Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Dinner: Trout with Cream


My family are very fortunate to have a friend who goes trout fishing. Sometimes he palms a couple off on us to free up space (for more fishing... It's a mutually beneficial arrangement.)
So this Sunday, my Papa cooked the trout with mussels and prawns in a creamy dill sauce. He did a great job of it and it was really beautiful- so I though I'd share the recipe. As I was eating with my family, this serves the traditional four.

Trout with Mussels and Prawns

Sautee 12 button mushrooms until brown and set aside. Put one chopped shallot, some garlic and 250ml white wine in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the hat to low and add some mussels and a pack of prawns. Simmer for 4 minutes until the prawns turn pink.

Lay the 2 trout fillets in a dish and place in a preheated oven and cover with the strained juices. Sprinkle with the mushrooms. Cover with foil and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove the fish from the oven and add the shellfish. Cover to keep warm.

To make the Beurre Manie, mash together butter and 15 g flour together to make a thick paste. To make into a sauce, pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan, adding small amounts of the beurre Manie at a time, whisking constantly. Continue until the sauce is thick and shiny.

Stir in 250ml double cream and boil until the sauce has reduced by half. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the mussels and prawns and warm through. At this point my Papa added plenty of chopped dill. This kind of made the sauce, so don't forget it!

Transfer the trout to plates and top with the shellfish and sauce.

Thankyou Papa, for a lovely dinner! We had four fat little trouts in total so I'll be following up this post with another- on what to do with the leftovers... Drop back soon


Saturday, 22 January 2011

Porridge of the Week # 25

Porridge of the Week #25
Stewed apple and blueberry

Category: Healthy

Prepare the apple by chopping and peeling a large apple and microwaving with a small amount of water and a teaspoon of sugar till softened into a chunky puree. Wet the porridge oats with a grape or apple juice and put onto the heat. Tip in the stewed apple and a sprinkling of dried blueberries (optional, but the add a bit of chew and are sweeter than the fresh). Add a half a cup of fresh blueberries and stir through. This is all- your porridge is ready!

This is a nice, light and fruity porridge. It's healthy and very summery. I find you need something like that in the morning during these dark days.



Here's a quick recipe for a nice throw together soup I made the other day- A real store cupboard recipe. Soup is one of my favourite things to eat this time of year... It makes it a little less depressing.
Generally my soups are very thik, but this is quite a thin one.
This recipe is packed with beans and there's no cream (Not a fan of cream based soups!) so it's as healthy as it is tasty... Of course.

Butter , Chickpea and Sundried Tomato Soup

Empty a tin of butter beans and half a tin of chickpeas into a pan. Pour in a cup of vegetable or chicken stock. Squeeze in a teaspoon of pureed garlic (simple and store cupboard-you see?) and a tablespoon of tomato puree. Add two tablespoons of finely chopped sundried tomatoes and a teaspoon of their oil.
Slice and ad two spring onions and season with a pinch of paprika, salt, pepper and dried basil. I also add a tiny pinch of chilli powder as I like all my food to have a bit of warmth behind it- but thats optional! Warm through and blitz briefly to break down the beans a bit, but leaving it a little textured.

I serve my soup with a sundried tomato and parmesan home made roll. And in a tea cup, apparently... But only when all my bowls are in the dishwasher!


Monday, 17 January 2011

Dinner 16.03.2011


Last night we decided to cook using the 'Fifty Great Curries of India' book by Camellia Panjabi. I hadn't used it before, but it's a good one- the recipes seem pretty authentic and there's a good variety.
We varied the chicken Dhansak recipe, using pork instead- and butternut squash in place of pumpkin.
The recipe called for lentils, ginger, aubergines, turmeric and fresh mint, amongst a wide range of spices and created a mild and creamy curry, that was delicately flavoured and gentle.
I really love this dish! The slow cooked dish has a lot of vegetables in, but with the lentils, the result is a thick and smooth curry with very little bite.

To accompany it, I made chapatis. It was my first attempt since I made them in India, but using only three ingredients and none of the proving of traditional western bread, they are incredibly simple and turned out really well - a very good accompaniment for the curry.

We also always serve our curries with a salad of chopped tomatoes and raw white onion, and a dish of chopped banana and squeezed lemon. I don't know where this stemmed from, but I like the sweetness of the banana with the sharpness of the lemon. The banana is always soothing with a hot curry and the lemon spices up a mild one.

I realised mid meal (to great great excitement, as ever) that I could use my new found skill to make roti wraps, as appears to be the fashion right now! I'll follow this post with another with a guide to chapati making and some home mad rotis to rival the likes of Chaiwalla and Mooli's!

According to Camellia Panjabi
Dhansak is a Parsee dish The word originates from dhan meaning wealth and sak, meaning vegetable. In Parsi, Dhaan mans rice. It is often eaten on Sunday's and is customarily served at funerals.

Porridge of the Week # 24

Porridge of the Week #24
Porridge with mango, banana and coconut milk

This recipe is taken from the weekend's Guardian- which includes a supplement of great quick and healthy breakfast recipes put together by Ottolenghi.

Category: Flavour and Health. (Win Win!)

steel-cut oats (Irish oats)
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
tbsp maple syrup
banana, peeled and sliced
half a mango, peeled and diced
coconut milk
1 lime, halved

1. Bring the water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add the oats and cook for 25-30 minutes (or 10-15 minutes if you've prepared the oats the night before), stirring occasionally and adding a little water if needed, until tender but still with a clear bite.
2. Off the heat, stir in the salt, vanilla and maple syrup.
3. Transfer to serving bowls and top with the banana, mango and coconut milk. Squeeze some fresh lime juice on top if you like.

Ottolenghu says; 'It's hard to beat the rough texture of steel-cut oats, with their slight resistance against the teeth. The rest of the components here offer pure, lazy-morning comfort, although you can wake yourself up properly by adding a little zing of lime. If you are well organised and think ahead, boil the oats with the water for a minute, chill and place in the fridge overnight. This will save you 10-15 minutes of cooking time the next morning.'


Sunday, 16 January 2011

Food News: Amelie's House

Recently I stumbled across this lady when trawling the web, and her work completely puts mine to shame!
Using her skills as a textile designer, she makes the most beautiful illustrated creative cakes.
As well as serious cake eye candy, her beautifully presented blog is full of little scraps of textile design (if you pardon the pun, aha.) and seasonal baking for every holiday and festivity. I particularly like A Christmas Hooty Tale...
So if you're into super cute and aesthetic conscious baking, check her out.


Monday, 10 January 2011

Noel en France

So though whilst the plethora of food that Christmas brings fills me with excitement, I've never been the biggest fan of Christmas dinner itself. And for this reason, I welcomed a Christmas spent on the North coast of France.
As you will know from my previous post 'Lou en Bretagne' I am a great lover of France and it's food.

Here is a little overview of a few of our favourite dishes to create over the Christmas period in France, sourced from the local patissier, boulangerie and poissonier...

Christmas Eve- duck cassoulet, with french baguette. It is impossible for me to go to France without eating this at least once. It's the best thing you get out of a tin.

Christmas Breakfast: Beetroot rostis with smoked salmon and scrambled egg, topped with basil and horseradish cream. Love this recipe! I've been patiently waiting for Christmas Day since I saw it in Sainsbury's Magazine last January... As a big fan of both smoked salmon and beetroot, this ticked a lot of boxes for me. The horseradish cream is made by mixing horseradish sauce and creme fraiche. Serve with Cava! It's the one day that alcohol at breakfast is socially acceptable- make the most of it...

Christmas Dinner: In France, its traditional to eat fish on Christmas day. I favour this over roast meat and so we went for halibut with anchovies, capers and lemon, drizzled with rosemary oil. It's the simplest recipe and was really gorgeous- as well as fairly light.

Chocolate chesnuts from the chocolatiers in Paimpol.

Christmas Day, starter- seared scallops served in the shell (picked from the beach) with a spinach, tomato and beetroot salad. I love scallops served with strong flavours, such as black pudding, or, as I tried recently, with a roast chesnut and cep compote ... But sometimes they're best served simply, with a little drizzle of soy and ginger- or a wedge of lemon.

Boxing Day- After all the rich, heavy foods, Christmas cake, etc, Boxing Day should be kept light. I love fish soup, with grated ementhal and slice of toasted baguette. For those with sturdier stomachs, it is sometimes followed by a cheeseboard. When in Rome...!

Christmas isn't Christmas without mulled wine, right?

Hope you all had a great Christmas!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Food Fact of the Day

The word Venison was once used to refer to the meat of any animal killed by hunting and typically applied to deer, hare, wild pig and goats. The word derives from th Latin venor (to hunt or persue).

It now generally refers to dear meat. In South Africa, venison is the meat of the antelope.


Thanks to Papa for this venison food fact!