatoes. This was all bubbled down to a thickish sauce. I also added about a teaspoon of chili sauce- not an mega hot one but one with chipotles.

I used about 200gr chicken chopped to about 3/4-1 inch cubes and about 120 grams of raw prawns, 200gr of bomba paella rice and 400 ml of light fish stock with saffron added and a finger length of chorizo. I brined the chicken beforehand and then sprinkled with sweet paprika.
I also steamed a handful of green beens.

I chose to cook it on the BBQ as the Outdoor Chef with the funnel in the volcano position is ideal for that,18,21,25

I started off the chorizo and then added the chicken to colour up and cook through. I then reserved this and threw the rice in for a short moment before adding the soffrito and then the stock.I leveled this out and allowed to bubble for about 15 minutes before adding the chicken and chorizo. I know you are not supposed to stir it but I did anyway. I found I had to add hot water a couple of times to stop it drying too much and to cook the rice. I then placed the french beans on top and five minutes later added the raw prawns, turning them after 2 or 3 minutes.  I then took the pan off the heat, covered with foil and allowed to rest for 5 minutes or so before we dived in.

The quantity was sufficient for 2 or 3 depending how greedy you are. My daughter pronounced it 'awesome' and the best food she'd had all year.

I really must try and do more pictures but always get absorbed with the cooking and eating - however here is one after a few minutes of cooking:-

June 2014. OK!. I know a traditional Paella doesn't have chorizo  ..but I love it :-)

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Black Bream

My better half is out with the girls tonight so it's food for one. She does not like fish on the bone so I took a whole black bream out and made a rub of toasted and ground cumin & coriander, crushed garlic, hot and sweet paprikas, salt, pepper and some lemon extract. To that I added a modest amount of chopped parsley, tarragon, lemon balm and thyme. I must say that I like lemon extract as it is in oil and has the advantage of not 'cooking' food which is left to marinate. I left the fish in foil in the fridge for a few hours and then put it on the BBQ for about 7 or 8 minutes in a fish grill.

It's a beautiful but very much under appreciated fish. I will buy some and fillet them so we can both have them as a meal.

I accompanied the fish with a salsa of tomatoes, steamed asparagus, chives, spring onions and cucumber in garlic, virgin rape seed oil, s&p, and white wine vinegar.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Salmon with ginger

My wife like salmon so it's a regular (about twice a month). I finely sliced a small piece of root ginger and laid the steaks face to face covered in the fridge for a few hours.
As my better half is on a Weight Watchers diet at the moment, I just used 3 small potatoes (about 250gr in total) and put these in a 180c oven for about 45 minutes along with chunks of swede and celeriac. About 10 minutes before the end, I popped a couple of good sized garlic cloves in. I scooped the potato out of the skins and did a rough mash along with the swede, celeriac and garlic keeping that warm and putting the skin halves back in the oven for about 10 minutes to crisp up.
This was accompanied by steamed broccoli with a touch of nutmeg and a small piece of cooked leftover butternut squash cut into strips and fried off.

Sorry no pic .. we ate it too quickly! The mash with the crispy skins was gorgeous and similar things will feature again.

The salmon was pan fried as in blog 16th May 2013

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Chicken roast on root vegetables

As we are usually only 2, I halved a chicken although a spatchcocked chicken would suit for more.

A selection of root veg, chopped in chunks - I used potatoes, swede and carrot, garlic chopped and onion large chopped. Add the root veg etc to a pan and cover with water (season) or stock, beer or what you will. Add herbs - I used tarragon and thyme tied so it's easy to remove after. Put the chicken on top so that the skin is clear of the water. Roast at a fairly high temperature (about 200c fan) for about 45 minutes until the internal temperature is over 70c. It will continue to cook while resting.

While this is doing, cook some green veg e.g asparagus, beans, broccoli, peas and chill to keep the colour.

When the chicken is ready, remove it to a hot tray and add stock to the pan and boil down so the root veg is nicely soft and glazed. Stir in the green veg. Portion the chicken and served on top of the veg.

You MUST try this!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Lemon Chicken Breast

I brined a couple of chicken breasts, using 1% gross salt solution and 0.5% sugar overnight. I also added some lemon extract to the solution. In the morning, I removed the breasts and left them covered in the fridge for the day.
I did these sous vide with a little butter and lemon thyme for about 2 hours at 63c and then seared them off.
I accompanied them with roast peppers stuffed with mushrooms, asparagus, red onion and garlic (all roasted) and cous cous done with roast butternut squash.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Simple Salmon

I enjoy simple meals done well. Today was salmon steaks. I cooked these in saute pan with a lid on on a moderate heat, turning them once to give the top and side a nice colour and slight bite until the internal temperature was 50c. They continue cooking afterwards and that leaves them lovely and moist.
This was accompanied by sous vide carrots, thickly sliced on the bias and bagged with a little butter and some cummin seed, then cooked for 2 hours at 85c. The sweetness and flavour is amazing. Also accompanying this was some steamed french beans and reheated butternut squash and celeriac mash.

Simple but delicious.

I recommend temperature probe after using many other cheaper ones.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Lamb Koftas

The day before yesterday, I had done a 14 hour sous vide lamb shoulder (63c) which was beautiful and as usual there was plenty left over. I froze some and kept some out to do some lamb Koftas.

Ingredients:   Cooked lamb, onion, some lamb gravy, chopped mint, egg, garlic, cous cous.

I finely chopped the onion and garlic. Unusually, I softened the onion in the microwave (not a fan of microwaves!) and then added the garlic to that to use the residual heat to just take the rawness off it. Blitzed the lamb in the food processor and added all the ingredients. I didn't add other herbs as the original joint was well seasoned with thyme and garlic. I added the cous cous gradually to allow it to soak up the juices until the mix was of form-able consistency. The mixture was then shaped into thick sausage shapes, covered and refrigerated to firm up.

I cooked them in a saute pan (which I covered to start with to help set the rolls)  for about 10 minutes until well coloured all over. Served them with asparagus and a mash of celeriac and butternut squash.

Conclusion:- Very nice but could have been a bit firmer.