Squid, pine nuts and parsley

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Since Dan is working from home getting his syllabus ready before the academic year starts, he is also the designated cook. He makes such lovely dinner that I don’t complain when I do the tidying up after. It’s only fair, I guess.

Today’s special is doing something with the squid in the freezer. I wish I know how to make adobong pusit so I can give Dan the recipe. The truth is that I am probably one of the few Filipinos who cannot adobo anything.

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Back to the squid. Dan prepared the squid by removing the tentacles and opening it up. Dan marinated it in olive oil, freshly ground cumin, cumin seeds, lemon zest, salt and pepper for about 2 hours.

squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

squid on the gridle © dan and tuesday

Lay the squid flat but after a couple of minutes, they start to curl. Nice!

dicing cucumber © dan and tuesday

dicing cucumber © dan and tuesday

Dan served the squid with a lovely low-carb version of tabbouleh. It’s from The Low-Carb Gourmet cookbook by Karen Barnaby. It lemon-y dressing really complements the squid.

dry roasted pine nuts © dan and tuesday

dry roasted pine nuts © dan and tuesday

For the salad:

  • 125 g of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 60 g fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 60 g fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 40 g cucumber, diced
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 75 g pine nuts, dry roasted
freshly squeezed lemon juice © dan and tuesday

freshly squeezed lemon juice © dan and tuesday

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

What you need to is to combine the salad bits in a big bowl, combine the ingredients in another bowl, and then dress the salad. That’s it! A nice and light dinner that’s perfect for a summer evening.

Spanish manchego and courgette muffins

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

Spanish manchego muffins © dan and tuesday

This evening I am channelling my friend and colleague, Sandy, who is the best muffin baker I know. I’ve decided to make a savoury muffin after Sandy made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s courgette and pine nut muffins for my bbq birthday party last month.

I am using a recipe from a Marks and Spencer “magical muffins” cookbook (only £5!). This is the first muffin recipe I am using from the book. It’s a good muffins cookbook which contains sweet, savoury, and healthy muffins, and muffins for special occasions.

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are stock items in my pantry. The only things I needed were fresh flat-leaf parsley, courgette, and Spanish manchego cheese. The trickiest bit is having a shredded courgette but I have my trusty magimix food processor for that.

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

shredded courgettes © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • 150 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 280 grams plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated/caster sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 175 ml milk
  • 400 g shredded courgettes
  • 30 grams grated Spanish manchego cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Tools:

  • grater for cheese and courgette
  • food processor (optional)
  • 12-cup muffin tray oiled or line with muffin cases
  • muffin cases (optional)
  • Pre-heated oven at 200˚C
  • mixing bowls
  • beater (optional)
oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

oiling the muffin tray © dan and tuesday

What to do:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a big bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

    sifting flour © dan and tuesday

  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork or a beater. Stir in milk and the vegetable oil and mix well.

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

    beating the eggs © dan and tuesday

  3. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir to mix well.
  4. Add the courgettes. Lightly stir.
  5. Add the manchego. Lightly stir.
  6. Add parsley. Lightly stir.
  7. Really, don’t over-stir. It’s fine if it’s a bit lumpy.
  8. Divide evenly in the muffin tray filling it at least 2/3 full.
  9. Cook in the oven for about 25 mins until it’s golden. You can test if the muffins are already cooked by sticking in a toothpick and if it comes clean then it’s cooked.
  10. Remove from the oven leave it on the tray for a bit and then transfer on a wire rack to cook properly. Eat it right away (most awesome idea) or you can freeze it for about a month. I like mine with a bit of butter but Dan prefers it without.
lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

lovely savoury muffins © dan and tuesday

What I want to try next time with this recipe

  • use different fresh herb like oregano, rosemary or basil
  • use less oil
  • use young spinach with the cheese
  • oh, and use more cheese!
  • Manchego cheese is a bit mild for me so I might try a strong cheese like smoked applewood or even parmesan next time.

Smoked fish kedgeree

smoked fish kedgeree © dan and tuesday

smoked fish kedgeree © dan and tuesday

Kedgeree is the best thing for breakfast or brunch on a lazy weekend. It doesn’t take long to make and the mixed flavours of the smoked fish and spices are absolutely divine. Dan used kipper when he made it for Chris and Lilly. I used smoked mackerel when Monette was visiting last weekend.

Rica asked me on facebook what kedgeree was. Clinton replied that it is “tinapa wth cream mixed with lugaw =)” Tinapa is a smoked milkfish or bangus; lugaw is a type of congee. Since I don’t put cream on my kedgeree and it doesn’t look like lugaw to me, I looked it up and found out that this is a variety of kedgeree. I also read that kedgeree is a popular breakfast dish during the Victorian time. More on kedgeree here.

This recipe serves 4.

You need

  • 4 boiled free-range eggs, quartered lengthwise
  • cooked boiled rice* (2 cups uncooked)
  • 500g smoked fish (mackerel, kipper, haddock, tinapa), flaked
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • lemon or lime wedges (we prefer lime)

Tools

  • mortar and pestle
  • frying pan

What to do:

  1. Crush fennel seed and cardamom pods using mortar and pestle. Remove the cardamom husks, leaving the seeds.
  2. Melt butter in frying pan then fry onion and all the spices in medium heat for about 5 mins.
  3. Stir the fish and rice. Make sure that the rice is covered in turmeric so it will have a yellowish colour.
  4. Add the eggs and parsley, stirring gently so as not to destroy the eggs.
  5. Serve with lime or lemon wedge.

* I cheated here as we used a rice cooker. I got my rice cooker on my birthday from a group of Pinoys living in the UK who probably cannot believe that I do not own one. I used 2 cups of rice for this recipe, about 250g. More picture of making the kedgeree from the slideshow below or from my flickr account here.

more about “smoked fish kedgeree“, posted with vodpod

Moroccan fish tagine

Moroccan fish tagine © dan & tuesday

Moroccan fish tagine © dan & tuesday

This is another recipe from our favourite recipe book, Hamlyn Cookery School. If you want easy to follow recipes, get yourself a copy here.

We used monkfish for this dish but you can also use seabass or cod or any other firm fish. Serve your tagine with couscous and a slice of lemon.

You need:

  • 750g skinned, firm white fish (try seabass, cod, or monkfish) – cut into large chunks, about 2 inches (5 cm) square, then season
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 pcs of cardamom pods
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, slice thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 40g sultanas
  • 25g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 150 ml fish stock
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp juice
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped parsley

Cooking tools:

  • mortar and pestle
  • Dutch oven or ovenproof casserole dish
  • Preheated oven at 160˚C
mixing spices © dan and tuesy

mixing spices © dan & tuesday

What to do:

  1. Using a pestle and mortar to crush the cardamom pods and cumin and coriander seeds. Take out the cardamom husks, leaving the seeds.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a shallow frying pan and gently fry the onions until golden. Then add the garlic and spices and cook for another 2 mins.
  3. Add fish to the pan. Turn gently, making sure that they are coated with oil.
  4. Transfer the fish and onions to an ovenproof casserole dish. Scatter the sultanas and pine nuts.

    tagine on Dutch oven © dan and tuesday

    tagine on Dutch oven © dan & tuesday

  5. Add the stock, lemon rind, lemon juice to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Then pour the mixture around the fish, cover with a lid, and bake in the oven for 40 mins.

Dan ~ Best thing about this recipe, aside from the undeniable awesomeness of its flavour, is the way it looks. You’re really just throwing a bunch of stuff into a pot, but it looks like “proper” food without too much effort on the presentation front. There’s quite a bit of preparation (or maybe I’m just slow at crushing spices and things like that), but it’s well worth it, and very impressive for your guests…

tagine on couscous © dan & tuesday

tagine on couscous © dan & tuesday

Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce © dan and tuesy

Béchamel sauce © dan and tuesy

There are so many version of this sauce out there. Try the most convenient one for you, practice making it until it’s perfect and you can do it with your eyes closed!

The recipe below is from a new cookbook I just bought on discount called Hamlyn Cookery School. It is my new favourite book with easy to do recipes with step-by-step photos. It’s what we would like our recipes here to look like!

This recipe makes enough for 4 servings.

You need:

  • 300ml, full-cream milk
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • 3-4 flat-leaf parsley stalks
  • 15g butter
  • 15g flour
  • nutmeg, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper

What to do:

  1. In a saucepan, put the milk, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley stalk. Bring almost to a boil then remove the pan from the heat and leave it to infuse for 20mins. Strain milk into a jug.
  2. Melt butter in saucepan until bubbling. Put flour and cook gently, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 1-2 mins.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the milk gradually, still stirring until the sauce is completely smooth.
  4. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sauce comes to the boil then reduce heat to low. Cook for another 5 mins, still stirring until the sauce is smooth and glossy and thinly coats the back of the spoon.
  5. Season to taste, adding lots of nutmeg.

Smoked fish pie

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This is an easy one, and pies look quite impressive, especially if you pretend you made your own puff pastry. Quick! Grab yourself the following ingredients:

450g smoked haddock fillet, skinned
200ml carton creme fraiche
15g plain flour
20g flat-leafed parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry

  1. Preheat a large shallow baking tray in the oven set at 230C (210C fan oven). Try and pull out any stray bones from your haddock. Got them all out? Nothing spoils a fish pie like the fear of deadly little bones lurking inside it. When your fish has been cleared of these nasty little spears, cut it into little chunks.
  2. Save one teaspoon of creme fraiche for later, and put the rest into a bowl with the fish, flour and parsley. Mix it all together and season with salt and black pepper. Lots of black pepper works well for me.
  3. Now you’ll need a second baking tray. Roll out the pastry onto it, and brush the edges with water to moisten it. It’s like licking your envelope ready to seal it shut. But please don’t lick the pastry, especially not if any of your dinner guests are watched. Dollop the fish into the pastry and spread it over one half of the sheet. Leave a border along those wet edges. Fold the pastry to seal your fishy envelope, pressing the edges together. If you’re feeling fancy, you can crimp the edges. I’m just happy if I can get the pie to stay shut.
  4. Mix that last bit of creme fraiche with a little water and brush it over te top of the pie to glaze it, then slash the pastry with some diagonal lines, Freddy Kreuger-style, so that the steam doesn’t get trapped and explosive during cooking.
  5. I often have trouble getting the pie to bake evenly – the base sometimes burns before the top of the pastry has cooked enough to rise. The trick is to put your second baking tray, the one with the pie on it, on top of the hot one in the oven, and cook it for about half an hour (you’ll know when it’s sufficiently golden brown).

I promise you will want to eat all the pies if they’re as good as this one. You can use different fish if you prefer – the effect will be much the same, and you can serve it with your own choice of steamed or roasted vegetables, or have it with a salad. Better still might be to scoff it out of a paper bag while sitting on a cold, wet, windy sea-front, but that’s just me.

Salmon Fish-Cakes

Last weekend’s cheer-up-Tuesy charm offensive delivered its grand finale on Sunday evening. Stop me if I sound too boastful, but I was very happy with how this turned out – for an amateur cook, it’s always exciting when a recipe really works, and there are few cooks more amateur than me…

Prepare your fish-cake mixture 2-3 hours before you plan to cook them (they take a little under half an hour to bake). To make enough fish-cakes for four people you will need:
900g maris piper potatoes
900f salmon fillets
Juice of 1 lemon
4tbsp mayonnaise
pinch of cayenne pepper
large pinch of chilli powder (more if you like spiciness)
2 tbsp of chopped herbs (I used flat flat-leaf parsley, but tarragon or basil will work just as well
2 tbsp chilli oil.
Peel the potatoes, chop them into quarters and boil them. Once boiled to softness, drain away the water, and return to heat for a couple of minutes to dry them out. Then mash ‘em. With a masher.
While the spuds are boiling, put your salmon and half the lemon juice into a pan with a pint of cold water. Bring it just to the boil and leave to stand in the water for a few minutes. It’ll cook just enough in the remaining heat. Then drain the salmon, peel off the skin and flake it. It’s good not to mash it up too much – the fish-cakes are delicious if you can still feel the “meatiness” of the fish (you don’t want them to be too smooth).

Mix the salmon with the mashed potatoes and add the spices and herbs, the lemon juice and the mayonnaise. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Now make your fish-cakes on a non-stick baking tray. I lined my tray with non-stick baking paper, which worked a treat. If you’re good with your hands, you can pat the mixture into eight thick cakes (maybe 2cm deep). If you have a large round biscuit/cookie cutter, you can use that to get them into a nice shape. I used a non-stick heart-shaped fried egg shaper, meaning that my cakes looked like this:
Not too shabby. Put your tray of fish-cakes in the fridge for a couple of hours. This will firm them up ready to be baked. Once they’re ready, drizzle the chilli oil on top and bake at 200 degrees centigrade or until they go brown and a bit crispy on the outside. I served these with mangetout and baby corn and a little rocket. You can serve them with whatever you like. Nobody’s checking.