Posts tagged seabass

Raw Citrus Salad

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f you’ve been (un)lucky enough to experience the heat wave that swept the UK last week then you’ll probably agree that appetites change from being food dominant to a welcome craving for frosty, cold and delicious beers. Iced rose if thats more your thing, or perhaps just a freshly made lemonade in the sunshine. However, food still has its place but freshness, lightness and nothing too heavy takes the culinary crown. This salad was perfect after what was probably the hottest day of the year so far. After trawling over London for a meeting – which at the time felt dramatically reminiscent of a desert voyage – I was in no fit state for cooking anything too warm later that evening….

This therefore seemed the perfect opportunity to make a fresh salad but one to replenish the nutrients. And time to crack out an ingredient that’s been waiting patiently in my pantry for the past few months. A little gift from overseas from the Norwegian’s.  I’ve not seen a oil like this before but have been delighting in it since. Whilst I’ve tried flavoured oils in the past which I’ve found to be either bland or synthetic, this little oil/balsamic combo – mandarin oil with an epic peach and apricot balsamic – served neat and combined in equal measures with some crusty bread for dipping was amazing! I instantly thought seafood, fennel, and raw salads….after thoughts of frosty beers and rose. I did mention it was very hot…

With a lack of garden space or even a balcony in London (sympathy welcomed) there was sadly no place for a BBQ here. But if you do then this would be an amazing salad served with charred barbecued squid or octopus. Or keep it simple and griddle your asparagus or sea bass. The smoky bbq flavour is perfect for anything citrus here.

Like I said, its a meal for a hot day…minimal effort, more an assembly of flavours. Feel free to add in any other ingredients of choice or fish and seafood.

*NOTE – if you’ve no time to pop to Norway for these delights, a really good extra virgin olive oil with either a generous squeeze of lemon/lime/orange would work a treat. Try adding a few very thin slices of orange segments or grated zest too. Blood orange if you’re feeling extravagant.

Serve 2

  • 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced wafer thin (using a mandolin if you have one)
  • 1 handful walnuts, toasted and lightly crushed
  • Small bunch fresh basil and mint, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon/orange/lime
  • Extra virgin olive oil and 1 orange OR flavoured citrus oil or equivalent to above
  • 2 sea bass fillets (or as above, squid, octopus etc)
  1. Hest a frying pan/griddle pan to medium high and add a splash of light olive oil. Griddle the asparagus spears to just take off the rawness for a few minutes until beginning to char. Season and remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the celery, shaved fennel, toasted walnuts and finely chopped herbs.
  3. When the asparagus spears have cooled a little, add them to bowl.
  4. Season and grate in the zest of half the lemon.
  5. The next bit if up to you. Add the citrus oil, and the juice of half a lemon or add the juice of an orange/lime and some plain, extra virgin olive oil. Its all about taste. You need a fresh citrus flavour but it needs to be balanced.
  6. Set aside once done. Fry your fish and serve atop your fresh salad.

I served mine alongside some roasted carrots …I’ll admit this isn’t supporting the cooling and ‘non hassle’ trend I championed above. What can I say, the frosty beer worked a treat…

  • Slice 2-3 large carrot into chunky diagonal chunks
  • Season and drizzle with olive oil
  • Scatter with 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
  • Roast for about 25 minutes until starting to caramelise and soften. Check after this time and leave in longer if needed.
  • 5 minutes before they look ready, add 1 btsp running honey and combine. roast for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and served, slightly cooled, with your citrus salad (also lovely to add chopped parsley and crumbled feta/goats cheese)

 

Fennel and Sumac Seabass

 

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love fennel. I love sumac. I love sea bass. This will be a short blog post. If you’re new to sumac its commonly found as a pretty pink powder made from berries that are dried and ground and has a lovely tart/sour taste to give a sharp kick. Lovely sprinkled on flavoured yoghurts, in flatbreads, on humus or rubbed lovingly into chicken, vegetables and meats. Controversially it could be a bit pungent for delicate sea bass but its lemony flavour is a lovely match.

Being one of Ottolenghi’s favourite spices…need I say more….

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tbsp sumac (see here but this can be found in all supermarkets)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 seabass fillet (or sea bream/other white fish fillets)
  1. Dry toast the fennel seed in a dry hot frying pan until fragrant. Remove from the heat and add to a pestle and mortar. Grind well.
  2. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Score the sea bass fillets with a single cut on the skin side to avoid curling while cooking. Then massage the fennel into each fillet and a pinch of the sumac (the remainder of the sumac is best sprinkled on after) with a splash or oil. Leave to rest until needed
  4. When ready to cook, heat a frying pan on medium high. Fry skin side dow for 2-3 minutes until he flesh side is beginning to turn white.
  5. Turn and finish the cooking for 30seconds – 1 minute.
  6. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with the ground sumac and a good wedge of lemon juice!

 

Chana Dahl and Flatbread

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e all know our favourite comfort foods on a cold, challenging day or just after a bit of a tough one be it winter or summer. They usually consist of English favourites like bangers and mash or a hearty pie. Mine vary throughout the seasons but usually consist of a creamy coconut rice topped with Asian salmon (recipe here) or a big bowl of fish soup. But dahl is another comfort food altogether and one that so effortlessly lives up to the job.

There are many types of dahl, made from varying pulses. Having sampled ‘Dishmoon‘s’ infamous black dahl I’ve been on a quest to make a rival recipe! I religiously order it with every visit to Dishoom. I even have a colleague who orders a portion with the bill so he gets a bowl ‘to go’. Its that good! However, I’ll be confidently honest here and admit that my attempt at a black dahl (recipe here) ticked the box for me in terms of flavour and decadence.

However, this variation is suitably named as ‘Speedy dahl’. The flavour is there but you don’t get the depth that you get from a slow cooked and infused recipe with commitment of time and love. So, after a long run around London last Sunday afternoon, a cold bitter chill in the air and a deserving appetite I set my pan on the hob to master a new recipe. Serve in bowlfuls with roti, naan, chapatis or flatbread alone or refined here with a piece of elegantly friend sea bass, it’ll offer the comfort you need. Its a hug in a bowl…..

Serves 4

  • 3 tsp cumin and coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
  • onion, finely chopped
  • Knob ginger (about 35g), finely pounded with a pestle & mortar/grated
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely pounded with a pestle & mortar/grated
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml coconut milk
  • 250g yellow split peas (rinsed well)
  • 3-4 small green chillies, finely chopped
  • fresh curry leaves
  • 1-2 limes
  • Coriander, roughly chopped
  1. To start, drain the split peas well in 4-5 changes of water then allow them to sit in a bowl of water while you start the dahl.
  2. Dry fry the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds in a hot frying pan until fragrant. Next pound in a pestle and mortar.
  3. Add the turmeric, garam masala and set aside
  4. Heat the coconut oil in a hot frying pan and sweat the onion of ragout 10 minutes until soft and beginning to carmalise.
  5. Next add the ginger, garlic and chopped chillies and cook for a few more minutes.
  6. Add the dry spices (and a touch more coconut oil if needed) and stir all to combine, frying the spiced onions for 2-3 minutes more.
  7. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and the curry leaves. Drain the split peas and add these too.
  8. Bring to the simmer and then allow to bubble slowly and gently for about 1 – 1.1/2 hours (alternatively pop in a low 150°C oven with a lid on) until the split peas become tender and begin to break down. Keep an eye on it while it simmers so it doesn’t catch on the bottom. Add a touch of water if its drying out.
  9. After this time and the lentils are soft, remove from the heat. Use a potato masher to gently ‘mush’ the lentils into a paste. This is just to make it thicker, you don’t need to aim for a smooth dahl.
  10. Taste and season well and add the juice of at least 1 lime or more if required. It should lift the taste of the whole dahl.
  11. Scatter with the coriander and the dahl is ready to serve!

I served mine with fennel seed flatbreads (recipe here). Amend the spice/seeds as needed.

Indian Fish

You can use any fish here. I made this with a generous plumpy salmon on Mother’s Day, a clean mango ribbon salad, coriander lime chickpeas and Peshwari naan. However, sea bass this evening served with pistachio, coriander and cinnamon raisin rice and greens was equally as delicious and adoring. Both with this creamy, cooling cardamon laden, lime spiked yoghurt splashed slap-handedly over the spicy garam marsala crust is enough to satisfy even the most adoring Indian take-out stalker.

Serves 2

  • 2 x salmon or seabass fillets
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • Juice and zest 1 lime
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon
  1. Mix together the garam masala and oil in a bowl and coat the fish fillets with your hands. Set aside in the fridge to marinade for 2 hours or so
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the yoghurt, lime zest and juice and the cardamon. Season and taste.
  3. If using salmon, preheat the oven to 200°C. When ready to cook, bring a frying pan up to a high heat. Add 1tbsp of olive oil.
  4. When hot, add the fish skin side down and hold down to prevent the skin curling up.
  5. Fry for 2 minutes until eh skin is lovely and crisp. If using sea bass, fry until just cooked and turn onto the flesh side to finish cooking for the final minute (about 3 minutes cooking in total). If using salmon, fry until the skin is crisp and then place in the hot oven for about 7 minutes depending on their size. If they are thick fillets (2inch or so) allow this time. If thinner (1cm or so) allow about 5 minutes, Do not overcook!
  6. Serve the spicy, warm and soft fish fillets with a spoonful of creamy yoghurt and scattering of fresh coriander leaf.

Seabass in a Fragrant Coconut Sauce

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As an avide foodie I crave and adore nothing more than a night in with a new recipe, ingredient, technique or guest to experiment on for the blog! Cheaper, more fun and far more relaxing. However, since moving to London the expanse of diverse, exciting and vibrant culinary pop-ups, restaurants, cafes and bars has stolen part of my attention which had been held hostage to the blog for a long while. I rarely eat out, only really on occasion. And then, nothing pains and bruises me more than ordering (or eating!) something I could have made myself. Be it better, warmer, larger or cheaper! Hence, I choose my dining locations carefully and my menu choices with thought.

However, as a fellow foodie, my willing sister and I venture out on a monthy or so basis to one of London’s restaurants to excite our taste buds, get inspiration and frankly for a girly catch up. Our list of ‘must try restaurants’ is only growning sadly. It seems that once one is ticked off another is added. We’ve had some great food but last Friday, after long frustrating working weeks, a home cooked delicious meal was in order. A few luxurious king prawns, a little love, time and attention and an aromatic riesling guaranteed and certainly delivered a more relaxing, cheaper, (boozier…..ahem…..) and enjoyable evening. This dish was delicious and hit the spot for flavour, decadence (without being time consuming I add, especially if you miss out the stock infusion at the start) and highly satisfying. Followed by a few too many scoops of my cheats salted caramel ice cream it was agreed that an evening in was far more rewarding and enjoyable than filling London’s bars and tills with our hard earned cash!

Serves 4

  • 4 seabass fillets
  • 8-10 large raw whole king prawns (win heads and shell) Optional – if you want to make a flavoursome stock. Raw cleaned prawns are fine if not.
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Thumb sized piece ginger, grated
  • 20g tumeric root, grated
  • 1 large red chilli (heat according to taste)
  • 350ml fish stock
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 stick lemongrass
  • 1 Kaffir lime leaf
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Bunch spring onions, chopped
  • Large bunch coriander, chopped
  • 2 limes, 1 cut into wedges to serve
  • Around 8oz rice – I used red Camargue rice
  • Greens to serve e.g. mange tout, pak choi etc.
  1. [This first step is optional and can be skipped. It will add a depth of flavour to the dish by using the shells and heads to enrich your fish stock. Peel the shells and heads from the prawns keeping the prawns for later. Heat a little oil in a saucepan on a medium high heat and add the shells and heads. Fry for about 5-8 minutes until they turn pink and begin to release their flavour and oily orangey juices. After this time, add the hot fish stock and simmer gently for about 4 minutes.
  2. Sieve through a fine sieve into a jug or another saucepan retaining all the liquid but then discard the shells. Keep the stock warm until needed.]
  3. Next, heat a tsp of coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan. Fry the ginger, tumeric, garlic and chilli for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  4. Bash the lemongrass with the back of a knife a few times to open up the layers and add to the pan with the lime leaf and simmer gently for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce and let the faours infuse.
  5. Add the fish sauce (I suggest adding it a tbsp at a time and tasting in between as once its in you can’t take it out again!).
  6. I made this a day ahead and I really think it benefitted from some time infusing in the pan while quietly chilling in the fridge (especially using the lime leave and lemongrass which will release thier flavours endlessly). I recommend at this stage to remove from the heat and leave to cool and infuse overnight. If not, continue as below.
  7. Simmer (or reheat, depending on your method) the sauce until you reach the desired creamy consistency you prefer then remove the lemongrass and lime leaf and discard. Stir in the chopped spring onions and coriander. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm while you prepare the rest.
  8. Cook your rice and add the juice of 1 lime to the drained hot grains and set aside to keep warm.
  9. Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat and add another tsp or so of coconut oil. Cut your seabass fillets in half if you wish, and score the skin to stop them curling up on frying. Fry, skin side down for 2-3 minutes, flipping only whe the skin is crisp and the flesh is almost done which you will see when the majority of it has turned white.
  10. While the seabass is cooking, add your prawns to the hot coconut sauce. Add them when the sauce is barely simmering to gently and lightly cook the prawns. Don’t overcook these or they will go all chewy. They need very little time and heat so a brief blast in the hot sauce until they just turn pink will do sufficiently.
  11. To serve, divide the lime rice among large warmed soup bowls.
  12. Top with the seabass fillets and divide the creamy sauce around the outside. Scatter with any reserved coriander and a juicy zesty wedge of lime!

To serve – I served mine with some briefly blanched sugar snap peas and mange tout. Drained and dressed quickly with a teaspoon of sesame oil while still hot and scattered with nigella seeds.

NOTE: This would also work very well with salmon. Feel free to gently poach the fillets in the coconut sauce for a different technique. Serve with any greens you like. Another addition would be to grate in some fresh coconut for added texture and taste.

WINE: Served with a lovely aromatic riesling to balance with the spice in this dish. Or a beer if you prefer! See here for some lovely suggestions.

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To follow if you’re feeling like you need a Friday treat…………

  1. Mix 1 can caramel condensed milk, 300ml single cream, 1 ½ tsp flaky maldon salt, crumbled in a tupperware. Freeze until set and then devour! NO CHURNING INVOLVED! (Crumble in some roasted hazelnuts, walnuts peanuts or pecans if you like)
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Moules Mariniere Sauce, Crushed Potatoes, Crispy Seabass

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I adore devouring big bowls of French and simply cooked mussels. Albeit shamefully with a dainty bowl (large bucket) of lightly salted (heavily salted) crispy French fires (never chips….its got to be fries. Like the ones McDonalds do). I have many happy memories of enjoying this meal with my best friend in our local Wiltshire gastro pub with a side order of gossip after a relaxing ride. Seeing as she’s embarked on an adventure to Abu Dhabi to conquer the world of financial advising and make us our millions I could only experiment with the classic moules mariniere and wish she was here to enjoy it with me.

After following the ever dramatic and addictive Masterchef final this week, one of my favourite chefs Tom Kerridge showcased one of his signature dishes. His take on the classic moules served with a creamy topped stoat foam. Whilst I love mussels I often finish the meal still feeling hungry, dissatisfied and with sticky garlicky fingers. So, picked from the protective homes of their shells and tossed in a creamy sauce Tom’s method seemed like a much more relaxing eat. This is certainly a cheap eat (£1.50 for a bag of mussels!) that boasts rich expensive flavour that looks and tastes luxurious. My take on moules mariniere with crushed new potatoes and crispy skinned seabass.

(By the way, the reason I always use seabass is I LOVE IT! But feel free to use another white fish here such as bream, cod of haddock.)

Serves 2

  • 2 seabass fillets
  • 1kg mussels,
  • About 8 small new potatoes
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely diced
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • Large knob butter (about 30g)
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche
  • To serve – lemon, green beans/samphire
  1. Start by cleaning and de-bearding the mussels. Chuck away any with cracked shells or that are open and don’t shut quickly when tamped sharply on the kitchen surface (Only cook closed mussels; only eat open ones).
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. For the potatoes, par-boil until soft but make sure they are not waterlogged and falling apart and drain. Crush lightly with the back of a fork, season well and toss with olive oil.
  3. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until crispy.
  4. For the mussels and sauce heat the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat until it beings to foam adding a little oil to stop it burning. Add the garlic, carrot and shallot and gently soften for about ten minutes.
  5. Turn up the heat and add the wine. Reduce slightly. Add the mussels to the pan, place the lid on and allow to simmer for about 3-4 minutes. The mussels are ready as soon as they open.
  6. Once open remove the pan from the heat. Carefully pick the mussel meat from the shells (discard these) and return the meat to the wine sauce. Place back on the heat and simmer gently to reduce slightly. Add the creme fraiche and season to taste. Finally stir in the parsley and a little lemon juice and keep warm while you fry the fish.
  7. Get a pan on a medium high heat. Season the fish and score the skin to prevent it curling in the pan.
  8. Fry skin side down for about 3 minutes, finishing for the finish minute on the flesh side.
  9. Serve the creamy sauce with the potatoes and fish. Serve with green beans or samphire and a squeeze of lemon juice.

WINE: Try a lovely Chablis such as Domaine Sebastien Dampt 2014 available at Armit Wines

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Jess - Chablis

Wild Garlic Pesto

 

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Free ingredients feel cheekily delicious. Whether its that buy one get one free packet of salad, that suspect lemon that apparently didn’t scan in the hands of the conveniently incompetent cashier or, in this case, the hand foraged bunch of wild garlic my sensitive foodie nose kindly led me to on a country walk this Easter. Growing in the hedgerow and just dying to be plucked and cooked these leaves are fragrant with a garlic punch.

Wild garlic should be treated more like a herb- a hardier basil. It can be sauteed in butter but not cooked as hard as a cabbage. I decided to make pesto which can be made in a pestle and mortar and I always find this satisfying and a lovely idea where you really can adjust the consistency, taste and vitally the texture to your own preference steadily and carefully. However my solid granite pestle and mortar weights a tonne and after a long day at work and a run home I wasn’t in need of a weigh session or the horrors of having to unsuccessfully scrape my delicious pesto creation into a bowl and wash up my granite weight. So….shamefully the magi mix came out to do the job for me. I bought a beautiful Godess-like pot of bushy Greek basil on the way home today and couldn’t resist adding a handful to the mix as a nod to the classic pesto but go easy as it is punchy and will overpower the beautiful garlic leaves if added too heavy handidly.

Enjoy with – roasted fish, meats, roasted sweet potato jackets, mixed into pasta sauces, stirred into soups, mixed in salad dressings. I served mine here with pan fried seabass and red camargue rice.

Makes a small bowlful (depending on the amount of oil)

  • 100g wild garlic leaves, cleaned if foraged
  • Optional – a small handful of basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 50g finely grated Parmesan
  • 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted (or walnuts)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive/rapeseed oil (up to 150ml. See note*)
  1. First, if foraged from the bushes, carefully wash the garlic leaves in cold water and pat dry or spin dry in an old school salad leaf drier.
  2. Place in a food processor with the pine nuts, garlic and basil (if using). Blend until chopped finely.
  3. Add the cheese and season.
  4. Now slowly drizzle in the oil until you get the desired consistency. I think I used about 2 tbsp for mine.
  5. Alternatively, bash the leaves with the nuts in a pestle and mortar before adding the cheese and stirring in the oil.
  6. Add seasoning to taste and adjust with whatever you think it needs, a hint of lemon juice perhaps!

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NOTE* – the amount of oil will depend on a few things but I personally like my pesto thick as its more concentrated and punchy in flavour and healthier as it uses less oil. It will also depend on how long you want to keep it. If you plan on storing in your fridge for a bit, pop into a sterilised jar and make sure there is enough oil to cover and seal it from exposure and oxidation.

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Spring Supper (Seabass, minted pea puree, roasted parsnips, chorizo)

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Finally the evenings are getting longer and the evening light is perfect for photography and dining in the sun (not warmth quite yet unfortunately). Home to the countryside for Easter weekend and the warm days continued. Good Friday called for good food. Naturally. This dish seemed to personify the start of spring and a spring cleaning of the diet and lifestyle. Except if you’d given up chocolate for lent that is. You folks will probably be in a cocoa comma still….this dish may help?

Serves 2

  • 2 seabass fillets
  • 250g peas
  • Handful mint leaves
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • Large knob butter
  • 100g chorizo, chopped
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan
  1. Parsnips – season well and coat in olive oil. Roast at 200°C for 25-30 minutes until tender and crisp.
  2. Parmesan wafer – Line a baking tray with non stick parchment and spoon the parmesan into a cookie cutter to form a circle – don’t be tempted to press the cheese down as it will melt on cooking. Bake for 5 minutes at 200°C until melted and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before peeling gently from the parchment.
  3. Minted pea puree – boil the peas with half the mint leaves for a few minutes until soft. Drain while reserving the minty cooking water and tip into a food processor. Add a large knob of butter, salt and pepper, the fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and blend to a puree. Add some of the reserved cooking water a bit at a time to thin it down until you reach the desired consistency.
  4. Chorizo – heat a frying pan until hot. Fry the chorizo in the dry pan until it starts to release its oily juice and crisp up. Keep warm.
  5. Seabass- season the seabass fillets well making a slit in the skin side to stop it curling up on cooking. Coat in a light drizzle of olive oil. Heat a frying pan to a medium-high setting and fry the seabass fillets, skin side down, for about 3 minutes until crispy skinned and mostly cooked. Turn for the final minute to finish the cooking and squeeze with a splash of lemon juice.
  6. Top serve – lay the roasted parsnips on the plate and spoon on some pea puree. Top with the seabass and spoon over the chorizo and drizzle with some of the oils. Complete with the parmesan wafer!

Delicious served with a chilled glass of Italian, Puglian Verdeca. I had the pleasure of working at a recent event with the producer – Masserai Li Veli. Delicious. humble and organically produced wines. See here for where to buy some!

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Chorizo and Balsamic Lentils

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This weekend I journeyed home for a village pig feast that has been vigorously and unheathily circled in the diary for a while! I’ll explain. My home village where I grew up and spent my life can be imaged as a hybrid of the ‘Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ (without the killings I stress!) A Wiltshire village with a stereotypical local pub, glorious fields and the strong signature smell of manure tainting the air like the smell of perfume at the duty free! For the past few years we’ve shared the caring, feeding and more importantly eating, of two village pigs who we take in turns to feed and water only to butcher respectfully 6 months down the line and divide up the takings. From piglets to healthy happy curly tailed porkers the sausages and juicy joints of pork that have filled our freezer for a long while have been some of the best I’ve had. We’ve had some teathing issues along the way but nothing can beat the taste of happy wholesome and local meat. So this weekend we saved a giant leg to roast and feast on with all the team! It was delicious and I have nothing else to add.

However, after a rich and fatty roast with shards of caramel cracking, sweet and sharp apple sauce and lashings of wine (perhaps too many lashings?) I craved the fresh flavours of fish and vegetables. This little dish is so simple to knock out but so tasty and pleasing in many ways.

Serves 2

  • 2 seabass fillets, seasoned
  • 4oz Puy lentils
  • 100g chorizo
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • Bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Vegetables to serve
  1. Simmer the Puy lentils for about 15 minutes until soft and tender but with a slight bite (don’t let them get mushy). Drain and keep warm.
  2. Chop the chorizo into hearty chunks and fry in a medium hot pan until they begin to release their scarlet oils. Add in the garlic and fry for a few more minutes but don’t burn so keep an eye out.
  3. Turn up the heat a little and add the vinegar (and stick on the extractor fan as it will be pungent!). Simmer the vinegar until thickened and syrupy.
  4. Add this chorizo mix with the oily balsamic juices to the lentils. Grate in the zest of the lemon and add the herbs and season. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Fry the seabass fillets, lightly seasoned, in a tsp of hot oil for a matter of 2-3 minutes on the skin side until crisp turning for the last 30 seconds to finish off.
  6. Serve the lentils topped with the seabass and some freshly steamed and buttery asparagus or green beans.

Fish, Asian Noodles, Crispy Ginger

I adore this Asian-flavoured dressing! Its originally from ‘Jamie At Home’ (with a little adaptation) to dress his winter roast squash and duck salad which I must admit is one of my foodie downfalls. I just cannot CANNOT resist seconds, thirds and usually fourths. Much of its moreish teasing comes from this powerful killer dressing. Here I used it to coat some warm and obligingly absorbant noodles, mixed with some crunchy peanuts for texture and topped with a hearty piece of moist fish and crispy ginger strips. Shamefully I devoured mine with a fork. However- after a recent outing for a sushi lunch, I must admit my chop stick skills are progressing. Slowly.

Serves 2

Dressing

  • 1-2 large limes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated/finely crushed
  • Bunch coriander
  • 2 spring onions
  • Large knob of ginger

Fish and noodles

  • 2 seabass fillets (or anything white fish e.g. seabream, cod, haddock)
  • 2 dried noodles nests/ rice noodles
  • 6 raw king prawns
  • Handful of mange tout
  • Handful roasted salted peanuts
  • Knob ginger
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  1. Start with the ginger so it has time to dry out as much as possible before frying. Finely slice the ginger into thin strips or matchsticks. Dry out between two sheets of kitchen roll and set aside.
  2. Make the dressing. Squeeze the lime juice and zest of 1 lime into a jam jar. Add just under the same amount of extra virgin olive oil. Add the sesame oil, soy, sugar, chilli and garlic. Grate in the ginger and finely chop the green tops of the spring onions and add these. Add a small handful of chopped coriander leaves and then place the lid on the jar and shake to mix. Adjust the taste to your liking, adding more soy for seasoning and more lime for that kick.
  3. Chop the remaining spring onions and coriander and set aside in a bowl with the peanuts to garnish later.
  4. For the crispy ginger, heat a shallow layer of sunflower oil in a pan. Shallow fry the ginger for about 30 seconds or so until golden brown. Spoon out onto kitchen to drain and season with salt. Leave aside to crisp.
  5. Bring a saucepan of light stock to the simmer and get a frying pan over a highish heat. Simmer and cook the noodles for about 5 minutes throwing in your mange tout towards the end.
  6. Meanwhile, cook your seasoned sea bass fillets, skin side down, for about 3 minutes until a crispy skin forms. Turn for the remaining minute to cook through and add the prawns and cook, for a matter of a minute, until pink.
  7. Once the noodle are cooked drain them quickly while retaining a little of the starchy cooking water and return to the pan. Add the dressing and mix until it is coated and absorbed.
  8. Add a handful of the coriander, peanut and spring onion mix, saving a handful for the top.
  9. Spoon the noodles into large bowls, top with the fish and prawns. Scatter with the remaining peanuts, coriander and spring onion garnish and top with the crispy ginger.

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