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.
I hope everyone’s had a fantastic Christmas meal yesterday, with family and friends. Food, family and friends are three vital ingredients for a happy life; of course, the three are not in any particular order of importance.
Unfortunately for me, I’ve officially taken ill after the very busy week leading up for Christmas Day, flustered with Christmas shopping, Christmas dinner grocery shopping, house decoration, house cleaning, etc. Yep, you know the drill.
So this Boxing Day, while Sarah and Stephenie head out to battle the crowds in the (in)famous Boxing Day Shopping Sale, I get out of bed late and make myself a lovely little brunch.
Roast beef, with a lemon butter salsa of peppers, peas, onion, chilli and parsley, served with a cranberry sauce.
A delicious medley of tender meatiness from the blushing pieces of steak and the sourish yet sweet tones of cranberry sauce, combined with the zingy buttery dance of spicy chilli bits, fresh parsley and juicy vegetables. What a treat!
- 80g beef frying steak
- 1 generous knob salted butter
- 1 small handful peas
- 1 small handful chopped yellow pepper
- 1 small handful chopped orange pepper
- 1 small handful chopped white onion
- 1 pinch minced chilli
- 1 pinch finely chopped parsley
- 1 tiny squeeze of lemon
- leftover Christmas turkey cranberry sauce, or cranberry jam
- Season the beef with freshly ground black pepper and pan-sear it to its desired doneness. Then season with salt and let it rest.
- In a skillet on medium heat, melt the butter.
- Once the butter begins foaming, toss in the onion, frying till translucent.
- Add the yellow and orange peppers, and peas as well. Saute everything well.
- When done, squeeze of few drops of lemon and mix in the chilli bits.
- Slice the rested beef diagonally to expose its lovely red blush.
- Plate up and serve.
Don’t be like me and leave it in the hot oven after it’s done, thinking it would ‘keep warm’ that way. It got way overdone.
Anyway, using this pizza dough recipe, this is what goes on top:
- Thin slices of asparagus
- Slices of white mushrooms
- Shaved Parmesan
- Lemon Mayonnaise*
*This can be bought off the shelf, but I prefer making my own. Squeeze lemon juice into some mayonnaise; enough so that there is a refreshing zest of lemon goodness but not so much so it becomes a sour mess. Top the pizza with this after it’s been baked, using a squeezey bottle. If you don’t have one, use a ziplock bag, with a small corner snipped off. Have a good time making lovely patterns. Have a better time eating this pizza.
Greece really does make a special place in my heart warm, especially it’s food. You can’t blame me, the Greek really know how to do their meat. One in particular I have an absolutely soft spot for is Souvlaki.
“Souvlaki (Greek: Σουβλάκι) is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It may be served on the skewer for eating out of hand, in a pita sandwich with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate, often with fried potatoes. The meat is traditionally lamb in Greece and Cyprus, or in modern times increasingly pork due to the lower cost. In other countries and for tourists, souvlaki may be made with other meats such as beef, chicken and sometimes fish (especially swordfish). The word souvlaki is a diminutive of (σούβλα) souvla ‘skewer’, itself borrowed from Latin subula.”
I got this recipe from The Meatwave, but didn’t have all the right ingredients, so I made a couple of subtitutions and hoped for the best.
For the marinade:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Other stuff you need:
- 600g pork loin, cut into inch cubes
- Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before use
- Slice of lemon
- Red onion, sliced
- Fresh rocket leaves
Preparation and cooking:
- Made with your everyday condiments, pour the marinate into ziplock with the pork cubes. Make sure all pieces get a lick of the marinate. Let it sit in the fridge overnight.
- Instead of using a charcoal grill, I did it in the oven, which isn’t as good ‘cos you don’t get that kickass smokiness. But I had to make do.
- After skewering the cubes, grill for about 15 minutes in total at 200°C. Turning them around every once in a while.
- Let them rest for about 5 minutes before gobbling. Serve with a slice of lemon, sliced red onion and fresh rocket leaves.