Category Seafood

Mexican Tasting Menu


exican inspiration promised and delivered. I’ll take any excuse to create a menu so a family birthday was next in line. Fresh guacamole with pico de gallo christened every evening meal for us in Mexico. We used it as a barometer for each restaurant. Each eatery had their own style but each one we tried was incredible so there was no question about it being on this tasting menu with some mezcalitas to kick things off.

My stand out food memory from the holiday was our first taste of fish tacos on day 2 in Holbox. Blue corn tortilla’s topped with perfectly soft but crunchy green tempura fish and creamy avocado as we dumped the bags and collapsed in front of our idyllic ocean view. And the tacos didn’t stop there, from prawn to chicken but always back to fish. I was skeptical about recreating these at home but relieved to say, these were delicious and offered us a mini escape back to Holbox. I’d encourage you to invest in a taco holder and some proper corn tortilla’s to make these worth their while. Whilst you can use wheat tortilla’s, the corn version (blue or white) take these to their authentic level.

My Mexican menu was created sharing and I’ve shared a few of the recipes here which I hope you enjoy.

A few staples you’ll need for this menu if you’re serious about your Mexican feasting:

  • Taco holder 
  • Corn tortilla – blue or white
  • Hand lime squeezer
  • Mezcal – we bought back 2 bottles from Mexico. Buy the best quality you can afford or use Tequila if you prefer.
  • Every bar in Mexico uses ‘Tajin’ for the chilli-salt rim on their margaritas/mezcalitas. We bought this back in our luggage but you can buy it online.
  • Plain corn tortilla chips for dipping (salted but not flavoured) – don’t even think about buying Doritos. Artisanal are the best if you can shop around. Again, blue or white corn work well. I used these blue corn chips


Guacamole with pico de gallo & black corn tortilla chips

Prawns & Mango

Black Bean & Chipotle Empanadas

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Coconut & Lime Ice Cream

Guacamole with pico de gallo & black corn tortilla chips (Serves 4 as a starter and for your fish tacos)

  • 4 large ripe avocados
  • 1-2 large limes
  • Handful coriander, chopped
  • 4 ripe large tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1-2 chillis, finely chopped
  • Tortilla chips to serve (plain)

I used a blender here but you can mash the avocados by hand with a fork also for a more rustic texture. I usually love making avocado this way but I prefer the creamier texture for serving this as a sharing starter with chips.

  1. Blend the avocado flesh, juice of 1 lime, chopped chilli to taste and all but a handful of the coriander in a blender with a generous pinch of flaky salt and freshly ground pepper until smooth. Taste and add more lime & salt if needed.
  2. De-seed and finely dice the tomatoes and add to a bowl. Season well with flaky salt.
  3. Add the chopped shallot, the rest of the coriander and the juice of half a lime and stir well.
  4. Leave to sit for about 30 minutes to let the salt draw out the lovely tomato juices.
  5. When ready to serve, make sure everything is at room temperature. Don’t serve straight from the fridge. Spoon half the guacamole into a serving bowl or dish and spoon over half of the pico de gallo and tuck in!

Black Bean & Chipotle Empanadas (recipe here)

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa (Serve 4 – makes about 8)

  • 500g white meaty fish – I used cod
  • 85g flour
  • 200ml sparking water, chilled
  • 1 litre sunflower oil
  • 8 white/black corn tortillas (If you can’t find corn, use wheat tortillas but you’ll benefit from the authenticity of corn!)
  • 1/2 guacamole recipe above
  • 1/2 pico de gallo recipe above
  • Roughly 1/4 of a mango, diced (leftover from your prawn and mango skewers)
  1. Cut the fish into large bitesize chunks  a few inches each and heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan until around 180℃. (If you have a deep fryer then prepare this)
  2. Make the batter by sifting the flour into a large bowl and seasoning. Whisk in the cold sparkling water, whisking until smooth.
  3. When the oil is hot enough, dip each piece of fish into the bater to very lightly coat and then quickly into the hot oil being careful not to splash yourself with the oil. You can add 3-4 pieces if they will fit at once but don’t crowd the oil. Fry for about 3 minutes until just golden, turning with a slotted spoon to ensure even colouring.
  4. Remove the fish pieces with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb the excess and repeat with the rest of the fish until all fried. If there are any crispy bits of batter left in the pan, remove these as they are great to top off the tacos.
  5. Mix the mango with the remaining pico de gallo and set aside.
  6. To assemble the tacos, lightly warm the tortilla’s in a pan or low oven and spread the corn tortilla with 1 tbsp of guacamole. Pop in 2-3 pieces of your tempura fish and place each in your taco holder.
  7. Top each with the mango/tomato salsa and any remaining crispy bater pieces and serve with lots of napkins!

Coconut Ice Cream (recipe here) – Serve with rum roasted pineapple for an extra treat!

Pearl Barley Salad & Pea Puree


haven’t blogged anything new in some time. Don’t worry I haven’t stopped cooking, our meals have just rotated between old favourites, cheap quick fixes and emergency lentils. I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with…a wedding. My wedding! My first blog post as a married woman. He was a happy man he said as he cheerfully devoured this dinner. Little does he know the menus to come…just wait for anniversary one!

The promise of a proper summer streamed through our balcony windows today and the forecast for our precious weekends begins to look brighter, dressy and filled with cold crisp pints. It is also a pinnacle time for the world opening up again. I very much look forward to stopping for an unplanned, non-booked drink at a random pub and even ordering it myself at a bar. Heck I might even pay in cash (perhaps one step too far?).

Back to this recipe. The dish is so fresh and vibrant in flavour yet it is deceivingly satiating. The barely salad is filled with summery, flavours all coated in the gorgeously sweet velvety pea that I always wish I’d made more of.

Serves 2

  • 2 fillets of fish – seabass, bream, cod – pick your favourite.
  • 300g frozen peas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 stock cube
  • 100g pearl barley
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 1 handful mint & parsley, leave picked
  • Handful of pine nuts
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 knob butter
  1. Prepare your pearl barely salad ingredients. Cut your courgette into dice, bite sized pieces and set aside.
  2. Roughly chop the herbs and grate the zest of the lemon juice on top. Set aside with the courgette.
  3. Toast you pine nuts in a dry hot frying pan until golden, set aside.
  4. Simmer the pearl barley in boiling water for about 20-30 minutes until just soft and the bite has gone. Drain and return to the pan and keep warm with a lid on. You’ll finish this at the last minute.
  5. Make you pea puree just before serving, right before you cook you fish. Prepare a pan of stock and add the garlic clove and the peas. Boil for about 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Add the peas & garlic clove only (keep the stock) to a blender/nutribullet with some seasoning and a knob of butter. Add a small splash of the hot stock to the mix but best to add little to start so you can thin it down to the desired consistency, its harder to make thicker again! Blend and add more stock to achieve a smooth creamy texture but you really don’t need a lot. You’re not looking for soup but you’re not looking for mash! Season well to taste. Set aside and keep as hot as you can while you cook the fish.
  6. Heat a frying pan until piping hot and add a tiny bit of oil. Season you fish and cook, skin side down for about 2-3 minutes, finishing for 30 seconds on the flesh side (timings for a seabass/bream fillet)
  7. Combine herbs, lemon zest, juice of the lemon, courgette and the pine nuts and mix well into the barely you set aside.
  8. Spoon a lovely ladleful of pea puree onto a plate. Top with your pearl barley salad and finally your fish fillet. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil if you like, extra pine nuts or another squeeze of lemon

Eat ideally in a sunny garden while the birds chirping in the background. I will have to settle for a balcony, London sirens but a handsome husband to gaze into the eyes of. Who knows, perhaps a garden and bird song is on our list for the next adventure.

Roasted Gnocchi, Pea Puree & Seabream


eals like this take me no time but I appreciate that isn’t always the case for everyone but if you’re comfortable with boiling, roasting and turning on a blender then you’ll do just fine. I highly recommend a good blender such as a Nutribullet/Ninja for that heavenly silky smooth pea puree but a rustic chunky version would not distract from this creation.

I love my gnocchi boiled and roasted – if you haven’t tried this before, they are essentially your ‘lazy mans’ mini roast potatoes. Crispy gnocchi on sweet and creamy peas with some fresh lemony fish. This could almost be my last supper. This recipe served 2 hungry people but would easily serve 3. Just add more peas and gnocchi to scale up.

Serves 2-3

  • 2-3 seabream fillets
  • 300g frozen peas
  • 2 tsp pesto
  • 1 stock cube
  • 1 large garlic glove, peeled
  • 500g pack of fresh gnocchi
  • 1 lemon, to serve.
  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a really generous pinch salt – as salty as the sea.
  2. Add the fresh gnocchi and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain well and then spread on a lined baking tray – don’t crowd them, they need space. Season well and drizzle lightly but evenly with some olive oil.
  3. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are turning golden like roast potatoes.
  4. To make the pea puree, add the peas to a pan and top with enough boiling water to cover. Crumble in the stock cube and stir to dissolve. Smash the peeled garlic clove with the back of a knife and add to the pan. Simmer the peas in the stock for about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, drain the peas but reserve the stock! Put the peas and garlic into a blender. Add generous salt and pepper, the pesto and a small splash of the cooking stock (you can always add more but you can’t take away!) Reserve the rest of the stock in case you need it again.
  6. Blitz the peas in your blender until silky smooth and the texture of a thick soup – add a bit more stock if needed. Taste, adjust the seasoning and set aside.
  7. Season & oil your fish fillets and either pan fry (3 minutes skin side down) or roast (about 5 minutes) with the gnocchi until just cooked.
  8. To serve, spoon a lovely smooth spoonful of pea puree into a pasta bowl. Top with your crunchy roasted gnocchi and top with your fish. Squeeze over some lovely lemon juice or zest and devour.

Cauliflower Trio & Seabream


auliflower puree*; curried roasted cauliflower; pickled cauliflower; pan fried sea bream; crispy curry leaves. Topped with a prawn bisque sauce.

*mine was more like mash…I need a new blender!

Cauliflower is clearly one of my top vegetables as you can see and it feels a bit trendy right now. Its so versatile and paired with the right flavours can provide a really meaty, satiating alternative to meat if you’re on that wagon.

With so much time on my hands my mind has been wondering to food at every opportunity – I’ve literally been dreaming about ingredients. From creating bespoke menus for friends and family when we can finally have them round to creating dishes for the mid-week, Friday nights and weekends!

Serves 2

  • 2 sea bream fillets
  • 1 whole cauliflower (large)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 50g butter
  • Splash milk
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Around 6 curry leaves
  • Prawn bisque sauce (see here) – heated for serving.
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Keep aside one to cut into thin slices for pickling.
  2. For this, put the white wine vinegar and 1 tbsp of water, and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Slice the reserved floret into thin slices and add to the pickling liquid and set aside.
  3. Keep aside an extra 6 florets and put the rest in a roasting tin and crush over the garlic. Season and add some olive/sunflower oil and roast at 200 for about 20 minutes until soft and lightly coloured.
  4. Put the remaining florets in another roasting pan and season, add the curry powder and some olive/sunflower oil and roast at 200 for 20 minutes at the same time. Remove the tray from the oven and keep warm.
  5. Put the roasted, plain cauliflower in a blender with the butter, seasoning and a splash of milk. Blend until smooth adding a splash of milk to get to the desired consistency. Taste and add seasoning if needed. Set aside keeping warm.
  6. Heat a frying pan on a very high heat and add a splash of oil. Fry the fish, skin side down for about 2 minutes until crisp. Flip and finish on the flesh side for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the curry leaves (careful as they may pop!). Fry quickly for a few minutes then remove from the oil and dry on kitchen towel.
  8. When ready to serve, spoon a nice smooth spoonful of puree onto a plate. Place around 3 of the curried florets on top followed by the fish. Place a few pickled cauliflower slices against the sides followed by the fried curry leaves.
  9. Serve with the sauce!

Lime Salmon Fillets with Mango & Tomato Salad & Pimped Sweet Potatoes


he idea of a salmon fillet covered in a spicy rub and roasted until crisp is forever pleasing. Confusingly for me, some people don’t eat the crispy skin but it is my absolute favourite especially in this recipe. Its the lime/garlic butter sauce on the side of this salmon that really packs a punch! This can be served simply with rice or a nice mango salsa but if you chose to make all 3 of these recipes then prepare for a plate of FLAVOUR! These 3 elements really pack a punch.

The mango ‘dressing’ , whilst spicy, is really refreshing with the hot salmon. The creme fraiche on the potatoes is also welcome with all the hot spice flavour but feel free to experiencing or miss out a couple of elements here.

I’ve listed each recipe separately but if making for dinner or your guests, make the salad ahead of time. Then roast the potatoes and start cooking the salmon and sauce when the potatoes are ready as they will keep warm on the side.

Serves 2

Salmon (adapted from Half baked Harvest)

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 heaped tsp chilli powder
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 heaped tsp honey
  • Handful chopped coriander
  1. Preheat the oven to 200.
  2. Place the salmon in a bowl and add the chilli powder, paprika and some olive oil. Massage the dry spices into the salmon and then chill in the fridge for a few hours or at least 10 minutes.
  3. When ready to cook, heat a frying pan until hot. Add the salmon, skin side down and cook until crisp for 3 minutes. Turn the salmon onto its flesh side to sear the outside.
  4. Place the salmon and a touch of the cooking oil onto a baking tray skin side up and bake for 5 minutes only.
  5. Whilst baking, turn the heat of the frying pan to a medium and add the butter – be sure it isn’t too hot or it will burn.
  6. Add the crushed garlic and cook quickly just to take the raw edge off. You may need to take the pan off the heat to stop it burning if its too hot.
  7. Add the lime zest and juice to the pan along with the honey and stir quickly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped coriander.
  8. When the salmon is ready add back to the pan skin side up.
  9. Serve the salmon with a spoonful of the lovely garlic, lime sauce.

Mango, Tomato & Corn Salad (adapted from Peter Gordon “Savour”)

  • Cherry tomatoes (about 250g) sliced
  • Sweetcorn, about 150g
  • 5 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 mango, peeled, chopped
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 small chilli, chopped (as hot as you like)
  • Lemon zest (half a lemon)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Combine all ingredients apart from the tomatoes, sweetcorn and spring onions in a food processor. Blend until smooth adding some olive oil to loosen to your desired texture. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  2. Combine the cherry tomatoes, corn and spring onions in a serving dish and spoon over some of the mango dressing. Serve the rest on the side.

Pimped Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 heaped tbsp half fat creme fraiche (or use soured cream)
  • Zest 1 lime
  • Chopped coriander to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 200.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges and toss with salt, pepper and a little oil on a baking tray.
  3. Roast for about 20-30 minutes until beginning to turn golden and crisp at the edges.
  4. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Grate over the zest of half the lime.
  5. Spoon over some generous tbsps of cream fraiche and top with the rest of the lim zest. Scatter with the chopped coriander.

Mango & Chilli Noodles with Prawns


eat wave London! We love and hate you. Love for the warmth, pleasure and vitamin D; hate for the fact that it reminds me so painfully that I don’t have a garden, a field surrounded house or a paddling pool. Alas, I treated us to a prawn dinner on a Tuesday night to kick start the week. We geared up the braai and threw half a kilo of juicy prawns onto the griddle. I simply marinated the prawns in some lemon zest, garlic and olive oil before cooking for about 5 minutes until vibrant orange but feel free to cook without a marinade.

I also had a deliciously big skate wing waiting patiently in the freezer. It was my first attempt at cooking skate so I decided to keep it simple to accompany our feast! Roasted at 180 for 15 minutes with some S&P and lemon slices.

Noodle Salad

Serves 2-4

  • 100g vermicelli noodles
  • 3 spring onions, sliced finely
  • 1 carrot, sliced into julienne (I’ve linked this before, but this is what you need OR just slice thinly)
  • 1 mango, chopped thinly
  • 1 handful salted peanuts
  • 1 handful coriander, chopped
  • 1 handful mint leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut (toasted lightly in a pan)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 3-4 tbsp lime juice (1-2 limes)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 birds eye chillis – chopped
  1. To make the salad, get yourself a big serving dish and add the chopped spring onions, carrot, mango, mint, coriander and toss to combine.
  2. Pour boiling water over the noodles and leave to soak for 5-10 minutes. Drain and refresh under some cool water. Drain well and add 1 tsp of sesame oil to prevent them sticking.
  3. Toss the noodles and salad ingredients well – the noodles won’t mix well with the veggies so do your best. Equally, you can cut the noodles in half with some scissors to make them easier to toss/eat.
  4. In an old jam jar, combine the soy, honey, lime, sesame oil, fish sauce and chilli and shake well (lid on obviously!). Taste and add more of what you feel it needs. I totally made this up but it tasted good!
  5. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over the noodles and toss well. Add the rest if you feel it needs it. Don’t drown your noodles! Scatter over the peanuts and sesame seeds and serve! with your BBQ prawns or some nicely grilled salmon or sea bass!

Skate wing is a delicious meaty white fish! It doesn’t have any bones but instead cartilage that lines the wing. The meat flakes away from the cartilage so nicely you won’t fear getting a stray bone! One of the nicest fish cuts I’ve had in a long time and a dream to serve.

Date Night Tasting Menu


‘m really missing hosting dinner parties and generally feeding people! We’re also missing those rare but spontaneous dinners out when we feel like we’re on a real date night. One of our favourite places to frequent is (well now was) in Pop Brixton (about 100m away from our flat!) Smoke & Salt. Excitingly they are relocating to a permeant hide out in Tooting! Its a real gem and a place saved for special occasions. They have a sharing menu concept that changes frequently so it inspired me this evening for our weekly date night.

The first time we went to Smoke & Salt we had this potato and beef dish which was just amazing. We never got the chance to sample it again so I’ve had to create my own version! A creamy, garlic, mustard, cheesy sauce for some salty cooked potatoes and rare beef. 

The salad adds a nice fresh clean contrast to the beef and potatoes on the side. We enjoyed some of the focaccia chopped and dipped into some rosemary flavoured extra virgin oil with G&Ts before the feast.

Dessert ice cream can be found here. Simply add a shot of Amaretto and one of hot coffee and serve !

Serves 2 (…hungry people as a sharing meal)

Seabass & Roasted Red Pepper sauce

  • 2 seabass fillets
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots (or 1 small onion), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin, coriander, chilli flakes
  • 350g flame roasted peppers – I actually used this jar from Odysea. You can make your own but I had these to hand in the pantry.
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Handful basil
  1. Heat a tbsp of sunflower oil in a saucepan on a medium-low heat. Add the shallots and gently cook for about 10 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a 2 minutes.
  3. Add the spices and some generous seasoning and cook out for 1 minute, stirring well.
  4. Drain the peppers from the jar, chop roughly and add to the saucepan. 
  5. Add about 100ml of stock and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes before stirring in the basil.
  6. Using a food processor (or hand blender) pulse the sauce until smooth – add more stock as needed. I did this by eye. It needs to be like a thick soup. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Keep warm while you make the fish.
  7. Season the seabass fillets and score the skin side a few times to stop it curling up in cooking. Heat a tsp of sunflower oil in a hot frying pan over a high heat. Add the seabass, skin side down and press into the pan with a spatula quickly to avoid it curling. Cook skin side down for about 3 minutes. Turn onto the flesh side for 30 seconds and then remove from the heat.
  8. Spoon some sauce onto a plate and gently lay the fish onto. Squeeze over some lemon juice and enjoy!

Crispy roast new potatoes, mustard garlic cream sauce, rare beef rump

  • 1 rump steak (or whatever cut you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • New potatoes – about 300g but enough for two depending on hunger.
  • 100ml creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 50g roule cheese
  • 1 small handful fresh chives
  • Splash milk
  1. Half the new potatoes and boil for about 5-8 minutes and then drain. Return to their saucepan and put the lid on. Shake the pot to bash the potatoes up a little and get the edges fluffy.
  2. Tip onto a baking tray, season and drizzle with sunflower oil. Toss so they are all coated in oil. Roast in a 220 over for about 20 minutes until golden and crispy. 
  3. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the peppercorns really finely. Season the steak generouslly on both sides with as much pepper as you like – I like a nice crust! Add salt.
  4. BBQ or grill the steak for as long as you like. Let rest for 5 minutes minimum.
  5. Combine the creme fraiche, roule and wholegrain mustard in a saucepan. Gently heat stirring well to combine (Add splash of milk to thin the sauce when needed). Add half the chopped chives. Taste and season.
  6. To serve, put the potatoes in a serving dish and season. Carve the steak really thinly and lay over the potatoes. Drizzle / dollop the sauce over the top and garnish with the remaining chopped chives. Serve extra sauce on the side.

Asparagus, broad bean, pea, lemon & parmesan salad

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • Large handful broad beans (I used frozen)
  • Large handful garden peas (I used frozen)
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Boil the broad beans for about 1 minutes and drain. You will need to tediously pick the beans from their pods into a serving dish. Use your nail to piece the skin and then just pop the bean out.
  2. Boil the peas for 1 minutes, drain and add to the broad beans.
  3. Drizzle the asparagus in a little oil and griddle on the BBQ or in a pan for just a few minutes making sure they are still al dente! Add to the bean/pea bowl.
  4. Chop the mint finely and add to the bowl. Grate the zest of 1/2 the lemon into the bowl and season all well. Toss to combine. 
  5. Finally, using a peeler, peel some thin strips of parmesan cheese over the salad.

Asian Salmon & Coconut Rice


 first made this recipe in 2013 and have been cooking it almost weekly ever since. It’s become such a comfort dish and one that I always crave after a busy day. This rice would even make a great match to a sliced mango as an alternate breakfast!

The recipe hasn’t changed at all over the years but being one of top 5, it needed a revamp and certainly a new image from my student digs days where it offered a LOT of comfort. I have also had to finally admit that white rice makes a much better base for a creamy coconut rice. I will use brown, Thai, wild or any other wholegrain rice in my cooking normally as it has a tastier nuttier flavour and more bite than a bland white equivalent. However, the gelatinous nature of the white rice makes it an obvious choice here. Cook the rice as you would normally cook if you’ve a go-to technique just use coconut milk with a slight dilution due to its thickness instead. Secondly, do NOT forget that lime at the end – you will be amazed how vital that is and how it brings everything together.

This recipe also works well as a base for roasted, soy flavoured veggies or tofu for the vege and vegans.

Serves 2

  • 140g (approx) white rice
  • 1 x can coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 knob ginger, grated
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 small handful basil, chopped
  • Green vegetables to serve
  1. Mix the soy, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger and the spring onions in a bowl. Add the salmon and leave to marinate for as long as you can – around 2 hours but I often only get time for 15minutes!
  2. Preheat the oven to 220.
  3. To make the rice, heat the can of coconut milk in a saucepan with half a can of hot water. Bring to the simmer gently (watch out as coconut milk will bubble over if not watched). Once simmering add the rice and simmer for about 8-10 minutes stirring often.
  4. Line a baking tray with foil and spoon a few tbsp of the marinade onto the lining. Add the salmon, sin side up.
  5. When the rice is a few minutes away from being ready, put the salmon in the oven for 7 minutes. Don’t be tempted to cook it for longer, this timing will give you just pink & cooked in the middle and a crispy soy skin.
  6. Check the rice is cooked – at this stage the majority of the liquid should have absorbed giving a creamy rice. If you’ve had to add water during cooking to stop it drying, just simmer the liquid off.
  7. Add the juice of 1 lime to the coconut and a handful of the coriander, saving a bit for serving.
  8. Remove the salmon from the oven. Serve each fillet on top of some rice with a spoonful of the marinade from the tin if left.
  9. I like to serve mine with roasted al dente broccoli.

Roasted Monkfish, Butternut Risotto, Hazelnuts & Sage


 special anniversary coinciding with Valentine’s Day means I feel less guilty about buying some of my favourite and more indulgent ingredients. Monkfish is a favourite fish of ours but one that isn’t exactly budget friendly so any excuse! I did consider using 3 deliciously fried, golden buttery scallops on top of this creamy risotto and I still feel like might even be a better combo so pick whatever takes your heart.

This clearly served 2 on Valentine’s evening but I’ve scaled up here for 4 as I had loads left over! The reserved risotto makes amazing arancini (cooled, rolled, breaded and deep fried) so NEVER discard leftover risotto! Reheated it can get a bit starching and ‘gloopy’ but the flavour is still there.

WINE: Serve with a crisp Muscadet, Chenin or if you’re partial to a Sauvignon Blanc…I’ll let you off.

Serves 4

The risotto can sit and melt while you pan fry the fish so just made sure everything is ready to go!

  • 4 fillets monkfish (you can use cod, haddock or even scallops if feeling indulgent)
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated
  • Butter
  • 1 red onion, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 large glass white dry wine
  • 1 stock cube
  • 50g hazelnuts, roamed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • Rocket to serve


  1. Start by preheating the oven to 180. Halve (lengthways) the butternut and remove the seeds. Drizzle with a little oil and season. Roast for about 40 minutes in the oven until the flesh is tender. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Next, mash the flesh with a fork until smooth and discard the skin.
  2. Season the monkfish with a good pinch of salt and refrigerate until ready to cook (monkfish is quite watery so it helps to do this ahead of cooking).
  3. Heat a large pan of water on the hob and crumble in the stock cube. Keep the stock water on a low heat, barely simmering. You’ll use that during the cooking.
  4. Heat a large heavy based saucepan with a tsp of oil and a tbsp of the butter on the hob on a medium heat. Gently fry the onion slowly for about 8 minutes until turning translucent and soft. Add the garlic and fry for a few minutes more.
  5. Turn the heat up a little and add the rice and coat in the buttery onions. You need to fry the rice here for a few minutes – this too should start to turn translucent. At this point, add the white and simmer nicely, stirring. The alcohol and liquid should reduce. At this point add the butternut and a small spoonful of stock and mix well and turn down the heat to a medium/low.
  6. Add another big spoonful of the stock and simmer, stirring continuously – don’t leave this unattended or it will likely stick. Risotto rice also likes to be stirred often.
  7. Continue adding the stock for about 18 minutes (sometimes longer as the butternut slows the cooking I find) or until the rice is just cooked. Ensure you don’t have a thick consistency OR a soupy one. Reduce or add stock accordingly. Risotto served on the plate should be ‘oozey’ – it should never sit in a clump! (see picture).
  8. Once the rice is cooked, season and remove the pan from the heat and add the parmesan and about 3 tbsp of butter. Set aside with a lid on.


  1. Heat an oven proof frying pan on a high heat with a tsp of light sunflower oil.
  2. Coat the monkfish in a light dusting of flour and season.
  3. Fry the monkfish on a high heat for about 1-2 minutes per side or until golden and crisp.
  4. Add 2 x tsp of butter to each fillet and pop the pan in the oven for about 5-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  5. Once cooked, remove from the oven and put the frying pan onto a hot hob. Add the hazelnuts and sage and toss gently in the buttery juices. Finally, add a good squeeze of lemon juice over the fish and sauce and stir.


  1. Stir the risotto well to mix in all the melted butter and parmesan. Spoon into warm bowls and top with a handful of rocket. Squeeze over a little lemon juice.
  2. Top with a fillet of monkfish and a good spoonful of the butter hazelnuts and sage.


Sesame Crusted Salmon & Spicy Corn Salsa


pending on how well you know me or how avidly you follow my instagram, you may or may not know that I’m currently training to be a sports masseuse. I’ll spare you the details, but it involves me having to practice on about 30 willing clients for free before qualifying. (Please get in touch is you’re a commute from Brixton and would like one!)

So this evening after work was massage night. On these evenings, real work to homework, I need a quick healthy dinner and salmon always comes to mind. I picked up a few pieces and used up the fridge remains on this occasion. I wanted crunch, flavour and spice. This salsa-come-salad is a combination of some of my favourite tastes with some added croutons for crunch amongst the soft textures. That and croutons always make any meal better. A bit like butter…


oating the salmon adds a really nice change to marinading or doing whatever it is you usually do with salmon. My pet hate (besides “English bolognese”) is the length of time people cook salmon! Dry, dry, dry! In a hot 220 oven it needs only 7 minutes at most for the supermarket vat-pack sized pieces. Soft in the middle and just cooked. If you pan fry it first to crisp the skin, knock another minute off in the oven as I do here. Tip. If you see that white creamy looking juice coming from the salmon…it’s already overcooked. Sorry. 

P.S. Don’t let this put you off cooking salmon for me if i’m ever over for dinner. Just cook it right…;-)

Serves 2

*Measurements done on judgement. Use more of less of each as desired.

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Sesame seeds (about 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 packet cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 180g sweetcorn 
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped finely
  • 4 spring onions, chopped finely
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • Leftover stale bread, chopped OR 2 slices bread, cubed 
  • Sunflower oil (for frying) & Extra virgin olive oil (for dressing)
  • Yoghurt to serve
  1. Start by preparing the salmon and preheating the oven 220. Place the soy sauce and honey in a bowl and mix. Add the salmon to coat.
  2. Scatter the sesame seeds on a place in an even layer. Take the salmon from the soy and place flesh side down on the sesame seeds. Turn to coat the fleshy edges. Don’t coat the skin. Repeat on the other salmon and set aside.
  3. Cube the bread and put it in a baking tray. Season well and drizzle with some sunflower/rapeseed oil. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden and crispy and oily! Remove and set aside.
  4. Make the salsa by combining the tomatoes, avocado, corn, coriander, spring onion and chilli. Grate in the zest of the lime and squeeze in the juice. Add a tsp of extra virgin oil. Season well.
  5. When ready to cook the salmon, heat a non-stick frying pan to a high heat. Sear the salmon skin side down for about 30 seconds. Flip and sear the sesame fleshy side and the edges for only 20 seconds or so to seal and turn the seeds golden. Place on a baking tray lined with some oiled oil and bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes.
  6. While these are cooking, add the croutons to the salsa and mix well. By the time you serve some will have absorbed the tasty juices and some will be crunchy and delicious.
  7. Serve the salmon with a spoonful of salsa, a wedge of lime and some fresh yoghurt.


If anyone would truly like a free massage (free depending on if you read this in September 2019…in which case I will be charging) then please get in touch on my contact page.