Poached Salmon with Lemongrass and Sauvignon

Given the insipid colour poached food usually turns it had never appealed to me, but I was happy to discover that this dish is most certainly the fastest for fish I have ever used or created, and it is light, healthy and delicious.  A little homage to my homeland is in the Sauvignon, and an homage to my childhood living in Asia in the lemongrass.

What I particularly love about poaching fish (speaking like an old pro now) is that it won’t stink out your house, and when it comes to cooking salmon, that earns huge brownie points in my household.

  •  2 Salmon Fillets
  • 2/3 Cup Sauvignon Blanc (or any white wine)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs chopped lemongrass
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh basil for serving

In a small saucepan heat the wine, garlic, lemongrass, salt and spring onions until just simmering. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and lay the fillets snugly in the pan. Cover with a lid and leave for 5 minutes.

Slide the salmon fillets on to a plate and spoon over with some of the lemongrass and spring onion pieces. Season well with more salt and pepper and sprinkle the fresh basil over the top of the fish.

You can serve this on it’s own and then serve a large salad to follow, or serve with green vegetables, roast vegetables, or on a bed of kale.

 

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Whitebait Fritters – Kiwi Style

Whitebait fritters in New Zealand are a classic, something your grandmother used to make, something your parents grew up on, something they still serve in the best cafes in town for breakfast. New Zealand whitebait are tiny little fish, unlike the much larger mediterranean style whitebait found in Europe. These miniature little morsels are so delicate, and very subtle in flavour. They taste anything but “fishy”, which suits my palate perfectly..and…they can be caught in the stream behind your beach-house, or bought from the fish-shop in little punnets.

Rob (my hubby) had a hankering for whitebait fritters when we were home recently, so when down in Napier visiting his grandparents, I got to work. Nanni had procured 2 x 250gm punnets of extraordinarily fresh, perfect little whitebait for me.

Because the flavour and texture of these fish is so delicate, I didn’t want to add much to the fritter, so kept them VERY basic, and they were to die for!!! I wanted 100 more, but was certainly full of little fishies once we were finished.

  • 500gm super fresh shiny Whitebait
  • 2 eggs
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges for serving

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and then gently combine the whitebait into the mixture. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Heat some butter in a frying pan and when it is starting to bubble add small dollops of the mixture. These take NO time to cook, so stand by and turn them once they are just set on the back. Once flipped cook next side until you have a tiny golden brown fritter. Serve immediately with a wedge of lemon and sprinkle with a salt and pepper. YUM YUM YUM.

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Ginger & Lime Chicken Patties

I know I know, it has been a while since I posted a recipe! I have been very busy eating though and rest assured, have been cooking up a storm so watch this space!!! Time to play catch-up on my posting. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break. I was fortunate enough to spend the past month with family in both New Zealand and Australia. Some of the upcoming recipes will reflect that time.

Like most people…I spent a LOT of time eating and entertaining over the holiday period. These little Ginger & Lime Chicken Patties are subtle and delectable, as always they are healthy and quick and easy to prepare. You can make them smaller and serve with a toothpick as a party snack.

  • 800-900gm chicken mince
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or finely chopped fresh chili)
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (gluten free)
  • coconut oil
  • extra lime wedges for serving

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Heat some coconut oil in a pan. Create small chicken patties in your hand and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the chicken is just cooked through and lightly golden on each side.

Serve with fresh lime wedges and salad. You can drizzle a little tamari over the cooked patties when plated to give them a little more zing!

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Fresh Tuna Steak Nicoise Salad with Herb Dressing

I felt like something clean for dinner last night, and light too, because I had managed to eat pretty much my bodyweight in eggs, bacon and sausages at brunch. However, it was cold and foggy outside so I also wanted something hot…?

Solution! Fresh tuna steaks on salad! This was truly and utterly just so yummy that I am sort of salivating a little bit just writing about it. There is only one thing I would change in what I did, and that would be to make more of the marinade/dressing because as it was I  had to lick the bowl. So to prevent any of you looking like crazed labradors in your kitchen, I have doubled it here already.

This is so easy, and also complete in terms of nutrition that it is a sure fire winner. I hope you like it! Let me know what you think.

Serves 2:

  • 10 baby potatoes
  • 4 heaped tbs chopped basil
  • 4 heaped tbs chopped coriander
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon angelsea salt/rock salt/maldon salt
  • large pile of baby leaf salad mix (or baby spinach or rocket)
  • 5 medium cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 anchovy fillets, roughly torn
  • handful of mixed olives
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • small handful of marinated red peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 thick cut tuna steaks (about 1 inch wide each)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • large handful green beans

Wash the little potatoes and slice them each in half. Cover in a little olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

While these are roasting, combine the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and chopped basil and coriander and salt. Add some cracked pepper and set half of it aside. Add the tuna steaks to the other half and turn them around to coat them in the marinade. Set aside on the bench. (you will notice that lemon juice will immediately start ‘cooking’ the tuna. if you have a super fresh piece  and feel like some carpacio, you can slice a few slivers, as thinly as your sharpest knife will allow and eat them as is…truly delicious!)

In a saucepan, put 2-3 eggs in water and bring to the boil. For soft-boiled eggs, once it is boiling, leave them for 6 minutes, (to set the yolk but it still be soft go for eight minutes) then rinse with cold water.

Combine the salad mix, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, parsley, red onion, marinated peppers, and avocado. Wash and trim the green beans and either microwave them for 1 minute, then cover them with water and ice (to retain their crisp green colour and texture) or sautee them in a small frying pan until just cooked. Once they are cooled, add them to the salad.

When your potatoes are 5 minutes away from being done, get a grill plate to hot and brush with a little olive oil. Scrape the excess marinade from the tuna steaks and sear them on each side for about 1-2 minutes. Slice the tuna steaks with the grain into thick strips and coat with the original marinade. Place the fish on top of the salad and crack black pepper over everything.

Place the hot potatoes around the salad and slice up the soft egg and add it to the mix. Using the marinade that was set aside, drizzle this over the salad and serve.

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Autumn Baked Fish

The leaves are falling and the streets are wrapped in colour. Reds, oranges, browns and all shades of green. When scuffing through giant acorn leaves on my way to the tube yesterday, I thought that perhaps my first meal back on the blog after arriving home in London should reflect the colours and atmosphere of the season.

Inspired by a Rick Stein method for roasting fish on top of vegetables, this is what I came up wtih for dinner, and it was a nutritious, delicious comfort meal on a chilly October evening. Serves 3-4.

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 sweet potato
  • 3 large red peppers, pitted and widely sliced.
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 3-4 small seabass or 1 large seabass (bream/snapper would work too)
  • large handful fresh lemon verbena (use oregano if you don’t have verbena), roughly torn.
  • 2 large pinches dried oregano
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • olive oil
  • 6-10 anchovies (in olive oil, drained)
  • 150gm green beans
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Peel the sweet potato and cut slices about 1cm thick.  In the bottom of a large roasting tray/casserole-dish splash a little olive oil to lightly coat the base. Lay out the leeks, sweet potato, red peppers and tomatoes. Spread the anchovies out over the top of the vegetables and pour over the chicken stock. Salt and pepper and add the fresh and dried herbs. Peel the garlic and slice (about 4-5 slices per clove). Sprinkle garlic over the top. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Wash and pat dry the seabass with a paper towel. Cut slashes across the fish going both ways to create a criss cross (see photos). Season with salt and pepper and coat lightly with a little olive oil. Place the fish on top of the roast vegetables (after 30 minutes) and return to the oven for another 30 minutes (try 35 if you use one large fish). When 15 minutes is left on your timer, scatter the beans over the vegetables around the fish.
I served this at the table and it was a beautiful. The bed of vegetables with all their colours made for a bright and cheery evening, and this is a super-healthy, extremely nutritious meal. Enjoy!

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Asparagus and Red Onion Frittata

A popular summer activity in London is to have a shared picnic with friends. Everyone takes a bottle and everyone makes something to eat, and in this country, everyone prays to the weather gods for some sunshine!

Frittata is a great option for these occasions because it is healthy, high in protein, low carb, full of good clean fats and great hot or cold, in slices or in squares, on its own or with other food! I often make a vegetarian option for these as they are so delicious and that way anyone and everyone can pile in!

If you don’t want any dairy, simply omit the cheese listed in this recipe and it will work perfectly without it too. You can substitute the asparagus for any other vegetables you desire.

  • 10 free range organic eggs, lightly whisked together
  • 1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed and sliced in thirds.
  • handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 100gm feta cubed
  • 100gm sharp cheddar grated
  • 1 red onion sliced finely
  • salt and pepper
Heat the grill to 180 degrees celcius.
In a frying pan, sautee the onion slices with some salt and olive oil. When the onion is soft, turn the pan down to a medium-low heat and add the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus is almost cooked, but still firm. Pour over the beaten eggs, and add salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the herbs and feta over the top of the egg mix. Every few minutes, gently shake the pan. When the egg has mostly cooked through but the top is still not set and a bit runny, sprinkle over with the grated cheddar. Transfer the pan to the grill and leave it for 5 minutes or until the top is just set and golden brown.
Cool in the pan until just warm and then gently release the edges of the frittata and slide it on to a chopping board (or directly to a plate if you want to serve it immediately).
Salt and pepper the frittata once more before serving, and garnish with some fresh flat leaf parsley or basil.

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Raspberry Sorbet

Still on the Italian Feast from a few weeks back! Finally we made it to dessert! Luckily for me I live very close to a very cheap local produce market, so purchasing raspberries in bulk was a non-issue. If you don’t have a reasonable source of them, use frozen ones (defrost them first) or substitute with strawberries if you can get those.

This recipe is simple and clean and delicious. Traditionally, you are meant to strain the raspberries of all their little seeds, but I think they look pretty, adding texture and interest to this dish so I never strain mine (perhaps I am just lazy!).

  • 500gm fresh raspberries
  • 120-150gm caster sugar
  • 1tbs balsamic glaze/thickened balsamic vinegar 
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 50ml water
Heat a pan with the water and 100gm of the caster sugar to form a sugar syrup. Cool and add the balsamic glaze.
Squish the raspberries with a fork (or your hands), add the remaining sugar (to taste, I like sorbet quite tart, if you want it sweeter you can always add more at this stage). Add the lemon juice, and mix the syrup in.
Freeze, and mash it up with a fork every 30 mins-1 hour so that it doesn’t set in a rock hard block. (repeat until set).
Before serving, remove from the freezer  and leave on the bench at room temp for 5-10 minutes or until it has softened slightly.
Serve with a fresh mint leaf on top, or with chocolate mousse or a chocolate torte!

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