On a heavenly bed of veg

What do you do with that last sea bass in the freezer?

how about trying out succulent sea bass fillets on a bed of delectable roasted veg. Sound good?

There are so many amazing ways you can cook veg, helping to bring out their natural flavours and enhancing them with a little extra spice or seasoning.

This is one of our favourite recipes. Perfect for a quick and nutritional meal. Great for adults and kids love it too!

 

Ingredients:

New potatoes (as many as you need. For 3 people we used approx 8 cut in half)

carrots

red and green peppers

fennel

red onion

1 sea bass filleted

X3 or 4 anchovies

olive oil

X2 cloves of garlic

dill

Time to cook:

Fillet the fish if not already done

Score the fillets and ensure there are no bones

season the fish (sea salt and black pepper) and add a little olive oil

preheat the oven to approx 200 degrees

clean and boil the potatoes

chop the peppers and carrots into chunks (carrots not too thick, so they don’t take too long to cook)

slice the fennel

cut the onion into chunks

place the potatoes and carrots on a baking tray with a drizzle of oil, garlic cloves and anchovies. Season with salt

place in the oven

when the potatoes and carrots are nearly done, add the peppers, fennel, dill and red onion

place the fillets in a heated pan skin side down and hold the down so the skin doesn’t curl up

cook for a few mins until the skin is crisp and then turn over and cook for a couple more (flesh will look a little translucent. This means it’s ready

take the tray of veg out of the oven and place the fillets on top

We have a French stick too, which is great for dipping in the oil of the veg pan

all done!

 

Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for a light lunch..

Had an appetite for healthy food this morning so decided to go for a homemade Caesar salad for lunch (ate too much cake yesterday).

Did you know, the Caesar salad originated in Mexico! And it isn’t named after the Roman emperor Julius Caesar.

(Extract from the huffington post):

“Legend has it that Italian-American restaurateur Caesar Cardini invented the salad in 1924 in Tijuana, Mexico. According to The Telegraph, Cardini owned a restaurant in the tourist destination to “attract Americans frustrated by Prohibition.” The exact story is disputed, but the general consensus is that over Fourth of July weekend, Cardini threw together a bunch of ingredients he had on hand and served his concoction to his friends. Needless to say, the improvised dish caught on.”

For our Caesar salad (chicken excluded of course) we used:

baby leaf lettuce

Anchovies

olive oil

parmesan cheese (shavings)

Salad dressing

foccacia bread broken into chunks, tossed in olive oil and crisped into croutons in the oven (about 10 mins on a high heat)- any bread can be used (French stick is good)

Not much else to it really. Lettuce on the plate first then layer the rest however you like, and top with a salad dressing of your choice.

quick, easy and tasty.

 

Happy eating!

 

Let them eat cake! (Yes please)

Can’t tell you how much we love cake in our house. So much so that if I had my way hubby, the kids and I would be eating cake on a daily basis 🙈

Here’s a really simple, quick and easy recipe for cup cakes (nb: if you want to ,make them muffins, fill the cases up quite high so when they rise while baking they go over the sides a little).

This recipe can be adapted for most simple cakes. I use it for Victoria sponge, plain vanilla sponge, chocolate loaf, apple cake, all sorts. Once you have this basic recipe in mind the cake world is your oyster. Well, partly.

ingredients:

6oz self raising flour

6oz butter (We used stork baking butter. Any baking butter We’re sure is just as good)

6oz caster sugar

x3 eggs

3 tsp of green and blacks cocoa powder (or any other good quality cocoa powder)

Butter cream (optional):

icing sugar

butter

1-2 table spoons of milk

half tsp of cocoa powder

choc chips

walnuts (optional)

You’ll also need..

A cupcake tray

cupcake cases

scales

bowl

wooden spoon

Ok. Let’s go!…

Preheat your oven to approx 180 degrees (gas mark 4)

Place cases in the tray

Boil the kettle and add about a tbsp to a small cup with the cocoa powder. Mix together until like a paste.

Place the sugar and butter in a bowl and cream (mix together so it looks like cream). Light and fluffy.

Add the cocoa paste and mix.

Add 1 egg and before mixing and a tbsp of flour (this helps to avoid curdling).

Repeat until all 3 eggs are mixed in.

Add the remaining flour and fold into the mixture.

Tip: fold and take your time to keep the mixture light and airy.

For these cupcakes we added chocolate chips only for half the batch and walnuts to the other half. (You can add what you fancy or leave plain).

Add your choc chips and fold into the mixture.

Using a spoon or if you can, an ice-cream scoop (this helps to get even sized cupcakes) place the mixture into the cases.

Place into the centre of your oven and bake for about 25mins.

Done!

For the butter cream

mix the butter, icing sugar and a milk bit by bit and mix.

Measurements wise we judged it as we went. Probably about 5oz butter (softened) and 10oz of icing sugar. Taste as you go. You don’t want the butter to over power.

Once the cakes are cooled, decorate with your butter cream. If you have a piping bag you can use this for your ice cream to add beautiful effect.

All that’s left to do now is eat them!

Happy eating!

 

What’s for dinner dear?

Looking in the fridge this morning we weren’t feeling very inspired about what to do for dinner. We had a left over bream in the fridge so what would we do?

Taking it back to our roots we decided to add a little Caribbean spice to our meal. Fried fish, dumplings, rice and gravy (the quick version). Normally we would season the fish with scotch bonnet chillies, thyme, salt, pepper and fish seasoning and have rice and peas. Today we did it without the scotch bonnet, thyme and rice and peas. Still delicious and a perfect way to use left overs.

(Food for 3)

Ingredients:

Red bream (we had 1 chopped into 3 pieces)

basmati rice

fish seasoning

salt

pepper

1/2 lime

corn flour

dumplings

3 cups of self raising flour or plain flour

3tsp baking powder if using self raising flour

1/3 tsp salt

2 1/2 tsp sugar

3 large tsp butter/margarine

1 1/2 cups of water (or enough to make the dough)

 

 

For the fish..

Wash the fish and pat dry.

Score the fish.

Squeeze the lime juice all over the fish.

Season with salt, pepper and fish seasoning.

leave for 10mins before frying.

Put a generous glug of cooking oil into a frying pan and heat up.

Mix a little corn flour and fish seasoning together and cover the fish in it.

Once the oil is ready (medium heat) Lay the fish in the pan and fry on all sides until crisp.

Tip- as red bream is quite large, place it into the oven for about 10mins to crisp up and cook through.

for the dumplings..

put the flour, salt, butter, sugar and baking powder (if using plain flour) into a bowl.

Mix using your hands, crumbling the butter into the flour (just like the process of crumble for apple crumble or making pastry).

next start to add the water bit by bit, mixing and kneading the mixture and water together as you go.

tip– the dough shouldn’t stick to your fingers once it is ready.

tip– if you add too much water, you can add a little more flour.

Once the dough is ready heat some oil in a pan, about 4-5 table spoons.

Break the dough into sections, golf ball size approx (depends how late you want the dumplings to be).

Shape them slightly (see pics) and place in the oil.

Keep an eye on them (turn the heat to medium).

Turn occasionally. Should be done after approx 10mins.

 

You can add gravy too- we used 1 veg oxo cube and half a chopped red onion.

To thicken the gravy and a little corn flour mixed with water.

Then just serve. Yum.

 

Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s eat out

Last night was date night, woo! Hubby and I decided to go to Banana tree in Clapham about 5-8 mins walk from Clapham junction station.  Worth every step.

Banana tree is a delectable fusion of Indonesian and Chinese food, ‘indochinese’. We’ve been there a few times, and every time the food has been consistently delicious. When we arrived it wasn’t too busy, then only about 15mins later there wasn’t a spare seat in sight. Very popular and once you’ve tried it you’ll know why.

To start we shared…..

Crispy Seafood Moneybags
White fish, king prawn, vegetable stuffed filo parcels, served with sweet chilli dipping sauce.

So fresh and full of flavour. The sauce had the perfect balance of sweet and chilli. Small pastry mouthfuls of yumminess!

image

Street Style Crispy Dough 

A light and chewy Indochinese style dough served with banana tree’s signature Kajang Satay sauce.

Genius! absolute genius. It’s like savoury pieces of doughnut (a little crispier and still soft inside) with an absolutely fabulous light, flavoursome satay style sauce.

image.jpeg

The tastebud roller coaster ride doesn’t end there. Oh no. For a main I had…

Tamarind Crispy Fish with Thai Basil Glaze combo
Tilapia fish fillets in a lightly dusted crust and finished with a deliciously balanced sauce of tamarind, lime leaf, garlic, chilli and Sweet basil. Along with the fish came rice, corn fritters, a prawn cracker and salad.

Fumbling with my chopsticks I dived into the succulent flakey fish under the delightful crust and combined it with the fragrant rice, fresh tangy salad and indulged in the sauce that exploded with flavour.

image

 

Hubby had…

Tamarind Spicy Aubergine
Sweet, tangy and spicy. Tamarind, peppers, carrot, spicy bean paste, garlic and ginger.

Who knew veg could taste so good? This dish is bursting with flavours and sweet, tangy and spicy are a match made in heaven.

image

They also do delicious cocktails. Mai Thai is my favourite. If you get there in time for happy hour, you get 2 for 1!

The service was great. Friendly, helpful waiters and even though it was busy we didn’t have to wait long for our food.

Tempting you?  I hope so. Definitely check this place out. You won’t regret it.

Banana tree: http://www.bananatree.co.uk/menus?menu=10173

(various locations in London)

 

Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrot cake take over

Thought we’d take on the carrot cake challenge and give Jamie Oliver’s recipe a go. Soooo many ingredients in a carrot cake!

The recipe was easy to follow and turned out quite nicely. We added a touch of mixed spice to give it a Caribbean edge too. The only thing we would say is it could have done with a little more spice generally, other than that a great cake.

Thanks Jamie 👍🏾

 

Here’s the recipe if you fancy giving it a go..

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/a-rather-pleasing-carrot-cake-with-lime-mascarpone-icing/#hCdXp5Ark4dA3f0V.9

Happy eating!

 

 

Cake craving (easy peasy Rock cakes)

I ventured into the kitchen in search of something sweet. Felt uninspired so thought I’d bake. Didn’t fancy making anything too extravagant, so I thought I’d go for quick and easy. Rock cakes! (More in the look than the taste).

They are really easy to make. What’s even better is they’re quick so you don’t have to wait long to get your munch on!

All you need

self raising flour

sugar (white)

butter

raisins

milk

vanilla essence (optional)

and the patience to wait about 25mins once their in the oven 😉

Method:

(makes approx 8)

no set measurements. The amount you put in depends how many you want to eat!

pre heat the oven to about 180 degrees

pour approx 5 or 6 large handfuls of flour into a bowl

add approx 3-4 tbsp of sugar

add approx 10-15g of butter (enough to mix with the flour to make a breadcrumb texture. Add more if necessary)

using your hands mix/crumble the butter, flour and sugar

add a couple of handfuls of raisins

using a wooden spoon, mix into the crumble

add approx 1/2 cup of milk and mix until you get a dough like consistency (add bit by bit and make sure the mixture isn’t too sticky. (If it is you can add a touch more flour)

using your hands grab small amounts of the dough (around the size of a golf ball) and place on a baking tray

sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top of each cake then put in the centre of your oven to bake for approx 25 mins

set your timer and boil the kettle. Before you know it your yummy cakes are ready to eat with a lovely cuppa (nom nom)

 

 

image.jpeg

Happy eating!