Smoked Salmon Souffles

I’ve just been on holiday in Paris and so whilst I was there I found this recipe called Le Souffle that I wanted to visit. Unfortunately, it was full and we couldn’t go but the idea to eat a souffle stuck in my head so it was the first thing I made after I came back from holiday. When I’ve made souffles in the past I tend to go for the cheese ones but this smoked salmon souffle recipe on the BBC Good Food website was lovely and light. I made these in a haphazard way, using the random collection of ramekins I have in my cupboard and they turned out ok. Serve as a starter or a light dinner with salad.

Makes 6

Ingredients

  • 40g butter (plus extra to butter the ramekins)
  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 85g cream cheese
  • 2 tsp dill (actually I didn’t have any and they were still good)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 85g smoked salmon (plus extra to serve)
  • 1 lemon

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Butter 6 ramekins

3.) Chop up the dill and measure out the cream cheese. Zest half the lemon.

4.) Separate the eggs, put the egg whites into a large bowl.

5.) Melt the butter in a saucepan and once it’s melted add the flour. Stir into a paste and cook for 1 minute to cook off the flour taste,

6.) Gradually add the milk and whisk after each addition to get rid of all the lumps. Once all the milk is added, cook for another couple of minutes to thicken the sauce.

7.) Take off the heat and add the cream cheese and dill. Beat to incorporate.

8.) Move the mixture to a bowl to cool quicker.

9.) Whisk up the egg whites into stiff peaks.

10.) Chop up the salmon and add to the cream cheese mix. Add the egg yolks and lemon zest and mix everything.

11.) Half-fill a roasting tin with water.

12.) Fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mix.

13.) Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, just below the top. Place the ramekins in the roasting tin.

14.) Bake for 25 minutes or so, until they’ve risen over the top, the egg is set and the top is brown.

15.) Serve with some extra salmon and maybe a dollop of creme fraiche.

Sushi Bake

For someone that deleted her facebook account as a self-birthday gift (self birthday gift – definitely using that one in the future), you can imagine my enthusiasm for Tik Tok. However, I found the recipe for this Sushi Bake on the blog ‘I am a food blog’ which had been trending on said social media platform. I am a food blog is a really great blog if a little too wordy for me and it’s obviously the first thing that comes up on a Google search ‘food blog’ so points for the name there. The sushi bake is assembled by cooking some rice, spreading it out into a casserole dish and topping with a mixture of cream cheese, crab and the Japanese seasoning Furikake (or togarashi – both work). Serve it with some seaweed on the side and the result is heavenly – I really think you could impress your mates with this one! I changed it up a bit by adding some crab paste to cheaply boost the crab flavour and fleshed it out with some fishsticks.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 225g sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 225g crab meat
  • 1 tin crab paste
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 100g kewpie mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp furikake seasoning
  • 1 pack seafood sticks
  • roasted seaweed

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C

2.) Boil the rice until tender. Drain off any excess water. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to the rice and mix to dissolve.

3.) Spread the rice out into a casserole dish and sprinkle with half of the furikake.

4.) In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, crab paste and mayonnaise and give it a good mix. Chop up the seafood sticks and add them to the bowl. Add the crab meat and gently stir.

5.) Spread the cream cheese mixture on the top and sprinkle on the rest of the furikake.

6.) Bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.

7.) Serve with some seaweed.

Feta-stuffed aubergine escalopes

Here’s another great use of the versatile aubergine with this delicious escalope. It’s a nice plate of food as it feels quite indulgent with the fried breadcrumbs whilst actually being relatively healthy. The recipe was in Mildreds – The Cookbook.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g breadcrumbs (I used panko)
  • salt
  • 250g feta
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 packet mint leaves
  • 3 tomatoes
  • salad leaves
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2.) Slice the aubergines into 8 thin slices.

3.) Place on the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, turn over then bake for another 5 minutes.

4.) Set aside to cool down to room temperature.

5.) Make the filling by chopping up the feta and mint leaves. Peel and dice the garlic. Add the garlic, feta, mint and chilli flakes to a bowl. Chop the lemon in half and remove the pips. Squeeze the juice in the bowl, mix and set aside.

6.) Chop up half the aubergines and add to a large bowl. Leave 8 slices that you could sandwich together. Chop up the tomatoes and cucumber and add to the bowl, the salad leaves, the paprika and the cumin.

7.) Get out two plates and on one spread out the flour, on the other the breadcrumbs,

8.) Get a bowl and crack in the egg, whisk with a fork.

9.) Get two slices of aubergine, fill with some of the feta mixture. Press down the other slice on top. Move the aubergine to the flour, turn over so both sides are covered in flour, transfer to the egg and cover the sandwich in egg. Then press onto the breadcrumbs and turn over to get the other side. Move to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the aubergines and mixture.

10.) Heat 1/2 the oil in a frying pan then add the escalopes. Fry for about 4 minutes, turn over, add the rest of the oil and fry for another 4 minutes.

11.) Add the white wine vinegar to the salad bowl and mix everything.

12.) Serve up the salad then plate the aubergines on top.

Salmon & Leek Quiche

This is another dish I made for my Apprentice viewing ‘party’. There’s a lot of great TV on at the moment and I’ve even got into The Masked Singer. I was absolutely shocked to discover that any of the guys from the band Westlife actually had any talent to the point where I thought they were actually Adam Lambert! Westlife were the scourge of my teenage years being at a girls school. I just used a food processor to do the pastry as I did the pastry on a lunch break and added the filling in later on.

Ingredients

  • 150g butter (block of butter – very cold)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 tbsp ice cold water
  • 2 fillets of salmon
  • 1 leek
  • 10g chives
  • 300g crème fraiche
  • seasoning

Method

1.) Make the pastry by chopping up the butter into small chunks.

2.) Add the butter to the food processor and then the flour. Blitz until breadcrumbs are formed.

3.) Separate the egg and tip in the egg yolk and the water.

4.) Blitz a little more until the pastry has become a ball in the food processor.

5.) Dust a surface with flour and a rolling pin.

6.) Roll out the pastry to about 0.7mm thickness. Roll the pastry up on the rolling pin and transfer over to a 25cm tart tin.

7.) Use a bit of the extra pastry that’s overhanging and roll into a ball. Push the pastry down into the tart tin so it fills all the corners. The pastry will shrink down when baked so this is important.

8.) Roll the rolling pin across the top to cut off the excess pastry.

9.) Cover in cling film and refrigerate.

10.) For the filling, wash and slice up the leeks and cook in a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter until completely soft.

11.) While this is cooking, dice the chives and add to a measuring jug. Pull the skin off the salmon and chop into chunks.

12.) Add the salmon to the pan with the leek and cook, turning around until all sides are pink.

13.) Turn off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.

14.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

15.) Put some parchment paper over the quiche and weigh down with baking beads (you can use rice if you don’t do so much baking)

16.) Bake for 10 minutes then remove the parchment paper and baking beads and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 180 degrees C.

17.) In the measuring jug, add the crème fraiche, 4 of the eggs, separate the other two eggs and add the yolks to the measuring jug. Season and give it a good whisk.

18.) Spoon the salmon and leeks over the quiche base.

19.) Pour over the egg mix but not over the top of the pastry.

20.) Bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is golden brown and set in the middle.

Prawns with Pernod

I’m such a lover of the anise flavour that obviously I’m also a fan of Pastis even if it is seen as a bit of a grandmother’s drink. Now that I’ve bailed out of dry January as as unfair bad performance review just tipped me over the edge in what is already the year’s most miserable month, I may well have a tipple of the stuff tonight. Although pastis is a French liqueur, using anise flavoured booze with prawns is actually more of a Greek tradition. I have fond memories of a lovely restaurant in Thessaloniki where we had prawns with a cream and Sambuca sauce. I saw this recipe in ‘Nopi’ and it reminded me of that dish. However, after Christmas indulgence I didn’t really want the cream so this recipe with just a bit of feta seemed a good trade off.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 600g king prawns
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 120g feta
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 fennels
  • 180ml pernod (or any other brand of Pastis)
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 70g butter
  • 20g tarragon
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • salt

Method

1.) Strip the thyme leaves from the sprigs, mix with the 2 tbsp olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Zest the lemon and add to the bowl and peel and finely dice the garlic and add that. Put the prawns in the bowl, mix everything and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour.

2.) Chop the feta into cubes and add to a small bowl with the chilli flakes and oregano. Give it a stir and also leave to marinate in the fridge.

3.) In the meantime, finely slice the fennels and the tarragon. Measure out the stock.

4.) After an hour, heat up a frying pan and cook the prawns until they’re pink and set aside on a plate.

5.) Add the fennel to the pan and cook for about 7 minutes until soft. Pour in the stock and measure out the pernod and pour that in too.

6.) Let this reduce to about 1/3, reduce the heat, add the tarragon and butter and let the butter melt to a creamy sauce.

7.) Add the prawns back into the pan then place the spinach on top of everything. Leave for a couple of minutes so the prawns can warm up and the spinach wilts.

8.) Divide up the prawns and fennel mix, sprinkle with sumac. Take the feta out the fridge and spoon a bit onto each plate.

Sprout Salad with Roasted Celeriac

I did make this meal just after Christmas where brussels sprouts were still all the rage in the supermarket but I hadn’t got round to posting it. I love sprouts and they’re great in a salad because they don’t go soggy the day after like lettuce. The salad didn’t quite feel like enough on its own despite the richness of the poached egg and manchego cheese deliciousness. I’ve seen whole roasted celeriac around for a while on social media platforms but I’d always been put off making it just because the cooking time is 3 hours. In actuality, it’s a case of bunging it in the oven and really the only problem is making sure you make it on a day you’re in the house and remembering to plan ahead. It’s a nice healthy accompaniment to the salad and also would work pretty well as a jacket potato substitute. Both parts of the recipe come from the ‘Nopi’ cookbook by Yotem Ottolenghi.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large celeriac
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 punnet shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 8 eggs
  • 250g brussels sprouts
  • 20g parsley
  • 60g manchego
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and prepare a roasting tray.

2.) Wash the celeriac and scrub off the hairs.

3.) Rub all over with the olive oil and 2 tsp salt.

4.) Roast in the oven for 3 hours.

5.) About 30 minutes before the celeriac is ready, boil some water, pour in a pan, place in the eggs and cook for 7 minutes. Prepare a mixing bowl with some ice and water. Once the eggs are done, transfer the eggs to the bowl until they’re cool enough to handle.

6.) In the meantime, prepare another baking tray, slice up the mushrooms, spread out on the tray and stick in the oven for 20 minutes.

7.) chop off the bottom of the sprouts, peel off the outer leaves and discard. Finely slice the sprouts and add to a mixing bowl.

8.) Finely chop the parsley and add to the sprouts. Shave the manchego into thin slices with a cheese slice and add to the bowl.

8.) Make the dressing, in a measuring jug, add 60ml olive oil, the juice of half the lemon, the red wine vinegar, the syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper.

9.) Peel and chop the eggs in half.

10.) Take the celeriac and mushrooms out the oven.

11.) Mix the dressing with the sprouts mixture and divide among 4 plates. Divide the mushrooms among the plates and the eggs .

12.) Slice up the celeriac and place on the side.