Tag Archives: main course

Roasted salmon and beetroot

This lovely and simple recipe comes courtesy of Curtis Stone’s Good Food, Good Life cookbook. In it he calls for golden beetroot, but I don’t come across them much so went for the standard red variety; I used the thinnest setting on my mandoline (0.75mm) for slicing.  He also suggests using one large 750g salmon fillet, which I tried the first time I made it, and while this looks nicer from a presentation perspective, it is easier to get an even cooking result with individual portions.  The tarragon is lovely, it is not a herb I use much, and I forgot how fragrant it is.  A nice green salad would go well on the side. Serves four.

salmonbeetroot

Ingredients
4 medium beetroot (about 500g) scrubbed and very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 individual salmon fillet portions
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon

Making it
1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Toss the beetroot with 1 tablespoon of the oil, season, and lay on the baking tray slightly overlapping. Roast for 20 minutes and remove from oven

3. Place the salmon on top of the beetroot, brush with olive oil and season. In a small bowl combine the herbs and then sprinkle over the salmon. Return to the oven for about 15 minutes or until salmon cooked to medium rare (should be pink in the centre). Remove from the oven and serve.

Spaghetti with zucchini and baby spinach

This recipe of Adam Liaw’s that appeared in the paper a few weeks ago has become a regular one in the Napoli household. All that lovely green! The original recipe is here but I’ve made some minor tweaks. I’ve upped the quantities to make it a main course instead of an entree, and I’ve swapped some of the butter for olive oil as I found it a bit too buttery. I used a mandoline with the finest Julien setting for the zucchini. And I made it with wholemeal spaghetti which added to the flavour. You could probably also add some nuts to this, either toasted pine nuts, some slivered almonds or chopped pistachio. You could make this vegan by using all olive oil instead of butter and omitting the cheese.
Serves 4

spaghettizucchini

Ingredients
40g butter
250g baby spinach
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium/large zucchini, cut into matchsticks
salt for seasoning
500g Barilla wholemeal spaghetti
Grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Making it
1. Heat the butter in a pan over low heat, saute the spinach until wilted, season then transfer to a small food processor and puree until smooth

2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frypan, saute onion until softened, then add zucchini and toss for a few minutes until softened. Drain the spaghetti and add to the frypan, season then stir through the spinach puree an combine well so that all the spaghetti is well coated. Serve with parmesan cheese as desired.

Slow braised baby octopus

This is a wonderfully easy recipe when you get your hands on some fresh baby octopus.   Most versions use a red wine, but I prefer white wine which gives a more delicate outcome.  Check for seasoning during the cooking process, but I usually find that you don’t need to add any salt.  Serves 4-6.

braisedoctopus

Ingredients
50ml olive oil
4 French eschallots, diced
1kg baby octopus, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 400g tin diced tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Making it
Heat the olive oil in a heavy based saucepan and add the eschallots and saute until softened. Add the octopus and cook until it starts to lose its translucence, then add the wine and bring to a simmer until the alcohol is cooked off. Add the bay leaf and diced tomatoes, bring to a simmer then reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for 1-1.5 hours until tender, stirring occasionally; add a little water if needed. When ready to serve, sprinkle over the parsley. Eat with some crusty bread or some creamy polenta.

Good Friday Fish Pie

When we went to Mollymook a couple of months ago, we had dinner one night at Rick Stein’s restaurant.  While overall the restaurant didn’t blow me away (particularly for the price), I did love the fish pie.  A bit of googling and I found the recipe had been published in a UK newspaper some years ago.  Since it was Good Friday, and I had some leisurely time in the kitchen, I thought I would have a go at making it.  It is a very rich, but very delicious, dish.  Serves 4.  A very simple green salad would go well to contrast the richness.

fishpie

A few notes on the recipe
– I found the veloute – though decadent and tasty – to be a little thicker than what we had at the restaurant. I would next time reduce the amount of roux (flour/butter) a little, rather than add more stock as the quantity of veloute you end up with is more than plenty.
– Next time I’d also put some finely chopped parsley through the base of the pie, some green would be nice and add that touch of freshness.
– Also the original amount of crust was 30g of butter and 50g of Panko, but this ended up being a rather thin crust so I doubled it.
– I used unsalted butter, otherwise if your stock is salty the overall dish might end up being too salty.
– while this was made in one large dish, it would also be lovely in individual ramekins

For the velouté
600ml fish stock
300ml milk
50g butter
50g plain flour
2 bay leaves
1 crushed clove
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Place the stock and milk in a pot and bring to the boil then take off the heat. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly. When it starts to smell nutty, add a third of the stock and milk mixture, and keep stirring until it thickens and is completely smooth. Add another third and stir, then add the final third and, when smooth, stir in the bay leaves, clove and nutmeg and leave to simmer gently for about half an hour. Pour the velouté through a sieve and set aside.

For the pie
200g finely chopped onion
60g butter
30g parmesan cheese, grated
50ml double cream
Juice of ½ lemon
400g fish fillet (I used monkfish, snapper would also work well)
200g shellfish or crustaceans (I used prawns and scallops, a bit of crab would be lovely as well)
50g flour
30ml vegetable oil
10g butter, extra
100g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tsp French mustard
1 tsp truffle oil
Preheat oven to 180C

Slow-cook the onion in the butter in a saucepan for 10 minutes or until softened. Pour the strained veloute into the sautéed onions and add the parmesan, double cream and lemon juice. Set aside.

Cut the fish fillet into bite-size pieces. Season with a little salt and turn over in the flour. Fry for 2-3 minutes in a frying-pan over a medium heat using the vegetable oil and butter (the fish does not need to be fully cooked). Remove the fish to your pie dish. Fry the mushrooms in the same pan, adding a little salt; stir in the mustard and add to the pie dish. Now add the shellfish or crustaceans to the pie dish. They can be put in raw, but if large, slice. Drizzle the truffle oil over. Pour the sauce over the fish.

For the crust
100g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
60g melted butter
Mix the breadcrumbs with the melted butter, and spread over the top. Bake for 20 minutes so that crust is lightly golden.

fishpie2