Posts Tagged ‘salmon fillet’

We leave Winter behind and step into Spring but sadly even though the temperatures have gone up the weather does not really seam to be reflecting this yet.  So with the dreary weather hanging over us I still have penchant for comfort food.

So what does comfort food really mean to me? ¬†If I were to really breakdown my thoughts on this I would have to say that comfort food for me is anything that can be eaten with spoon or fork in hand, whilst in PJ’s, sat on the sofa. ¬†Every mouthful should have me nodding in approval with the occasional, “Mmmmm…” And when I finish what’s on my plate, belly full to burst, I should be thinking; “Would one more mouthful be just right?”

So what dish can honestly provide me with all these thoughts and emotions on a plate?  piePIE!

Pie, yes, pie.  This can be savoury or sweet, filled, cobbler-style or two crust.  By crust I not only mean pastry but anything that can be used to encase the filling, such as oats, potato slices or mash.

So which crust will ultimately provide the ultimate comfort?  Mashed potato does it for me.  In the Recipes section of my blog can be found my delicious Steak and Ale Pie.  So what other pies can be delicious topped with mash?  One of my easy to make pies is a simple fish pie.

jamie-oliver

As Jamie Oliver himself says:

‚ÄúThe whole fish pie thing is one of the most homely, comforting and moreish dinners I can think of.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Fish Pie

First of all Рthis does not need expensive cuts of fish, just make sure there are no bones.  Supermarkets now stock trays with different fish cuts specifically made for fish pies.  Also check your local fishmongers as they may have special offers too.

For the mash:

1st: Preheat the oven to 230¬įC.¬† Peel and boil 5 large potatoes. ¬†Boil for 10mins. ¬†Add 2 eggs and boil for 8mins.

2nd: Drain the potatoes and set aside.  Peel the eggs under cold running water.  Set aside.

3rd: Wilt 200g of spinach by rinsing the spinach and adding these moist leaves to a hot pan.  Once the spinach has wilted drain and squeeze out any excess water.  Set aside.

For the cream filling:

4th: In a saucepan, sauté a medium onion and add a small pot (254ml) of double cream.  If you want to use a large pot of double cream or half double half single feel free to.  Bring the cream to the boil.

5th: Remove from the heat and add 200g of Cheddar cheese, the juice of a lemon and a teaspoon of mustard.

Assemble the pie:

6th: Add approximately 500g of different fish cuts to your pie dish (if making individual pies then share this out equally) I tend to use salmon fillet, cod fillet and prawns.

7th: Spread the spinach equally throughout the dish.  Pour the cream sauce over.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Quarter the boiled eggs and add to the dish.

8th:¬†Mash the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and a rasp of nutmeg. ¬†Try to¬†cover the creamy fish base. ¬†Don’t be too neat and if it does not cover everything better as this will provide areas for the sauce to bubble through the mash!¬†(Optional extra: beat an egg and wash the top of the mash for a crispy finish).

9th: Place in the oven for 25-30 mins until the potatoes are golden.

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Enjoy!

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“You got paid early in December ready for Christmas, so you are currently skint. Your New Year diet regime has now slipped and you are hoovering up food like there‚Äôs no tomorrow.” New Year’s resolutions start flying out the window and all those gym clothes you bought are a constant reminder of how little exercise you are actually doing! Using the following formula:

\frac{[W + D-d] T^Q}{M N_a}

where: Weather, debt, Time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions (Q), low Motivational levels and the feeling of a Need to take action (D is undefined) scientists have predicted that the most depressing day of 2013 will be Monday 21st January .

So with five days to go until we apparently become depressed about life, the economy, the weather and complain about all and sundry – becoming a veritable Victor Meldrew – how prepared are you to face the year that is still at large?

Food Enhancement

There are many things that alter our moods that we have no control over but the one thing that we can rescue and take charge of is the food we eat. What you eat and when you eat has a big impact on how we feel.

lentils3

Choosing foods that have a lower glycemic index will help fill you up and sustain your energy levels for longer as they help your blood sugars stay stable. I have previously mentioned the health benefits of porridge in “Oat to a Good Start”. Other food items that have a low glycemic index are pulses and lentils.

“Lentils giving us a double whammy of health benefits and prosperity for the new year!”

Lentils are in the top six auspicious foods providing the consumer with luck and providence for the year ahead. In Italy it is customary to eat sausages and green lentils just after midnight as you see in the New Year. So with health and good fortune in mind I present you with my two favourite lentil dishes:

Pan Fried Salmon and Lentils:

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1st: Chop a medium onion and slowly fry in a saucepan.

2nd: Add your Puy Lentils and slick in the oily onion mixture.

3rd: Add 3 times the amount of water to lentils and add a stock cube. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 25mins.

4th: Once the lentils have cooked for approx 20mins, put the salmon fillet onto a very hot skillet. Cook on its presentation side for approx 5mins and then flip it onto its skin side for a further 4mins. If you are cooking any greens to go with make sure these are ready to go once the salmon is cooked.

5th: Plate up!

Not only are the lentils great here but the salmon high in Omega-3 and the asparagus rich in antioxidants and nutrients makes this a power-meal.

Lentils and Sausages:lentils6

1st: Prepare the lentils as in the recipe above.

2nd: Cook your sausages on a low heat for around 15mins turning throughout they cooking until the colour all around.

3rd: Once the sausages are ready remove them from the pan and add a splosh of red wine / port to deglaze the pan. Crush some garlic into this and stir. Scrape the sticky bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and reduce until the ‘red gravy’ is slightly thicker.

4th: Plate up! Pour the juices over the sausages and lentils. Sprinkle with some fresh parsely.

Lentils love pork – my Gran used to make lentils with chopped chorizo pork sausage and I normally pick a herby variety however, the ones in the photo above are a venison and merlot variety.

So with a plate of lentils on my lap to warm me this winter’s night I wish you health and happiness for the year to come. Don’t leave it to fate – break the Blue Monday curse.

Enjoy…

Dinner Date

Posted: September 13, 2012 in Dinner
Tags: , , , ,

Last night, I was torn with what to cook for dinner.

After a summer of BBQ’s and eating out, my cupboards were lousier than Mother Hubbard’s! Therefore a stressful supermarket session was necessary to replenish depleted stocks.

Lacking food-shop-practice and forgetting where things were and having to return to the car to get my shopping bags, I spent 45 mins of disorganised foraging and flitting between food aisles! But all was not in vain, as I eventually walked out with a number of items that could be combined to create a variety of meals.

A boot full of shopping and sat in the driver’s seat, I was still unsure what to cook for dinner.

Salmon fillet, sirloin steak, fresh veg, smoked bacon, pasta, rice….

Two immediate ideas came to mind: 1) Bacon wrapped salmon fillet & veg; 2) Asian beef stir fry. But how to choose? How does one really choose between fish and beef? So to help me decide I called upon my friends; I sought help by posting the question on both Facebook and Twitter.

By the time I had driven home and unpacked the shopping, I had several posts on both networking sites with individuals expressing their preference:

Others were just as juxtaposed as I was and made comments like:

Unfortunately for tummy, head won 3:6!

Bacon-wrapped salmon fillet

So bacon-wrapped salmon fillet and veg it was to be.  Easy to prepare and cook.  

1st: Wrap bacon around a salmon fillet.

2nd: Place onto a baking sheet and bake until the bacon is crisp.

There is no danger of over cooking the salmon as the bacon protects it and keeps it moist. ¬†The only difficult thing is having the self restraint to photograph the food before eating the entire plate!! ¬†I clearly didn’t show that restraint!

But as this was quite quick to put together, I went ahead and marinaded the beef for today’s dinner!

So here is my suggestion: those of you who are up for it, seeing as you all helped me with my menu choice Рwe arrange to cook the same meal on a specific night next sometime and share the results.  Just give everyone enough time to get the food in and we can have our own dinner date.

Who’s in?

Before any of you ask, this was not a student creation from my University days gone by!

Kedgeree is at its most basic, a dish consisting of boiled rice, flaked fish, curry powder and hard boiled eggs.  It is thought to have originated from an Indian rice and bean/lentil dish called Khichri, and widely believed that the dish was introduced to the Uk by returning British soldiers who enjoyed it in India whilst serving there during the British Raj.

During Victorian times it was served as a breakfast dish, as part of the very fashionable colonial Anglo-Indian cuisine that was sweeping Victorian Britain.

It is one of many breakfast dishes that, in the days before refrigeration

“converted yesterday’s leftovers into warm, hearty and appealing breakfast dishes.”

Kedgeree can take on many guises; some people fry onions until crisp to scatter over top before serving, others add sultanas into the mix, some use a variety of fish (e.g. smoked haddock).  Celebrity chefs have turned the recipe from a simple putting together of ingredients into a much more decadent dish by using every ingredient in your spice rack or by using ingredients that you need to spend your lunch break searching for!

My advice: keep it simple

Kedgeree

1st: Boil eggs until they are hard boiled.  Set aside and allow to cool.

2nd: Place a salmon fillet per person into a saucepan. ¬†Cover with water and add peppercorns, salt and bay leaves. ¬†If you’re feeling adventurous add a few crushed cardamom pods. ¬†Simmer gently for 10mins. ¬†Allow to cool in the liquid.

3rd: Chop a medium sized onion and fry in some butter.

4th: Once the onion is soft, add a couple of teaspoons of curry powder to the saucepan and stir.

5th: Add the rice (I use basmati) and coat the grains with the buttery, curried onions.

6th: Use the poaching liquid and top up with any extra water to cook your rice using the 2:1 method.  For depth of flavour I always use a stock cube Рif you leave this out check for seasoning later.

7th: Once everything is cooked* it is just a case of assembling the dish:

a) remove the skin off the salmon and flake into pieces (take care with any bones)

b) sprinkle with fresh parsely

c) mix everything with the back of 2 wooden spoons and serve

d) squeeze a lemon over the rice

e) peel the eggs and chop into quarters but serve these equally to avoid argument!

*I like mine to have peas, so once the rice is cooked and whilst assembling the dish, I add frozen peas to the saucepan to cook them quickly in the residual heat.

Even though its intention was to be a breakfast dish, and it is relatively simple to make, it is just not practical for me to want to cook this for breakfast – not even at the weekend! ¬†But it does make for a great light supper or a fantastic weekend brunch; especially a late-Saturday-morning-hangover-looming-brunch! ¬†However, let’s simplify this even more: dispense with stages 1 & 2, don’t bother with the hard boiled eggs and poached, flaked salmon and just open a can of tuna into the boiled, curried rice.