Date Archives March 2015

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.

Amaretto Pannacotta, Rose Rhubarb, Pistachio Shortbread


A beautiful, delicious, creamy, soothing, sweet and flavoursome dessert to top off a wonderful Mother’s Day supper. My mother personified in a pleasing dessert. Elegant, beautiful and who doesn’t love a creamy vanilla speckled pannacotta? Obviously with a splash of booze as it was only fitting and with the simplest quirky touch of rose for added originality. And as one of my mums favourite puddings it was always on the menu. With shortbread of course. I think I’d have been hung and gutted if I hadn’t made any if I’m honest. Even if we were having pancakes! You can totally adapt this recipe too adding different liquors and roasting different fruits. Adding different nuts and flavours to your biscuits too. Try frangelico pannacotta, hazelnut shortbread and cinnamon honey roasted figs.


Serves 6

Amaretto Pannacotta

  • 500ml double cream
  • 125ml milk
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tbsp amaretto liqueur (or another if preferred, e.g. Frangelico?)
  • 3 leaves/sheets gelatine
  1. Find yourself either 6 pannacotta moulds (This is if you want to turn these out onto a plate to eat. It is up to you. I prefer the less hassle and neater presentation approach to serving these in glasses) or 6 glasses of choice to serve you pannacotta in and place on tray.
  2. Heat the double cream, milk, sugar and cinnamon stick in a saucepan over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar and infuse the cinnamon.
  3. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and whisk into the heating cream. Add the pod too and bring to just under a simmer.
  4. Remove from the what and leave to infuse for 20 minutes or so.
  5. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water meanwhile.
  6. Sieve or pick out the cinnamon stick and the vanilla pod and discard. Bring the pan back onto the heat and warm through.
  7. Squeeze out the gelatine leaves and then whisk into the warm cream.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a good reliable pouring jug and divide the mixture between the glasses. (TIP: Measure the mixture first and then divide this by 6 so that you end up with 6 even glasses. It is also worth whisking the mixture between pouring so you don’t end up with all the tasty black and precious vanilla seeds at the bottom of the jug!)
  9. Carefully place the tray in the fridge and leave to set. Ideally make these in the morning for use for dinner.
  10. Bring to room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving. Turn out any that are in pannacotta moulds. Serve with the warm rhubarb compote on top.

Rose Roasted Rhubarb

  • 500g pink forced Spring Rhubarb
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • ¾ tsp rosewater
  • 1 tbsp rose petals
  • Handful pistachio nuts, crushed
  1. Preheat the oven to about 160°C.
  2. Cut your rhubarb into 2inch chunks on the diagonal.
  3. Place in a baking dish and drizzle with the honey. Add the rosewater and mix.
  4. Cover with foil and roast for about 30 minutes until its soft. remove the foil and return to the oven for about 10 more minutes or so.
  5. Serve warm on top of the chilled pannacotta, scattered with a few rose petals and some crushed pistachio nuts.

Pistachio Shortbread

  • 125g cold, cubed butter
  • 175g plain flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 40g pistachios
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 and line a baking tray with parchment
  2. In a food processor, combine the butter, flour and 50g of sugar and blend until it begins to clump and form a dough
  3. Next in a pestle and mortar pound the nuts coarsely until you form small pieces.
  4. Add half to the dough and pulse again briefly in the processor to diffuse.
  5. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to bring to a ball of dough.
  6. Halve the dough to make it easier to work with as you can now deal with it in two batches. Roll to the thickness of a pound coin and then use a cutter of choice to make your shortbread before placing on the baking tray.
  7. Combine the remaining pounded nuts with the 10g of sugar and scatter liberally over the biscuits.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just beginning to turn a light golden brown.
  9. Leave to cool before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

To serve: Serve the pannacotta slightly chilled (remove from the fridge for about 5 minute before serving) topped with the warm rhubarb and a side order of buttery shortbread


Harissa Salmon

This is a beautiful salmon recipe. Not just aesthetically but a taste bud teaser too. And not just for salmon….the first time I made this I used a lovely white sea bream fillet which also stands up to the harissa flavour well. Harissa is a lovely firey Tunisian paste made form red peppers, hot chillis and spices and has a natural affinity with rose from its neighbouring Moroccan friend. Salmon filliets rubbed in this spicy paste and cooled with a vibrant lime and turmeric yoghurt were a match made in North African Tunisian heaven.


Serves 2

  • 2 salmon (or sea bream) fillets
  • 1 heaped tsp harissa paste
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • Small knob of fresh turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Coriander to garnish
  • Rose petal to garish (optional)
  • Brown rice/couscous to serve
  1. Begin by marinading the salmon fillets. Mix together the cumin and harissa in a bowl and rub the salmon fillets in this paste all over. Season and set aside for a few hours in the fridge to infuse
  2. Meanwhile, make the yoghurt. Mix together the yoghurt, zest and ½ the juice of the lime and season. Grated in the turmeric root (careful it will stain your hands!) and finally stir in the ground turmeric.
  3. Season well and taste. Add more lime juice if you think it needs more zesty taste. Set aside
  4. When ready to cook your salmon, heat to over to 190°C.
  5. Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat and add 1tbsp oil.
  6. Fry the salmon, skin side down to crisp the skin for about 1-2 minutes. The harissa may catch and look burnt but this is ok. Turn to sear on the flesh side for a further minute to create a golden crust.
  7. Immediately transfer to the oven on a foil lined baking tray and cook for about 5 minutes depending on how thick your salmon is. Don’t be tempted to over cook this! Salmon will take no time at all in a hot oven and will carry on cooking when removed anyway.
  8. Serve the salmon on a generous spoonful of your creamy yoghurt. Top with a scattering of rose petals and chopped coriander alongside some rice or couscous.

Banana and Blueberry Bread

How on earth we are already in March I don’t know?! I began the year with a triumphant new years ambition to develop my humble blog, challenge my culinary skills and pepper it with new recipes. However due to a number of unexpected hurdles over the past months this hasn’t been actioned as much as I’d like! With a very busy and eventful week at work under my belt and a browning bowl of bananas sitting provocatively on the kitchen table I thought of nothing better than to create the comforting, warming and homely delights of a banana bread loaf to scoff with tea. Studded with crunchy pecans and soft sharp blueberries it is delicious eaten alone or toasted with ice cream. I love the use of muscovado sugar in this recipe which was a deviation from my usual (and reliable) recipe using a more refined caster sugar. But its treacle like flavour and depth adds a decadent dimension to this classic.

Makes 1 loaf or 4 mini loaves

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125g softened butter
  • 235g muscovado sugar
  • 400g ripe bananas (about 4 )
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g blueberries
  • 50g chopped pecans
  • 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 1 x 400g loaf tin or 4 small loaf tins
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and muscovado sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in the eggs, bit by bit.
  4. Mash the bananas with a fork in another bowl and add the vanilla extract. Combine thoroughly with the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Sieve the flour and baking powder over the mixture and fold in to combine.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries and pecans until evenly distributed
  7. Spoon the mixture into the lined tins.
  8. Scatter the top with a generous dusting of ground cinnamon and then top with the crunchy demerara sugar to create a nice crust.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes for the small tins and around 50 minutes for a large loaf tin. Check after 30 minutes regardless and remove from the oven when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool in their tins and then remove.
  11. Slice and serve layered with cinnamon mascarpone, yoghurt or warm with ice cream.