Friday, 29 January 2010

One month later..

Oh dear, I'm so sorry, I confess it... I am a bad blogger (BAD). In my defence, I have, in the last month, gone back to full time education (PhD ARGH!) AND started a new job... Plus I'm trying to kick start the year with a big exercise push. So, please be gracious with me, I have every good intention!

And actually I have been thinking of you. I have been cooking lots of lovely frugal food, making notes and everything...

In an effort to be a better blogger I may try the more freestyle approach, less long recipes and more hurried comments on the lovely food coming out of the kitchen next door... And in that vein see below for tonight's supper - salmon with lemon gnocchi - super rapido and fairly frugal. I'll be back soon, I promise.

This is so yummy and quick, perfect to sustain you after a hard working week.

  • Put a large saucepan of water on to boil for the gnocchi.
  • Heat a good knob of unsalted butter with a little olive oil in a saute pan, and add a peeled and squashed garlic clove.
  • Once the butter is foaming add your salmon fillets and cook on all sides.
  • Once the salmon is seared, grate over the zest of half a lemon and add a good slosh of white wine. Quickly bung a lid on the pan and let the salmon cook in the liquid for a couple of minutes.
  • Cook the gnocchi.
  • Remove the salmon from the pan into some tin foil, loosely crimped into a bag, and put to one side to keep warm.
  • Remove the garlic from the syrupy wine juices in the saute pan, and add a lovely splosh of cream. Stir calmly together and taste. Season (well) with salt, and add some more lemon zest and a couple of squeezes of juice until it tastes how you want it.
  • Drain the gnocchi and stir them into the cream. Serve with the salmon fillets and greens, with plenty of black pepper.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Pea, broad bean and feta salad

After the excesses of the celebratory season, some good green fun is probably in order.  For the last few days, although I remain unable to resist the lure of the Christmas Rocky Road tin, I have been craving fresher flavours.

This is a lovely salad, even better the day after (the afternoon after the night before in this case) with a packet of crisps and a pint of water.  A good way to start the new year!

  • 1/2 packet baby spinach/2 heads baby cos, leaves roughly torn
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 75ml balsamic vinegar (use red wine vinegar if you don't have balsamic)
  • 1 cup frozen broad beans
  • 1 cup frozen petit pois
  • Good olive oil
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • Packet feta cheese, cubed
  • Heat the oven to 180C/350F.
  • Peel the red onions and slice into 3mm rings.  Lay flat in an oven dish and sprinkle with the sugar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour on the vinegar and olive oil, give everything a stir, and pop into the oven.  
  • Roast the peppers for 30 minutes, stirring half way through.  Once done they should be sticky and soft, sour and sweet.
  • Cook the broad beans in boiling water following the packet guidelines.
  • Cook the frozen peas.  Whilst they come to the boil and simmer, squeeze the beans out of their skins.
  • Mix the peas and beans in a bowl with the lemon juice and olive oil to taste.  Stir together with your hands and leave to cool in the dressing, absorbing the flavours. 
  • Once the peas and beans are no longer very hot, add the cubed feta.
  • Just before eating, arrange the salad leaves in a bowl, top with the peas, beans and feta, and lastly with the red onion rings.