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Back in the 70’s this Marie-Rose sauce was used a lot in ‘prawn cocktails’ and since then it’s come to be seen as a bit outdated.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

Miso Mushroom porridge

I’m not sure if this counts as ‘brinner’ – ‘breakfast for dinner’, because of the porridge. Maybe so as I’d happily eat it for breakfast too. I did very much enjoy having soup and mackerel for breakfast in Japan and Vietnam. The recipe from Deliciously Ella – Quick and Easy instantly appealed to me. I’d had congee before – savoury porridge with rice, but never with oats and I did enjoy it. I like to think of it as a Japanese-British fusion as I don’t think oats exist in Japan.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 120g porridge oats
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tsp miso paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 punnet shitake mushrooms
  • 1 lemon
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 avocado
  • 50g spinach
  • seasoning

Method

1.) Peel and dice the onion and garlic

2.) Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion and cook on a low heat for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes until all is soft.

3.) Wash and roughly chop the mushrooms. In another pan, cook them in some oil until brown.

4.) When the mushroom is cooked, add 1 tsp of the miso, cut the lemon in half and squeeze in one half of the juice

5.) In a saucepan, add the oats, boil some water and measure out 100ml water and add in 50 ml milk. Add to the oats and cook on a low heat until desired porridge consistency is reached. You may want to add some more water.

6.) Peel and slice the avocado

7.) When close to done, add the spinach to the pan with the oats until wilted

8.) Squeeze in the juice of the other half of the lemon, add the rest of the miso paste, season and stir.

9.) Plate up the oats and top with the mushrooms and avocado.

Cauliflower & Cherry Salad

I love cherries so much – when I was a kid I would ask for a bag of them as a snack from the grocers. Weird kid huh. Anyway I was really happy to see a recipe using them that wasn’t a dessert even if I am very partial to a cherry clafoutis. This recipe was in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’. Such a great book, I really recommend it. I subbed out brown rice for bulghar wheat and probably any mix of fresh herbs would be fine.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 200g bulghar wheat
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 200g cherries
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 30g fresh mint
  • 30g fresh dill
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C

2.) Chop up the cauliflower into florets

3.) Add the bulghar wheat and cauliflower to a pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon. Continue simmering the bulghar wheat until cooked. When done, drain and set aside to cool.

4,) Line a baking tray and place on the cauliflower. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with za’atar and salt and pepper. Get another baking tray and crush down. Leave the top tray on the cauliflower and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. (In fact I forgot to do this straight away and ended up taking the cauliflower out halfway through but I think I got away with it. It may have been easier to crush).

5.) While this is baking, prepare the cherries. Destone the cherries, roughly chop and throw into a mixing bowl.

6.) Finely chop the preserved lemon, removing the pips and add to the cherries. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice in from one of the halves. Drizzle in the honey and 3 tbsp olive oil. Give it a good mix.

7.) Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan on a low heat until they start to smell fragrant.

8.) Finely chop up the dill and mint. Mix with the bulghar wheat along with the juice from the other half of the lemon.

9.) Plate up the bulghar wheat and place on the cauliflower. Spoon over the cherry mixture, sprinkle over the pine nuts and spoon over some yoghurt.

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.