Archive | March, 2013

Grapefruit and Pistachio Crusted Salmon

28 Mar

Just the best thing I have eaten in such a long time!

You know when you don’t really like a food but you want to enjoy it in some shape or form? Well for me, that food is grapefruit. It is too tart for my taste, and am I the only person who finds it impossible to eat with a spoon!? However, I did once see (what I found to be) an AMAZING grapefruit-specific spoon! I found it so cute that I considering buying it despite the fact that I would never use it on account of disliking grapefruit. It wasn’t cheap either, so… luckily my common sense overrode (overrode?) my ability to impulse buy on this occasion

Oh look! I found a picture: it is a spoon with serrated edges! Testament to the fact that yes, you do have to hack them to pieces with a normal spoon to get any flesh off of the fruit and into your mouth.

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Plus! A breakfast food!? Come on how is that meant to keep you going for longer than 5 minutes?

But I digress, because this recipe uses grapefruit juice and it is flipping beautiful.

I didn’t really know what to expect with the combination of flavours used for the topping, but I’m so glad I gave it a go because it is the brightest, most vibrant tasting dish and everything works together so harmoniously. I will make this again and again and again!

Full credit by the way, goes to Aggie over at Aggie’s Kitchen who must be profoundly genius to have come up with this. I altered literally nothing, but I did accidentally pick up lightly smoked salmon rather than regular unsmoked – a very happy mistake it turned out! It is the first recipe I’ve tried from her site but I am now subscribed via e-mail and have written down a little note to myself to stalk the blog ferociously until I have tried everything that appeals. Probably 99.9% of it. So I hope she doesn’t mind a bit of ferocious stalking for a while.

Serves 2.

  • 2 salmon fillets (lightly smoked if liked)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey/agave
  • juice from 1/4 grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (approx 30g)
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Before I go on to share the recipe, I’d like to suggest the side I served with ours! I boiled some new potatoes and set them aside. Then I heated a little oil in a pan and tossed in some leftover okra we had (but use green beans they taste very similar and of course they’ll be much easier to find!), a sprinkle of salt and the cooked potatoes. I tossed them around until the okra was cooked but retained some bite, and the potatoes were lightly charred. SO flavoursome!

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c and lightly grease a suitable baking sheet/tray for the salmon to sit on while you make the topping.
  2. In a food processor, tip in all of the remaining ingredients. Whizz a few times. This may take a while depending on the power of your processor because the pistachios don’t break up immediately. You may even like to roughly chop them beforehand, although I shouldn’t think it would make too much difference.
  3. Spoon the mixture on top of the salmon and smooth it out evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the fish flakes easily.

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Such a simple recipe, but it sings. Honestly it does! 🙂

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An Award Nomination!

24 Mar

In the midst of feeling rather distant from my blog, I receive something lovely and heart-warming such as this nomination for The Sunshine Award!

I haven’t received anything like this before and so I’m likely to make some mistakes here, but I think that basically what I have to do is answer a few questions and nominate 10 blogs of my own choosing, including links to their blogs in this post. The other rules (I believe) are to link back to the person that nominated you and to let the people you have nominated know that you have nominated them! Wow, have I just made that sound far more complicated than it is? Let’s find out…

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?

I don’t have a favourite philosopher of such, but I love certain quotes which I translate into philosophies for myself… such as “Everything in moderation, including moderation”. I think Rumi said that! 

2. What is your favorite number?

14. I’m very superstitious about the number that comes prior to this… so 14 balances out the bad luck in my mind. It is also the date of my birthday 🙂 

3. What is your favorite animal?

I love lots of animals, but rhinos are my current fascination. 

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?

I don’t have Twitter at all and barely use Facebook, and I don’t have links to either from this blog.

5. What is your favorite time of day?

About 10am – it’s so bright and fresh – there is still time for lots of opportunities throughout the day!

6. What was your favorite vacation?

I always remember Turkey as being fantastic although I was very young when I visited. Paris was amazing but I’d love to go back and stay for longer.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?

Riding my bike 🙂

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Tea.

9. What is your favorite flower?

Crocuses. So colourful and usually a symbol of Spring. I say usually because there are crocuses out at the moment but there is also a thick layer of snow…

10. What is your passion?

Food and caring for children. In no particular order.

My nominations for the Sunshine blog award are…

And last but not least, thank you so much for making my day Ankit! Not only did it cheer me up to know that somebody values this little blog of mine, but I also discovered a truly wonderful blog by following your link! 🙂

Butternut Squash and Scallop Laksa

5 Mar

Today people, I have applied myself to college work.

Yes, I know it is a MAJOR breakthrough. I swear it is the first time I have done anything constructive since Christmas.

😀

So, laksa! It is beautiful and reminds me very much of one of my all-time favourite BBC Good Food recipes: Thai Salmon Soup

Except that this is MY recipe and that makes me extra extra eager to share it with you 🙂 it is also a milder version for anyone who loves a punch of flavour without their nose running and eyes watering into their food…

It just summarises everything I love at the moment: Thai food (well actually it’s Malaysian but that sort of flavouring); LIME; coconut, noodles, squash, stir-fry vegetables… and surprisingly, scallops! See I have a bit of a seafood phobia due to various bad experiences, but I actually love these little things. They make me happy because now I use them interchangeably with prawns (which are the arch enemies of my taste buds) and so I feel I can tackle an even wider range of recipes 🙂

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Serves 4

  • approx 140g laksa paste (I found a 180g jar at my local supermarket – think of the cool things you could do for 1 with the leftovers!)
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 200g scallops (I used frozen)
  • 300g straight to wok rice noodles (though I would probably use more… I didn’t think 600g looked moderate enough :P)
  • a good handful of beansprouts, baby sweetcorn, mange tout or other stir-fry type vegetables. Bamboo shoots would be great.
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • lime wedges, to serve
  1. Toss the prepared squash with the laksa paste in a large saucepan for a few minutes, until it is fragrant and the squash is coated nicely with the paste. Add the coconut milk and stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes depending on how big your cubes of squash are – they should be verging on tender, but nowhere near soft!!! 
  2. Add the noodles, vegetables (not the spring onions) and scallops (straight from frozen if that’s what you’re working with), and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the noodles are tender, the scallops are cooked through but not rubbery aaaand the vegetables are hot but still crunchy.
  3. Serve into adequately sized (large) bowls and top with the spring onions. Serve with lime wedges – by which I mean squeeze half a lime into your bowl and swirl it all around. I don’t think it is negotiable actually.

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P.S: This is the sort of meal that will dribble down your chin multiple times leaving you feel rather clumsy/messy but very warm and satisfied 🙂

P.P.S: I’d say a sticky chin/splattered clothes is a worthy sacrifice.

P.P.P.S: Forgive the extreme usage of brackets, forward slashes and p.s’s.