Category Archives: Fish

Sockeye Salmon and prawn skewers with garlic butter © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Red salmon and king prawn shish kebabs

Having been really, really ill after eating prawns one evening many years ago, I’ve been along time coming round to eating them again, but I do adore salmon so this was the recipe that got me back to eating prawns once more.

This is really fast to do and makes a really light but impressive dish in a hurry.

Ingredients:

  • Canadian red salmon or sockeye salmon works best – 250g per person
  • King prawns – about half a doz per skewer and you want about 2 skewers per person
  • 100g salted butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Method:

Put the oven on to heat.

Cut the salmon into 2.5cm cubes, then skewer the cubes of salmon alternatively with king prawns.

Melt the butter in a pan and crush two cloves of garlic into it, season with salt and pepper.

Place the kebabs in a shallow dish and cover with the melted butter.

Roast in the oven until the fish is just cooked  – it took 10 minutes in the roasting oven of the AGA.  Either take the dish to the table to serve or transfer to plates.

To Serve:

Sprinkle with fresh parsley  and serve with a cob salad, french bread and a good chilled Sancerre.

Moules Marinière © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Moules Marinière

Some foods are an acquired taste, and we all have things we love and hate in equal measures.  It has taken me my entire life to get around to being able to cope with ‘trying’ mussels.  There’s just something about them, and oysters that just leaves me cold.  BUT …. mussels look so attractive when being served and I was desperate to photograph them, so it seemed rather stupid not to eat them too.

I bought into the whole experience, the table was set, the smell, the colours the tastes – I was actually really looking forward to them.  The mussels, however, didn’t really do it for me, I have to say.  I could eat them but I don’t particularly like or love them.  I think its the texture but I’m not saying I won’t try them again, because you have to try new things right?   That’s what I always told my boys and sometimes you just love the results.  My boys love this dish, I guess I may get there one day.  With a bottle of wine on a relaxed evening with a loved one or friends it just is such a lovely sharing dish to put on the table, so I’m thinking I must try again.

Ingredients: (Serves four)

  • 4 lbs /1.75Kg of mussels,
  • 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic,
  • 2  finely chopped shallots,
  • a knob of butter,
  • a boquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves,
  • one glass of dry white wine or cider,
  • 1 small pot of double cream,
  • a handful of parsley, finely chopped,
  • nice crusty bread, chips or sauté potatoes to serve
Moules Marinière © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Moules Marinière © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Method:

Wash the mussels carefully under cold, running water. Throw away any open ones which won’t close when you squeeze them lightly.

Salmon and watercress tart with asparagus © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Salmon and Watercress Tart

Generally as summer approaches and the days get warmer my thoughts turn even more to salads and summer foods.  Sadly this year the weather isn’t helping much, and is more suggestive of casseroles and stews than salads but we live in hope and meanwhile here’s a lovely summery tart to enjoy whatever the weather.

Salmon and watercress tart with salad and asparagus © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Salmon and watercress tart with salad and asparagus © Sue Todd Photography 2016

There’s quite a few recipes for salmon tart around and they all seem to use masses more salmon than I did, but actually this was enough and gave us eight portions of tart.

Can you call pastry, pastry if it doesn’t use wheat flour? Just a pointless thought, excuse me.  I didn’t have any buckwheat flour which is what I’d intended to use, when I set out to make this but didn’t want to use wheat flour, so I’ve used rice flour but next time I’ll swap that out too.  Its fun to experiment and its rare that things are inedible, though it can happen, so feel free to experiment too.

Ingredients for the Pastry Base

  • 2 1/2 ounces of rice flour
  • 2 ounces of sorghum flour
  • 2 ounces of sesame flour
  • 1/2 ounce hemp seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces of butter
  • 1 small egg
  • 4 tablespoons of cold water, more if needed

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2-3 handfuls of watercress
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 1/2 ounces of salmon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of double cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped dill
  • 2-3 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

Method for the Pastry

Pastry lined tart tin © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Pastry lined tart tin © Sue Todd Photography 2016

If you like doing things the old-fashioned way then tip the flours, xanthan gum and salt into a bowl and rub it together until you have a crumb like structure.  Of if you have hands like mine that can no longer manage that stick it all in the stand mixer with the k-beater and mix on low-speed until you have crumbs.  It’s much faster and while its more washing up you can do other things while its mixing.  On the Kitchen Aid I use speed 2.

Add the egg and mix up again.  Next start adding water, and mix until the dough begins to form a ball.  Don’t be tempted to put less water in just because it seems to come together with the egg, it won’t stay together – as I found, it really does need a good bit of moisture. Chill for an hour before using.

If you’re using a conventional oven pre-heat it to 400F.

Butter your tart tin in readiness.

Method – to prepare the filling:

Poaching Salmon © Sue Todd Photography 2016.

Poaching Salmon © Sue Todd Photography 2016.

Check over the watercress and give it a good wash.  Dry it using a clean tea towel or salad spinner.

Wilt the watercress in a saucepan in the four tablespoons of water. For about 3 minutes, stirring gently, then remove from the heat.  Squeeze the watercress  gently to remove excess water and chop  it finely before setting to one side for a moment.

Put 3/4 of the cup of milk into a heavy based frying or sauté pan along with your bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste (as in a pinch of each).  Heat the milk through and when it starts to simmer add the salmon and poach it for around 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and leave it for around 10 minutes so that the flavours infuse, then lift the salmon out of the milk.  Don’t discard the cooking liquid, we’re going to use it. Drain the salmon carefully and crumble on to a plate or chopping board and put to one side.  Do watch for bones.

Leeks and shallot cooking © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Leeks and shallot cooking © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Strain the milk mixture through a sieve and measure out 1/4 cup of it to add to a bowl with the eggs and cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the freshly grated nutmeg and herbs.

Empty the pan you used for the spinach and add about 2 tablespoons of oil to it and heat through before popping in the leeks and shallot.  Cook without browning until they are soft, about 5 minutes or so.

Method:  Assemble and cook the tart

Flour a board or counter top and roll the pastry out gently to fit your flan or tart case. Lift the pastry gently and fit into the tin or dish.  Cut the edges back to fit and prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork.

Salmon and watercress tart Sue Todd Photography 2016

Salmon and watercress tart Sue Todd Photography 2016

Take a sheet of greaseproof paper or baking parchment, wet it under the cold tap and crumple well.  Straighten it out and line the pastry case with the damp paper.  Tip in baking beans and pop your pastry case into the oven to prebake for about 10 minutes.  I used the baking oven of the AGA for mine.

Remove the tart base from the oven and lift out the baking beans.  I remember the first time I ever used these I omitted the parchment – what a time I had removing those beans and leaving the pastry intact!  I always have a bowl on hand to tip them into to cool.  Pop the pastry case back into the oven for a a further five minutes.

Salmon and watercress tart ready for the oven © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Salmon and watercress tart ready for the oven © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Next add the leeks and shallot, then the watercress and finally the salmon before pouring over the egg mix you prepared earlier.

The tart now needs to bake for around 30 to 35 minutes until the top is lightly golden and the tart has set nicely.  If you decide to use individual tart tins or dishes then reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes.  Let the tart sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Salmon and watercress tart with asparagus © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Salmon and watercress tart with asparagus © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Lovely served with salad, any leftover tart is great the next day.  Serve hot or cold.