Tag Archives: milk

Smoked haddock salad

smoked-haddock-salad

This is a blissfully easy recipe for a weeknight – 15 minutes, tops. I bought 225gm of smoked haddock loin as it was going for a song, being towards the end of the day. I wanted to make a low-carb salad for Pete, avoiding potatoes it at all possible. I had tomatoes and half a cucumber, and a couple of spring onions for the salad. I had absolutely no idea if these would work with fish, or with my favourite yogurt dressing. But, nothing venture nothing gain, so in a spirit of experimentation I decided to go with what I had, yogurt, smoked fish and all! 

First, the fish – i was worried that the smoked haddock might be very salty, so I decided to poach it in milk. To the milk I added some kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and a few peppercorns (still in the mad experimentation phase). The fish cooked in no time – well ok, a little time, about 5 minutes, perhaps.

While that was happening I sliced the cucumber into sticks, finely sliced the spring onions and tomatoes, and made the dressing, whisking the yogurt, paprika, minced fresh mint and a little freshly ground pepper. . Bam, that was it – Pete’s dinner was ready, bar putting the components together. It really was that easy. And what do you know, it turned out to be very tasty, according to Pete. I was really pleased that the salad ingredients worked out. And all without even a peek at a potato! That’s what I call a result.

Method:

1. Put the haddock loin (cut into two, if necessary) skin-side down in a flat bottomed pan and pour in milk just barely to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer and let the fish cook for about 5 minutes, until the flakes separate a little and turn opaque.

2. Remove the fish from the milk and take off the skin while the fish is still warm. Break up the fish into flakes (easily done as the flakes will almost separate themselves) and set aside.

3. In a serving bowl, mix together the 2 cups of cucumber cut into two-inch sticks, sliced tomato and spring onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix gently. Put the flaked fish on top.

4. Whisk together 1/4 cup natural yogurt, lime juice to taste, 1 tsp minced fresh mint, a pinch of sugar and 1/2 tsp paprika. Pour over the salad, mix lightly and serve.

Verdict: Super success, as Pete loved the salad and didn’t even enquire after potatoes.

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South Indian prawn curry

I do like cooking with prawns because they take so little time to cook. Today I made a South Indian curry sauce for the prawns, a ridiculously simple recipe but incredibly fragrant and absolutely delicious. It might look ingredient-heavy, but believe me when I say that there are no complicated steps. So on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

250gms fresh water prawns, cleaned and shells removed
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup tomato passata or tomato sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp mustard seeds
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Fry in 1/2 tsp oil for 30-45 seconds until fragrant and slightly darker in colour :
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1-2 mild dried red chillies, or use 1 tsp paprika

Grind together to a smooth paste, using a little water:
1/4 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut
1 small tomato, quartered
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1cm piece fresh ginger
the toasted spices

Method:

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds and let them pop (about a minute on high heat). Then stir in the minced onion and fry for a minute or two until it softens.

2. Turn down the heat to medium, add the ground spice-coconut paste and fry it for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in the milk and passata and let it cook for 5 minutes, without letting it burn. You can add a couple of tablespoons water along with salt to taste at this point, if the paste looks very thick.

4. Add the prawns and stir to coat with the sauce. They should take 5-7 minutes to cook through (they will turn pink). Stir in the lime juice and taste the sauce to make sure the flavours are balanced. Sprinkle with the fresh coriander and serve hot with steamed rice or Indian flatbreads.

Verdict: Pete thought the sauce was incredibly delicious with the prawns.

Oven-baked “KFC” mini chicken fillets

kfc chicken

I happened on a food blog called RecipeTinEats while looking for a recipe for southern-fried chicken that was not actually fried, as Pete had bought a pack of chicken breast mini fillets. This blog had great photos – and does anyone else feel that practically every food blog one sees nowadays has fantastic photographs? The food itself doesn’t look doable by lazy/incompetent me, but my oh my, the photos! But that’s by the by – as I was saying, the photos were sensational and when I read the write-up and the recipe, I was thrilled that it really did seem easy.

The recipe below is pretty much what Nagi of RecipeTinEats posted on her blog. I used a 50:50 mixture of Greek yogurt and milk in place of the buttermilk (because I didn’t have any buttermilk handy), and added some cumin powder and coriander powder to the spice mix… because why not. While the spices probably don’t add up to the number that KFC boast of in their “secret” mix of spices and herbs, they are more than adequate for the chicken.

I guess I should say that the chicken didn’t get as crisp in the oven as Nagi mentioned, but perhaps that was my fault. I was just concerned that the chicken strips might become dry and tasteless if I left them too long in the oven in the hope that they would crisp up. So I removed them when they were a golden brown and a knife inserted in the thickest part showed that the chicken was cooked.

I didn’t tell Pete that the chicken was meant to be KFC-style. I just served it up with home-made coleslaw. And guess what? When I asked him if the chicken was good, he said – and this is gospel truth – that it was the best chicken he’d tasted short of being an actual KFC takeaway! Sweet! And he made the KFC connection all on his own. So thank you, Nagi of RecipeTinEats, for the inspiration.

Recipe for: Oven-baked KFC chicken

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Smoked haddock fishcakes

I made this because there were some leftover vegetables from Sunday lunch and I was loath to throw them away – four pieces of roast potatoes, 1 small roast carrot and 1 piece of parsnip. And since there was some smoked haddock in the freezer, fishcakes seemed the easiest thing to make. It looks like there’s a lot in the ingredient list, but really the spicing is minimal (given what I’m used to, anyway). Pete and his mum both said the flavours were clean, the spicing didn’t mask the flavour of the fish or the potatoes. Which I guess is the point.

I used semolina for a crunchy exterior, but if you want to use Japanese panko breadcrumbs or maybe even cornmeal, feel free.

I served the fishcakes with sweet chilli sauce as a dip and a green salad on the side.

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Smoked haddock and fennel pie

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I’m always on the lookout for fish dishes for Pete that seem easy to make, and The Guardian and The Telegraph are my favourite places to scout for them. I adore Wednesdays and Thursdays in The Guardian (because of Angela Hartnett on Wednesdays and Felicity Cloake on Thursdays), and Stevie Parle in The Telegraph (although I’m not as certain about when the recipes appear in the newspaper). I read all the recipes, doable and otherwise, and print off a good few of them. However, my record with making them isn’t as good as my record with printing them, and definitely nowhere near as good as my record at reading them. I suppose I consider myself up on the deal if I manage to make one recipe for every dozen printed off. This was one of those that made it from newspaper to printout to plate.
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