food for thought

by michelle

Archive for the ‘fish & seafood’ Category

salmon poached in a herb broth

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Salmon poached in a herb broth with lovely sweet vegetables. A quick, easy and light one-pot meal.

In a saucepan combine a handful each of fresh tarragon, chives and parsley. Add 3 cups of water, 1 cup of dry white wine, 3 roughly chopped spring onions, 3 roughly chopped celery ribs, 2 smashed garlic cloves, 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 teaspoon each of coriander seeds and black peppercorns, a strip of lemon zest and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. If you want to speed up this process and get the most out of the herbs you can cook this in a pressure cooker for 7 minutes. Strain the broth into a wide skillet, discarding the solids. Bring the broth back to a simmer. Now add finely diced carrot and fennel to the stock and cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile season 4-6 skinless pieces of salmon with salt, ground fennel and white pepper. Add them to the stock with the side that has been skinned facing up. Allow the broth to come back to a low simmer and cook the salmon for 3 minutes. Turn the fillets and add finely diced zucchini and fresh or frozen peas. Cook for approximately 4 minutes more or until the salmon is just cooked and the vegetables are not too soft. Check the seasoning. Serve in shallow bowls with a good grind of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil over the top. 

*adapted from this recipe
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Written by michelle picker

September 11, 2019 at 12:11 am

Posted in fish & seafood

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snapper with peas and saffron

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David cooked this amazing recipe from Moro: the Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark. The book focuses on dishes from Spain and the Muslim Mediterranean which were linked by the Moor’s 700-year occupation of Spain. The fish in this recipe is cooked in a saffron-infused bread and garlic sauce with peas – an interesting and delightful version of mash.

Add about 60 saffron strands to a medium-sized bowl, pour 5 tablespoons of boiling water over them and allow them to steep while you cook the rest of the dish. Place a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 6 peeled cloves of garlic and cook them until golden on all sides, adjusting the heat as necessary. Remove the cooked garlic and set it aside. Cut the crusts from 2 thick slices of white bread and cut them into cubes. Add them to the pan, toss well and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer the bread and the cooked garlic to a mortar and pestle and pound it to a thick paste. Now add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and turn the heat to medium. Season 2-4 fish fillets (depending on size) with salt and pepper and when the oil is hot add them to the pan. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes a side. Add 150ml (5 fl oz) of white wine and the bread and garlic to the pan. Let the wine simmer briefly before adding the saffron water and 240g (8 oz) of fresh or frozen peas. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook until the fish is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve the fish over the pea and bread sauce. 

Written by michelle picker

July 31, 2019 at 12:21 am

prawn and zucchini pasta

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A delicious meal even with store-bought pasta.

The flavour of this pasta dish is greatly enhanced by using the prawn (shrimp) heads and shells. Peel raw green prawns, approximately 6 to 8 per person. Slice the prawns in half lengthwise and set aside. Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta and when it’s boiling, add your pasta. Cook the pasta to perhaps a minute less than the packet suggests. Meanwhile heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large saucepan and add all the heads and shells. Allow them to cook over medium heat for as long as possible to get all their flavour into the oil. When you’re satisfied remove them from the oil and discard them. Now, with the heat on low to medium add some finely minced garlic to the oil along with some dried chilli flakes to taste. Fry briefly then deglaze with some white wine and allow it to cook away. Now add some zucchini cut into small strips and after a minute or so the prawns. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add grated lemon zest and lemon juice to taste and finish with some fresh dill. When the pasta is ready, drain it and retain the water. Add the pasta to the prawns and zucchini and add some of the pasta water. Add enough pasta water so that the sauce coats the pasta. Serve immediately

Written by michelle picker

June 26, 2019 at 12:09 am

seafood stew

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This hearty seafood stew (Cioppino) is Mexican in heritage and was lovingly recreated by Mary from this Rick Stein recipe. Instead of monkfish, Mary substituted Rock Ling.

Remove the heads and shells from 12 large prawns (shrimp), leaving the last tail segment in place. Set the prawns aside and simmer the heads and shells in 700ml (1½ pints) of fish stock for 20 minutes before straining and discarding them. Set the stock aside. (If you intend to leave out the first step make sure you have a good quality stock.) In a small saucepan bring 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sugar to boil, reduce to a couple of teaspoons and set aside. Now heat 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add 5 minced cloves of garlic, ½ a finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped stick of celery and 1 finely diced green pepper and cook over low heat until the onions have wilted and become translucent. Add 100ml (3½ fl oz) of white wine, 1 teaspoon of salt, plenty of freshly ground black pepper, ½ – 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes, a 400g (14 oz) can of chopped tomatoes, the fish stock and the vinegar reduction. Simmer for 30 minutes adding 1 teaspoon of oregano for the last 5 minutes. To finish add 250g (8.8 oz) of fresh fish cut into chunks, 20 cleaned raw mussels and the reserved raw prawns. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. To serve, toast some sourdough bread, rub with raw garlic and drizzle with a little olive oil. Garnish the stew with chopped parsley.

Written by michelle picker

May 8, 2019 at 12:11 am

steamed whole snapper with ginger

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This recipe, from Thai Food by David Thompson, is for ginger lovers! Make sure your ginger is young and fresh or you might want to reduce the amount in this recipe.

Clean and score the fish and place it on a plate which you will use for steaming. Pour over 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and top with ½ a cup of shredded ginger. Place over boiling water, cover and steam. This fish weighed 600g (21 oz) and took about 30 minutes to cook. When it’s nearly done, strew with another ½ a cup of shredded ginger and 4 shredded spring onions. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) and serve with rice.

Written by michelle picker

February 13, 2019 at 12:10 am

Posted in fish & seafood

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tuna mornay mexican style

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No time to shop? Here’s a new twist on an old-fashioned favourite using canned tuna.

Finely dice an onion, a red or green pepper and some Jalapeno or Poblano chillies and fry them gently in some vegetable oil until the onions start to wilt. Add some frozen corn kernels and cook for a few minutes more. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour and some oregano, ground cumin, smoky paprika and salt to taste. Cook for 2 minutes then slowly add 600ml (20fl oz) of milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until thickened. Drain a 425g (15 oz) can of tuna and reserve the liquid (you might need this if the mornay becomes too thick). Flake the tuna and add it to the mixture along with ½ a cup of breadcrumbs and ½ a cup of grated cheese. Serve with brown rice dotted with pumpkin (pepita) seeds and a salad of tomato, avocado and coriander (cilantro) simply dressed with salt and lemon juice. Don’t forget the hot sauce!

Written by michelle picker

January 30, 2019 at 12:07 am

Posted in fish & seafood

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fennel and seafood salad

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Here in the southern hemisphere we recently celebrated the Summer Solstice. Our feast began with this salad, a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from the cookbook Ottolenghi, cooked by Fifi. It looked magnificent and tasted even better.

Trim the tops and bottoms of four fennel bulbs then slice them crosswise as thinly as you can. In a large bowl combine the sliced fennel with ½ a finely sliced red onion, the grated zest and juice of 1 lime2 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of chopped dill, 2 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 seeded and diced red chilli, ½ a teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well and set aside. Prepare 8 large tiger prawns (shrimp) by removing their heads, shelling the body (leave the tail intact) and de-veining. Toss the prawns and 350g (12 oz) of cleaned baby squid in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Heat a heavy pan or griddle and cook the prawns and squid in batches until just cooked. Cut the cooked squid into rings and when the seafood has cooled add it to the salad bowl along with some tomato wedges and toss to combine. If you are not serving the salad immediately it will keep in the fridge for up to a day. To serve stir in 1 tablespoon of sumac and 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander (cilantro) and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Written by michelle picker

January 2, 2019 at 12:26 am

Posted in fish & seafood, vegetables

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