Goan Fish Curry

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Goan Fish Curry

If you have read my blog before you will be well aware that my hubby and I love fish and seafood. However, my other half always maintains that fish has no place being in a curry. When he saw me making this dish the other day he, exclaimed ‘oh thats risky’, indicating that there was a chance that he wasn’t going to enjoy the dish!

I took the recipe from  Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks ; a book full of healthy recipes and fitness ideas, which you can complete in just 15 minutes. I’ve tried out several recipes already but this is definitely one of my favourites. The gentle warmth from the chilli and spices combined with the meaty fish and dash of lime really works and it is an excellent alternative to an Indian Takeaway. Despite his earlier misgivings, my hubby declared that if this dish was available at his local Curry House he would be ordering it every time…high praise indeed!

Goan Fish Curry

Prep 15 mins

Serves 2

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, chopped
3cm ginger, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped – with seeds if you like it hot, although I removed them in my version and the curry was just right for me and my hubby who likes spicy food.
2 chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp coconut oil or 6-8 squirts or coconut oil spray
1 red onion, diced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 x 400ml tin of full-fat coconut milk
500g haddock fillet, skinned and cut into large chunks (or use 300g and add 8-10 king prawns, as I did in this recipe)
Juice of 1 lime
½ bunch of coriander leaves chopped

Method

  1. In a food processor (I used my mini processor) add the the garlic, ginger, chilli and tomatoes and blitz until smooth, then leave to one side.
  2. Spray coconut oil in the pan and fry the onion under a medium heat for 2 minutes, stir throughout.
  3. Add in the garam masala and cumin and then continue to stir as for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the ingredients you blended earlier and bring to the boil before pouring in the coconut milk. Once added, make sure that the sauce is brought to the boil again. At this stage, I turned off the heat and left the sauce on the hob as I wasn’t ready to cook the fish just yet, but if you are ready, you can simply proceed with the next stage of the recipe.
  5. Add the haddock pieces and the prawns to the curry, and simmer gently. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes, or until it is cooked through.
  6. Season and stir in the lime juice and then taste to ensure you are happy with the flavours and add more lime or seasoning as required.
  7. Serve with a sprinkling of coriander and a wedge of lime.
  8. This recipe freezes well, although I would probably freeze the sauce in batches and add the fish or even chicken when needed.
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Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce & courgette salad

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Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce & courgette salad

This tasty dish went down a treat when my son’s vegetarian girlfriend came to stay and it was also enjoyed by the rest of my carnivorous family. The recipe is taken from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals and I would definitely cook it again.  The ricotta fritters were light and delicate and worked well when combined with the spicy tomato sauce and courgette salad. It is relatively easy to make as long as you do not disturb the fritters too much whilst they are cooking. A lovely little supper dish for a summers evening, although I dare say it would be well received whatever the time of year it is.

Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce and courgette salad

Prep 15 mins – although took me nearly 25mins to prep and cook

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 25 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 700g passata
  • 8 black olives (stone in)
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil

For the fritters

  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 400 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 whole nutmeg for grating
  • 1 lemon
  • 40 g Parmesan cheese
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

For the salad

  • 400 g firm green or yellow baby courgettes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 lemon

Method

1. Cover the porcini with boiling water and leave to soak.
2. In a bow,  mix the ricotta with egg, finely grated 1/4 of nutmeg, lemon zest, parmesan and flour and then beat together.
3.Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and then dollop 8 tablespoons of the mixture in to the pan. Turn carefully with a spatula when the bottom is golden and as I mentioned previously try not to move the fritters around too much.
4. Add chilli,  anchovies and garlic to a frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Then add passata and finely chopped porcini with half the soaking water. Season and bring to the boil.
5. Add stoned squashed olives (squashing helps remove the stone) and then add the chopped basil leaves, but don’t forget to keep some to use as garnish later.
6. Using a food processor grate the courgette. Add to a bowl with seasoning, lemon juice and olive oil. Then add finely chopped chilli and some mint from the top half of the bunch. Mix the salad together gently with your hands.

7. Place the fritters in the sauce in a serving dish or if you wish to be more rustic in the pan the sauce was cooked in. Garnish with the rest of the basil leaves, some balsamic and a few lemon wedges on the side.

Mackerel Salad with Beetroot and Horseradish Cream

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Mackerel Salad with Beetroot and Horseradish Cream

 Midweek I am always in a rush to find something quick and easy to make for supper and a simple salad or snack is usually the answer. We all know that fish and particularly oily fish is good for us, so last week I plumped for peppered mackerel. The recipe for this chosen dish is simply based on a salad I tasted in a local cafe last year. I recall at the time I was impressed with the combinations of flavours and pleased with myself that I had made such a good choice for lunch.

Mackerel has quite an intense flavour with creamy meat, so I knew I needed something sharp and possibly sweet to cut through the oil and compliment the robustness of the fish. With this in mind I selected beetroot as an accompaniment and just to add an extra kick, I combined horseradish and Creme Fraiche to create a cream dressing for the salad. The crunchy and creamy textures combined with the sweetness of the beetroot and the heat from the Horseradish work extremely well together. This results in a salad which is not only scrumptious, but packed with healthy produce and perfect for a mid-week supper. Try it and I bet it will put a spring in your step!


Mackerel with Beetroot and Horseradish Cream

Prep Time 15 mins

Serves 2

Ingredients

10-12 Small New Potatoes

2 Peppered Mackerel Fillets

4 Beetroot

Mixed leaves

1 Red Pepper

10-12 Cherry Tomatoes

2 Dessert Spoons of Creme Fraiche

2 Tsps of Horseradish (add more if you like it hot)

Method

1. Boil the kettle first as this saves time. Thanks must go to Jamie Oliver for this helpful tip.

2. Slice the new potatoes in half (lengthways) and put in a pan with the boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes until soft. Check after 10mins.

3. Place the mixed leaves in the bowls and slice the tomatoes in half and add to the leaves. Finally add sliced pepper to the salad.

4. Remove the mackerel from its skin and remove any rogue bones you can see or feel. Then roughly tear the mackerel into bite sized pieces and scatter over the salad.

5. Whilst you are waiting for the potatoes to soften mix the creme fraiche with the horseradish and leave to one side. Taste to check you have got the balance right and adjust accordingly.

6. Once the potatoes are ready, drain and if time allows cool a little and then scatter amongst the mackerel.

7. Finally dollop small spoonfuls of Horseradish cream over the salad and serve.

Confit of Duck with Oranges and Pomegranate Dressing

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Confit of Duck with Oranges and Pomegranate Dressing

This recipe was inspired by a starter dish I tasted at The Green Restaurant in Sherborne, Dorset. I didn’t really have a recipe I just based my idea on their design and flavour of the dish. However I did base the confit of duck on a recipe I found on the Gressingham Duck website

Confit of duck with oranges and pomegranate dressing (serves 6)

        Prep – 20 mins 

        Cooking 3h 30mins

        Gas mark 1/2, 125C, 105C (Fan)

        Ingredients

        4 Duck legs

        800g – 1kg Duck or Goose fat (or 4 x 200g jars)

        6 tbsp Coarse Rock Salt

        Few sprigs Rosemary & Thyme (or dried)

        1 garlic bulb, cloves separated, skins on and  flattened with a knife

        1 tsp of whole black peppercorns

        Zest of orange

       2 Bay Leaves

       Sauces

       1 pomegranate

       1 – 2 tsp of Redcurrant or Cranberry jelly

       Orange Sauce 

       1 Orange (squeezed)

       Drop of olive oil to taste

       1 tbsp runny honey

       salt and pepper to taste

       Decoration

       2 Medium sized oranges

       2 Ruby oranges

       Pea shoots or lambs lettuce leaves


       Method        

1. I suggest you start the confit the day before or at least 12 hours in advance of cooking.

2. In a baking tray/dish scatter a 1/4 of the salt in the base which is deep enough to hold 4 legs. the duck legs should be placed skin side down and then the rest of the salt, herbs and peppercorns can be added. Finally grate some orange zest over the duck legs.

3. Cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

4. (On the day)  Pre-heat your oven to the required temperature (Gas mark 1/2 etc)

5. In a large casserole dish or saucepan melt your duck or goose fat on a very low heat. Once the fat is melted place your duck legs into the fat ensuring the fat covers the duck legs and bring to a gentle simmer.

6. Place the lid on the casserole dish and put in the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours until tender. At the end of the cooking time the meat should be very tender, but test this with a skewer. If the skewer goes through the meat easily it is cooked if it doesn’t leave it in the oven for up to another 30 mins.

7. Whilst the duck is cooking prepare the oranges. Peel the Ruby and regular oranges using a sharp knife. Once the oranges are without their peel, slice the ruby oranges to create discs (see photo) and remove the orange segments from their skins. If you are unsure of this technique check out this YouTube clip How to segment an orange, by FineCooking.com. Once the oranges are prepared cover in a container and place in the fridge until required.

8. You can now prepare the pomegranate and orange dressings. For the pomegranate dressing remove all the seeds from one pomegranate and place in a sieve. Collect the just into a small pan and add a very small teaspoon of redcurrant jelly or cranberry sauce. Heat over a low light until bubbling and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly. This will produce no more than 1-2 tablespoons on dressing which I then pour into a plastic sauce bottle until later. You could leave in a cup at room temperature if you do not have a sauce bottle.

9. For the orange dressing squeeze the juice of one orange into  a pan and add a drop of olive oil and a squeeze of honey. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and heat gently. Once the sauce thickens slightly pour into your second plastic sauce bottle or another cup and set aside until required.

10. When the meat is ready leave to cool for 10mins and then take the duck legs out of the fat.

11. Shred the duck legs into a container and store until you are ready to assemble your starter.

12. When you are ready to assemble your starter place a mould ring on the centre of your plate and fill the round with the shredded duck. Then place three orange segments and the ruby orange on the plate. Finally add the drops of both the pomegranate sauce and the orange sauce around the duck stack and top with pea shoots or some equivalent decoration.

Enjoy!

Sea Bass with Spring Greens and Champagne Cream Sauce

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Sea Bass with spring greens and Champagne cream sauce

This dish is based on Fred Forster’s recipe for Sea Bass and Champagne Sauce. Fred is Head Chef at the Boundary Restaurant in Shoreditch, London. The main tweak that I made was that I added brown shrimps. The preparation took time, but the cooking and plating of the food at the end was quite frenetic. However, the taste and approval from my guests made it extremely worthwhile.

Sea Bass with spring greens and Champagne cream sauce (serves 6)

Prep – 20 mins

Cooking – 30 mins

Ingredients

6 fillets of Sea Bass (although I used two small fillets per person as I couldn’t find very thick pieces)

Vegetable oil

Olive Oil

Salt and pepper

Vegetables

400g Asparagus tips (2 packets)

12 baby leeks

2.5kg New Potatoes

230g bag of Spinach

Sauce

1 shallot

250ml White Wine (dry)

300ml of double cream

1 pint of vegetable or fish stock

175ml  Champagne

90g pot of brown shrimps

50g jar of lumpfish caviar


Method

1. Clean and pat dry the Sea Bass and store in the fridge until ready to cook.

2. Clean and slice the new potatoes in half (lengthways) and place in slated water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 mins or until soft. set aside until required.

3. Clean and prepare the asparagus tips and baby leeks and blanch for 3-4 minutes. Cool down immediately in iced water, remove and set aside until required.

4. Finely chop 1 x shallot and simmer in 250ml of white wine. Bubble and reduce the liquid to half and then add the double cream and reduce to half again, then strain the liquid through a sieve and cook for a further 10 minutes until thickened. Pour in the champagne and then set aside until you are ready to serve.

5. Put your vegetable or fish stock (I used a combination of both in my recipe – I bought the fish stock but made my own vegetable stock) on to simmer as this will be used to reheat your new potatoes and sling greens. Set a large wok or casserole dish on the hob ready to hold and reheat your vegetables.

6.. Place 1-2 frying pans on your hob and add a drop of vegetable and olive oil. When the oil is smoking, hold your fish skin side down in the oil to ensure it is crispy and browned (2-3mins). Flip the fish over for no more than a minute and then place the fish skin side down in the oven for 1 minute and then remove to rest. Ensure your pans are non stick or the skin will come off.

7. Place the required amount of new potatoes and spring greens in the wok and ladle over 1 -2 ladle spoons of stock and reheat. Add a knob of butter towards the end and taste for seasoning.

8. Reheat the sauce gently and add the brown shrimps. Taste and season as required.

9..At the same time heat a knob of butter in a pan, season and cook until wilted.

10. Ensure your serving plates/dishes are warm. Place the sea bass (skin side up)on a portion of spinach and then place the vegetables and potatoes around the fish. Drizzle the cream sauce over the vegetables and finally add a small spoonful of caviar on top of the fish.