Monday, 29 April 2013

random recipes #27 round-up



... it seems that my random recipes random number generator thingamidoodah proved rather popular this month with many of you rather liking the thrill of the unknown digital 'hands-off' approach... there was something rather scary about having no control over any of the choices that added something to the proceedings this month... it certainly left us with a very random collection of recipes from a fearsome selection of books.  Some months it can be all curry's and cakes but this time we really had a wide selection of randomness... i'm sure this high-tech gadget will make another appearance again soon but until then, feast your eyes on this lot...

let's start with the adorable Karen from Lavender and Lovage with this stunning Cheese and Onion Scone Bread taken from The Art of Home Cooking by the Stork Cookery Service Heritage Cook Book


and off you pop to check out the rest of April's random recipes after the jump...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

oven roasted pumpkin risotto




… firstly an apology – as many of you will know I am a veracious reader and commenter of many blogs but these last couple of weeks I’ve simply been up to my neck in the wonderfully and incredibly intense world of mums show live which is now only 3 weeks away and as you can imagine I simply haven’t had very much time for doing anything else outside of this… I am still eating of course and will try and post when I can but this is just a little apology for the silence… I promise we’ll have everything back to wonderful very soon…

… I was recently sent some beautiful products from the very good people at Rediscover Italy which is a project aiming to raise awareness of the wonderful Northern Italian regions of Emilia Romagna, Lombardi and Veneto.  These three regions, collectively known as the Unesco Quadrilateral, are the birthplace of world renowned Italian classics including Parma ham, Parmesan and Grana Padano cheese, traditional balsamic vinegar, white Polesine garlic and dozens of fine wines… here’s how I celebrated…


oven roasted pumpkin risotto
I was sent the most wonderful small pumpkin type thing, the like of which I’d never seen before... it had the most glorious deep orange interior and a divine earthy aroma… I also received a tin of the swankiest looking Ca Vecchia half-milled, vialone nano rice which are probably the most superior rice grains I’ve ever cooked with, let alone tasted… time being of ultimate essence here I’ve oven baked it all in one tray and it was, quite frankly, bloody good!

1 large pumpkin – peeled and chopped into fork-sized chunks
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 whole garlic bulb – pulled into cloves but not peeled
1 glass white wine (Italian of course)
plenty of fresh herbs such as lemon thyme and oregano
400g rice
1 pint of vegetable stock
1 large chunk of the most incredible  Grana Padano cheese you can afford

bung all the veg, herbs and seasoning into an roasting dish, splash over some olive oil, cover with foil and bung in the oven on 180C for about 20 mins or until the squash is soft and the onions are beginning to colour

set aside the foil, throw in a glass full of wine and the rice and place it back in the oven for a further 5 mins, then pour in the stock, cover with the foil and pop it back in the oven for roughly 20 mins or until the rice is how you like it

remove from the oven and then stir in a very large handful of Grana Padano before serving (you can pop it back into the oven for 5 mins if you want the cheese to do even more magic stuff...)

eat and of course, enjoy!

Friday, 19 April 2013

red wine roasted rhubarb frangipane tart



... a bit of a mouthful to say but well worth the effort to eat... I love it when rhubarb season shoves it's freshly-grazed-knee-pink hues into the season.  I was a bit worried this year as we've had such cold weather I was concerned we'd have to wait an age before it started appearing and whilst my neighbour Tracey's plant isn't quite there yet there are some glorious examples of UK rhubarb in the shops... I picked up some delightfully thin and shockingly pink Yorkshire rhubarb this week and have been toying with what to bake ever since... and there are some mouth-watering rhubarb ideas out there in blog-land, i'm always amazed at just how versatile rhubarb is.  Its sharpness works so well as a counter-balance to many sweet dishes but it also compliments meaty savoury dishes such as duck or venison really well too... roasted with chicken thighs is of course a firm favourite...


...one of my all time favourite blogs is Willow Manor written so beautifully by poet and artist (and rather fabulous cook) Tess Kincaid... her blog is such an inspiration and I often go over there just to have a little read... and feel truly humbled... she, too rarely for my liking, occasionally posts about food and yesterday created this incredible rhubarb shortcake masterpiece that i've essentially stolen for my own evil doings... it was the roasting in wine that really appealed to me and something id never done before so I thought i'd give it a go...


red wine roasted rhubarb frangipane tart
the tart is inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe for a greengage tart so i'm entering my version into the Nigel Slater inspired Dish of the Month bloggers challenge, hosted so beautifully by Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen and Susan from A little bit of Heaven on a Plate. As you can see from the photo's you have to really watch that the rhubarb doesn't caramelise too much on its second turn in the oven.  Mine has come out looking slightly charred but the taste was simply stunning... and so easy to achieve.

for the rhubarb in red wine (you can make this up to 3 days in advance)
500g trimmed rhubarb - cut into inch-long pieces
a small glug of red wine (half a cup)
a tablespoon of white sugar
a tablespoon of soft brown sugar
the seeds of one vanilla pod

for the pastry
200g plain flour
100g butter
1 egg yolk
a little water

for the frangipane filling
100g butter
125g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
150g ground almonds
40g plain flour

to make the rhubarb simply lay the stalks into a backing dish, cover in the wine, sprinkle with the sugar, scrape in the vanilla and bake on 150C for about 40 minutes or until just beginning to soften, take out of the oven and set aside to cool

to make the tart you will need a round 22cm tart tin and start with the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, add the egg yolk and a little water and bring together into a ball of dough.  Flour your work surface and roll the dough out so that it's just larger than your tart tin then gently place it into the tin, shaping and trimming it carefully.  Place the tin in the fridge for at least 20 mins whilst you heat the oven to 200C.

use some screwed up baking paper to line the pastry and fill with baking beans before baking for about 20 minutes... remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 mins until the pastry is dry.  Remove from the oven.

now make the frangipane filling by creaming the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk, next add the eggs, ground almonds and flour and whisk it all together until you have a thick creamy consistency

pour the thick frangipane batter into the pastry case and smooth it out.  Arrange the rhubarb on the top and then bake on 160C for 30 mins until the filling puffs up around the rhubarb.

the red wine can be reduced into a delightful thick syrup by boiling for a couple of minutes, this can be added to greek yoghurt for a divinely decadent accompaniment.

eat and of course, enjoy!


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

salmon, bacon and fennel lumaconi



... there are some food products that, whilst perfectly tasty, are really happy to sit at the back of a dark cupboard only to be seen when being used... these everyday items that sit in boxes, packets or tins show no promise in the design stakes... let's face it, if there was an America's Next Top Model for food items, a tin of chopped tomatoes would never have made it through to the model's house and at the very most would have been eliminated in the first rounds... but then there are of course some exceptions, products that by design or cultural heritage have become pleasing to the eye and worthy of display on an open shelf... the humble Cambell's Soup can, popularised by Warhol... or the classic Oxo Cube with it's vintage styling... and of course food brands are more than aware of this.  As consumers we will pick food items not only based on cost and taste but desirability through design plays a key factor in our choices... this vintage styling of so many products recently has simply been the food companies jumping on to a national zeitgeist and we all seem to love it even though sometimes it can be style over substance...

... garofalo pasta is one of those beautiful products that i'd happily display on my shelf and it's funny because with it's almost totally clear packaging it's the pasta itself that's doing most of the showing off... in fact most pastas are a work of art, designed to hold the maximum amount of sauce, for the shape they form in the mouth or created specifically to be stuffed with some incredible morsel... the Italian's of course have a natural efinity for design, even Giorgetto Giugiaro of Lamborghini designed his own pasta shape, the marille and these wonderful packets, stuffed with some unusual shapes, show some classic hallmarks of Italian design...


salmon, bacon and fennel lumaconi
the lumaconi are a large snail-shell shaped pasta that are designed to be stuffed and they hold a sauce with large pieces in it very well... this is a bit of a left-over dish and it's by far the easiest pasta sauce i've ever made and it's just what I had in the fridge which sometimes I think makes for the best meals... it was sort-of planned as I'd pan-fried 2 salmon fillets the night before knowing i'd eat one the following day but it's always the accidental pairings of 'stuff in the fridge' that is so pleasing....

1 salmon fillet - pan fried in butter
2 slices of smoky bacon - finely chopped
half a medium fennel - finely chopped
1 garlic glove - crushed
a large teaspoon full of fresh thyme
a glug or two of white wine
2 or 3 tablespoons of greek yoghurt
a generous portion of lumaconi pasta

in a large pan heat gently the bacon until it begins to melt then throw in a little olive oil and the fennel and garlic and saute until it begins to soften, add the thyme and a little seasoning and place the lid on the pan for 5 mins to let them sweat

remove the lid, turn up the heat and throw in as much wine as you fancy and let it bubble away until almost gone then turn the heat back down and add the yoghurt and stir in.  Flake the fish into the sauce, place the lid back on, remove from the heat and leave whilst you boil the pasta

the lumaconi takes 14 mins in boiling water after which you need scoop out half a cup of pasta water and then drain thoroughly

throw the pasta water into the sauce and stir and then throw the pasta into the sauce and stir again

serve with a little fresh thyme sprinkled on top and maybe a little grated cheese

eat and of course, enjoy!

Monday, 15 April 2013

double apple cinnamon scones



...last weekend I had 3 baking disasters... all because I wanted to bake something simple with apples and it's funny isn't it, how when we try too hard it can all just go down the drain really quickly... I started with some apple and rolled-oat muffins but they came out like bricks... just so heavy, they also seemed to have a bit of an identity crisis between wether they should be a sweet or savoury food item... regardless, they were revolting and no end of jam, sugar or chutney could save them... next I moved onto what I thought would be some very simple apple, honey and chocolate cupcakes...  combining bloggers challenges often ends in disaster... which exploded in the oven.  I followed the recipe to the letter but they ended up on the inside roof of the oven and even once what remained of them had cooled they actually tasted like bad breath... not nice... my third attempt was a simple apple cake and this was a cake of mistaken identity when I grabbed the 'light' margarine from the fridge... they tasted lovely but apple sponge pancakes was not what I intended to make...


double apple cinnamon scones
the viking came in from a day in the garden craving sugar and knowing that the humble scone only takes about 15 minutes from flour sugar and butter to stomach he persuaded me to rustle some up... I stubbornly reached for an apple and then I spied the last of the incredible apple butter I bought in California lurking in the back of the fridge... so they're a bit like a chocolate chocolate chip but slightly perhaps healthier and of course the cinnamon is the perfect bedfellow for apples... fortunately we ended up in scone heaven - a very good place to be.

makes about 9 small scones
300g self-raising flour
75g butter
1 tablespoon apple butter
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 grated medium apple, skin on
8 fl oz milk
a pinch of salt

pre-heat the oven to 200C and prepare a baking sheet

place the flour and butters in a large bowl and rub together quickly with your fingertips

sprinkle in the sugar and salt and then the grated apple and mix in

add some of the milk and then, with a knife, bring the mixture together to form a dough.  You may not need all the milk so don't use it all at once and only finish it if you really need it... you should have a firm medium dry dough

flour your work surface and pat out the dough to just thicker than half the depth of your scone cutter, then cut out your scones... you may have to re-form the dough half way through

bake for 12-15 mins until risen and golden

this month the alphabakes bloggers challenge has the letter 'A' as it's theme... it was very nearly my downfall and for that we can thank Caroline from Caroline Makes and her partner in crime Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker

eat and of course, enjoy!


Saturday, 13 April 2013

spicy fish stew risotto



... I wonder how many times this year i'm going to write the words 'so Spring has finally arrived' without it becoming a bit of a tired cliche... it's been stop-start, or should that be start-stop, for the last few weeks but now that the little lambs are waking me up in the morning with their delightful bleating from the fields opposite my bedroom window I truly believe that Spring has finally decided to peek it's frozen head over the horizon for good... just go and look outside and you'll see it for yourself... and whilst we may all have complained that it's taken simply ages to get going this year I think we need to look at the year like an delicately ageing Hollywood star... don't rush the season's onto her or she will become a bitter old hag well before her time... be thankful that she was frozen still in time for a little while and rejoice in this late blooming of life and colour... it will be very fleeting and we'll miss her when she's gone and crumbled into Autumn...


Spicy Fish Stew Risotto
I was actually surprised at how simple this dish was to make, especially when it really packed a punch in the taste department... the other thing I loved about it - and this may sound really odd, but even though it was rammed with 5 different kinds of fish and shellfish it wasn't too fishy, it has that wonderfully fresh fish flavour with a little richness from the wine and the tomato... the fish I chose were simply what I had in my freezer, part of the wonderful Fish is the Dish - Happy Healthy Hearts campaign delivery.  Any white fish will work here so simply go with what you've got or what's on special offer in the shops...


1 hake fillet
1 haddock fillet
1 coley fillet
6 scallops
250g frozen prawns
1 medium onion – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – crushed
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x tin’s worth of good quality vegetable stock
a glass of white wine
100g risotto rice

cut all the fish into bite-sized chunks and set aside.  I like to leave the scallops whole as they’re so plump and delicious it’s a shame to cut them.

in a large heavy pan gently heat some butter and olive oil then add the onions, herbs and garlic and let them sauté for about 5 mins, then add the spices, stir and let them all sweat together for a further 10 mins or so until soft and beginning to brown.

add the tomatoes, stock and wine and let that come to a simmer before adding the fish.  Stir and let it come to a simmer again before adding the rice.  One more stir before putting the lid on and leaving on a gentle hear for 10 mins until the fish is cooked through and the rice is plump and al dente.

garnish with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.

eat and of course, enjoy!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

lime sherbet and rose cupcakes



... as you can imagine I loved sweets as a kid... anything from our local sweet shop would make me happy, chocolate buttons, marathon bars, a finger of fudge... cherry lips, midget gems, fruit gums... fizzy cola bottles, even those funny banana things that tasted like a kitchen sponge... but my absolute favourite was sherbet... anything with sherbet... sherbet dib-dabs, sherbet fountains... although I always threw the liquorice stick away... flying saucers with their pastel hued sugar-paper shells and little burst of sherbet in the middle... to this day if I pass a sweet shop I will always pop in and purchase a roll of tangy refreshers... you see it's the sharp bitter shock that hits the back of the throat that I love.  Insanely sweet and sour at the same time...

...lime has a habit of doing this to your taste-buds... wonderfully fresh, bitter and sweet all together launching fireworks in your mouth and when you combine lime juice with icing sugar you get something close to that sparkling sherbet taste so reminiscent of childhood...


lime sherbet and rose cupcakes
I love the combination of lime and rose too, there's something slightly exotic about it, something a little rarified with the taste of eastern promise... both have such a distinctive aroma too, very evocative of moroccan nights in the sweltering heat... we can only but dream... luckily I was sent a little pot of Star Kay White Rosewater  Extract by Fiona from Let Them Eat Cake! as part of Makey-Cakey's Spring Surprise Ingredient Swap... Fiona actually sent me a bottle of Lavender Extract and Orange Blossom Extract too so I can't wait to get baking with them but for now I was inspired by the rosewater...

for the cupcakes
6oz butter - room temp
6oz sugar
6oz self-raising flour
2 large free-range eggs
1 teaspoon rosewater extract
the juice of one lime
the zest of 2 limes

for the icing
300g icing sugar
the juice of one lime
the zest of one lime

makes 12 medium cupcakes

pre-heat the oven to 170C and prepare your baking tray with 12 cupcake cases

in a large bowl beat the sugar and butter until light and creamy then add one egg and beat in followed by half the flour and beat in till smooth

add the lime juice, lime zest and the rosewater and beat in followed by the second egg and the flour and then beat in thoroughly until you have a light batter.  Feel free to add a drop of milk if the batter feels a little thick

divide equally between the cupcake cases, filling them two thirds full and then bake for 15-20 mins or until risen and golden, remove and let them cool on a wire rack

meanwhile pour the lime juice onto the icing sugar and gently stir in to form a thickish paste.  Once the cupcakes are cool spoon the icing onto each cake - you only need a little on each as it's quite intense - then sprinkle with the lime zest

this months tea time treats bloggers challenge is fairy cakes, cupcakes and muffins and is hosted so beautifully by Kate from What Kate Baked and Karen from Lavender and Lovage... and I think you'll find my cupcakes make an ideal entry...

eat and of course, enjoy!



Monday, 8 April 2013

polpette



... it really felt like Spring today, although by the time you're reading this it'll no doubt be icy cold again in the UK but these few hours of sunshine really helped everything feel like the planet was waking up to a new year at last... the noisy but insanely cute lambs frolicking in the field opposite the cottage help quite a bit too and as The Viking and I sat on the bench in the garden that looks out over the perfect bucolic scene we both felt warmly serene for the first time this year...

... the nights are still achingly cold of course and once dinner time comes around it's still big bowls of warming stews and soups that the body requires.  I've been wanting to make these little Italian meatballs ever since I made them a month or two ago when I, along with a group of other lovely bloggers, spent the day with Florence Knight the head chef of trendy modern-Italian restaurant Polpetto... I remember how simple and fun they were to make and how surprised I was by the fact that she baked them rather than fried them... I don't fully remember the recipe and I stupidly didn't write it down but I feel that i've re-created them here quite faithfully with a few belleau kitchen changes of course...


polpette - small Italian meatballs
the popular dish that is Italian meatballs with tomato sauce is in fact not very Italian at all... it's an American interpretation of polpette that has evolved from the traditional over the decades to become the wonderful dish we now all know and love... polpette is usually made from 2 types of meat, a ground beef and a ground veal and never served with tomato sauce but probably served as an appetiser or as a dish between starter and main course... i've combined the old and the new by creating a thick and rich tomato sauce and i've also used ground steak mince and sausage meat which were both part of the incredible package of meat and cheese sent to me by Farmison... the recipe may be slightly fiddly but I woke early this morning and had the whole dish prepped and made, with the house cleaned in between, in just over two hours... divine...

for the tomato sauce
this sauce needs a minimum of two hours, longer if possible
2 medium onions - finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
butter and olive oil
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 x tin's worth of half white wine, half stock or water
rosemary, thyme and oregano

for the polpette - makes 35 small meatballs
1 medium onion - finely chopped
1 clove of garlic - crushed
oregano
2 large, good quality sausages - any kind will do - roughly 250g
450g minced steak
half a loaf of basic white bread - crusts removed and roughly torn
a dash of milk
olive oil

to start with we're going to caramelise the onions for both the tomato sauce and the meatballs so use all three onions and all the cloves of garlic at the same time... add them to a large hot pan with olive oil and a little butter and gently saute them for about 20 mins on a medium heat, with a pinch or two of sugar and some chopped fresh herbs... keep your eye on them, they want a little golden colour but you don't want them to stick...

once they're done spoon out about a third and set aside, then add the tinned tomatoes, wine and stock to the remaining onions, turn the heat to it's very lowest and let them plop away gently for at least an hour and a half if not longer.

place the bread in a large bowl add the milk and stir until it's all absorbed... next add the rest of the ingredients and the onions and get your hands stuck in and bring at all together ensuring it's well mixed

prepare a baking tray with foil, then pour some oil onto your hands and form little meatballs from the meat mixture, you want them the size of a large marble... lay them out evenly on the baking tray and then bake in the oven on 180C for 20 mins or until golden and gorgeous

add them to the sauce before serving either as they are or with some pasta or rice

eat and of course, enjoy!


Friday, 5 April 2013

millionaires honey flapjack - we should cocoa



... I was in the pub last weekend and my friends Hayley and Matt asked me a question they said had been on their minds for a while... 'what do I do with all the food I cook?'  I was a little stumped at first because my initial reaction was.. 'well, I eat it of course'... but then I thought that they probably meant all the cakes and treats I make and truth be told I really don't eat it all myself... the viking and I would be a lot more rotund and in fact probably dead if we consumed anywhere near the amount of cakes I bake... the simple answer is that I give a lot of it away.  My neighbour Tracey will tell you of the half cakes and large slices of treats that land on her doorstep... I even cut a slice out of her birthday cake last week to take a photo of it... quite a bit of cake goes into the freezer too and I do have friends who magically turn up on the same day that i've made a batch of chocolate covered flapjacks...

... we have friends who are turning up for lunch today... I had a little panic last night about what to cook for 2 adults and 2 kids I haven't seen for a couple of years but this morning I woke and thought that crusty wholemeal bread and a large vat of chunky minestrone would be perfect for the six of us and if they don't like that they can chow down on these sickly chocolatey slices of fabulousness...

... the we should cocoa bloggers challenge ingredient this month is honey and anyone who follows my twitter feed will know I had a baking disaster on Wednesday evening with some honey and chocolate cupcakes... they exploded in the oven... so I threw these together instead and I'm so glad I did... we should cocoa was founded by Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog and Chele from Chocolate Teapot... it's a great challenge and I love playing along each month.


millionaires honey flapjack - we should cocoa
in some bizarre effort to cut down the calorific level of this treat I used a new product called Truvia Baking Blend which is half Truvia, a calorie free sweetener made from the stevia leaf and half silverspoon sugar... which has been specially developed for bakers as it adds the much needed structure to a bake that using only calorie-free sugar wouldn't add... it worked really well and tastes delicious but obviously I only got a pale caramel as it is a white product not the dark brown sugar I should have used.

for the flapjacks
200g soft brown sugar
200g butter
2 tablespoons runny honey
350g rolled oats

for the caramel
397g can of condensed milk
150g dark brown sugar or 75g Truvia Baking Blend
150g butter

200g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon flavourless oil such as sunflower oil

you will need a 22cm x 15cm tray bake tin, lined with foil and greased - pre-heat the oven to 140C

to make the flapjack layer place the butter, sugar and honey into a large pan and heat gently until the butter melts, pour in the oats and stir until combined and fully coated

pour the oats into the tray and spread out evenly.  Bake for 45 mins until golden and bubbly then remove from the oven and set aside whilst you make the caramel

heat the butter and sugar in a pan until dissolved, then add the condensed milk and stir gently until it begins to bubble and turn golden then set aside to cool slightly... it should be thick and thicken further as it cools... pour it over the flapjacks before it cools completely and spread it out evenly then once cooled entirely place in the fridge for at least 2 hours

melt the chocolate with the oil either in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave then pour this over the flapjacks and set aside till it's solid... the oil will help cut the chocolate without it cracking

cut into squares, eat and of course enjoy!


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

pan-fried skrei with pea and cauliflower crush




... if you've been paying attention dear reader you'll know i've been eating a lot of fish recently as part of the Fish is the Dish - Happy Healthy Hearts promo and i've loved every second of it... the fish i've been sent has been incredibly good quality and has included a large variety of fish which only ever comes from responsibly sourced industries, in fact Fish is the Dish is created by Seafish a government body who's aim is to support and improve the environmental sustainability, efficiency and cost effectiveness of the whole of the UK fish industry.  I realise it can be a little confusing especially with all us food bloggers encouraging you with fabulous ways to cook and eat fish when, in reality, we should be cutting down on all fish consumption for the sake of the planet... but I guess this is a bigger conversation for another time... it's a topic of conversation that I struggle with but that I hope I answer by cooking, as often as I can, with as much local and seasonal produce that I can get my hands on...

... for me there's a dichotomy with Skrei too... Skrei is an Arctic Cod, line caught and much loved Norwegian delicacy which is only available between January and April each year.  It's a migratory fish and journey's thousands of miles annually from the Barents Sea to the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway to reproduce... it is said that during this short period the seas around the islands are teaming with millions of these beautiful fish...  and it's thanks to this epic journey through icy, dark waters that Skrei has a lean, bright white firm flesh and is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals which makes it a hugely versatile, healthy and wholesome food... the beautiful skrei was sent to me by the good people at the Norwegian Seafood Council who also love and cherish their amazing fish resources...


pan-fried skrei with pea and cauliflower crush
in order to fully appreciate the incredible clean flavour of this fish and to, in a way honour its presence on my plate I have kept the ingredients and recipe very simple, ultimately this is fish in it's purest form, pan-fried with a little butter, oil and seasoning and served with a creative mash that has its heritage in the old-fashioned kind of 'cod n chips' serve...

2 skrei fillets (available in all good fish-mongers and also on-line here)
butter and olive oil
salt and pepper

250g frozen peas
1 medium cauliflower
a few basil leaves
a few mint leaves
olive oil

place the cauliflower and peas on to steam and once tender place in a large bowl with a glug of olive oil, the basil, mint and a little seasoning then blitz gently with a handheld whizzer thingy until you reach the desired consistency.

meanwhile smear the skin of the skrei with a little olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, next heat a small heavy pan and melt a little butter into it.

place the fish skin-side down into the pan and fry for two to three minutes until the skin is golden and crispy then season the flesh side with a little more salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil and then turn the fish over and pan fry the flesh side for a further two minutes until perfectly cooked

eat and of course, enjoy!

Monday, 1 April 2013

random recipes #27 - Get Random Baby!



... sometimes random recipes themes come to me in a flash of inspiration and other times I simply don't have a clue how to get creative and so in the interest of keeping it random but wanting to be as interactive as possible I thought i'd ask my good friend 'the internet' to come up with a solution...

...so... drumroll please... ladies and gentlemen please give a warm random recipes welcome to the worlds first random recipes random number generator thingamidoodah...

... it's a little pathetic really isn't it... I wanted to create something that was pulsing and spinning... something akin to a classic one arm bandit found in a Las Vegas casino with all the flashing bulbs and rolling wheels but alas folks we're stuck with this miserable creature above... it does the same job I guess but that's like comparing a Ford Escort to an Aston Martin Vanquish... they'll both get you there in the end....

here are the rules...

1. count and number your books from left to right, up and down, hallway bookshelf to kitchen cupboard...
2. using the patent-pending random recipes number generator thingamidoodah place the number 1 in the 'min' space and the number of books in your collection in the 'max' space, then press the 'Get Random Baby' button
3. count back along your books and open the chosen book randomly at a page
4. cook the exact recipe on that page, no cheating!
5. you can change the recipe to suit dietary needs / seasonal availability 
6. write and post your recipe on your blog including a link back to mine and the delightful random recipes logo
7. tweet about your post including the hashtag #randomrecipes and I will retweet all those I see
8. feel free to combine this bloggers challenge with any others that are relevant 
9. please email me a link to your post to dominic at belleaukitchen dot co.uk
10. challenge deadline is April 28th


... spread from kitchen, downstairs loo and hallway and from left to right I have 64 books and the patent-pending random recipes number generator thingamidoodah chose number 9... which just so happens to be Delia's Vegetarian Collection... I entered the page number totals next (255) and the 
random recipes number generator thingamidoodah chose page 45 and a recipe for Fresh Asparagus with Foaming Hollandaise... perfectly delightful!

so... off you pop and Get Random Baby!

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