31/12/2012

Showcase ... 2012














































28/12/2012

Salmon & Root Vegetable Bake

After a damn good walk, some four hours out in the driving rain and wind, and a lot of fun had, it's time for some dinner.

Did someone say, "Carbs!"?

Christmas has been and gone ... congratulations to Joseph & Mary upon the birth of Our Lord, and all that.

We're left in that limbo period where we have enough booze, but the food stocks are running low and we really can't be bothered shopping even if the farm was open.

What now? Freezer stocks, leftovers and surplus purchases ...

We have some salmon and we have a lot of roots: potato, swede, parsnip and celeric.

Peel and shave those roots. I say shave, but I'm pretty nifty with a knife, so thin slices will do just fine.

Chop up an onion and some leek.

Now have some fun with a wide ovenproof dish ...

Layer of mixed roots, layer of onion, some white pepper, some dried herbs ... repeat, varying the herb and/or onion with leek. Just dress the top layer nicely.

Make up an amount of fish stock to cover and pour it in.

Pop it in the oven at 200C (400F) for about 45 minutes.

The top layer will start to darken and crispen, so after about 30 minutes, press it down and try to get it submerged a little into stock.

At 45 minutes, pop some salmon fillets on top and some butter over.

Another 15 minutes (so, an hour) and serve by lifting the fish off, spooning out the roots into a bowl, garnish with dill and place the fish alongside.

Beauty!

Hungry folks can wolf down the remaining stock as a chaser.

26/12/2012

Cucumber, Smoked Salmon, Blue Cheese & Caviar Canapés

Boxing Day!

After a quiet Christmas Day, just the two of us, the kids and their partners came to us for Boxing Day.

Champagne, games, more Champagne ... oh, and some canapés.

Posh food for pre-dinner nibbles? Nah! Just something fun looking and a tasty little morsel to help the Champagne go down ...

Dead easy!

Peel a cucumber and slice it into slices just over a centimetre in thickness.

Take an apple corer and core each slice.

Push in a little smoked salmon and a cube of blue cheese.

Caviar over the top and a sprig of dill to garnish.

See! Easy!

24/12/2012

Tea Poached Salmon over Warm Celeriac Remoulade, Sauce Vierge and Cauliflower Purée

Christmas Eve is a very special day for us - 12 years ago to the evening we got together.

Best Christmas present ever!

Tonight, I wanted to cook her something really special including her favourite vegetable, the cauliflower, and include a couple of things I've done recently that she really loved: celeriac remoulade and sauce vierge.

As if by fate, I found exactly the inspiration I was looking for on the internet and with only a little adaption (like more of it ...) was able to take a gourmet meal from a highly rated restaurant in West Wales and make it our dinner.

All the parts that make up this dish are easily done one at a time and then assembled at the end ...

First, the cauliflower - I used the central stalk and a couple of florets. Chop down and get it boiling.

Next, cube up some courgette, cucumber and tomato. This is our Sauce Vierge. Place into a frying pan with some olive oil, parsley and black pepper. Set aside - this takes only seconds to cook through. Have a wedge of lemon juice alongside for the final touch.

Next, the celeriac remoulade. Remoulade is a French cuisine sauce, not dissimilar to tartare. It should be tangy and spicy.

It's an easy one to make up - take egg yolks and whisk together with olive oil. Once emulsified, add a good squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of cider vinegar, some black pepper and sea salt.

The sauce for the remoulade just wants to be sloppy; just sloppier than Hollandaise, and just pour it over celeriac cut into matchsticks. It wants to be sloppy so that it doesn't cook solid when it hits the warm celeriac.

Cut the celeriac into slices a couple of millimetres thick and then cut again into matchsticks.

Warm through in boiling water, drain and allow the fierce heat to evaporate off before pouring the remoulade over and folding through with some chopped dill.

Meanwhile, place a couple of salmon fillets into bouillon and drop in a tea bag! After a few minutes, retrieve the tea bag and allow the salmon to poach through, colouring up and soaking in some of the tannins for a curious flavour.

Okay ... nearly ready, so drain the cauliflower, pour in a little cream and blend it with a hand blender. You could be all Cheffy about it, get it really sloppy and pour out little pools from a squeezy bottle, or just drop blobs of it onto the plate using a tea spoon.

Switch on the hob under the skillet with the courgette, cucumber and tomato, and just as it is warming, squeeze in the lemon juice.

Ready to serve ...

Celeriac remoulade in the middle and the fish over the top.

Sauce Vierge around the outside with helpings of the cauliflower purée.

Garnish with a sprig of dill over a wedge of lemon.

19/12/2012

Pan Fried Sea Bass over Warm Celeric Remoulade


Remoulade is a French cuisine sauce, not dissimilar to tartare. It should be tangy and spicy.

It's an easy one to make up - take egg yolks and whisk together with olive oil. Once emulsified, add a good squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of cider vinegar, some black pepper and sea salt.

The sauce for the remoulade just wants to be sloppy; just sloppier than Hollandaise, and just pour it over celeriac cut into matchsticks. It wants to be sloppy so that it doesn't cook solid when it hits the warm celeriac.

Cut the celeriac into slices a couple of millimetres thick and then cut again into matchsticks.

Warm through in boiling water, drain and allow the fierce heat to evaporate off before pouring the remoulade over and folding through.

Fish? Easy ... gut, scale and fillet the fish, slash the skin so it doesn't curl up in the pan, butter, fry on skin side for a couple of minutes, heat off, flip over and cook on the flesh side.

Serve over a mound of celeriac.

Done!

18/12/2012

Swordfish and Dragonfruit Salsa

Dragonfruit is a curious fruit ...

Much like kiwi in texture, but less bitter and with a curious, almost salty undertaste. It is delicious on its own, but stands up well within other strong, punchy flavours, like red onion, ginger and chilli.

Perfect for a little salsa alongside some firm, meaty fish ...

First, marinate some red onion and cucumber in red wine vinegar and lime juice - this will take the sting out of the onions. Later on, drop in a shredded chilli and some ginger.

Cube up a dragonfruit and set aside in a bowl.

Halve a bok choy and set aside.

Griddle your fish, setting aside while the bok choy griddles - we want it warmed through, softened just a little but still full of crunch and juice.

Carefully lift out the onion and cucumber mix, leaving behind the vinegar juice, and drop into the bowl with the dragonfruit cubes. Add in some coriander leaves and combine, gently.

Plate up ...

Swordfish in the middle, bok choy alongside and a good handful of the salad on the other side.

Eat, enjoy and be fulfilled!