Marinated sweet and sour fish curry

Another new recipe book with a middle eastern flavour, ‘Jerusalem’ by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. This book is actually not so new to me, but I haven’t used it much. But then we had visitors who were looking at it, and Hector came in with a large pollock. This makes 4 very large portions. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced (1cm slices)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 peppers (red and/or yellow), sliced (1cm slices)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 bayleaves
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes 
  • 2-3 tsp sugar (I used basra date syrup instead)
  • 5 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 pollock, or around 500g of white fish, divided into pieces
  • plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, and add the onions with the coriander seeds. Cook on a medium heat for around five minutes. 
  • Add the peppers and cook for a further ten minutes
  • Add the garlic, bayleaves, curry powder, and tomatoes. Cook for another eight minutes.
  • Add sugar, vinegar, around 1 tsp salt and pepper, and cook together for another five minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, heat the other 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Sprinkle a little salt on the fish, dip into the seasoned flour and then into the egg, and fry each portion for around 3 minutes, turning once. 
  • In a casserole dish, add the fish and the cooked sauce, so that the fish is at the bottom of the pan. Add around 250ml hot water to ensure that the fish is immersed. 
  • Place the pan in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the fish is cooked. Remove from the oven and allow the curry to cool to room temperature. 

This dish can be eaten warm, as it is. It is better after a night in the fridge. Try garnishing with coriander leaves. We served this with bread. 

Mackerel curry with fennel and coconut

This is a fab recipe in Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey – I adapted it a little, and checked quantities against reality for Uist mackerel.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 mackerel, boned and split – to make six sides with skin on.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (or equivalent chopped shallots)
  • 6 tbsp coconut milk

METHOD:

  • Cut the mackerel sides in half, and sprinkle with salt
  • Combine the ginger, garlic, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, lime juice and 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl
  • Put the oil in a large frying pan, over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the fennel seed and cook for a few seconds before adding the onion/shallots.
  • Within a few minutes, when the onions are softening,, add the bowl of spices and fry for another minute.
  • Add 250ml water, and bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low and simmer for another 7-8 minutes
  • Add the coconut milk, and bring back to a simmer
  • Add the fish, skin side down, and spoon the sauce over the fish. Continue to cook for another 7 minutes, moving the fish around and spooning the sauce over the fish.
  • Once the fish is cooked, serve with brown rice

Mackerel with paprika and garlic

A third Moro recipe. This, we had one night, quite late, after a friend came over with some very fresh mackerel. It was unbelievably good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 mackerel, gutted and split (butterflied)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Heat the oven to 220c
  • Butterfly the fish – from the belly side, split the fish open and cut on either side of the back-bone, and pull this away. Open out the fish and remove any obvious small bones.
  • Take a pan that can accommodate all the fish, and place it on the stove top, cover the base with olive oil and then turn the heat high.
  • When the oil is hot, put the mackerel in, season with salt and pepper and put the pan in the oven for 8 minutes.
  • Put the mackerel onto serving plates, and sprinkle with garlic, paprika, parsley and serve with a quarter lemon.

We had new potatoes with this the first time, and bread and salad the second time.

Squat lobster risotto

We had the usual debate through the late afternoon about what we might do for a meal, when the spouse mentioned that we had some squats, and I said that I liked risotto. We used Valentina Harris’s book, Risotto Risotto to give us the technical details. This is what we did.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • A lovage leaf (or a little bit of celery)
  • 50g butter
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 1/4 bottle vinho verde (or any dry white wine)
  • 500ml boiling hot vegetable stock
  • 500g squats, cut in half (peeled weight)
  • 25g freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper

My rule of thumb, for a good sized portion per person I allow 75g rice and 225ml liquid. For a starter, 50g. This recipe depended on how much weight of squats we had, and we got three servings.

METHOD:

  • Fry the onion in half the butter until soft, then stir in the risotto rice and lovage.
  • If you are using celery, chop it finely and fry it with the onion.
  • Stir the rice into the frying onion until it looks opaque and is hot. Then stir in the wine, then start adding the stock a little bit at a time, allowing each bit of stock to be absorbed before adding the next.
  • With the last little bit of stock, add the squats. When the stock is fully soaked in, remove the risotto from the heat, and add the parsley, the rest of the butter and the parmesan, add any salt and pepper that is needed, and then cover. Leave the risotto to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Moules Marinieres

Lots of places to pick fresh mussels around the coast. This is a great way to cook them.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2kg mussels, cleaned and scrubbed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 shallots
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 25g butter
  • 600ml white wine
  • 25ml pastis such as pernod (optional)
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Put the shallots, wine, pastis, garlic, and parsley in a large pan and simmer for five minutes
  • Add the butter and the mussels, turn the heat to high, and cook until the mussels are open. Shake the pan a few times to ensure that the mussels cook evenly.
  • Season, and serve the mussels in soup bowls with the liquor as a sauce, and chopped parsley as a garnish.

Lobster with creole sauce

We had a very large lobster, which isn’t usually that good a deal: lots of shell, not much meat, and a worry about what to do with it. Plus it had lost its claws along the way, hence the reason why it wasn’t that marketable. I made this with it; delicious and I reckon it would work well with monkfish as well, or prawn tails. I poached the lobster for 15 minutes and saved the liquor for use in the recipe. If you doubled the recipe to use 2 lobsters, then you wouldn’t be using half onions etcetera.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large cooked lobster, meat removed from tail, plus save the liquor from boiling it.
  • 25g butter
  • 2 tsp creole spice blend (from seasoned pioneers)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 tin tomatoes

METHOD:

  • Roughly chop the cooked lobster meat and put it in the fridge in a plastic tub along with 2 tsp creole spice blend, shaken to distribute the spice.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan and gently fry the onion for several minutes, until translucent.
  • Add the garlic, green pepper and carrot, and continue to fry for a few more minutes.
  • Meantime, use a soup wand to purée the tomatoes in the tin. Add to the onion and carrot mixture
  • Simmer the sauce very slowly for around 45 minutes, adding a little of the liquor from boiling the lobster if it looks as if it is getting a little dry.
  • Add the chopped lobster meat, and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the lobster is heated through. Serve on a bed of rice.

Microwaved Cod in a creole sauce

Cod Creole: I sniggered. Recipe adapted from The Microwave Kitchen Handbook. I picked this because we had some locally caught cod.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g cod, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 15ml lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp creole spice mix from Seasoned Pioneers
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes

METHOD:

  • Put the cod in a plastic fridge container with a lid, and add the salt and pepper, lime juice and creole spice mixture, and store in the fridge until needed.
  • In an oven-proof bowl, put the olive oil, garlic, onion and pepper, cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  • Add the cod and chopped tomatoes, and microwave for another 8 to 10 minutes, stirring twice, until the fish is cooked, and flakes easily.

We served this with rice.

Cod, Chorizo and Sherry

MMMM

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1 chorizo ring, thinly sliced
  • 150ml dry sherry, such as Tio Pepe
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 4 fillets of cod
  • 1 can of chopped organic tomatos
  • Chopped parsley

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil, and fry the onion on a medium heat until soft, then add the peppers for another couple of minutes
  • When the pepper is softening, add the garlic, then the chorizo (effectively, chop the onions, and fry, chop the peppers while the onion is frying, prepare the garlic while the pepper is frying, chop the chorizo while the garlic is frying.)
  • After a couple of minutes, add the paprika and allow the flavours to mingle.
  • Pour the sherry over the hot mixture, and let it bubble, then add the tomatos and butter beans.
  • Bring to a simmer then add the cod fillets, and season.
  • After 5 minutes or so, when the cod seems nearly done, take of the heat, add the parsley and serve with fresh crusty bread.