Wednesday, May 15, 2013
This is one of those one-pot wonders that literally takes a few minutes to cook. This fabulous idea is not mine though and I have to give credit to the wonderos Stefan Marais from Societi Bistro who demonstrated the dish at a little food blogger function I attended a while back. This is my interpretation of his genius. It's a simple idea that is gorgeously tasty and delicate, but it is very important to have all the ingredients prepped and ready so that you don't over cook the fish - there is nothing more fatal than over cooked fish.
Hake with mint, peas and new potatoes
Ingredients: (serves 2)
300-350g hake (boneless, skin on)
3 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt and pepper
1/3 cup white wine
2/3 cup cream
2/3 cup frozen peas
6 cooked new potatoes (halved)
handful of fresh mint leaves
handful of cos lettuce leaves (torn)
Cut the hake into equally sized portions (about the length and width of two fingers put together).
Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat and pour in the oil. Add the fish portions, skin-side down, season with salt and pepper and fry for 1 minute.
Add the wine and fry for a further minute to cook off the alcohol then add the cream, peas and new potatoes, cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
Add the mint and lettuce leaves, cover again and cook for a further minute or two.
Test to see if the fish is cooked through by pushing the flesh softly -if it begins to flake then you know it's done, if not, cover and cook for a further few minutes. (If you don't have a tight fitting lid and the steam is escaping, you may have to turn the hake at this point.)
Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh mint if desired.
Friday, May 10, 2013
I am in Cape Town and after dashing to see the sea, the second most important item on my agenda was to go and get some fresh, proper fresh, not 'freshly-frozen' fish. It is one of my biggest bugbears to constantly be searching for 'freshish' fish in Joburg and being conned into buying something they asure you is the next best thing but ends up being stringy and tough. Here in Cape Town the fish they tell you they caught this morning - they really did. It's glorious and takes next to no time to cook.
So try this recipe out, it's simple and delicate and just glorious and it will work with 'freshly frozen' fish too.
Angelfish poached in a Thai coconut broth
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ onion (finely chopped)
fingertip sized piece of ginger (finely chopped)
1 large clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste
1 tin coconut milk
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce/pinch of salt
2 angelfish fillets (skin off)
basmati rice, coriander and spring onion to serve
Put a large saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil, onion, garlic and ginger and fry for about 2 minutes until the onion has softened, add the curry paste and fry gently for a further minute.
Add the coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce/salt and simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly reduced.
Add the fish, cover with a lid and poach for literally 3-4 minutes, turning once, until the fish is just cooked through.
Monday, May 6, 2013
A quirky alternative to your everyday roasted veg; the cumin works a treat with the chick peas and aubergine making this a warm winter salad of champions. I tend to eat this as a side to chicken or lamb otherwise on top of a bed of lettuce with some feta. Delish.
Roasted baby aubergines with chick peas and cumin
Ingredients:12 baby aubergines
350g cherry tomatoes
1 large/2 small red onions
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1 can chick peas
1 handful fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 200*C.
Wash and halve the aubergines and slice the onion into small wedges.
Pop the aubergines, tomatoes, onion, olive oil, balsamic and cumin into a baking tray and season with a decent pinch of salt and pepper.
Roast for 40 min.
Add the chickpeas and bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
Serve as-is or with couscous, potato, lettuce or as a side dish.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
This is one of those desserts that I will forever be enamored with French for making but will forever resent the French for naming...'Tart tatin' -the only way to say it is as if you have just tasted something awful and bitter so that you widen your mouth into a frog-like smile to let the words drip off your tongue to get the pronunciation right. In Layman's terms you would pronounce it 'tert - tata' with a 'n' on the end that is present but in the same annoying way as the 't' in 'Moet'. - in short, if you don't get it or can't get it, forget about it, just make it and tell your friends that it is a French apple tart, or say 'tart tatin' under your breath in the hope that they will all be too embarrassed to ask you to repeat it. Either way you should make this.
Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
7 apples (granny smith)
1/2 cup sugar
1 packet ready-made puff pastry
Cream to serve
Preheat oven to 220*C and grease a 23 centimeter oven proof frying pan or completely metal cake tin (you are going to melt the sugar in it on the stove top)
Peal, core and halve the apples.
Pour the sugar into the pan/cake tin and place on the stove top on high heat. When the sugar begins to dissolve swirl the pan so that the sugar melts evenly, once the sugar has melted and has turned a golden brown colour, continue to swirl until it turns a lighter shade of caramel (approx 5 min), now add the butter and swirl the pan so that, as the butter melts, it dissolves into the sugar to create a caramel.
When the caramel is a deep brown take it off the stove. (If it begins to darken too quickly, put the bottom of the pan into a sink of cold water which will stop the cooking process immediately.)
Carefully arrange the apples, centre side up in the caramel in the pan.
Cut the pastry into a circle just larger than the pan and carefully cover the apples with the circle of pastry. Tuck in the edges and prick the top with a fork.
Bake for 20 minutes on 220 and then a further 20-25 minutes on 200.
Remove from the oven, place a plate on top of the pan and, making sure not to burn yourself, turn the pan and plate over to release the tart onto the plate.
Serve warm or cold with cream.
If you are serving your tart the next day - I would advise you glaze it with a little melted apricot jam as the longer the tart stands, the more its shine will dissipate.