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.

Crispy Polenta Chicken Caesar Salad

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Crispy Polenta Chicken Caesar Salad

This hearty salad from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals Cookbook is suitable as a main meal at lunchtime or supper and is probably one of the best caesar salads I have ever tasted. Jamie includes jarred red peppers in his recipe and ciabatta, but as I didn’t have those to hand at the time, I had to make do with what I had in the cupboard. This photograph post on my instagram account @tostadacooking has received a good number of ‘likes’ and I agree with my fellow food bloggers opinion, in that, if something looks this good then it probably tastes good. Trust me and try it for yourself!

Crispy Polenta Chicken Caesar Salad

Prep 20 mins

Serves 4

Chicken

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (Jamie uses 2 x chicken breasts)

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

2 heaped tbsp polenta

olive oil

Salad

1 small petit pan

1 clove of garlic

2 red chicory

100g of bacon lardons (Jamie uses – 3 x Smoked pancetta slices)

3 Gem lettuces (Jamie uses – 2 x romaine lettuces)

10 cherry tomatoes

balsamic vinegar

1 punnet of cress

Dressing

1 clove of garlic

2 lemons

40g Parmesan cheese (plus extra to serve)

4 anchovy fillets

4v heaped tbsp of natural yoghurt

1 splash of Worcester sauce

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp English mustard

1/2 bunch of fresh basil

Method

  1. Prepare the salad dressing by blitzing all the ingredients in a processor until smooth and then season to taste. It may be worth noting that it is best to crumble in the parmesan before you blitz.
  2. On a large sheet of greaseproof paper scatter seasoning, the paprika and polenta then place the chicken on the paper and ensure both side sides of the chicken are coated with the mixture.
  3. Fold over the greaseproof paper on top and bash with a rolling pin until approximately 1.5cm thick.
  4. In a frying pan heat a splash of olive oil and then place the chicken in the pan, turning every 3 or 4 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Whilst the chicken is cooking, slice the petit pan lengthways, so that you have about 3-4 slices of bread. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and rub half a clove of garlic gently over one side of each slice. Place the bread slices on a heated griddle until charred with stripes (both sides).
  6. Once the bread is charred you can use the same pan to cook the lardons.
  7. Whilst the bacon and the chicken finish cooking prepare the salad by roughly slicing the lettuce and placing this on a large serving platter. Halve the cherry toms and also add to the platter.
  8. Remove the cooked chicken and slice into strips and arrange around the salad. Drain any fat from the chicken pan and then quickly toss the chicory in a splash of balsamic in the same pan. Add the chicory to the platter and then slice the petit pain slices into soldiers and add to the salad.  Drizzle the dressing on the salad, sprinkle the bacon bits over and then snip the cress onto the top.
  9. Finally use a potato peeler to shave over a little extra parmesan.
  10. Tuck in!

 

La Tasca, Jesús Pobre, Spain

La TascaI have visited this restaurant every summer for the last four years and it never fails to disappoint.  The food is always fresh and seasonal and everything, including the pasta is homemade. I have already mentioned La Tasca in a previous post, in which I attempted to recreate my favourite Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini with a butter and sage sauce, but its never quite the same as when you are sitting in this unique courtyard setting under the spanish sky.

This year we were lucky enough to book a table on a Tuesday evening, which is music night and we were entertained by a traditional gypsy family performing flamenco dancing and singing. The atmosphere was extremely magical and special and is something I will remember for many years to come.

To start, my husband and I shared a Burrata, which for those who don’t know is a delicious buffalo mozzarella, from Napoli in Southern Italy. This was served with toasted bread, topped with fresh spanish tomatoes and drizzled in basil oil. My mouth is watering as I write, as it is such a delight to eat.

The pasta at La Tasca is made daily and their speciality is the ravioli, with a different choice of fillings each day. On this particular evening I could have had ravioli with pear and gorgonzola, salmon and lemon cream, meat, or luckily for me, on this particular evening, the spinach and ricotta. However, the problem of which pasta to choose does not end there, you then have to choose a sauce to accompany the dish. The waiting staff are always on hand to recommend which sauces suit each pasta dish, but it really is up to individual preference. I was torn between Burro e Salvia ( melted butter and crispy sage leaves), Nata y Nueces (cream, walnut pieces and a touch of pepper) or their delicious Nata y Parmigiano (cream and melted parmesan cheese). After a good deal of deliberation I opted for the rather indulgent parmesan cream sauce to accompany my spinach and ricotta ravioli and it did not disappoint. Hurrah for pasta!

To finish, my husband enjoyed a Panna Cotta with berry jam and I opted for a second calorific, but to die for option, of a Crepe Suzette, which was heavenly.  Another fantastic evening at this atmospheric,  warm and friendly venue. La Tasca, I miss you already, but I know I will return…adios amigo!

For more information check out TripAdivsor

El Chiringüito Beach Bar, Denia, Spain

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el Chiringüito Beach Bar

There are many beach bars and restaurants along the Denia coast line, but we always seem to gravitate towards Chiringüito beach because it is well away from the centre of Denia and less crowded. The front of the bar is furnished with cushioned seating in attractive blues and pinks and it has a wonderful view overlooking the sea. A little further back is the restaurant area and whilst there is a regular menu the specials change daily, many of which are seafood.

My husband and I opted to share several plates of food, starting with locally grown organic tomatoes, dressed in oil and sherry vinegar, accompanied with pickled olives, chillies and topped with fresh anchovies. The clean flavours and the freshness of the salad was sublime and in our opinion the epitome of ‘health on a plate’. The salad provided an excellent accompaniment to the two fish dishes we chose. Firstly a sumptuous plate of freshly grilled sardines, which brought back childhood memories of eating grilled sardines and boiled potatoes in the tiny port of Ericeira in Portugal, but the star of the show was the cuttlefish. It is the first time that either of us has eaten cuttlefish (sepia) and it was a revelation.

Cuttlefish is of course very similar to octopus and I am well aware that you either cook it for a very short time or cook it slowly for a long time. I was expecting this dish to be rubbery, but it was far from that and instead we found it deliciously soft and tender and the accompanying garlic and parsley dressing worked perfectly. The restaurant is a ‘no frills’ kind of place, but the waiters are helpful and attentive, despite their limited English and our even more limited Spanish. It was quite simply a delicious lunch in a wonderful location.

For more information and reviews check out TripAdvisor.

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.