Salmon Salad with Marie Rose

I came upon this recipe scanning through Jamie Oliver’s website – ‘Simple Roast Salmon’. The salad dressing is called ‘Marie Rose’ sauce and was created by a famous British chef – Fanny Craddock – back in the 60s. It’s nice to be posting this today as England won their first match in the Euros and I’m feeling patriotic. Back in the 70’s this Marie-Rose sauce was used a lot in ‘prawn cocktails’ and since then it’s come to be seen as a bit outdated. Apparently, however, coincidentally it’s made a bit of a comeback and my husband spotted it in an article on resurging food trends. This and fondue. Was fondue ever out? The usual way to make the sauce is with ketchup which feels a bit like cheating but it taste pretty good.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 tbsp low fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 lemons
  • tabasco sauce
  • 2 little gem lettuces
  • 2 handfuls watercress
  • 300g cooked prawns
  • pinch paprika

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C

2.) Line a baking tray, season the salmon and put the salmon on the tray and drizzle on some oil (skin on top if there is skin)

3.) Cook for about 10 minutes or as per instructions on packet

4.) Make the Marie Rose sauce. Zest a lemon and add to a bowl, squeeze in the juice then add the yoghurt, ketchup,. Season and add a dash of Tabasco

5.) Wash and chop the little gem lettuces and chop. Add to a mixing bowl. Wash the watercress and add to the bowl. Season, chop the other lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half into the bowl and a drizzle of oil and mix.

6,) Plate up the salad. Divide the prawns between the servings. Add the salmon on top.

7.) Drop over spoonfuls of the Marie-Rose sauce and sprinkle over a pinch of paprika.

Simple Fish Stew

I’ve gotta write this up quickly as the first game of the European football championship is coming up – so exciting! I managed to escape to Lisbon for six days before our prime minister decided to change the regulations on travelling to Portugal. It’s a really wonderful city and a great one for fish lovers. Every restaurant serves a wide variety of fish. This visit, I had mostly grilled fish but when I visited the Algarve many years ago, I had a Portuguese fish stew which they call a ‘Cataplanas’ and wanting to carry on the feeling of being in Portugal when I arrived back in Manchester, I decided to make a fish stew. The problem is that we don’t really have an abundance of fish, or fishmongers here. Therefore, I thought I would see what could be done from a supermarket shop and therefore have on a weeknight and considering that, this was pretty damn good. I used Jamie Oliver’s website to find the fish stew recipe ‘Summer fish stew’. Note this is best served with aioli but as the only mussels I could get were in a garlic sauce I thought maybe it could end up being too much garlic. Actually I don’t think this is possible. It serves four but there were only two of us but I thought it best to eat the mussels and the langoustines fresh. Therefore I added an extra potato for the other 2 servings.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • one onion
  • one clove garlic
  • one stick celery
  • two potatoes
  • 30g parsley
  • olive oil
  • 150ml white wine
  • 680ml passata
  • 2 fillets sea bream (I used sea bass as bream wasn’t available)
  • 4 langoustines (they had frozen ones at the supermarket)
  • 400g mussels (mine were frozen with a sauce but I tipped the sauce out)

Method

1.) Peel and finely chop the onion, celery and garlic. Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes.

2.) Heat some oil in a casserole dish and add the vegetables. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes until soft.

3.) In the meantime, de-skin the sea-bream/bass and measure out the wine.

4.) Pour the wine into the casserole dish and cook off

5.) Add the passata and a cup of water to the dish

6.) Add the langoustines and sea-bream (I added the langoustines for a few minutes more a little earlier as they were frozen) and cook for 10 minutes

7.) Add the mussels and put the lid on the casserole dish and cook for 2 minutes and check they’re all open (I did about 4 minutes as the mussels were frozen)

8.) Serve with bread and some aioli and dream of being in Portugal

Asparagus and Crab meat Soup

When I was a kid I loved Chinese food as I had good access to it with all the Chinese takeaways. Over time, that love has broadened to include many more cuisines from South East Asia as I’ve had more exposure. Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai food I also now love though I await the day when vegetarian versions of Char Sui Buns are readily available (yes I should make some!). All these cuisines have a few things in common for me – they have a few central ingredients which are used to create many different dishes, they’re fresh, flavourful, healthy, quick to make and the meat recipes are generally quite easy to substitute. This recipe from ‘The Vietnamese Market Cookbook’ is a great example of this.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Chicken flavoured stock
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 200g crabmeat
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • rice noodles (I didn’t measure these – enough for 4 – I really like the wide strip ones)
  • 1 punnet of shitake mushrooms
  • pepper
  • coriander leaves

Method

1.) Peel and chop up the onion

2.) Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and fry the onion until soft

3.) Boil some water and make up 1.5 litres stock

4.) Add the crabmeat to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes then add the fish sauce and fry for one more minute

5.) Pour in the stock and turn up the heat

6.) Slice up the mushrooms and asparagus and add to the pan with the rice noodles. Reserve the tips of the asparagus as they cook quicker.

7.) Cook on a high heat for 5 minutes until the noodles are soft, after 3 minutes, add the asparagus tips. While this is cooking, chop up the coriander leaves.

8.) When the soup is done, sprinkle in some pepper. Serve up with a garnish of coriander.

Japanese mackerel and Broccoli

Eating Japanese food really takes me back to my time in Japan. This dish is so tasty but so quick to make and tastes pretty authentic even though I did sub in some smoked mackerel. Using smoked mackerel means you can just flake the mackerel over at the end which is great if you’re short on time though the sauce would be delicious with any grilled fish. (I realise I go a bit heavy on the mackerel on this blog and aim to mix it up in the future.) I’ve bought a ton of awesome cookbooks on Kindle store that I don’t often look at – I find it easier to pick up an actual book. However, there’s this great ‘collections’ function so now I have all of them in one place. This recipe (well the sauce) was from ‘Everyday Harumi.

‘ Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 fillets of mackerel
  • 2 servings white rice
  • 50ml sake (or dry sherry)
  • 50ml mirin
  • 30ml soy sauce (2 tbsp)
  • 1.5 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp water
  • 15g fresh ginger
  • togarashi (Japanese 7 spice) – not obligatory but sooo good

Method

1.) Put the rice on to cook. The food is so quick, you may want to have it almost done.

2.) Chop the florets off the broccoli and simmer in a pan

3.) Peel and grate the ginger

4.) Make the sauce by heating the sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce and water in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil until the sauce has thickened then turn down the heat and add the ginger and cook down for a couple more minutes.

5.) When the rice is done, plate up and sprinkle over some togarashi

6.) Flake the mackerel and serve over the rice. Serve up the broccoli and spoon over the sauce.

Scallop gratin with artichoke salad

So far my week off work has been more stressful than I was originally hoping. My cat, Figaro got a stomach upset on Easter bank holiday when all the vets were closed except the emergency one miles from our home. Giving him a new flavour of the pet food he normally eats was enough to do it. After two trips to the vet and being hand-fed for 4 days he finally seems to be on the mend. I nearly had a heart attack when my other cat, Gino came bursting through the cat flap with what looked to be a broken paw. Fortunately he’d just gotten his paw stuck in his collar and there was nothing wrong with him. At least I had a nice treat with this delicious scallop gratin.

This recipe works with the tiny frozen scallops you get from the supermarket, I just defrosted them before using. The version in the book is served in the scallop shells but I used ramekins. The recipes are from the book ‘Cicchetti’ – a book of small Italian dishes that I really love.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 10 small scallops
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 30g butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5g parsley leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 5g chives
  • 2 tins artichoke hearts
  • 30g parmesan
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Peel and chop the garlic, finely chop the parsley

3.) Melt the butter in a pan and then add the garlic and 1/3 of the parsley

4.) Arrange the scallops in 2 ramekins

5.) When the oven is ready, pour the breadcrumbs into the butter and give them a stir

6.) Divide the breadcrumbs between the ramekins and place the ramekins on a baking tray

7.) Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown

8.) While the scallops are baking, grate the parmesan

9.) Add to a mixing bowl, drain the tins of artichoke hearts and chop up

10.) Put the artichokes in the mixing bowl and add the rest of the parsley, some seasoning, mustard and the oil and give it a good mix

11.) Chop up the chives to serve with the scallops and artichokes.

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Cauliflower Pizza

So if you overindulged at Easter but you still want to tuck in to some pizza, here’s the solution. The base of this thing is just basically cauliflower and egg. Obviously it’s not as good as a real bread based pizza but after visiting Naples and noticing the pure number of gluten-free options available there, maybe it’s not such a good idea to eat pasta and bread all the time. Load this up with your favourite toppings – I went for cheese, tuna and olives. Very un-Italian as it’s basically a sin over there to pair fish with cheese – something I categorically disagree with. I love the creaminess of the cheese with the salty fish, also great on a panini/toastie.

Serves 4 as a light meal with some salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower (mine was around 730g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp parmesan
  • 150g cheese (I went for mature cheddar – it’s a staple in my house)
  • Some kind of jarred tomato sauce
  • 1 tin tuna
  • 15 olives

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 210 degrees C

2.) Line a pizza tray with parchment paper (I used foil but had some issues with sticking)

3.) Roughly chop the cauliflower and blend in a food processor, it’s easier to do this in batches.

4.) Get a clean tea towel and spread it out, put the blitzed cauliflower in the middle of the towel. Scrunch up the tea towel and press out any excess water over the sink. I didn’t have a lot, it more just dampened the tea towel.

5.) Put the cauliflower into a microwave proof bowl and cook for 5 minutes.

6.) In another container, crack and beat the eggs.

7.) Grate the parmesan.

8.) When the cauliflower is done, add the parmesan and the onion powder. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes.

9.) Add the eggs and mix in.

10.) Tip the cauliflower onto the pizza tray and pat out to the shape of it.

11.) Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and firm.

12.) While the base is cooking, grate the cheddar, chop the olives roughly and open and drained the tinned tuna.

13.) Once the base is done, spread over the tomato sauce to cover, sprinkle over the cheese, tuna and olives

14.) Bake for a further 10 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.