Mixed Fish Platter for Two (2)

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Charcuterie platter, cheese platter – make way for a fish platter. A great date night dish or for a special occasion or just because… Although everything is served cold it takes a little time prepare so I started in the morning. The platter consists of shrimp marinated in olive oil, lime juice, garlic and cilantro, smoked mackerel with a beetroot horseradish sauce, salmon brushed with a dill dressing and, lastly, scallops topped with guacamole (I cheated and bought the guacamole). I went to the fish counter in my local supermarket so I was able to buy 8 prawns/shrimp, 6 scallops, and a piece of salmon. The smoked mackerel was in the chilled cabinet.

SHRIMP

8 shrimp/prawns – medium sized, raw and de-veined

Juice and pulp of 1 lime

1 large clove of garlic – finely grated

1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped

3 tbsp. olive oil

Place all ingredients in a plastic ziploc bag and gently massage. Place in fridge and leave for a couple of hours.

Cook in a frying pan for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, then let cool.

SMOKED MACKEREL

1 store bought smoked mackerel fillet – cut into four pieces

3 medium beetroot – roasted

1 tbsp. horseradish

Cook beetroot wrapped in foil for an hour at 350 degrees F. Let cool and process in food processor with the horseradish ( you will have some leftovers)

SALMON

1 piece of salmon (enough for 2 people to share)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place salmon on a piece of aluminum foil, pour over lemon juice and oil and season.

Make a parcel of the salmon and cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. then let cool.

DILL SAUCE

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. dill finely chopped

Place all ingredients in a jar with a screw top lid and shake until emulsified.

SCALLOPS

6 x large scallops

1 tbsp olive oil

Guacamole

Place oil in frying pan and when sizzling add scallops and brown on both sides. This takes between 10 and 15 minutes and you need to keep an eye on the scallops and turn frequently.

Place on a piece of paper towel and cover also to remove any grease.

TO ASSEMBLE

Shrimp can be placed on the platter as they are.

Smoked mackerel should be cut into 4 slices with a teaspoonful of beetroot horseradish on top.

Salmon should also be cut into four pieces and brushed with the dill dressing.

Scallops should be topped with a good teaspoonful of guacamole.

 

 

 

 

 

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Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary (4)

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I once stayed in a farmhouse in Italy and the garden was planted with huge borders of rosemary and each bedroom had, instead of a flower arrangement, a little bouquet of fresh herbs. It was quite charming and gave a great aroma to the room. Rosemary, along with sage was used frequently in their recipes and these little roasted new potatoes are just perfect with roast meats or grilled steaks and with many other things too – I can imagine them with eggs or a selection of roasted vegetables. Easy to make – really all you need is a good hot oven. I would only use fresh rosemary for this recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes – rinsed, skin left on, cut into quarters

2 tbsp. fresh rosemary – finely chopped

3tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss well together.

Transfer to a metal baking tray or dish and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, turning once or twice to make ensure they are evenly browned.

Serve potatoes straight away.

Chicken and Mushroom Skewers (4)

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Naturally it rained after I had prepared these and they were all prepped for the BBQ! On the other hand that is the good thing about them – they do quite as well in the oven. If you have wooden skewers they will need soaking 30 minutes ahead of time so they don’t burn. I clean my mushrooms in a pan of water with a tablespoon or so of red wine vinegar, then rinse them and wrap them in a dry T-towel. Then I wipe each one. If you leave the mushrooms soaking they will absorb the water/vinegar. The mushrooms and the chicken pieces are marinated separately in two different marinades for a couple of hours before threading on the skewer. The chicken pieces should be slightly less than bite size so that they and the mushrooms are both ready and juicy at the same time.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

FOR THE MUSHROOMS

8 oz button mushrooms – rinsed and dried – large ones can be halved

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 tbsp. fresh curly parsley – finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mushrooms in a large zip loc plastic bag

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients then pour onto the mushrooms and massage the bag so that they are coated with the garlic parsley mix.

Let marinade in the fridge for a good hour

FOR THE CHICKEN

1 pound of chicken breasts – cut into small pieces about the size of a baby mushroom

1 tbsp. fresh rosemary – finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh thyme – finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken pieces in a zip loc plastic bag

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the chicken.

Rub the contents of the bag so that the chicken is coated with the marinade, then place in the fridge for a good hour or so.

Thread a mushroom then a piece of chicken and continue doing so on a pre-soaked wooden skewer until you have 4 skewers.

Place on a metal baking tray with a rim and cook in oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

 

 

 

Egg and Potato Salad with Anchovies (4)

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Summer is all about grilling and being outside and food is simpler too – maybe freshly shucked corn and potato salad with sun-ripe fruit or ice cream for dessert. Egg and Potato salad is simple but different and combines two popular salads in one. The mayo dressing is diluted with apple cider vinegar which makes it lighter and the addition of store bought rolled anchovies with capers in the middle adds extra flavor.

8 oz. new potatoes – boiled and cut into small pieces (I use organic potatoes and leave the skin on)

3 eggs – hard-boiled and cut into small pieces

1 x can anchovies with capers – chop 4 finely and reserve 4 for decoration

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

Boil the new potatoes and the eggs in a pan together for 10 minutes or so until the potatoes are tender. Drain pan then fill with cold water and add ice cubes.

When cool  cut potatoes into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl.

Peel eggs (easiest way I have found to do this is to crack egg on its bottom on a counter top – there is a little air pocket at the bottom of the egg – and it makes it easier to peel) then chop into little pieces and add to potatoes.

Add the finely chopped anchovies with capers and chop finely to the mix.

Whisk 1 tbsp. mayonnaise with 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and season with a little pepper (salt probably not needed because of the anchovies). Pour over salad and mix well together. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining rolled anchovies.

 

 

Pancetta Roasted Potatoes (4)

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These potatoes are for an occasional treat as they are roasted in the drippings from slices of pancetta. It is an Umbrian way of roasting potatoes. Traditionally, the cooking in that region of Italy is based on local, seasonal foods with absolutely nothing going to waste. I sourced the pancetta from an Italian food shop and asked for it to be sliced quite thickly. It is placed on a slatted baking rack above the potatoes. The fat drips out of the pancetta onto the potatoes and they soak up some of the slightly smoked flavor of the pancetta which itself dries out and becomes like crackling. Serve each person with potatoes topped with the crackling. Goes well with roast pork or chicken.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

4 x thickish slices of pancetta

1 pound waxy potatoes (Yukon Gold or new potatoes) – cut into bite-size chunks

Put the potatoes in a metal roasting dish and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place a rack over the potatoes and lay the pancetta slices on it.

Cook for about 45 minutes until potatoes are nicely browned. Turn the potatoes over periodically.

Serve immediately while pancetta is still crisp, placing pancetta over a portion of potatoes.

 

Coleslaw with Kale (4)

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There is something about coleslaw that is so appealing whether it is store bought, homemade, or a side in a restaurant alongside a burger. If eating out with friends I often trade sides – one gets French fries, the other coleslaw – and we share. So I have tasted my fair share of coleslaw. It can be too vinegary or heavy on the mayo. My sauce is made of a mixture of mayonnaise (store bought is fine), freshly squeezed lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. To cabbage and carrots I add scallions, raisins and kale (only the frilly edges of kale and then finely chopped).

1/2 a smallish cabbage – shredded using a food processor

4 medium carrots – grated in a food processor

2 stems of kale – use only the frilly outer edges of the leaves and chop finely

1 bunch of scallions – just the white bits, outer skin removed and finely chopped

1 x 1 oz. packet of raisins

3 tbsp. mayonnaise

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Place the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, then pour over the vegetables and toss well together.

 

Mixed Grill Steeped in Rosemary (4)

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Hopefully you see this before you have planned your menu for a summer BBQ and if you are serving it with lots of other dishes it may serve more than 4 people. It takes about an hour or so for the rosemary and the olive oil to amalgamate and create a flavored oil. To do this several twigs of rosemary are place in a zip loc bag along with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. When the ingredients are in the bag bend or snap the twigs of rosemary and massage the leaves (or roll with a rolling pin). After an hour (or longer)  place the sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of an oven proof pan, place the meats on top and tip the remaining contents of the zip loc bag over the meats and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Depending on how you like your steak you can add it in later so it will be rarer. The chicken sausage and steak will have a delicious undertone of rosemary.  Goes very well with my recipe for ‘Summer Potatoes’.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

6 sprigs of rosemary

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 x chorizo sausages or German or Polish sausages – pricked with a fork

1 large (approx. 8 oz.) chicken breast – cut into slices

8 oz rib eye steak – cut into slices

Place rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper in a zip loc bag, then bend or snap the rosemary and crush the leaves with your hand and massage or use a rolling pin to release the flavor. Leave in the closed zip loc bag for an hour or more – out of the fridge.

When the ingredients are in the bag bend or snap the twigs of rosemary and massage the leaves (or roll with a rolling pin). After an hour (or longer)  place the sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of an oven proof pan, place the meats on top and tip the remaining contents of the zip loc bag over the meats and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Depending on how you like your steak you can add it in later so it will be rarer.

To serve, remove the meats from the pan and arrange on a serving platter. Pour over any juices and rosemary leaves but discard the sprigs.