Monday, November 17, 2014

Crispy-skinned mackerel

Saturday, 8th November 2014
We're fortunate to have a small weekly market in the town where we live, with a fresh fish stall. So fish is often on the weekend menu now. Monika bought two very nice fresh mackerel and I used a recipe of Jamie's.
It was a pretty spicy and very garlicky sauce, although mine seemed much less runny than Jamie's, but the balance with the richness of the grilled fish was just right. We both elected to leave most of the sliced red chilli, but it did look pretty.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Catching Up

Moving house takes up a lot of your time. No time left for blogging, but there was some for cooking, eating and drinking cocktails.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rice and Mushrooms

Wednesday, 7th May 2014
My first vegetarian meal for longer than I can remember. Steamed rice, miso broth, spring onions and sliced shiitake mushrooms fried with a little salt and lemon juice. Very enjoyable.

Pizza - take 2

Monday, 5th May 2014
Second attempt. I tried dough based on a Jamie Oliver recipe, but he uses a kilo of flour to make 8 pizzas in one go, so scaling down for one small one was tough. This time my dough started very sticky and I had to add a lot of flour to get it workable.
Again, it rose nicely, but the dough was so elastic I had a devil of a job getting it rolled out, hence the unusual shape! My toppings were tomato sauce (not a patch on Monika's), roccolo cheese, bacon and parma ham. Not a good choice as it turns out, as the flavours had just power and no subtlety.
This time I heated the stone first, which clearly helped, but I should have taken it out of the oven sooner. The base was hard rather than crispy, and the toppings a little burned. Somewhere in between the first two attempts is needed.


Friday, 2nd May 2014
We decided to have a crack at homemade pizza. I have visions of making small ones for myself of an evening occasionally, instead of buying a frozen one.
Much time was spent researching flour, and dough recipes, and then shopping for ingredients (and a pizza stone!).
The dough I made came out much to dry at first, so I ended up adding quite a bit more liquid. It did rise nicely though and was easy to roll out on the stone. Monika made up a great tomato sauce, we put on mozzarella and then ham, mushroom, salami and anchovies in overlapping halves. The cold stone with pizza went into the hot oven for 15 minutes, as suggested by the recipe.
The sauce near the edge burned a bit, but the pizza base was far from cooked when it came out. To the extend that we decided to put a bit of foil over it and stick it back in for another 10 minutes. It still was pretty pale but quite edible. The flavour of the dough and the toppings was lovely and fresh, only the un-crispiness of the base was disappointing. I think this needs practise!

April 2014 Food Roundup

I left it far too long to do these posts individually, so here's a summary.
31 March - 13 April 2014

Grilled swordfish with croquettes made from left-over mash. Very good, but the croquettes are a bugger to kepp in any kind of shape during cooking.
Salmon Teriyaki style. Always tricky to get a teriyaki sauce sticky enough without being too sweet.
Chicken "curry". Not really a curry but more of a oniony stew with a few spices. Quite good with the fresh coriander.
Pork cutlets and risotto with morels. Sadly not very good. Pork overcooked although tasty, crackling inedible, risotto strangely flavourless.

25 April - 27 April 2014

Rabbit in red wine and mushrooms with Pappardelle. Two rabbit legs cooked slowly with mushrooms, bacon, leeks and fennel. Tasted way better than it looks. The meat was deliciously tender and the flavour of the sauce just right.
Fish and black bread. Smoked salmon and matjes with a little horseradish. Great!
Pot roast pork with tomato and leeks and fries. Very tasty meat and sauce, but failed crackling again. My chips have not be very crispy lately but these still tasted OK.
Swordfish steaks on the teppanyaki. The only thing I had big enough to cook these huge steaks. A little overdone, to be honest. We had them with just bread and salad.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Beer-battered fish and chips

Saturday, 29th March 2014
Deep fried dinner tonight. My beer batter looks good but didn't come out as crispy as I had hoped. I suspect the fat was too old and not hot enough. The fish could also have done with a little more seasoning. Still it was all very good.
Served with tomato salad and home-made remoulade in two varieties!

Chicken legs and tomatoes

Friday, 28th March 2014
Thanks to Jamie Oliver for this one.
I used less garlic and chilli and added a can of cannellini beans, which made for a thicker sauce and suited me very well. They probably would have been better going in half an hour before serving, rather than right at the beginning. The chicken was good, but it didn't come out as tender as I would have liked.
Served with a sort of colcannon of mash, leeks and bacon.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thai-style steamed fish

Friday, 14th March 2014
Following this BBC Recipe, but I used Sea Bream instead of Trout. It is described as "Thai-style", so probably not very authentic. Nevertheless, even with only garlic, ginger, chilli, lime and soy sauce, I was surprised to find how the aroma was immediately recognisable as "Thai" when I opened the foil packets. The fish was fantastic and I'm a big fan of bok choy.
Very quick and easy to prepare and really delicious.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cheesey Shepherd's Pie

Wednesday, 12th March 2014
I made this with the leftover lamb from Sunday, put through the mincer.
Soften some onions and garlic in butter, add the mince and brown a little. Then add stock, worcester sauce and tomato purée. Mix and heat through, season and transfer to a baking dish. Top with potato mashed with butter, cream and grated cheese. Then put a little more grated cheese on the top. Bake for 30 minutes or so.
I can't remember the last time I had this, but I was amazed at how it tasted exactly as I remember.

Pasta with Bacon and Cream

Tuesday, 11th March 2014
and a little basil. Very straightforward, but very good.

Roast Lamb

Sunday, 9th March 2014
This was a quite small piece of lamb and it cooked more quickly than I expected, so it wasn't quite as pink as it should have been. I should have followed my instinct instead of Jamie's cooking times. Also it got pretty cool while resting.
The chips tasted great but for some reason were not as crispy as they normally are. Maybe the fat wasn't hot enough?