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!

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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!

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.

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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.

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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!

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.

Smoked Salmon, Roasted Beetroot and Watercress Smörgåsbord


I wasn’t going to call this dish a smörgåsbord, because it’s not exactly the right definition, but it is a sharing platter with plenty of Scandinavian flavours so I hope I can get away with it.

This is so simple, barely any cooking is required (any use of the oven is just for warming things up, apart from the beetroot which needs roasting) and it’s really just a case of compiling the ingredients.

You could add or remove various ingredients to this – if you had any gherkins they would go well on the side, as would a dollop of horseradish sauce or some pickled fish. Use your imagination!

I love the fact you can put this in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves; just make sure you get to go first!

This will serve 2-3 and is ready in 30 minutes.

Smoked Salmon, Roasted Beetroot and Watercress Smörgåsbord

2 tbsps olive oil

500g raw beetroot

2 smoked salmon fillets (I used lightly smoked which meant they needed cooking, if you’re using fully smoked you don’t need to cook them).

1 loaf rye bread

100g watercress

40g soured cream

1 handful dill

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Drizzle half of the olive oil over the beetroot in a roasting dish (trimmed and cut into wedges; no need to peel it) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 30 minutes.

2. When the beetroot has been in for 15 minutes, put the salmon in an oven proof dish and drizzle with the rest of the olive oil. Put in the oven for the remaining cooking time.

3. 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, put the loaf of bread in the oven.

4. Chop the dill and mix with the soured cream in a small bowl.

5. To serve, load all of the ingredients onto a large board or tray, and let everyone tuck in.

Thai Fish Curry


Coriander and ginger are two of my favourite flavours, and so Thai food is one of my favourite cuisines.

This curry is one of my own making, so true Thai food masters will frown on it, but I love it. It’s sweet, spicy, salty and sour, and warms you up after a long, cold day.

I love cooking with fish, too, because it is so quick to cook and so this recipe is perfect when you want something packed full of flavour but quick and easy to make.

This curry will serve 4 (we’re having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow), but if you’re cooking for 4 you’ll need to double the amount of rice. This takes 20 minutes to cook.

Thai Fish Curry

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 inch piece of ginger, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped

Large bunch coriander

2 sticks lemongrass

2 x 400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsps fish sauce

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp palm sugar

8 kaffir lime leaves

250g white fish, e.g. cod, chopped into bitesize chunks

200g sugar snap peas

10 basil leaves

250g thai rice, cooked

1. Put the sesame oil in a large saucepan and put on a medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and chopped coriander stalks. Sizzle for 2 minutes, stirring often. Bash the lemongrass with a knife (don’t cut into slices, just bruise the flesh) and add to the pan.

2. Pour in the coconut mik, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a simmer.

3. Add the fish and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the sugar snap peas and simmer for another 2 minutes.

4. Finally, chop the coriander and basil leaves and stir in. Take off the heat. To serve, ladle the curry over bowls of rice, and enjoy!