Monthly Archives: September 2011

Haddock on Smash

Fridays are always fish days. So here’s another one of them fish and potatoes recipes, to add to your ‘fish & chips alternatives’ list – Pan-seared Haddock on a Crispy Thyme Potato Smash


The Carb

  1. This is a real cheat, if you want good crispy potatoes fast, without using the oven.
  2. In a pot of boiling water, toss in your potatoes, scrubbed with their skin on, and cut to inch-large pieces.
  3. Once they’re done, strain them with a colander and let them sit in there, steaming away for a bit.
  4. Then, get them all onto a hot skillet. With a small knob of butter and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and dried thyme leaves, smash and mix with a potato masher. You want to smash them erratically so you get a lovely assortment of large and smaller pieces, instead of bashing them to a pulp.
  5. Let them sit on the heat for a while, stirring them once here and once there, to stop them from burning.
  6. Sneak a small bite and once you’ve got a pan of fluffy and crispy smash, it’s done.

The Fish

  1. Pat dry your fillet of the sea and season it with just a bit of salt and pepper.
  2. On a hot skillet, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil and put the fish on.
  3. Watch it closely, as it cooks pretty quickly. When the fish has shrunk slightly and has gone from translucent to opaque, it’s done.
  4. Lay gently atop a portion of potato smash,
  5. A squeeze of a lemon, a pinch of dill leaves and thin slices of chilli, you’re ready to please and be pleased.
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Pork Belly in Chinese Gravy

Ingredients

  • 200g pork belly, thinly sliced,

marinated with:

  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dash white pepper powder

*****

  • half a bulb garlic, minced
  • 2 inches of a large carrot, cut into small inch-long pieces
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • salt
  • 300ml water
  • a pinch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Preparation and Cooking

  1. Marinade the pork belly and prepare the carrot and garlic.
  2. In a hot wok with the vegetable oil, fry the garlic till fragrant.
  3. Toss in the carrot and fry till almost done.
  4. Put in the marinaded pork belly and stir about, adding water in small quantities, adding each time the wok gets dry.
  5. When the meat is about done, add all the remaining water at a go to form a gravy.
  6. Add dark soy sauce, and salt to taste.
  7. When it starts to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer for approximately  15 minutes, longer if you want the pork to be even more tender, and if your stomach can wait.
  8. Serve with fresh coriander.

You can have this with steamed rice or Mini Yorkshire Puddings. Delish.


Apricot Jam Mug Cake

I’ve been wanting to try out a recipe like this for a really long time now. Not only ‘cos I crave cake at the end of every hearty dinner at home, but also ‘cos I’m amused at how easy it sounds.

Originally, I wanted to do the Nutella Mug Cake, which can be done in a coupla of minutes in a microwave. But I’ve got no Nutella at home. The horror, I know. :/

Anyway, here’s the successful result of my little experiment, of substituting all the chocolate with jam:

Perfect for a quick cake fix.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
Steps:
  1. Get it all in a large coffee mug and whisk till smooth with a fork.
  2. Stick it in the microwave on high heat for about 1.5 – 3 minutes, depending on your microwave.
  3. Serve with more jam atop.

Yorkshire Paradise

It’s tragic how I had my first Yorkshire Pudding only when I came to London some months back. It was about the size of my palm, and carried a scoopful of lovely roast beef, white onions and gravy. Definitely love at first bite. I always thought they were difficult to make until I came across Jamie’s Oliver’s Mini Yorkies recipe. Literally, a piece of cake.

Long story short, the versatile Yorkshire Puddings or Mini Yorkies: with a couple of tweaks, and some true advice from Yorkshireman Niall, here’s how I like mine done:

  • 1 large egg
  • half a mug of plain flour
  • half a mug of fresh milk
  1. Into a shallow 12-hole muffin tray, liberally drizzle olive oil in one swift motion, from hole to hole without stopping. Stick into the oven and preheat to 180°C on the top rack. While that’s in there, prepare your pudding mix. It’s real similar to pancakes, so pay attention.
  2. Get the ingredients in a big bowl and mix away, till smooth.
  3. When the oil’s all hot (and maybe bubbly), get the tray out. Then, with the pudding mix, fill each hole to about half, give or take. At this stage, you’d be horrified to see the rings of oil surrounding the pudding mixture. Don’t worry, it beats using butter, hands down. (The amount should be just about right for 12 holes. Work out everything else in between.) Don’t take too long or the tray will cool down. Chuck it back into the oven for about 15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, you can prepare a beef gravy or whatever you fancy in a yorkshire pudding. Personally, I think yorkies were created to caress beef.
  5. Keep an eye on them yorkies and you’ll see that they rise beautifully at the sides first, forming a little well of goodness. Done till golden. Brilliant. It’s plain physics, or so Sarah explains. If you forget to preheat the tray and oil till hot, the sides won’t rise.

This is what you’ll get:

I had this with a pork belly stew. More on that here.

******

A coupla months back, here’s how I had them:

After I’d gotten them out of the oven and out of the tray, this is what I stuck into each hole, and back into the heat:

  • a slice of tomato, as the base.
  • beef mince, marinated the way I like, with thyme and sage.
  • half rings of white onion.
  • cheddar, as the ‘glue’.

When the toppings were ready, on a chopping board, I plopped them onto the individual yorkies. Then, top off finally with a couple of leaves of arugula and a sprinkle of paprika.

With a snack looking this delish, you’d be a fool not to smile. (: