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P1030629

I was in my local fishmonger‘s a couple of weeks ago, and my eyes were caught by some skate cheeks. These are something I have never cooked with. They look a little like scallops, and I have learnt since that you can treat them in the same way. But the fishmonger recommended a fish curry. I turned to Nigella as my inspiration, and this is what I came up with:

Ingredients

  • Skate cheeks (I’m not sure what the weight was, I asked the fishmonger for enough for two people, she gave me perhaps 10-12 pieces)
  • a little salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • chilli
  • 1 inch or so of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 3 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 fish-stock cube
  • chopped coriander

As instructed by Nigella, sprinkle the fish with a little salt, and a teaspoon of turmeric. Return it to the ‘fridge whilst you get on with the sauce.

Gently fry the onion, garlic, chilli, and garlic until softened. Add the cumin and remaining turmeric.

Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste, fish stock cube and a little boiling water to the mix.

Allow to simmer for ten minutes or so.

Cool slightly. Then, using a hand-blender, whizz the sauce to a smooth consistency.

If you are making the sauce ahead of time, this is a good time to stop.

Otherwise, if you are just about ready to eat, add the fish to the sauce and simmer for five minutes or so. Skate cheeks have a single bone, which you can (in a very sophisticated manner) spit out whilst eating.

Serve with rice, and a sprinkling of coriander.

SERVES 2.

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P1030321

I was going to do this with sardines, but the fishmonger didn’t have any. Anyway, the herring worked out perfectly, and I felt less awkward about asking for them to be filleted.

Ingredients

  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • linguine
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel, sliced
  • 3 herring fillets, chopped into bitesize chunks
  • 1/2 lemon – zest and juice
  • parsley, finely chopped
  • rocket

Optional extras

  • a splash of white wine
  • red chilli, finely chopped, or some chilli flakes
  • toasted pine nuts
  • anchovies

First of all, roast the tomatoes and garlic with a little olive oil. This takes about 20 minutes and can be done in advance, if you’re using the oven for something else.

Cook the linguine according to the instructions on the packet.

Meanwhile slice the fennel, and fry it in a little olive oil. One it has started to caramelise, add the herring.

Add the cooked, drained linguine to the pan.

Stir in the roast tomatoes and garlic, lemon zest and juice, parsley and rocket.

I served with samphire.

SERVES 2.

P1030241

This is easily the nicest meal I ate this week. It is ridiculously simple to make, but impressive, colourful and most importantly, tasty.

Ingredients

  • 2 trout
  • 1 1/2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped into thin matchsticks
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped into thin matchsticks
  • 2 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 3-4 spring onions, chopped into thin matchsticks
  • coriander
  • 3  tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200C

You will need two pieces of tinfoil,  large enough to parcel up your fish, leaving enough space within for steam to circulate.

Lay your fish onto the individual pieces of tinfoil.

Make three slashes in each fish.

Scatter the chilli, ginger, garlic and most of the spring onion over and into your fish.

Whisk the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar together to create a dressing. Pour this over the fish.

Loosely wrap the fish into parcels. Twist together the edges of the foil, to try to prevent leaks.

Put the fishy packages onto a baking tray, and bake for 25-30 minutes.

When your fish are cooked, scatter the coriander and remaining spring onions over them as a garnish.

I served with brown rice and dressed broccoli and green beans.

SERVES 2.

P1030235

Another easy baked fish dish, but the spicy stuffing gives this a slightly different tone to my usual Friday night fish supper. The herbs and spices add a wonderful deep flavour. And the breadcrumbs give it a delightful crunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 trout
  • 60g white bread
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • a handful of parsley
  • a handful of sage
  • some cardamom seeds (about 5 pods)
  • some fennel seeds (about 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • butter

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Put the  bread, lemon zest, garlic, and a sprinkling of ground cardamom and fennel seeds into a food processor and zap until you have a beautiful fragrant, breadcrumby mix.  Add some finely chopped parsley and sage,

Lay the fish into a baking tray, alongside the fennel, tomatoes and some lemon wedges.

Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Sprinkle the herby breadcrumbs into the fish cavities, and over the top of the fish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry some whole sage leaves in a little butter until they are crisp, but not burnt. Lay them out on a little kitchen paper to soak up some of the butter.

When your fish is cooked, scatter the sage over the top.

I served with a warm quinoa and tomato salad.

SERVES 2

P1030200

This almost-soup is perfect for when you want something extremely tasty but light for supper. I have two different ways of cooking it. The slow-cooker method is great for when you have plenty of time, but don’t want any last-minute faffing. The pan version is super-speedy and tastes delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4-5 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 salmon steaks
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and sliced
  • a grating of ginger
  • a squeeze of lime
  • 500ml white wine
  • 200ml fish or vegetable stock
  • 6 baby sweetcorn
  • 50g brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 100g glass noodles
  • a head or two of pak choi or a handful of baby spinach
  • a handful of chopped coriander

Method 1

This is the one-pot slow-cooker method. It takes about five minutes to prepare, two and a half hours to cook, and is unbelievably easy.

Sprinkle the spring onions and garlic over the bottom of the slow-cooker.

Lay the salmon over the onions and garlic.

Grate some ginger over the fish – I keep my ginger in the freezer, and grate from frozen.

Add the chilli,  a squeeze of lime and a splash of white wine.

Pour boiling stock around the fish.

Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on ‘slow’ for about two hours.

About twenty minutes before you are ready to eat, throw the sweetcorn, pak choi and mushrooms into the slow cooker. Press them into the cooking liquid.

About five minutes before you are ready to eat, add the glass noodles (and baby spinach, if you are including) to the pot.

Sprinkle with chopped coriander.

Enjoy.

SERVES 2

Method 2

This method is (dare I say it), heaps tastier than the slow cooker version, but higher in calories and there is more washing-up. Also you don’t have the advantage of making it in advance. You just have to go with your priorities.

The key to this recipe is the toasted sesame oil. It really ramps up the flavour.

Fry the fish in a little sesame oil – don’t overcook, it will continue cooking once you’ve added it to the broth later. Leave to one side.

In a separate pan, fry the sweetcorn and mushrooms in a little sesame oil. Add the chilli, garlic, ginger and spring onions.

Pour in about 200ml of stock (I omit the white wine from this version).

Add the noodles, pak choi and salmon. Simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add baby spinach, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of coriander.

Enjoy

SERVES 2

P1030173

Jim brought back a huge chunk of hake from the fishmongers, and my challenge was to transform it into something delicious.

Here’s how I did it.

Ingredients

  • a massive chunk of hake
  • some sprigs of rosemary
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • lemon zest
  • basil

Pre-heat the oven to 150C.

Lightly grease a baking tray. Lay the hake in the tray, along with some sprigs of rosemary, tomatoes and lemon segments.

Mix together finely chopped onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme with some olive oil. Then spread it over the fish.

Bake for around 40 minutes.

Garnish with lemon zest and basil.

We had this with brown rice and dressed green beans.

SERVES 2

P1030160

P1030048 Read the rest of this entry »

P1020962

This is a Nigel Slater recipe from his new book Eat. You can see the original recipe here. It is not a million miles away from my own  Mediterranean Sea Bass and Besugo al horno, especially after I’ve made my own little changes.

I have asked my fishmonger to fillet my fish, simply because it makes eating it a whole lot easier. Also, I’ve added garlic and white wine, used a lot less olive oil, and omitted the lemon juice (although I included lemon wedges for a little colour and flavour). This time around I included some sliced, par-boiled new potatoes. (I would usually serve with brown rice, but we had a fish/brown rice meal last night.) If I had any cherry tomatoes I would probably have chucked them in, and I also think asparagus or green beans would go nicely with this.

You’ll see by the brevity of the cooking instructions that is an easy-peasy dish. And because it is pink, the fish is so very pretty.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 baby new potatoes, par-boiled, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 1/2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • a handful of flat-leaved parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 2 red mullet (filleted)
  • 200ml white wine
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Set the oven to 180C

Par-boil the new potatoes for about ten minutes, slice and scatter into an oven-proof dish. Add fennel, leeks, garlic, parsley and lemon.

Lay the fish over the top. Pour wine and olive oil over the dish. Season as required.

Cook for 20-30 minutes, less if your fish has been filleted.

SERVES 2

P1020961

P1020484

This is a lovely, colourful fish recipe for a summer’s evening.  I got my fishmonger to fillet the fish, and it does make for a more pleasurable experience. Spitting out bones is such a bore.

I always think of this as a rather sophisticated fish dish, but it is very easy to put together, and so pretty.

Ingredients

  • 2 sea bass, cleaned and filletted
  • 1 small bulb of fennel, sliced
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • a handful of black olives
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • a sprinkling of basil leaves

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Slice the fennel, and sprinkle it in the bottom of a heat-proof dish. Lay the fish over the fennel. Arrange the tomatoes, lemon slices, garlic and olives around the fish. Pour in the white wine, and sprinkle the basil over the fish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not allow to dry out – sometimes I put a sheet of tin-foil over the dish for the first ten minutes of cooking.

I serve with brown rice.

SERVES 2.

P1020276

In my head, this is always called Bella Lugosi, but that is just because I’m a dimwit. In the real world this, apparently, is the traditional Christmas-Eve meal that they eat in Spain. It is certainly one for the special occasion – first of all, because among its many ingredients is saffron, which always sets the alarm bells ringing, but also because in the UK at least, Sea Bream is not a cheap fish. I spent £9.30 on two fish at Soper’s, my wonderful local fishmongers.

On the plus-side, as well as being a hearty, tasty dish, it is also very easy to make.  And apart from the par-boiling of the potato, you could call it a one-pot meal.

I have adapted this recipe from one which used to be on the BBC Good Food website, and Sophie Grigson and William Black’s Fish.

Ingredients

  • 300g new potatoes
  • 2 small red onions
  • 2 sea bream
  • 5 small tomatoes (I used sundream tomatoes)
  • 1/2 lemon cut into sections
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100ml white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Halen Môn sea salt
  • a pinch of saffron
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp hot water

Par-boil the potatoes for 15 minutes or so. This can be done a day ahead.

Set the oven to 200C.

Slice the potatoes and onions and layer in an oven-proof dish. Put the sea bream on top, and find room in the dish for the lemon, bay-leaves and tomatoes.

Pour the white wine over the fish and vegetables.

Next, in a pestle and mortar, make a paste from the garlic, salt, parsley, saffron and olive oil. Loosen the paste with a spoonful of hot water.

Spread the paste over the fish.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

SERVES 2.

Here's one I made earlier

Here's one I made earlier

Hi, my name's Helen and I live in London with my husband and two children. When I started piping the potato on my shepherd's pies, my husband suggested that it might be a good idea for me to find an outlet for my creativity, so here we are. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the extra twist is that I don't eat meat (I do eat fish though) and Jim, who loves meat, is always on a diet. Here are a few recipes that I have enjoyed making for my family.

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