22 May 2012

Tapas, part 3

Potatoes, mushrooms, shallots, parsley and a coulis from red paprika's

Slice 2 potatoes and boil them in salted water for 5 mins. Then fry them with some finely chopped garlic in one pan, the 4 thickly sliced (big) mushrooms in another pan. Dry the mushrooms on kitchen paper. Use the same pan to fry some chopped shallots and parsley. The coulis we had in the fridge, made from bell peppers that first have been blackened under the grill, then after the skin was taken of, liquidised in the blender.

Serve as shown
A circle of potatoes
The mushrooms on top of them
Followed by the shallots and parsley
Topped by the coulis

Toast with guacamole and smoked salmon

Potato, sardines, courgette

Use an apple corer to create 6 cylinders from 2 small potatoes. Cut off the skinned ends and boil them in salted water for about 6 mins. In the meantime slice lenghtwise 2 small courgettes.
Grill them in an oiled griddlepan, about 4 mins on each side. Add the potatoes. Replace the courgettes with sardines fillets.

Put the sardines on the courgettestrips
Place the potatoes in the middle
Dribble some paprika coulis over it
Roll up
Or not

Asparagus, horseradish-mayonaise, smoked salmon

Boiled ham, ratatouille, omelette, panfried ham

Peach, goat's cheese, panfried Spanish ham

21 May 2012

Fish fillet, fried potatoes and some other stuff

Sometimes you do not want to go out shopping. Today I found a nice saithe fillet  (any firm fish will do) in the freezer. Rick Stein supplied an easy recipe, but we decided to fry the potatoes, forget the olives and to cook it all on the hob and not in the oven.

This is what we found in fridge, larder and garden: 
2 new potatoes
8 cherry tomatoes
3 sundried tomatoes
3 anchovies sliced in long strips
Fresh parsley and coriander

Cut the potatoes in wegdes and boil them in salted water for 10 mins. In the meantime do the cutting and slicing. Heat up the griddle pan and fry the potato-wedges, which will take another 10 mins. Let them cool a bit. Then fry the fillets in a frying pan, about 3 mins on each side (depends on the thickness). In the meantime put the rest of the ingredients with the potatoes to warm. Maybe add a little oil.
And that's all folks. Half an hour, tops (excl defrosting the fish of course)

19 May 2012

Lamb chops, asparagus, broadbeans

Slice half a shallot finely, soften in some butter. Add some white wine and boil till almost evaporated and syrupy. Add some cream and reduce till you have a thick sauce. Use this to mix with the vegatables later
For the meatsauce I took 3 cubes of chickenstock we froze earlier, added a tsp of honey and a tsp of thyme leaves and reduced till syrupy.
Grill the chops in a very hot griddlepan, we like them pink, so about 3 mins on each side. In the meantime boil the asparagus 2 mins, then add the broadbeans and cook for another minute.

15 May 2012

Sea-trout served 2 ways Asian Style

Our fishmonger showed us nice big sea-trout fillets, skin on. Back home we turned to Rick Stein to see what to make of it. We decided on two preparations:
Japanese fishcakes made from the tail part, with ginger and spring onions and
fry the thicker part wth a soy, ginger and chili glaze

Sea-trout: 2 big or 2 small fillets
Ginger root: 4 cm, very finely chopped
Spring onions: 1, finely chopped
Chestnut mushrooms: 4 (2 finely chopped, the rest thickly sliced)
Garlic: 1 clove finely chopped
Chilli: 1 small, finely chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Sesame oil
Caster sugar
Coriander: some sprigs
Salad: for instance 4 green asparagus and rocket

Cut the fillets in half. Put the top, thicker halves aside and start with the tails and remove the skin. Pinbone them if necessary. Cut them lengthways into long, thin strips. Then cut across into very small cubes. Too small and you end up with pate, too big and it won't hold together.

Put the cubes in a bowl and mix with half the ginger, the sping onions, chopped mushroom. Whisk 1/2 egg and add to the mixture, with some salt and pepper. Wet your hands and shape into 2 patties about 8 cm in diameter. Or use 2 serving rings if you have them, so you can use a fork instead of your hands.

For the salad: cut the asparagus in 3 parts and cook them 4 or 5 mins in salted water. Wash and dry the rocket. Whisk 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp water and a pinch of caster sugar into a dresssing

Heat 2 frying pans, lightly oiled:
one to fry the fillets for 30 sec on each side, then take the pan off the heat.
Put the cakes in the other one, on medium heat. Fry each side for about 1 1/2 mins, untill golden brown and cooked through.
In the meantime add the garlic, 4 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, the other half of the ginger and chilli to the fillets.
Reduce the heat and cook for about 3 mins, untill the trout is just cooked through.

Warm 2 plates in the microwave.
A fishcake and a fillet on each plate, with
the salad of rocket, asparagus and ( if you
want, briefly fried) mushrooms. Drizzle the
dressing over the salad and the glaze over
the fillets.
Decorate with coriander

Mackerel, courgette and a pesto from parsley, pistache and sorrel

A recipe we found in The Guardian by Yotam Ottolenghi
Normally we do use mackerel, but today we made it with sea bass.
If you don't have any sorrel in your garden or                      growing wild nearby, you'll be hard pushed to get hold
it, so it's well worth ordering some in advance from a  
greengrocer. It's wonderfully sharp, in a non-citrussy
kind of way, and goes well with anything nutty. If you
can't get hold of any, just up the quantity of parsley in
the pesto and add a bit more vinegar. Serves four!
3 large courgettes (700g)
3½ tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
8 small or 4 large mackerel fillets, pinboned
25g rocket leaves

For the pesto
75g sorrel
15g parsley
50g pistachios
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp cider vinegar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp olive 

Put all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and blitz to a coarse, runny paste.
Put a ridged griddle pan on the stove to heat up. Cut the courgettes on an angle into 1/2 cm-thick slices. Toss them in two tablespoons of olive oil, season and grill for three to four minutes, turning once, until tender but not limp.
Brush the mackerel fillets with the remaining oil and season generously. grill them, skin-side down to begin with, on the griddle pan for three or four minutes, turning once. As soon as the fish is cooked, drizzle over the remaining lemon juice.

To serve, divide the courgettes like a flower between four plates and top with a few rocket leaves. Lay the warm fish on the rocket, drizzle over the pesto and finish with some more rocket.

12 May 2012

More tapas

    Tinned mackerel pate with quick-pickled onions
    A recipe from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall

    120-125g can mackerel fillets in oil, or similar canned oily fish fillets
    1 tsp English mustard
    1 tbsp creme fraiche
    Pinch of cayenne pepper
    Lemon juice
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dark brown bread, to serve

     For the quick-pickled onion
     1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
     1 large pinch caster sugar
     2 tsp cider vinegar
     2 tbsp finely chopped dill or parsley

     Prepare the onion first: put it in a bowl, sprinkle over a good pinch each of salt and sugar and a grinding of pepper and toss. Leave for 10 minutes to soften (if the onion releases a lot of liquid, drain it off). Sprinkle over the vinegar and dill or parsley, stir, and leave for 10 minutes more. Taste, add more sugar, salt or pepper  as needed, and set aside until you are ready to serve – it will also keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but make sure you let it return to room temperature before serving.

     Drain the oil from the cans of mackerel, and tip the fish into the bowl of a food processor. Add the mustard, creme fraiche, cayenne, some black pepper and a good squeeze of lemon. Blitz to a thick paste, stopping several times along the way to scrape down the sides of the processor. Taste and add salt, if necessary (the canned fish is already quite salty), and more pepper or lemon juice, if you like.
     Serve the pâté spread thickly on bread, with a scattering of the piquant onion on top.

    Mozarella, mushroom, zuchini, basil-oil

    Cut the ingredients in thin slices. Prepare the basil-oil by putting a handful fresh basil, a
    garlic clove, pitch of sea salt and some good olive-oil in the blender. Slice a french baguette
    lenghtwise, about 1 cm thick. Cover the bread as shown above, add basil-oil. Put under a  
    hot grill till the cheese has started to melt.
   Asparagus in 3 ways

    Peel 4 white asparagus. Remove their woody ends and from 4 green asparagus as well.
    Put them in boiling water till soft, the whites need more time than the green. Cut the top 5
    cm off and keep apart. Liquidise the rest with some chickenstock in the blender.
    Poach 2 eggyolks . Wrap the green tops in Spanish ham. Serve as shown above.

Grilled zuchini and mushroom, with ham and paprika-coulis  


Coeur de Boeuf tomato, goat's cheese, roasted pine nuts, oregano 

Grilled aubergine, tomato, creamy sheep's cheese, paprika coulis, panfried coppa, charmoula

Courgette-fritatta, Brie, Cherry tomatoes

Start with grating parmesan ( 1 cup) followed by 1 small courgette. Mix the 2 with half a cup of flour and an egg. Add a bit of nutmeg. Put 2 or 3 heaps of the mix in a slightly oiled frying pan and use a fork to flatten. Turn after about 5 mins. Add the cherry tomatoes around the patties. After another 4 mins add some soft cheese like Brie to melt a bit. Plate with the tomatoes on top, decorate with chives. A turn of the peppermill doesnot harm.

MexIndian fajittas
3 Cumberland sausages
1 shallot finely diced
1 tbsp red curry paste from a jar
 2 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
 2 tbsp TexMex chilisauce from a jar
 Some fresh coriander
 Some rocket leaves
 2 Fajittas

Get the meat from the sausages and mix with the shallots and curry paste. Fry for about 4 mins.
Warm the fajittas. Start with putting the rocket on the fajittas, followed by the meat. Then dollops of creme fraiche or sour cream and chilisauce. End with the coriander leaves.
Roll up and have a good time.

8 May 2012

Some simple tapas

Zuchini, pecorino and...honey
Slice the zuchini, grill in a hot griddlepan, serve with grated pecorino cheese, drizzle with honey

    Mushrooms, shallots, blue cheese
    Slice the mushrooms, not too thin and the shallots. Fry in a little butter till just      
    browned. Put on the beard, cover with blue cheese and put under a hot grill till the cheese
    has melted. 

    Tomato, cheese and coppa
    Slice diaginally a French baguette. Put on sliced, if possible, black tomato, then some
    cheese. In the meantime fry some thinly sliced coppa or pancetta in a dry pan. Dry on   
    kitchen paper. Put on top of the cheese

    Mushrooms stuffed with broadbeans, crispy pancetta and blue cheese
    Brown the mushrooms in some butter, cook the broadbeans for 3 mins, fry the pacetta.  
    Stuff  everything in the mushrooms, cover with some blue cheese and put under a hot grill.

    Spanish ham, broadbeans, mustarddressing, parsley

    Shrimps, charmoula-mayonaise

    Asparagus, pancetta, blue cheese
    Cook some asparagus al dente and cut each in 3 parts. Fry pancetta crisp and dry on 
    kitchenpaper. Arrange asparagus in 2 small shallow ovendishes. Crumble blue cheese over
    it. Whisk  half an egg with some cream and pour over the asparagus. Add the pancetta. Put 
    in the hot (180C) oven for 15 mins.

    Thai shrimp and Basque mackerel
Small sausage rolls

We love the sausages from the English butcher on our market. Cumberland, Lincolnshire. These aremade from his chili and ginger sausages, as thick as a finger. We remove the skin. Cut them in 5 cm pieces and roll them in puff pastry. Cover them with a whisked egg and put them in a 200C oven for about 20 mins. Can be frozen. Yummie.

Fried potatoes, mushrooms, cheese, salsa

5 May 2012

Trout 'Bondage', stuffed with mushrooms, pancetta, garlic and parsley

Sea trouts: 2
Pancetta (or bacon): a few slices
Chestnut mushrooms: 12 in thick slices
Garlic: 1 clove, finely chopped
Parsley: 2 tbsp, chopped
Flour: 25 gr
Lemon: 1 or 2

Another recipe from Rick Stein. Start with the fish. Remove the heads, then using the tip of a very sharp thin knife start getting the top fillet away from the bones till 2,5 cm from the tail. Turn the fish over and repeat with the other fillet. Snip off the bone with scissors just before the tail (that will keep the two halves together.

Fry the garlic in some butter till they just start browning. Add about half of  the mushrooms and 1 tbsp parsley and fry another minute. Take out to cool a bit. Put the pancetta in the pan till nice and crisp.

Put the stuffing on the lower fillets and cover with the pancetta. Then cover with the top fillet and use string to tie around the fish

Dust the fish lightly with plain flour and fry about 3 minutes in some oil, without moving them
Warm the plates in the microwave
In the meantime brown the rest of the mushrooms in a second pan
Turn the fish and fry the other side
Put the mushrooms on the plates. Wipe the pan clean and melt 60 gr butter till it browns and starts smoking a bit, then add a tbsp lemon juice and the rest of the parsley. You've made beurre noisette!

Put the fish on the plates and pour the beurre noisette over them. Serve with half a lemon
Don't forget to bring scissors to the table!

3 May 2012

Strawberry Carpaccio

Strawberries: 12
Celery: 1 stalk
Rocket salad: small handfull
Pistachio nuts: small handfull
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar: 1 tsp
Sherry vinegar: 1 tsp
Sea salt: 5 pinches
Black pepper: 7 turns of the mill
Piment d"espelet: 2 pinches

Wash and cut the fruit. Slice the selery. Arrange on a plate and put in the fridge. Keep 3 strawberries aside for the dressing. Prepare the dressing: mash the 3 strawberries with a fork, mix with the oil, vinegars, salt, pepper and piment. Chop the nuts. Get the plates from the fridge, sprinkle the nuts on top of the strawberries, add some salad leaves and drizzle the dressing over it.
An easy and surprising........starter! Enjoy!