Smoked Salmon Fillets with Crushed New Potatoes and Mustard Cabbage


Smoked Salmon Fillets with Crushed New Potatooes and Mustard Cabbage (2)

Following on from my post yesterday, when I went on and on about Spring being here and the weather being wonderful, typically today is ice cold. It started off warm, which meant I did not wear appropriate clothing for the deep freeze which came later. Being a Brit is a great burden (so much weather to talk about…)!

Anyway, I wore little shoes with no socks to work, and so by the time I got home I was very cold. Good job, then, that I had this warming Nordic inspired recipe lined up.

Whilst I like sliced smoked salmon, smoked salmon fillets are a different kettle of fish entirely. They are unctuous and luxurious and taste as though you should be eating them with a glass of champagne (hubby did not take the hint and crack a bottle open when I told him this). I bought my smoked salmon fillets, but if you smoke your own then kudos to you.

I used white cabbage in this dish too. Lots of people don’t like cabbage, mainly because it is often overcooked and thrown on the side of the dish as an after thought. But, cook it properly and season it properly (and add double cream) and it will be delicious.

This will serve 2 with leftovers, and will take around 40 minutes to make.

Smoked Salmon Fillets with Crushed New Potatooes and Mustard Cabbage (1)

Smoked Salmon Fillets with Crushed New Potatoes and Mustard Cabbage

2 smoked salmon fillets

1 white cabbage

300ml vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

50ml double cream

2 tsps wholegrain mustard

500g baby new potatoes

1 small handful chives

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Thinly slice the white cabbage and add to a large saucepan. Add the stock and bay leaf, cover and simmer on a low heat for 20-25 minutes, until softened.

3. In another pan, boil some water and add the potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes or until softened.

4. Meanwhile, put the salmon fillets in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

5. To finish the cabbage, stir in the cream and mustard and season to taste.

6. To finish the potatoes, crush gently with a potato masher (you still want big chunks of potato) and stir through the chopped chives.

7. To serve, ladle cabbage and plenty of the cooking broth into bowls, then top with the potatoes and salmon. Yum!

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Seared Tuna with Roasted Veggies


Seared Tuna with Roasted Veggies (2)

This is another great dish for the transition period between the colder and warmer weather. I’m craving fresh vegetables, but I’m not yet willing to go for full-on salad.

Today, I woke up full of hope for a warm day when I saw the sun peering through the curtains. I was so hopeful, in fact, that I dressed before checking the weather forecast or sticking a hand out of the window. I regretted this fact when I stepped outside baring my ankles to the world and discovered that it was freezing cold and there was an enormous rain cloud heading right in my direction.

However, I am maintaining hope that the warmer weather will arrive soon, and so I went against my instinct to make a giant pot of chilli or macaroni cheese.

This still a lovely warm meal to fill your belly. The roasted veg is tasty and the addition of baby vine tomatoes helps to freshen it up. Perfect with a juicy tuna steak! One of my greatest joys in life (although I am not sure hubby appreciates it) is sucking the roasted garlic from its skin, something which this dish allows.

This will serve 2 (with extra veggies leftover for a packed lunch) and will take 50 minutes.

Seared Tuna with Roasted Veggies (1)

Seared Tuna with Roasted Veggies

3 tbsps olive oil

2 tuna steaks

300g new potatoes

2 courgettes

2 small vines of tomatoes (Vittoria are good)

4 cloves garlic

A little balsamic vinegar and curly parsley, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Halve your potatoes (cut larger ones into thirds) then place in a large oven proof dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then place in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the potatoes should be soft and starting to turn golden. At this point, add your roughly chopped courgettes and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Add the vine tomatoes for a final 10 minutes.

3. Close to the end of the cooking time for the veg, drizzle your tuna steaks with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with a little salt. Get a griddle pan to a very high heat, then add the steaks. Cook for 2 minutes on each side (they should still be lovely and pink in the middle).

4. To serve, dish up your veg. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over it and sprinkle over some chopped parsley. Serve with your tuna steak on the side. Enjoy!

Pan Fried Salmon with Noodle Broth


Pan Fried Salmon with Noodle Broth (1)

I have unfortunately not been well the last few days – hence my absence from the blog – but I am feeling much better today and was ready for something nourishing and delicious to get rid of the last vestiges of my illness.

This is something I always crave when I’m not quite feeling right. The salmon is obviously wonderfully healthy, packed full of protein and healthy oils. The broth contains garlic, ginger, coriander and lemongrass – they also contain lovely, healthy things (I swear by ginger when I’m not well; I’ll chop fresh ginger and have it in a cup of boiling water – try it, it will cure anything). Mix this with noodles and coconut milk and you have a hug in a bowl.

Helpfully, the meal is also ready in 15 minutes, so perfect when you are tired.

This will serve 2, with extra broth left over.

Pan Fried Salmon with Noodle Broth (2)

Pan Fried Salmon with Noodle Broth

2 salmon fillets

2 tbsps olive oil

1 thumb sized piece ginger

2 cloves garlic

1 stick lemongrass

2 tsps tamarind paste

1 small bunch fresh coriander

400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp palm sugar

300g straight to wok style or pre-cooked noodles, any type will do

200g sugarsnap peas

Spring onions and peanuts, to serve

1. Start by finely chopping the ginger and garlic, and adding it to a large pan over a medium heat with half of the olive oil.

2. When it starts to sizzle, bruise the lemongrass with a knife and add this to the pan, along with the sliced coriander stalks and tamarind paste. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes, then add the coconut milk and the same amount again of water. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar.

3. Bring the broth to a simmer then add the sugarsnap peas and noodles. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, while you cook the salmon.

4. To cook the salmon, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and add the salmon, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes, until the skin is crisp, then flip over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

5. Stir the chopped coriander leaves into the broth. To serve, ladle the broth into bowls and top with the salmon. Sprinkle over some chopped spring onion and peanuts. Enjoy!

Soy Glazed Salmon with Miso Noodle Broth


Soy Glazed Salmon with Miso Noodle Broth (1)

This is a very simple, and quick (it’s ready in 15 minutes), dish – but it will taste like you’ve spent hours slaving over the stove. It’s a Japanese inspired dish, and I love the savoury, sweet flavours this recipe has.

When you’re cold (we were threatened with snow today, but all we got was misty, relentless ice cold rain, which I would argue is worse), there is nothing better than a warming broth; and miso is such a comforting flavour. Paired with salty, sweet soy glazed salmon (say that after a couple of glasses of wine!), where the marinade leaks into the broth, this recipe ticks all of the boxes. Our plates were clean in 5 minutes.

The most important things to remember with this dish are 1) don’t overcook the salmon – try to make sure it’s still nice and pink in the middle and 2) don’t panic when the glaze bubbles up and turns black as ink – this is perfectly normal. Remember it’s bound to go like caramel – it has sugar in it – and this is what makes it so delicious.

This will serve 2 (with broth left over – I could drink it instead of tea!) and will take 15 mins.

Soy Glazed Salmon with Miso Noodle Broth (2)

Soy Glazed Salmon with Miso Noodle Broth

For the salmon:

2 salmon fillets

2 tbsps soy sauce

20g brown sugar

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

For the noodles:

100g miso paste

1 clove garlic

1 thumb sized piece galangal (ginger would work if you can’t find any)

300g medium noodles (the straight to wok ones work well)

2 pak choi

1 spring onion

1 small handful coriander

1. For the noodles, heat the miso paste in a large saucepan for 30 seconds, then add the sliced garlic and galangal. Add 1 litre water and bring to the boil, then add the noodles. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the pak choi. Simmer gently until your fish is cooked.

2. For the glaze, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil in a small bowl. Put a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and add the salmon fillets, skin side down. Cook for 1 minute, until the skin starts to crisp, then pour the glaze over them. Cook for another 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 30 seconds – 1 minutes.

3. To serve, ladle the noodles into bowls then top with the salmon fillets. Sprinkle over sliced spring onions and coriander leaves, then let your taste buds enjoy a treat!

Garlic Prawn Linguine


Garlic Prawn Linguine (3)

You’ll have to forgive me in advance – this recipe is extremely similar to my Garlic, Chilli and Prawn Tagliatelle. However, I’ve upped the garlic and ommitted the chilli – so these are some small differences, and if I’m honest, I prefer this version! No snogging for several days after you’ve eaten it though, unless your significant other has indulged in the same dish. Particularly if you serve with garlic bread.

As you can probably guess from that first paragraph, my advice would be not to give this recipe a go if you’re not a big fan of garlicky flavours. I love them, and the smell of this dish cooking just reminds me of an Italian restaurant near us – as you walk past, the smell makes my mouth water.

This is a perfect weeknight dish – it’s ready in 15 minutes – and you could easily add some extra healthiness by stirring some spinach in with the prawns, if you had some to hand. The garlic bread is naughty – but you could leave this out. We wanted pure indulgence – and we enjoyed every mouthful!

This will serve 2 (with leftovers for lunch) and takes 15 mins.

Garlic Prawn Linguine (1)

Garlic Prawn Linguine

For the pasta:

400g linguine

1 tbsp olive oil

200g raw king prawns

5 cloves garlic

1 small glass white wine

1 small handful parsley, chopped

For the garlic bread:

4 slices ciabatta

3 cloves garlic

40g margarine

40g grated parmesan

1. For the garlic bread, preheat the oven to the highest setting. Finely chop the garlic and mix with the margarine and parmesan in a small bowl. Spread the mixture over the sliced ciabatta, then bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden and bubbling.

2. For the pasta, cook the linguine according to packet instructions in a large pan of boiling water. Drain, then return to the pan.

3. Meanwhile, slice the garlic. Heat the oil in a saute pan over a medium heat and add the garlic and prawns. Cook for 1 minute, then pour in the white wine. Allow to simmer until the prawns are completely pink.

4. Pour the prawn and wine mix over the linguine and add the chopped parsley, then mix well. Serve with the garlic bread and a little grated parmesan.

Garlic Prawn Linguine (2)

Smoked Fish Chowder


Smoked Fish Chowder (2)

I love smoked food – be it cheese, bacon, fish or anything else. There’s something about the flavour which makes you feel as though you’re being given a big hug.

I’ve made a summer version of a chowder before (here). This particular dish is very different – it is a winter classic and there are variations of it all over the world. I suppose it used to be made as a cheap dish to stretch the smoked fish throughout the long, cold winter by bulking it out with potatoes. With the addition of a few exta ingredients – spinach and the classic sweetcorn – it is transformed into a delicious, warming dish to look forward to.

I remember eating a Scottish version of the dish once in Edinburgh (if anyone remembers the name of the Scottish version, please remind me!) – it was very similar to this one but with no sweetcorn, and was the perfect tonic to warm me up on the bitterly cold day. I think I enjoyed it with a moreish mulled cider that day, but no such luck today!

This has the benefit of being dead easy to make, and is ready in half an hour. This recipe will serve 4.

Smoked Fish Chowder (1)

Smoked Fish Chowder

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

4 rashers smoked bacon

1 baking potato

1 litre fish stock

300ml milk

250g skinless, boneless smoked haddock

325g tin of sweetcorn

100g spinach

1. Chop the onion and add to a large saucepan with the olive oil. Cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the chopped bacon. Cook until the bacon is starting to brown.

2. Peel the potato and chop into 1 inch chunks. Add to the saucepan along with the stock and milk. Simmer with a lid on for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are soft (make sure it doesn’t boil).

3. Chop the fish into chunks the same size as the potato chunks. Add the fish and the sweetcorn to the saucepan and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes, until the fish has turned opaque.

4. Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with some nice, warm bread on the side.

Pan Fried Cod with Luxury Peas and Baby Potatoes


It’s early January, so everyone is on a health kick. However, for many, it’s also the first day back to work after a long and wonderful festive holiday. And when you down tools at the end of what feels like the longest day ever, what do you crave? Comfort food is my guess – I certainly did today. And when I walked past the fish and chip shop on the way home, it was as though it was calling out to me.

But I resisted, because I knew I had some delicious ingredients lined up for this lovely meal at home. It’s basically got all of the ingredients of fish, chips and mushy peas, so it tastes great, and it’s just that little bit better for you, so you can eat it and feel (a little) angelic at the same time!

This will serve 2 (the peas and potatoes are enough for 4, but as usual we’ll have the leftovers for lunch as a glorified potato salad. You can easily expand it to serve 4 by increasing the amount of fish), and will take about 30 minutes to make.

This recipe is also part of my Cheap Eats project.

IMG_1061

Pan Fried Cod with Luxury Peas and Baby Potatoes

2 boneless cod fillets

2 tbsps olive oil

1 tbsp plain flour

160g cubed pancetta

1 onion

1 small glass of white wine (optional – only if you have the dregs of a bottle in the fridge)

75ml single cream

300g frozen peas

600g baby potatoes

10g butter

Small handful fresh chopped parsley, or 1 tsp dried parsley

1. For the potatoes, put a large pan of water on to boil. Halve any large potatoes and add them all to the pan, put a lid on and simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes. When cooked, drain and add the butter and parsley. Mix well.

2. For the peas, tip the pancetta into a saucepan. Cook over a high heat until they start to crisp, then add the chopped onion and turn the heat down to medium. After 2 minutes, tip in the wine, if using, and allow to boil down. Then tip in the cream and peas and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the peas are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

3. For the fish, heat the oil in a frying pan. Season the fish with a little salt and pepper and dust with the flour. When the oil is hot, add the fish and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden and flaky.

4. Serve a portion of the fish with a mountain of potato and a mound of peas. Enjoy!

Mussels with Cider Broth


Mussels are in the peak of their season at the moment (in the Northern hemisphere, anyway), so what better time to enjoy them. They’re cheap, and tasty, so pick some up when you next see them.

We went for a long walk in the wet and cold today, and what better way to recuperate than with a steaming bowl of mussels cooked in broth. I love mussels cooked any way really, but I prefer the traditional French/English versions where there is a big bowl of moreish sauce to mop up with a doorstep of bread.

Some people are squeamish about preparing mussels, but they’re very easy. They take some time, because you want to take care that you’re not eating any that are off, but if you don’t rush them it’s actually quite a relaxing job.

I hope you enjoy and if you have any questions about preparing mussels, just comment below.

This will take approximately 45 minutes to make and will serve 3-4.

IMG_1044

Mussels with Cider Broth

1kg mussels

160g cubed pancetta

1 onion

500ml cider

150ml single cream

1 large handful parsley

Bread, to serve

1. Start by frying the pancetta in a large casserole dish over a high heat. Finely chop the onion, and when the pancetta is starting to turn golden, add the onion to the dish. Turn the heat down and sweat the onion for 2-3 minutes.

2. Pour in the cider and 200ml water, turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer while you prepare the mussels.

3. To prepare your mussels, take each mussel from the bag one at a time. If the mussel is closed, pull off the ‘beard’ (the hairy strands which poke out from the shell) and gently scrape off any barnacles. Place in a large colander. If any are open, tap them gently. If they don’t close, discard them. If they close, again remove the beard and add to the colander. If there are any with smashed or cracked shells, discard them.

4. When you have sorted the mussels, rinse the ones in the colander under the tap.

5. Chop the parsley and add it, along with the cream, to the cider sauce. Gently tip in the mussels, stir gently, then put a lid on and turn up the heat. After 2-3 minutes, remove the lid – the mussels are cooked when they have opened.

6. To serve, ladle into bowls and serve with bread on the side. If any mussels haven’t opened during cooking, don’t eat them.

Enjoy this delicious winter warmer!

Thai Noodle Soup


There’s something about winter which makes me crave Thai food – the punchy flavours just make you think of sunshine.

I’ve put a couple of noodle soups with prawns on the blog already (Tom Kha Soup, Noodle Soup), but this one is particularly easy, fragrant and fresh.

The addition of tumeric makes the soup particularly bright and adds a distinctive, earthy flavour.

This particular soup is more similar to the Tom Kha Soup of the two I’ve previously cooked, but I’ve really stripped it back to make it seriously easy and quick to make.

This will serve 3-4 and takes 15 minutes to make.

Thai Noodle Soup

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 inch piece ginger

3 cloves garlic

1 green chilli

2 sticks lemongrass

1 handful coriander

1 tsp tumeric

1 litre vegetable stock

400ml coconut milk

300g rice noodles

250g raw prawns

2 pak choi

1 tbsp fish sauce

1. Finey slice the ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander stalks and add to a large pan with the sesame oil and bruised lemongrass. Put on a medium heat for a couple of minutes until it starts to sizzle and becomes fragrant, then add the tumeric.

2. Stir in the stock and coconut milk; bring to a simmer.

3. Add the noodles and prawns.

4. When the prawns have turned pink, chop the pak choi and coriander leaves and add to the pan. Add fish sauce to taste and you’re done!

Pan Fried Sea Bass with Lentils


This is a healthy, nourishing dish for that time of year when most people are coming down with a cold, and the rest are desperately trying to dodge germs to avoid being ill for a Christmas party, or Christmas day.

The cold outside doesn’t help matters – it makes me crave a nice battered fish with some crispy chips. But that’s not going to help pump our bodies full of vitamins to stave off the illness.

So, I’ve chosen a lovely fillet of sea bass (one of my favourite fish), simply pan fried and on a bed of tasty, nourishing lentils. Easy, quick and guaranteed to boost those white blood cells (I promise – it’s a scientific fact).

This will serve 2 and take 30 minutes to make.

Pan Fried Sea Bass with Lentils

2 tbsps olive oil

1 carrot

1 onion

2 x 400g tins puy lentils

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tsp sherry vinegar

200g spinach

2 sea bass fillets

Natural yoghurt, to serve

1. Dice the onion and carrot, then add to a large pan with half of the olive oil. Cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes, then add the lentils (including the liquid), chopped rosemary and vinegar. Put a lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Add the spinach to the lentils and allow to wilt. Turn the heat down to low and season.

3. Season the sea bass with salt and pepper. Pour the remaining oil into a frying pan and put on a medium-high heat. When the oil is sizzling, add the sea bass skin side down and cook for 4 minutes (depending on size). Flip over and cook for another 30 seconds.

4. To serve, ladle a portion of lentils into each bowl, then add the fish. Top with a small dollop of natural yoghurt.