Okay, I went a little ballistic with the ingredients in this one, but making a stew really is a good way to use up all those nearly-dead vegetables in your fridge. No prizes for guessing how fresh my veggies were.
- In a pot, toss together a knob of butter, smashed garlic, chopped fennel, diced carrots and potatoes, minced ginger, sliced chilli and a small stick of cinnamon. Fry everything till fragrant.
- Add in water to barely cover and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, marinate diced beef chunks with a bit of cornflour, red wine and balsamic vinegar and chopped chives. Then add to the pot as well.
- Dump in a dollop of cranberry sauce if you’ve got some, if not, a pinch of sugar will do.
- Crush in a small bunch of dried sage leaves and add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce.
- When beef is almost done, add about 2-3 mugs of meat or vegetable stock.
- Season well with salt and pepper and put the lid on. Turn the heat down to a simmer and leave it for 20-30 minutes.
- After 20-30 minutes, add in a splash of red wine.
- Make a mixture of cornflour and cold water. Then stir in the cornflour mixture a tablespoon at a time till it’s reached your desired thickness. Alternatively, you could blitz a quarter of the stew to thicken it.
- Have it with a toasty crusty bread roll.
Seared salmon with sauteed carrot and fennel, on linguine dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, served with a mint and garlic sauce.
- Set the linguine away to cook in a pot of boiling water. Drain once cooked, and toss in a balsamic vinaigrette.
- With a small knob of butter and a little splash of olive oil, saute the julienned carrot and fennel. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Remove once vegetables are cooked.
- Prepare your salmon fillets, cutting them into small rectangular pieces. Salt the skin generously with seasalt and lay them skin side down on a piece of kitchen towel.
- Chop up a handful of mint leaves and mince it together with a small clove of garlic. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add a little drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and pound away till everything comes together as a sauce.
- As soon as the vegetables are out of the pan, sear the salmon fillets skin side down till golden. Flip the fillets after the skins are nicely browned, and remove once they are done. The pieces of salmon should be firm not hard, nor soft. Let them rest on a fresh piece of kitchen towel before plating up.
Butter-roasted fillet of crisp-skin salmon, a fondant potato, on a bed of fennel and carrot salsa, with fresh arugula, seared cherry tomatoes and a slice of lemon.
- In a skillet, continuously baste the fillet of fish with foaming butter.
- When done, rest on kitchen towel.
- Peel off the skin of the salmon and dry-fry it.
- Sear the potato in a small pot of butter, till brown. Repeat on the other side.
- Add a bit of stock to boil it once the potato has been browned on both sides. Potato is done once it can be easily pierced through its side.
Fennel and Carrot Salsa
- With a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a skillet, fry minced shallots till transparent.
- Toss in chopped carrots and fennel.
- Add in a small bowl of tomato juice and reduce.
- Season accordingly.
Serve with fresh arugula, seared cherry tomatoes and a slice of lemon.
A couple of days ago, I managed to pull myself out of bed at 430am to make a trip down to Billingsgate Market, at Canary Wharf. It’s a wholesale wet market holding the likes of fresh fish, mussels, scallops, crabs, lobsters, and frozen seafood, all for really good prices. I’d think the produce available there is anytime fresher than the stuff back home and in the supermarkets here.
Well, so I got myself a whole salmon, a couple of sea-basses and a bag of live mussels. No chance to cook any of that for lunch; I hit the sack after an incredibly early morning out of bed.
Dinner, however, was salmon with couscous.
Butter-basted fillet of salmon, served on fennel, carrot and oregano couscous, garnished with arugula, chilli and a mini-slice of lemon.
- Melt a hunk of butter in a skillet and let it foam up a little. Crack a bit of black pepper in and squeeze in some lemon juice.
- Lay in the salmon fillet skin side down, and with a spoon, baste the fish continuously till it’s just right. Take care not to overcook it, else it’d get really dry.
- Be sure to let the fillet rest for a but after removing it from the pan.
- (At this stage, the skin of the salmon should peel off easily in a single piece. If you want, deep-fry it till crispy and then put it back on the fish.)
- Prepare a portion as you would as stated on the packaging instructions.
- While that’s happening, saute the minced fennel, carrot and shallots with some butter and a squeeze of lemon.
- When the carrot bits are tender, toss in the couscous and stir.
- Season accordingly with salt, pepper, oregano and a dash of chilli powder.
Damn, I should’ve deep-fried that skin.