Fresh Tuna Nicoise

 

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018 edition).  Recipe taken from the Feasting book.  See link below.

This more sophisticated version of your average tuna salad is a great dish for entertaining.  The rest of the salad can be assembled a few hours ahead, but leave the tuna and poached eggs until last to make it restaurant quality.

Serves:  8-10

Ingredients:

250g green beans, trimmed
300g kipfler (finger) potatoes
60ml olive oil, plus extra for the tuna
80ml vinegar
4 eggs
600g yellowfin tuna fillets
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
12 baby cos lettuce leaves
200g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
Squeeze of lemon
Dill sprigs, to garnish
Edible flowers, to garnish (optional)

Black Olive Tapenade Dressing

80g black Kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 tbsp capers in brine, drained and diced
20g flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded
1/4 red chilli, seeded and finely diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Tuna Mayonnaise

500g mayonnaise
200g tinned tuna, drained
1 tbsp capers in brine, drained
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 anchovy fillets

Tuna Spice Mix

1 tsp fennel seeds, freshly ground
1 tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground

Step One: Fill a saucepan with 2 litres of water and bring to the boil.  Blanch the beans for 90 seconds, then drain and refresh in cold water.  Drain again, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.  Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Add a pinch of salt, then bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until cooked.  Drain the potatoes, then peel and cut into slices while warm.

Step Two: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.  Fry the potatoes in batches, adding more oil as needed, until brown and crispy on both sides.  Drain on paper towels.

Step Three: Cut the tuna fillet into three pieces and rub with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat and sear the tuna for about 20 seconds on each side.  Set aside to cool.

Step Four: Make the tapenade dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.  For the tuna mayo, blend the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Step Five: Brush the tuna pieces with the mustard and roll in a bowl with the combined spice mix.  Slice into 1.5cm pieces.  Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then add the vinegar.  Reduce the heat to simmer, give the water a swirl and crack in the eggs one at a time.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Rest on paper towels.

Step Six:  To assemble, arrange some cos leaves on a plate and top with one third of the sliced tuna, beans, potatoes, tomatoes and tapenade.  Repeat with two more layers, finishing with spoonfuls of tapenade, lemon juice and the dill sprigs.  Top with eggs and edible flowers if using.  Serve with the tuna mayonnaise.

 

 

 

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Thai-steamed Snapper

Brilliant for a dinner party, you can also use this versatile marinade for fish fillets.  This fish is ideal served with sticky Thai-style rice and a crisp green salad.

Thai Red SnapperIngredients:

11 whole red snapper or other whole sustainable white fish (about 2 kg), descaled, gutted and cleaned
4 limes (1 sliced)
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 bunch of spring onions, topped and sliced (reserve tops for stuffing fish)
1 sweet potato, diced into thumbnail-sized pieces
2.5cm  / 1 in piece of ginger, sliced
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 lemongrass stalks, outer skin removed and roughly chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded (keep the seeds of half a chilli only)
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar

Serves:  4

Step One:  Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF, gas mark 6).  Cut a piece of wide baking parchment twice the length of your fish.  Fold the parchment in half and then open it, placing one half on a baking tray.  Put the fish on the diagonal on the piece of parchment on the baking tray.

Step Two:  Make slashes in the fish on the diagonal through the skin down to the bone on both sides.  Stuff the cavity with a few slices of lime, half the coriander and the tops of the spring onions.  Scatter sweet potato cubes and spring onion chunks around the fish.

Step Three:  In a food processor, combine the rest of the coriander, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli and blitz into a paste.  Add the sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and the juice of the remaining 3 limes and blitz again.

Step Four:  Rub this marinade all over the fish and fold the other half of parchment over the fish, wrapping the edges over to close tightly.

Step Five:  Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.  To test if the fish is cooked, remove from the oven and take a peek inside a corner of the parcel, but be careful because the steam will escape.  If the eye of the fish has turned white, this means your fish is cooked.

Step Six:  Open the parcel and serve large chunks of fish on sticky Thai rice topped with a large spoonful of the cooking juices – that is where most of the umami is.

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (December 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami by Laura Santtini.

Restaurateur and inventor of Taste #5 Umami paste Laura Santtini, is credited with making the ‘chef’s best-kept secret’ accessible to home cooks at all levels.  Umami is the savoury fifth basic taste; literally translating from the Japanese to mean ‘savoury deliciousness’, it is universal and can be used in food from every country and culture to make it extra tasty.

In Santtini’s words, umami is, ‘the ultimate expression of flavour; the extra mouthful-ness that makes us say “mmmmm”, the taste that keeps on giving long after its fellow basic tastes – sweet, salty, sour and bitter – are spent.’

In her book, At Home with Umami, Santtini talks about how she has always been fascinated by flavours and the feelings they evoke.  Chapters include ‘Fresh & Uplifting’, ‘Heady & Daring’ and ‘Mellow & Comforting’, so you can check into how you’re feeling and cook full-flavoured food to match your mood.

Whole Barbecued Fish

images6440BJNUCook time: 30 mins

Ingredients: 4 small or 2 larger whole fish, such as red or grey mullet, or red snapper, gutted; juice of 2 limes or lemons; 6 tblsp extra virgin olive oil; 6 fresh bay leaves or sprigs of marjoram, plus extra to garnish. A pinch of dried thyme.

  • Score the fish diagonally with a sharp knife. Rub inside and out with half the lime juice, salt and pepper, and 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Place the bay leaves inside the fish and sprinkle with a pinch of thyme.
  • Place the fish over the hot barbecue coals (or under a hot grill), preferably in a wire basket or wrapped in foil, and cook for about 10 minutes on each side, or longer for larger fish.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice, garnish with bay leaves or marjoram and serve immediately with a Greek salad.

Wire basket for cooking the fish:



Cod Fish Fingers

A Gary Rhodes recipe

This delicious dish works just as well with salmon as cod. Once you’ve made it, you’ll see the humble fish finger in a whole new light.

These really are just fillet of cod cut into fingers. I normally take 4 x 6-8oz (175-225g) fillets and cut them in strips/fingers allowing 3 per portion. This recipe can also be used for canapés. Just cut the fish, cod or salmon (both work), into 1 in (2.5cm) cubes. Then crumb and deep-fry before sitting on cocktail sticks. These are good fun and very tasty with the sour tartare sauce.

Serves : 4
Ingredients: 1 tblsp freshly chopped parsley; fresh breadcrumbs made from 10-12 slices white bread; zest and juice of 2 lemons; salt and pepper; 2 eggs, size 2; 2-3 tblsp milk; 4-6-8oz (175-225g) cod fillets, cut into fingers; plain flour for dusting; 1 dsp each chopped shallots, capers and gherkins; 5-10 fl oz (150-300ml) sour cream; oil for deep-frying

  • In a large bowl, mix ¾ of the freshly chopped parsley with the white breadcrumbs and the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and milk.
  • Season the fish fingers with salt and pepper and then lightly dust with flour. Dip into the egg mix then into the crumb mix. These are now ready for frying or can be re-dipped in the egg and re-crumbed to give a thicker, crunchier finish. Set aside.
  • To make a sour Tartare sauce to accompany the fish fingers, mix the chopped shallots, capers and gherkins with the remaining parsley and the sour cream. Season then add the lemon juice to taste. Pour into a small serving dish.
  • Heat the oil to 170oC/325oF in a deep-fat fryer. The fish fingers can now be deep-fried in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with the homemade Tartare sauce.

Baked Cod Fillet with Vegetables

If you’re planning a buffet and would like to offer your guests one hot dish, this recipe works just as well hot or cold. Simply add the chickpeas, oregano and wine vinegar to the vegetable mixture while it’s still hot.

Serves: 12; Prep: 3 mins; Cook: 30 mins; Cals: 154

Ingredients: approximately 4 tsp salt for the aubergines; 2 aubergines, diced into 1 cm / 1/2 in cubes; 120ml / 4 fl oz virgin olive oil; 1.8kg/4lb thick cod fillets, skinned; 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped; 6 courgettes, diced into 1cm / 1/2 in cubes; 2 x 400g cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained, seeded and roughly chopped; 1 x 420g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed; 1 x 15g pack fresh oregano leaves only, chopped; 75ml/3 fl oz red wine vinegar; salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to Mark 4/350oF/180oC. Lightly salt the aubergines, put into a colander set over a bowl and leave for about an hour. Discard any juices and gently squeeze the aubergines with kitchen paper to soak up any excess liquid.
  • Oil a roasting tin with 25ml/1 fl oz of the olive oil. Cut the cod into 7.5cm / 3in pieces, removing any bones, and place in the tin. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 mins or until the fish is just cooked. Using a fish slice, carefully transfer the fish to a serving dish. Drain off and discard any excess liquid.
  • Heat 50ml/2 fl oz olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic. Sauté over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add the aubergines and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove aubergines from pan, add remaining oil and courgettes and sauté for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Cool mixture slightly, then stir in chickpeas and oregano. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the fish and serve hot or just at room temperature.

Scallops in Asparagus Sauce

Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients: 300g (10oz) young asparagus, stems trimmed; 8 large scallops; 1 tbsp butter; 200ml (7 fl oz) whipping cream

  • Cut off the top 5cm (2in) of the spears and reserve. Cut the stems into 2.5cm (1in) lengths. Add the asparagus stems to a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Place the asparagus tips in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove, drain and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, place the scallops in buttered foil and bake in the preheated oven for 4 minutes at 190oC/375oF/Gas 5.
  • Place the cooked asparagus stems in a food processor with the cream and process to make a smooth sauce. Transfer to a small pan and heat gently, but do not allow to boil. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Arrange 2 scallops on each plate (or in a scallop shell) in a pool of sauce, and serve with some of the asparagus tips.

Some scallop plates to serve in.

A cookbook for all things scallopy.

Skate with Hazelnuts

Cook Time: 20 mins

Ingredients: 125g (4oz) butter; 2 tsp hazelnut oil; 750g (1 1/2lb) skate wings, cut into 4 pieces; 30g (1oz) flour; 2 tbsp chopped parsley; 60g (2oz) hazelnuts, roughly chopped; 2 tbsp white wine vinegar.

  • Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Dust the skate pieces with flour on both sides and fry in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, according to the thickness of the skate. Remove from the pan and keep warm on individual plates.
  • Add the parsley and the nuts to the frying pan, turn up the heat and cook until the nuts brown. Add the vinegar, stirring it in well, then pour the nutty sauce over the fish. Serve immediately.

* Accompaniment: Continue the nutty theme by serving this fish with a green salad tossed in a hazelnut oil dressing.

Roast Halibut Chasseur

A Gary Rhodes recipe

Here’s a treat of a fish dish – succulent halibut steaks cooked with red wine and caramelised button mushrooms and onions.  Chasseur is a french classic, usually associated with chicken.  It’s normally a white wine, gravy-based sauce with onions or shallots, mushrooms, tomato, tarragonn and parsley.  Well, this dish is a variation of that – I use button onions and mushrooms with tomato and tarrago but no gravy or white wine.  I use red wine, butter and halibut.  This dish also suits roasted cod, brill or turbot.

Serves 4

Ingredients:  4 x 10oz (275g) halibut steaks on bone, skin left on; salt and pepper; 1 tblsp plain flour; 1 tblsp cooking oil; 2-3 oz (50-75g) butter; 16-20 small button onion; 16-20 small button mushrooms; 1/2 bottle of red wine; 2 plum tomatoes, peeled if preferred, deseeded and cut into small dice; 1 tsp freshly chopped tarragon

  • Preheat the oven to 200-220oC/400-425oF/Gas Mark 6-7.  Season the halibut steaks with salt and pepper and lightly sprinkle the plain flour on the skin side of the steaks only.  Heat a frying pan and add the cooking oil and a small knob of the butter.  Add the halibut skin side down to the pan and fry until the fish is a golden brown colour.  Remove the fish and then transfer to a large ovenproof dish.  Cook in the oven for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the halibut steaks.
  • Now peel the onions, then wash and dry the mushrooms.  Melt another knob of butter in the frying pan and add the onions.  Fry on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown in colour.   Add the mushrooms to the pan with the onions.  Fry for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the mushrooms and onions are tender.  Add the red wine to the pan, bring to the boil and heat until it’s reduced in quantity by approximately one third.
  • Arrange the halibut steaks on warmed serving plates.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the button onions and then the mushrooms from the wine sauce and place on top of the fish steaks.  Keep the plates warm.  Add the remaining butter to the wine sauce and whisk in.  Add the diced tomatoes and the chopped tarragon and cook for just a few seconds.
  • To serve, spoon the red wine sauce over the halibut.  Mashed potato goes a treat with this dish.

Plaice with Lime Vinaigrette

A very quick and simple recipe allowing you to enjoy the natural flavours of the fish.  Don’t be tempted to over cook the plaice, it really does only take minutes.

Serves:  4;  Prep:  15 minutes;  Cook: 6 minutes

Ingredients:  1/4 pt (150ml) olive oil; rind and juice of 2 limes; 2 tsp/10ml capers, drained and chopped (optional); 1 tsp/5ml caster sugar; salt and pepper; 2 tbsp /30ml chopped fresh dill; 4 small plaice fillets, skinned; 2 oz /50g plain flour; 1/4 tsp/1.25ml paprika; 1 egg, beaten; 2oz / 50g butter

  • To make the dressing, blend together 4 fl oz (100ml) of the olive oil, grated rind and juice of the limes, capers if you are using them, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the dill.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry the plaice.  Mix together the flour and paprika.  Season.  Dip each fillet lightly in beaten egg, then coat thinly in seasoned flour.
  • Heat 1 tbsp/15ml olive oil and the butter in a large non-stick frying pan.  Cook the fillets for 2-3 mins on each side or until the fish is golden brown and cooked through.  If you frying pan is not big enough, fry the fish in batches and keep it warm in a low oven.
  • Serve the plaice with the vinaigrette dressing, accompanied by a raw baby spinach, onion and tomato salad.

Baked Eggs with Crab

Baked and served in dainty ramekins, these eggs on a layer of crab meat flavoured with brandy make a rich but simple snack.

Serves:  4;  Takes:  25 mins

Ingredients:  butter for greasing; 175g (6oz) canned crab meat; 4 tsp brandy; 4 large eggs; salt and black pepper; 4 tbsp single cream; cayenne pepper

To garnish:  a few sprigs of chervil or parsley

To serve:  Bread for toast, butter for spreading

  • Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5.  Lightly grease four ramekins with the butter.
  • Put a quarter of the crab meat into the bottom of each of the dishes and sprinkle a teaspoon of brandy over each.
  • Break an egg carefully into each dish.  Season with salt and pepper, then spoon a tablespoon of cream round the yolk of each egg.  Dust lightly with cayenne pepper.
  • Put the dishes onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins or until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft.
  • Meanwhile, rinse, dry and chop the chervil or parsley, and make and butter the toast.
  • Serve the eggs hot, in their dishes, sprinkled with the chervil or parsley, accompanied by the toast.

Variation:  Strips of salmon and a dash of sherry can be used instead of the crab and brandy, or you could use 2 chopped anchovy fillets with a very small amount of chopped thyme and a sprinkling of brandy.