The Happy marriage of salt cod and potatoes

A simple recipe that is quick to make and delicious.  A definite winner  for a spring/summer dish in our book.

We first had salt cod and potatoes when we visited Portugal a few years ago. We have had salt fish many times before, coming from a Caribbean background, but the combo of potatoes and Portuguese sunshine added a delicious element we hadn’t indulged in before.

There are a lot of variations on this recipe out there. We got ours from the guardian`recommended recipes’ page and as usually added little touches of our own.

Recipe:

Serves 6-8
white floury potatoes 1kg, such as Désirée or Maris Piper
onion 1 large, thinly sliced
garlic cloves 4-6, peeled and thinly sliced or chopped
marjoram 2 tbsp, plus a couple of stems for topping (optional)
double cream 500ml
salted pollack or cod fillets 300-400g, thoroughly soaked, skinned and sliced into small pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 160C/gas mark 2-3. Peel and slice the potatoes thinly into 2-3mm rounds. Place the slices in a large bowl with the onions, garlic and marjoram, and plenty of black pepper (it may not need salt as the fish will bring this to the mix). Place the cream into a small pan over a medium heat and bring it up to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the potatoes and turn well to combine.

Place a relatively neat layer of overlapping potatoes in the bottom of a large round dish, about 20-25cm in diameter and 5cm deep. Scatter over some of the sliced fish, then make a second layer of overlapping potatoes. Continue until you have used up the fish, finishing with a layer of potato on top. Pour over all the remaining cream from the bowl. Top with a couple of marjoram flower stems, which I think look lovely, dry and brittle as glass in the oven – but of course they’re not essential.

Place the dish in the oven and bake the layered potato and fish pie for 1 hour, pressing the potatoes down firmly once or twice during cooking using a spatula, until the potatoes are tender, the top layer is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it time to settle. It will be much better, and still nice and hot, after 30 minutes of sitting. Serve with a green salad or steamed, lemony purple sprouting broccoli.

We served ours with a mix of broccoli and carrots and used garlic not marjoram and cod.

Another great recipe to add to the repertoire.

Let us know how you get on and what variations you have tried.

Happy cooking! x

 

Bream and cream!

We thouroughly enjoyed this meal. A definite 9 out of 10.  The recipe says to use brill but we used bream and it was perfect. Next time we will try it with bass.

At first we thought the cream might be a little too sickly but it was just right. The whole meal had a decadent feel about it.

We used a recipe recommended on the guardian newspaper website.  So here it is:

“Brill with anchovies, cream and rosemary
Serves 5
brill fillets 5, or 120-150g in total, skin on
extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
anchovies in oil 8-12
dried chillies 1-2, deseeded and sliced
garlic cloves 8, peeled and thinly sliced
rosemary sprigs 4-6, leaves only
thyme sprigs 2 (optional)
double cream 75ml
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Season the brill fillets well with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium to high heat. When it’s hot, add the brill skin-side down. Fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the fish has cooked at least three-quarters of the way up its edge.
Remove the pan from the heat and use a spatula to remove the fish to a plate. Return the pan to the heat and add the anchovies, chilli, garlic and rosemary, and the thyme, if using.

Use a spatula to move the ingredients around the pan for 2-3 minutes, until the anchovies start to break down and the garlic and rosemary smell fragrant, then return the brill to the pan, this time skin-side up. Give the pan a shake, then add the cream along with 2 tbsp of water and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Give the sauce a taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to. Remove from the heat.”

We served ours on a bed of fluffy mash with a side of fresh samphire. A glass of prosseco to add to the decadent feel and you’re away!

Recipe by Gill Meler – former head chef at river cottage https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/12/utterly-brill-fish-recipes-from-gill-meller?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

 

Let us know how you get on.

Happy cooking! x

 

Spice up your life!

No. This is not about the girl band craze of the 90’s the Spice girls (phew! I hear you say). It’s about the fantastic spice heaven that is ‘Spice Mountain’, in borough market.

What is the definition of spices?

“Spices are the aromatic parts of tropical plants traditionally used to flavour food, or the dried seeds or fruit of temperate plants used in the same way. Some of the substances we call spices come from the bark or roots of certain plants, but the majority are berries, seeds, or dried fruits.

Some of the most popular spices in New Zealand – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, pepper – are native to the Asian tropics. Some of the aromatic seed spices – coriander, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, poppy – are native to the Mediterranean region. A few spices – allspice, chillies, vanilla – are native to parts of the Carribean and Central America.”- The Spice Trader

A delightful shop with a plethora of spice flavours for adding that extra zing to your meals!

From pink Himalayan salt to curry spices, the choices seem endless.

Next time you are in London, head to Borough Market and visit Spice mountain.

http://www.spicemountain.co.uk 

Follow them on twitter– @spice_mountain

 

 

Happy cooking! x

Crunchy red cabbage coleslaw

 

 

Just a little nod to the lowly coleslaw.

Growing up we always had coleslaw “made by mum” with your average cabbage, carrots and mayonnaise. We thought we would ‘pimp it up’ a little, to add some extra deliciousness to our homemade fish burgers.

So here we go.

Quick, simple and tasty as a side, part of a burger or in a salad.

Makes enough for a small bowl- 2 to 3 people

Ingredients:

1/4 of a medium sized red cabbage

1 or 2 medium carrots

mayonnaise – enough to cover the cabbage and carrots (as much as you like. Depends how much you like mayo!

a touch of pimenton

2-3 tablespoons  of red wine vinegar

Method:

1.Chop up the cabbage

2. Peel and slice the carrot

tip: if you use a potato peeler you can use it to cut the carrot into thin slices)

3. Add the red wine vinegar and put in the fridge for 10mins (if you have time)

4. Now mix in the mayonnaise

Ready to serve!

 

Happy eating! 

Gorgeous goujons

This is is a great delicious meal that the whole family can enjoy.

What exactly does ‘goujon‘ mean?

It means- deep fried strips of chicken or fish. Originating from the French word ‘gudgeon’ which is small edible European freshwater fish, often used as bait by anglers. (Definitions taken from oxforddictionaries.com)

Now to the food. We’d say the meal takes approximately 30-40mins from prep to table. So here we go…

Ingredients:

Chips-2 good sized normal potatoes and 1 medium sized sweet potato (Maris pipers are good and to add something different why not mix with sweet potatoes) – this is enough for 3 of us.

Goujons– A good sized fillet of white fish (e.g. haddock, cod or hake)

panko bread crumbs

1 egg (for dipping the fish)

pimenton (paprika)

Brioche buns

Tartare sauce

Handful of capers

2-3 small gherkins (chopped)

mayonaise (6-8 tablespoons)

handful of chopped parsley

squeeze of lemon

Salad– leaves of your choice, and maybe some cucumber and tomatoes. Whatever you fancy.

Now you’re all set with the ingredients, let’s move onto the prep and cooking..

First of all prepare and cook the first round of chips (If frying)  or alternatively place on a baking tray with a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper and place in the oven (at approx 180)

It is up to you how thick or thin you make your chips. With the normal potatoes we usually leave the skin on and take the skin off of the sweet potatoes.

Once chopped, place in the pre heated fryer on a low heat for approximately 12-15mins (or until they start to get colour)

take them out and dab until excess oil has gone.

Leave aside ready for round 2.

Tartare sauce-

Finely chop the gherkins

lightly chop the capers

chop the parsley

add to a bowl with the mayonnaise, mix and add a squeeze of lemon

taste, and add more lemon if needed.

Time for the second round of chips. (If frying)

Turn the fryer up and cook the chips for a further 5-8 mins. As before when done, place onto kitchen towel and dab away excess oil.

Now for the goujons-

Take the skin off of the fillet.

Wash the fish, then chop into strips (not too thick).

Whisk one egg in a bowl.

Put a generous amount  of panko bread crumbs onto a plate along with half a teaspoon of  pimenton.

Put a frying pan onto the hob with a generous amount of oil, at a medium to high temp.

Put each strip into the whisked egg and then into the plate of panko bread crumbs. Cover completely.

Then place the covered fillet into the pan for 2-3 mins each side. Once the crumbs are a golden brown colour, the fillets should be ready.

Lightly toast the brioche buns under the grill.

Now it’s time to plate up!

Tips/ideas: If you don’t fancy chips why not try wedges.

We love the brioche bun, but if it isn’t your thing a good old seseame seed bun is another alternative.

Let us know how you get on.

Happy eating x

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New year new recipes

Happy new year!

after all the festive indulgence,relaxing (hopefully) and spending time with friends and family; it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead.

For us us we intend to try out as many new recipes as possible and experiment  the with new flavours and combinations. A few visits to a variety of restaurants thrown in.

We are looking forward to sharing our foodie experiences and tips with you all.

Cheers to a fabulous 2017! 🍾

 

 

Love is salmon lasagne

Lasagne-
“Pasta in the form of sheets or wide strips.
an Italian dish consisting of lasagne baked with meat or vegetables and a cheese sauce.”

“Italian, plural of lasagna, based on Latin lasanum ‘chamber pot’, perhaps also ‘cooking pot’.” (Taken from google definition)

Our take on lasagne with salmon and spinach has to be one of our favourite hom cooked meals. Also a winner with the children which is always a bonus.

If you fancy having a go at this delicious and simple to make dish, check out our recipe. Let us know how you get on.

ingredients:

Salmon (approximately 1/4 of a salmon side)- you can buy a salmon side at he supermarket or even better fishmongers.

Spinach (enough for a few leaves on each layer. More if you desire)

1 Shallot

Lasagne sheets

Zest of 1 lemon

Mozzarella ball

Cheddar cheese

for the tomato sauce:

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 Large clove of garlic (or two small ones)

shallot quarter  (optional)

black pepper and salt to season

a touch of chilli flakes (optional)

a few leaves of spinach

for the bechamel sauce:

3/4 pint of milk

2 bay leaves

6 peppercorns

1 clove (optional)

1 shallot

parsley stalks

70-75g of unsalted butter

70-75g of plain flour

salt to season

Method:

Bechamel sauce– To start, put your hob on a medium heat and put the milk, bay leaves, clove, shallot, parsley leaves and pepper corns in a pan. Leave to infuse for approximately 5-8 minutes.

Strain the milk into a jug and leave aside.

Melt the butter in a pan and slowly add the flour, stirring continuously until combined.

Now, take the infused milk and add this to the butter and flour mix slowly until a smooth sauce is formed. (If sauce is too thick, add a little extra milk).

add a touch of salt to season and set aside.

 

Tomato sauce-  Heat a touch of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add the shallot and garlic for a minute.

Then add the chopped tomatoes.

Season with salt and black pepper

Add the few leaves of spinach, let it wilt for a few minutes.

Set aside.

 

Salmon– Chop the salmon into cubes.

Chop the shallot.

Place a pan on the hob, medium heat and add a touch of oil.

Add the shallots and let them cook for a minute/ until traslecuent.

Ass the salmon to give it a bit of colour around the edges (don’t cook through)

pepper to season.

Take off of the heat.

 

Now to put the lasagne together- Heat the oven to approximately 180 degrees.

Spread a little of the bechamel sauce around the bottom of an oven proof dish.

Lay your first layer of lasagne sheets down (you may need to cut a few corners off for them to fit in the dish)

Now spread a layer of the tomato sauce on the sheets.

Next spread a layer of the salmon on top of the sauce.

Add Lemon zest

And a few leaves of spinach

Then repeat (make sure you put the next layer of lasagne sheets down then the layer of bechamel sauce on top)

The second layer you can add some mozzarella on top of the bechamel.

Tip– Three layers for the lasagne is a good amount.

With the final layer spread the bechamel sauce, some mozzarella and a generous amount of cheddar cheese (enough to cover the whole lasagne).

Put in the oven for approximately 35 minutes (make sure you place foil lightly on top for the first 20 minutes, then take it off).

We like to add a few vegetables on the side to accompany the dish, such as broccoli and carrots. Choose whichever side dish you prefer.

Good luck!

Happy cooking!

x