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Category Archives: Fish

Jamie Oliver’s Moroccan Fish – Revisited

 

I was going over some recipes from posts from the past. Here’s a great Jamie Oliver recipe from his 15 Minute Meals. I thought I’d blog it again as it’s fairly easy to prepare. The fish is served with couscous and a lovely Middle Eastern style salsa, and a pungent sauce of yogurt with harissa on the side. Although it’s a simple dish, it does take a little longer than 15 minutes to prepare…

Some wonderful Middle Eastern flavours, with a heady mix of fiery hot harissa, sweet pomegranate and apricot, tart preserved lemon and cool yoghurt.
Jamie uses bream. I’m not sure if bream in the UK is the same fish as in Australia. I used yellow tail bream which looked perfect for the recipe. Jamie’s recipe calls for whole fish, heads and tails removed, but obviously still on the bone. I would recommend fish fillets, preferably with the skin on, if you don’t like picking out the bones.

Ingredients
Salsa
1/2-1 preserved lemon (be careful that the brand you choose isn’t too bitter – if possible make your own)
A handful of dried apricots
A couple of strips of preserved red pepper
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 pomegranate
Fish
2 whole bream, heads and tails removed, scaled and gutted OR 4 fish fillets of choice, preferably skin on
Rock salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 spring onions
A few sprigs of thyme
1 teaspoon or to taste of harissa
3-6 saffron threads covered with 100 mls boiling water and left to infuse for a couple of minutes
Couscous
1 cup couscous
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon butter
Salt to taste
To serve
1/2 cup fat free yoghurt
A  handful of pistachios

Method
To make the salsa, blitz the lemon, apricots, peppers and the parsley in a food processor until well blended. Transfer to a bowl and squeeze in the juice of half the pomegranate. Mix, season to taste.
For the fish: score the the fish in a crisscross fashion on both sides, down to the bone if using whole fish rather than fillets. Season all over with rock salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan and add the fish, cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes each side for whole fish, 2 minutes for fillets.
Add finely sliced spring onions, thyme sprigs, harissa to taste and saffron threads and their soaking water. Scrunch up and wet a sheet of greaseproof paper and tuck it around the fish. Cook on low heat for the time it takes to prepare the couscous or until the liquid is half evaporated from the frying pan.
To make the couscous, add couscous to the boiling water in a small saucepan. Add salt, cover and stand for about 3 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the butter, fluffing up the couscous as you stir.

To serve:
Pile the couscous onto a serving platter and spoon the salsa over the couscous. Lay the fish on top, spoon over some of the pan juices, and scatter over the pistachios. Hold the other pomegranate half in your hand and bash it with a spoon to release the seeds and juice. Serve with a bowl of yoghurt on the side with a little harissa swirled through for a pretty colour.

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Ciabatta James Morton Style

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Ciabatta is that lovely bread distinguished by all those holes! It’s light and flavoursome, keeps well and is also amazing toasted or made into bruschetta. In need of  a reliable recipe, I consulted James Morton in his great book Brilliant Bread for how to make this bread.

I was making ciabatta for the first time this week. I had friends over for dinner to celebrate the arrival of a shearers’ table which has been sojourning in the Southern Highlands for too long. I had hot-smoked a side of salmon and wanted some nice bread to serve it with. I ended up serving it with dill pickles, creme fraiche, focaccia and the ciabatta loaves. Here’s a photo of the hot-smoked salmon. For the recipe on how to hot smoke, check the recipe from my post on hot-smoking.

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Ciabatta can be tricky to make as the dough is very wet and hard to handle, so be prepared for this. James suggests using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, which makes the kneading easier.

I discovered that James has a simpler recipe online. It looks good, and I am keen try his “pared down” version.  See James’ simple ciabatta here.

But here is the recipe from James’ book Brilliant Bread that I have made successfully.

Ingredients

300g strong white flour
100g plain flour
7g instant yeast
10g salt
200g sourdough starter
350g tepid water
Semolina, for dusting

Method

Into the bowl of your electric mixer (I used my KitchenAid), rub the flours, yeast and salt, keeping the yeast and salt on separate sides of the bowl.  Add the starter and water and form into a extremely wet dough.

I followed James’ instructions for the electric mixer, here, although you could knead by hand for 10-15 minutes. Beat the dough with the paddle attachment of the mixer until it comes away from the sides and easily passes the windowpane test.

Cover your bowl with cling film (I use a shower cap) and leave to prove. This can be 2 hour room temperature prove or leave for 10-12 hours in the fridge. The dough should have at least doubled in size.

Turn the dough out on to a heavily floured surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough in half so both the top and bottom are both floured. Move it around a little to make sure the bottom is totally coated, and add more flour to the top. Flatten very gently into a  rough rectangle, then cut into 4 strips, being very careful not to deflate the dough and lose those bubbles which will be your holes!

Gently transfer each strip onto a heavily floured tea towel. As you move them, stretch them out until they are long and “slipper-like”. The loaves don’t need to be exact they are after all rustic loaves. Leave to prove on the tea towel for about 1 hour, or until wobbly and noticeably increased in size.

About 40 minutes before you bake, preheat your baking surface in the oven set at  240 degrees C or 220 degrees C fan forced.

Turn the ciabattas (be very gentle) on to a board dusted with semolina, so what was the bottom is now the top – this helps to redistribute the bubbles for a better crumb. Slide the loaves on to the hot baking surface and throw 1/4 cup of water on to the sides of the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. (I think I could have baked my loaves a little longer – they were not brown enough).

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Jamie Oliver’s Salmon Tacos with Avocado and a Quick Cucumber Pickle

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A quick and easy recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Save with Jamie. It’s a recipe to use up left over roast salmon, but like me, you can easily cook a salmon fillet or two if you don’t happen to have any left over salmon on hand.

The basic flatbread recipe for the tacos is excellent. I make a lot of breads, and this non-yeast ie”flat” bread is the best recipe I’ve found. And it takes a only few minutes to make the dough and a few minutes more to cook the tacos. Easy and quick!

Ingredients

 

Tacos (Flatbread)

250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tbs olive oil

150 ml water

 

Quick Pickle

½ a red onion

¼ of a cucumber

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Avocado Salsa

2 ripe avocados

6 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt

2 limes

30 g fresh mint

Cooked Salmon

375 g leftover cooked salmon

Optional: salmon skin

Method

Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil and water. Mix with a fork, and when the mixture comes together, lightly knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth. Divide into 12 portions for small (15cm diameter) tacos, or 6 for larger ones. I went for the bigger as they were easier to fill. Cover with a damp tea towel until you are ready to cook. The tacos are best left to be cooked last so they stay soft and warm.

Peel the onion and slice very finely. Cut the cucumber into matchsticks – but not too thin. Put both into a bowl with a grind of sea salt and mix. Leave till the last minute to develop a “pickly” flavour.

Chop the avocados in half, peel and scoop out the flesh, chop roughly and put into a bowl with the yoghurt and the juice of 1 lime. Add half the mint, chopped. Mash all of this together, or pulse a few times in the food processor. You want the texture to be still a bit chunky.

At this stage, you will need to cook the salmon if you’re not using left overs.  I cooked a salmon fillet over a medium heat in a frying pan in a little olive oil. Skin side down for 4 minutes, skin side up for  2 minutes, or until you can see that the fillet is cooked through on the sides. Remove from the pan, and if you want crispy skin on your tacos, remove the skin and crisp up on both sides in the frying pan for a minute or two.

For the flatbread tacos, roll out a dough ball on a floured board, dusting with more flour if it’s sticking. Roll out to a 15cm circle for small tacos or 30cm for larger tacos. Heat a frying pan over medium heat (it should be quite hot) and cook the taco for about a minute on each side or until the taco has a few specks of charring. Don’t overcook – you want the taco to be soft and pliable. Repeat with the other dough balls, stacking them in foil as you go so they stay warm.

Squeeze the excess liquid from the pickle and put into a little bowl. Put the avocado salsa in a bowl too, and put the salmon and its crispy skin if using, on a plate.

Put these onto a board or serving platter. Pile up the tacos. Put the extra lime, mint and optional crispy skin onto the board or serving platter and you are ready for “build  your own tacos”.

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Hot Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich – Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food

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I started hot smoking salmon last year and now that’s about the only way I cook it. It’s incredibly easy to do. I followed Jamie’s instructions but then simplified his method to something that works really well.

Basically, you get a foil take away food container, scatter some hickory chips inside, throw some woody herbs on top – rosemary works well. You need to acquire a wire rack to fit on top of the container. The fish fillet/s are seasoned by rubbing with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp caster sugar and 1/2 tsp of sambal oelek (chili paste).

It’s then a matter of laying the seaoned fish fillet/s on the rack and covering the container with aluminum foil.

The foil is pierced with a skewer at intervals – this lets the smoke out. Cook on a very hot barbecue grill. Depending on the size of the fillet/fillets, and the heat of the grill, the fish takes between 10- 20 minutes to cook. I cook a medium sized salmon fillet for about 10 minutes for medium rare and about 12 minutes for cooked through. It’s important to let the fish “rest ” for a few minutes after cooking.

For more information and photos of hot smoking, click here.

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Jamie Oliver’s book Comfort Food has some wonderful recipes including this one for a Hot Smoked Salmon Club Sandwich, giving me another recipe for this method of cooking salmon. This is my version, with a couple of changes which I have noted.

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Ingredients

20og salmon, skin on (piece or fillets)

Home made or good bought mayonnaise, with some pounded basil leaves mixed through

4 slices of streaky bacon

4 slices of nice bread (something rustic)

1 large ripe tomato

1 small ripe avocado

I punnet of cress (I left this out)

1 handful of mignonette or cos lettuce leaves

1 lemon

Salted crisps (I left these out)

 

Method

Hot smoke the salmon according to the above instructions. Remove to a board, discard the skin and flake into pieces (not too small).

While the salmon is smoking, cook the bacon in a frying pan over a medium heat until crispy and cooked through, then remove from the pan.

Swirl the pan to spread the fat out, then toast the slices of bread in the fat to soak up the wonderful flavour.

Slice the tomato, peel, de-stone and slice the avocado.

Spread the toast with basil mayo, then layer two slices with the bacon, tomato, avocado, salmon, cress if using, lettuce and a squeeze of lemon, and the crisps if using. Top with the remaining slices of toast.

 

Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Pea Fish Pie

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Fish and mashed potato are a lovely combination in this pie. From Save With Jamie, the recipe is great because it uses frozen fish fillets, which means you can pull the fish out of the freezer and create the dish without much pre-planning.  Everyone has potatoes on hand, and the peas are frozen too.

I made a few changes to the recipe – I cut the quantities down by half (to serve four), and used salmon fillets only instead of additional white fish and prawns. And I left out the carrots.

So this is the recipe I made, followed by Jamie’s original recipe with quantities for eight and salmon, white fish and prawns, and carrots.

And I have now had feedback that my tweaked recipe works – my friend Katrina,  recently wed,  has cooked the dish – and here is the picture to prove it! Looks yummy!

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Ingredients

500 g potatoes

1 lemon

20 g unsalted butter

200 g frozen peas

1 onion chopped

Olive oil

250ml semi-skimmed milk

300 g frozen salmon fillets

35 g plain flour

50 g frozen spinach

1/2 heaped teaspoon  mustard

20 g cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees fan forced.

Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then put them into a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mash with a pinch of salt and pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Place the frozen peas in a colander, pour over some boiling water to defrost them, then drain well and pulse a few times in a food processor. Fold them through the mashed potato, then leave to one side.

Add the chopped onion and cook in a large ovenproof pan with a lug of oil for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a saucepan pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add the frozen fish fillets for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate, taking the saucepan off the heat.

Stir the flour into the onion, then gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. Stir in the spinach until broken down, then season. Flake in the fish fillets (carefully remove and discard the skin if the fillets have it), add the  mustard and the juice from half the lemon, grate in the cheese and stir gently to combine. Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it great texture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until crisp on top.

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Jamie’s original recipe

Ingredients

1kg potatoes

1 lemon

40g unsalted butter

400g frozen peas

2 carrots

2 onions

Olive oil

500ml semi-skimmed milk

2 x 150g frozen salmon fillets, from sustainable sources

2 x 100g frozen white fish fillets, from sustainable sources

65g plain flour

100g frozen spinach

125g frozen cooked peeled prawns, from sustainable sources

1 heaped teaspoon English mustard

40g cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then put them into a large pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mash with a pinch of salt and pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Place the frozen peas in a colander, pour over some boiling water to defrost them, then drain well and pulse a few times in a food processor. Fold them through the mashed potato, then leave to one side.

Peel and chop the carrots and onions and cook them in a large ovenproof pan (roughly 30cm in diameter) with a lug of oil for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add the frozen fish fillets for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate, taking the pan off the heat.

Stir the flour into the carrots and onions, then gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. Stir in the spinach until broken down, then season to perfection. Flake in the fish fillets (carefully remove and discard the skin if the fillets have it), add the prawns, mustard and the juice from half the lemon, grate in the Cheddar and stir gently to combine. Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it great texture. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until beautifully golden. Serve with a good old helping of baked beans (if you like) – delicious!

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Jamie Oliver’s Fettuccine with Smoked Trout, Asparagus and Peas

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Another great dish from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/category/books/jamie-s-15-minute-meals

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The sauce is very easy, no fuss, for maximum results. Hot smoked trout really lifts the flavour, adding piquancy. You could smoke the trout fillets yourself, using the process I have written about for salmon. I have perfected the method over the last few months. Incidentally, the basic concept came from a Jamie Oliver recipe!

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/03/26/hot-smoked-chili-salmon/

Or just buy the trout if you want to keep it simple!

Ingredients

1 tbsp oil
1 small bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
300g asparagus (small bunch), trimmed and chopped leaving the stalks whole
300g frozen peas
1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
500ml milk (I used about half that amount – 250ml – as I wanted a thicker, “greener” sauce)
300g dried fettuccine
250g hot smoked trout
Juice 1/2 lemon
Parmesan for grating

Method

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Add the spring onions, asparagus and peas and cook for a couple of minutes, add the mint. Then sift in the flour, pour in the milk and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes.

Using a stick blender, puree the asparagus sauce until fairly smooth, turn the heat down to low and flake in some of the smoked trout. Add the asparagus tips and simmer for a few more minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season.

Drain the pasta reserving some of the pasta water, then toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with a splash of the cooking water if needed. Grate some parmesan over the top and then serve. I left some of the flaked trout to scatter over the dish before serving.

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Jamie Oliver’s Smoked Salmon and Yorkshire Pudding

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This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals. It’s basically a big Yorkshire pudding with smoked salmon, char-grilled asparagus and baby beetroot, with a yoghurt sauce. I added some char-grilled green beans. I simply served the cooked beetroot as is, without caramelising it as Jamie suggests in his recipe.

Jamie cooks the Yorkie in an oven proof frying pan; I don’t have one (yet!) so I cooked it in a cake tin, omitting the first step of cooking the batter in the frying pan on the stove top.

Here is the Jamie original from 15 Minute Meals:

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It’s a great recipe – really easy and super fast. Maybe not quite 15 minutes – but not much more!

Ingredients

Yorkshire pudding
Olive oil
2 large eggs
150ml low fat milk
65g plain flour
180g smoked salmon

Asparagus, Beans and Beetroot
1 bunch of asparagus
A handful of green beans
Juice of ½ lemon
6 baby beetroot

Sauce
3 heaped tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt
1 heaped tsp horseradish or French mustard

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sized cake tin and place in the oven and heat till the oil is really hot.

Put the eggs into a blender or food processor, add the milk and flour, then blitz until smooth.

Carefully pour the batter into the hot cake tin and cook in the oven until golden (about 12 minutes). Don’t be tempted to open the oven door!

Trim the asparagus and beans and put dry on a hot char grill plate or barbecue, turning until nicely charred on all sides.

Drain and slice the beetroot, then place over some salad greens on a board or plate. Mix the yoghurt and horseradish or mustard in a bowl, then season to taste with salt.

Squeeze lemon juice over the asparagus and beans, add salt and pepper, and pile on the board or plate.

When the Yorkshire pudding is really high and puffed up, remove from the oven, slide it on to the board or plate and place the smoked salmon on top of the pudding.

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