Tag Archives: seafood

A quick and easy Dinner Treat

Last week after a tough day I wanted to treat myself to something new and a little different for dinner. Luckily for me Sainsburys in Toots had some beautiful fresh scallops on the Fish Counter which I decided to combine with the comfort of linguine and chorizo.

This dish contains 2 of your 5 veg a day from the spinach and tomatoes – which also provide an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Scallops are low in fat and also a great source of Vitamin B, potassium and magnesium – all of which are great for heart health. 

You’ll see I added dried spice – I used a dried arrabiata mix I picked up from Italy which contains dried chilli, parsley, oregano and garlic but dried chilli is also just fine.

Serves 2
12 Fresh Scallops – keep the roe to one side
220g Cherry Tomatoes
100g Chorizo – cubed
200g Spinach – shredded
2 handfuls Linguine
1tsp dried chilli/dried arrabiata mix

Start by boiling the linguine – this is a quick dish so by the time the pasta has cooked everything else will be ready!
In a frying pan, dry fry the cherry tomatoes – keep an eye on them. When they start to char and soften, turn down the heat and add some olive oil. At this stage, add the dried chilli or dried herbs (depending on how much spice you fancy) and also add the chorizo. I also added in the scallop roe – many people dont like to eat this but it adds a mild scallop flavour to the sauce which saves having to add extra seasoning for those trying to limit their salt intake. As everything sizzles, gently mash the tomatoes to make a chunky sauce. Add the spinach and let it wilt down into the sauce.
Allow the sauce to simmer on a low heat and get on to the scallops.
I fried my scallops in a little olive oil in a frying pan – I cooked for 2 minutes on one side until they had a lovely golden sheen and then flipped to cook on the other side for another minute.
To serve, I mixed the sauce with the linguine and placed the scallops on top. A perfect Summery comfort dish.

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Prawn & Sweet Potato Fishcakes

I saw a similar recipe to this in Delicious magazine, it was indeed delicious but after I over bought some sweet potatoes and ran out of paprika I thought I would make a a couple of substitutes to see what the end result tasted like and it was pretty great! Elix preferred the sweet potato version which was a positive and obviously the addition of sweet potatoes instead of the usual white potatoes gives this dinner an extra boost of vitamins A and C so are good for the immune system and healthy bones aswell as being a good source of fiber which helps our hearts and tummys.

Anyway on to the recipe which is pretty easy to make (even in the building site which is my kitchen at the moment!) – get a frying pan and a food blitzer ready as we will be using these.

Serves 3 (makes 6 fishcakes)
1 large roasted red pepper (i used one from a jar)
40g Ground Almonds
1.5tsp Lemon Juice
2 Garlic Cloves
1tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Sweet Potatoes – peeled and diced
250g Prawns – roughly chopped
100g Breadcrumbs (i used wholewheat bread)
2 Eggs

First thing first, get those sweet potatoes on to boil and cook until just soft enough to mash – dont want to overcook as they will be too wet for the fishcake.
Whilst these are on the hob, blitz together the pepper, cayenne pepper, ground almonds, 1 garlic clove and lemon juice to make a paste and leave to one side in a large bowl. When the potatoes are
cooked, drain and mix with the pepper paste – mash everything together and leave to one side to cool. In the frying pan, lightly fry the remaining garlic clove with the prawns until the prawns are cooked through. Pop the cooked prawns and any garlic into the potato and paste mix and mix together.
When the mixture is cool enough to handle, use your hands to mould into 6 fishcakes. To ensure the fishcakes are firm enough to coat and cook, place in the fridge for 30 minutes, dont worry if you dont have time though – I coated them and cooked them when they were still a little warm and as long as you’re careful they will cook fine!
To coat, place the eggs into a bowl and beat and place the breadcrumbs onto a plate. Heat some rapeseed oil in the frying pan and once you have gently coated the fishcakes in the eggs and then the breadcrumbs, place into the pan and allow 3 minutes on each side for the fishcakes to crisp up and heat up (dont forget everything is already cooked!).
I served with a broccolli, sugarsnap and spinach salad and cider vinegar dressing but any fresh side salad or veggies would work well as the fishcakes are packed with flavour – sweetness from the pepper and potatoes and a little kick from the cayenne pepper. Next time Elix wants a fried egg on top which will also be delicious!

Cleanse Weeks 2 and 3

Sorry for the delay in posting this but work and my new house combined with seeing friends and being away etc have made me a very busy bee the past two weeks.

So…..the cleanse….week one was a breeze, far easier than i imagined. Week two was slightly harder – being the only one on our work trip away not drinking lovely red wine with our tapas dinner and starting off life in my new house without chocolate to get me through the stress of it! I had a couple of nice meals out which were gluten, sugar and grain free including Jin Juu’s Jap Chae Noodles and a simple Flat Iron Steak with a side salad of green beans, heritage tomatoes and a light citrus dressing at Bordelaise in Toots.

On top of that my meals and snacks have been easy to include in the cleanse. Cauliflower Rice and Courgetti have been fabulous substitutes for regular rice and pasta. Elix was shocked the other day when I announced I would never have rice again as I love the cauli stuff so much! Fruit and Veg smoothies for breakfast with eggs, avocado and salmon at weekends as a treat has also been easy to continue with. Packed lunches at work have involved chicken, walnut and apple salad, tuna nicoise and roast vegetable salad. Whilst rooibos and peppermint tea are delightful I continue to pine for cappuccinos and a milky earl grey cuppa!

My weight loss has continued – nothing huge but a little nip and tuck here and there which my skinny jeans have been grateful for! Most importantly my skin is in a far better state now with some little irritable patches I used to suffer from now completely clear and my face pretty much free from blemishes.

To confess, I did take my best friend Bex for afternoon tea for her birthday at The Goring. We enjoyed sandwiches, scones and pastries aswell as a glass of champagne. I felt ok afterwards, fuller than usual (i would normally devour extra servings of sandwiches and scones and I didnt!) and a little bloated but nothing too concerning. I think this showed me that everything in moderation, for me, is ok although I do think I have a slight intolerance to milk which I will investigate.

My favourite recipe from the past couple of weeks has been Seafood Stew with Tomato and Saffron.

Serves 2
200g Mixed Seafood including prawns, mussels and squid
6 Scallops
1 Onion – diced
4 cloves Garlic – crushed
1/2 Carton Tomato Passata
1 tin Plum Tomatoes
Sprinkle of Saffron
1tsp Chilli flakes
1tsp Turmeric
Flat Leaf Parsley
Lemon Juice

Start by slowly frying the onion and garlic in some olive oil in a saucepan. As they begin to soften, add in the spices and mix. Pour in the passata and tinned tomatoes and stir together – leave to simmer gently in the pan for 30 minutes.
If you need to sweeten the sauce add a little sugar or agave – I found that mine didn’t need it.
Add the seafood for a couple of minutes to cook through and stir through the chopped parsley. Finally add a little lemon juice and mix again.
When the sauce has a good balance of chilli heat, sharpness from the lemon and sweetness from the tomatoes and the seafood is cooked through you are ready to serve.
I served mine with kale, tenderstem broccoli and cauliflower rice.

Fideuà

After lots of dinners out this week….all of which were meat themed – starting with my one true love – Stilton Burger at Honest Burger, followed by a massive platter of lamb chops, beef short ribs and pork belly at Blacklock in Soho and an finally an interesting Beef and Tuna combo at Macellaio RC in Exmouth Market,  I was craving seafood and had seen a recipe for Fideuà in Nigel Slater’s book that I was keen to try.

Fideuà is  a Spanish dish from Valencia, similar to seafood paella but with noodle pasta instead of rice. Just like paella, you cook in a large, flat pan and let the bottom crisp up a little.

Our dish was light, sweet from the tomato base, a little spicy from the chilli and slightly smokey from the paprika and saffron. Very easy to make it went down very well in our house tonight!

Serves 3
250g Noodle Pasta (or break some spaghetti up!)
1/2 Red Onion – diced
1 Chilli – diced
2 Cloves Garlic – sliced
1tbsp Paprika
Pinch of Saffron
300g Tomatoes – diced
1/2 litre Chicken Stock
250g Mixed Seafood (we used mussels, prawns and squid)
Lemon Juice (optional to serve)

Fry the onion in some olive oil until softened, then add the chilli and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes including any juice and stir through with the paprika and saffron – cook further to infuse the flavours and add the pasta noodles. Allow the pasta to roast a little and pour over the stock.
Keep stirring until 2/3 of the liquid had cooked out, then add the seafood and pop a lid on the pan for 8 minutes – this will steam cook the seafood and allow the mixture to crisp up slightly on the bottom of the pan.
Once all cooked through, serve with mixed greens and a squizzle of lemon juice if you wish.

  

Iv just returned from a long weekend in the beautiful city of Copenhagen where as well as see the sites and potter about we ate some incredible food! Since Noma started winning the Best Restaurant in the World accolade 3 years ago, Copenhagen has become more known for its food than the Little Mermaid and is now welcomed by many into lists of must-visit foodie cities.
I naively assumed Copenhagen would be all Danish pastries and Smørrebrød (open sandwiches) with lots of cured and pickled things topped with dill – oh how i wrong i was!
You all know i love a good food market and Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne Market is now one of my favourites. Stalls selling cheeses, meats and wine nestle in between numerous butchers, fishmongers, grocers and bakers offering fresh food to locals to cook at home and ready-to-eat bites which I took full advantage of! Tasting on Danish blue and smoked cheeses, taramasalata pastes, nougat and acai juice were some highlights but the star of the show was a seafood stall offering DIY smorgasbords of raw fish and salads.

HAV copenhagen

I selected a gravadlax style salmon topped with yoghurt, dill and hazelnuts, ceviche of halibut with chilli, plum and pear and a pearl barley and roasted pepper salad. Whilst the three dishes dont work as a full meal these seemed the most far removed and interesting to try having never had halibut ceviche and fish paired with plum and pear. The lunch was full of flavour, super fresh, good value and very filling – i was contemplating asking for some bread (you can take the girl out of The North….) but the meal was good enough as it was and for any of you visiting the market id recommend seeking out this stall called HAV.
Brunch in Copenhagen was also a very pleasant surprise – cafes generally offer 2 main options – the classic and vegetarian which are essentially 3 course breakfasts on a plate. Fruit, yoghurt and granola, and pastry are served alongside eggs with either bacon and sausage or tapenade and humous. To complete the meal a few slices of cheese and charcuterie are devoured with a selection of sourdough and rye breads – needless to say such a huge brunch left little room for snacks but we still managed a couple of danish pastries from one of the many patisseries in the city and they were a delight.
Ok – so on to the main events – Dinner – our attempt at the Noma waitlist sadly failed afterall who would cancel a Noma reservation but im confident we made up for it with our meals and feasted exceptionally well both evenings.
The first night was Oliver & The Black Circus – a dark, cool and quirky venue offering fine dining in a relaxed and bustling atmosphere. Only a tasting menu either 4 or 6 courses with wine flight and a cocktail – each and every course was presented beautifully and gave us the opportunity to taste new flavours and foods. Scallops to start with a fresh salad of greens and a light oyster sauce.

scallops copenhagen

Next was cod with mussels served on a cucumber, tomato and dill salsa. My favourite course was Veal (mine was very rare but so tasty) served with sliced and cubed roasted and pickled beetroot and juicy trumpet mushrooms. Dessert was thankfully a light one – a deconstructed apple crumble if you will – soft and sweet stewed apples with a marshmallow soft meringue on top drizzled with elderberry coulis and topped with crumble. The entire meal and evening was out of this world.

apple dessert copenhagen
Dinner the second night was very different but equally as tasty. BioM Restaurant offers are more minimalist setting, neutrals and whites decorate the small restaurant with driftwood adorning the walls and little tree trunks growing mushrooms on the counter enhance the fresh and foraged, natural feel to the place. Again as we are greedy little things we opted for the 3 course menu but had 3 or 4 choices for each course. To start I elected the smoked beef salad – slithers of barbecue smoked carpaccio beef scattered the plate along with pickled cabbage, cranberries and hazelnuts – all brought together under a sticky and sweet barbecue dressing and topped with very crispy onions.

smoked beef salad copenhagen

Main course was halibut – a fish which seems to be in abundance in Copenhagen – the fish came with black tagliatelle, pea sauce, fennel and salsify. Given sometimes salsify can taste of sweaty fish i was keen to try (i had it once a few years back and it left a lot to be desired) – each and every element of this was brilliant – i didn’t want it to end and promptly cleared my plate!

halibut copenhagen

Despite being completely full, i couldn’t resist the chocolate mousse, chocolate tart and passionfruit dessert – combining rich and light chocolate elements with sweet and tangy passionfruit coulis and sorbet was the perfect end to this fantastic meal.

chocolate copenhagen