haddock risotto with leeks & peas

I love a good risotto and will pay good money for a well cooked, tasty one although sometimes this seems like a tough request or expectation.
A good risotto is a process and needs a little love for a delicious end result. Take the time, nurture the arborio rice and you will be left with a wonderfully tasty meal, perfect for lunch or dinner.
Arborio rice is a starchy, short-grained rice variety that produces a luxuriously creamy finish and can absorb quite a bit of liquid without becoming mushy.
A little effort for this one but well worth your time and patience.
I used skinless, de-boned haddock that was lightly smoked. It has a flaky texture and a beautifully delicate flavor, perfect for the rich, creamy risotto it is served with
This dish is quite rich so is best served it with a simple rocket & avocado or tomato salad or simple steamed vegetables.

ingredients | serves 4 -6 | a little effort
270g haddock fillet, lightly smoked & de-boned
350ml milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
300g uncooked risotto
600ml fish stock
1C dry white wine
1/3C cream
3T creme fraiche
4 leeks, washed and sliced diagonally
1C frozen peas
3/4C finely grated Parmesan
1t dried dill
1.5t fine salt
1.5t black pepper
zest of half a lemon
bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
fresh dill, garnish (optional)
2T olive oil
80g salted butter

how to do it
In a pot, bring the milk and bay leaf to a gentle boil. Gently submerge the haddock fillet into the milk, bring it down to a simmer and poach for two to three minutes per side.
Remove the haddock using a slotted spoon. Set aside and reserve the milk for later use. Mix the fish stock and white wine together in a large jug. Set aside.
In a large pot, melt 20g butter with the olive oil. Saute the chopped onion until glossy taking care not to burn it. Add the leaks and cook until soft. About three minutes.
Add the uncooked risotto to the pot and stir to coat. Add the garlic and dried dill and cook for one minute while stirring.
Gently pour about one cup of stock & wine mixture into the risotto and stir. Leave to cook on a gentle heat, stirring twice, until almost fully absorbed. Repeat this until you have used all of the liquid. Add the remaining 60g butter and stir through.
Now pour the poaching milk and cream into the risotto and leave to simmer, while stirring for about three minutes.
Add the peas, stir and cook for three minutes. Stir the creme fraiche through the risotto mixture. Add the salt, pepper, zest, parsley and parmesan and stir well.
Flake the poached haddock into the risotto and give it a gentle mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with fresh dill if using.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

salmon gravlax & citrus salad

Gravlax, traditionally Nordic, is a dish consisting of salmon that is cured by using sugar, salt & dill. It is served with bread or boiled potatoes and a dill & mustard sauce.
There are, however, many different gravlax recipes, personalised through taste and preference. Pernod is another great ingredient to use when curing salmon. It adds a beautiful, mild aniseed flavour to the fish very similar to that of fennel.
The recipe is easy and the process and time well worth it.
The quality of the salmon is really important here so get your hands on the best you can find from a trusted fishmonger. This is a starter portion. For a main meal simply double up the recipe.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy (starter portion for four)
600g salmon fillet, skin on
1C coarse salt
1C granulated sugar
1/2C fresh dill
1 large cucumber
3T coarse salt
1/2C cream cheese, room temperature
2T lemon juice
1/2t black pepper
3-4 oranges, sliced and skin removed
fresh chives, garnish
fresh dill, garnish
1t white sesame seeds (optional)
1t black sesame seeds (optional)

how to do it
Lay the salmon fillet skin side down in a large dish. Mix the sugar, salt & dill together and spoon this out onto the salmon. Cover the fillet well with the salt & sugar mixture.
Wrap the dish tightly with clingfilm and place into the refrigerator overnight.
Peel the cucumber with a julienne peeler, discarding the centre. Place the cucumber strips into a sieve over a bowl and strew with the two tablespoons of coarse salt. Leave to stand for about one hour. (This will remove excess moisture from the cucumber.)
Rinse the cucumber well under running water and dry on paper towel.
Mix the cream cheese, black pepper & lemon juice in a bowl. Add the cucumber ribbons and mix gently until well combined.
Slice the oranges into rounds and remove the skin with a sharp knife.
Remove the salmon from the fridge and rinse well under cold running water. Pat the fillet dry with towel paper and lay it flat on a work surface.
Slice the fillet into thin strips, against the grain.
Arrange the citrus onto a large plate. Place the gravlax on top and serve with the cucumber & cream cheese mixture.
Garnish the dish with the fresh herbs and sesame seeds.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

brunch galette

nothing beats a late, lazy morning with amazing food! some days three meals are just too much for my stomach so i love a good brunch. and really, brunch is a mixture of breakfast & lunch, so anything goes.
this is my take of an eggs Benedict at lunch time and it is absolutely delicious! if you are not the smoked trout / salmon type then replace the fish with prosciutto, bacon or parma ham.
it seems like there is a lot going on here but this dish is actually so simple and really doesn’t take up a great majority of your time.
serve the galette with my creamy hollandaise. it will just not be the same without it.
* the galette in the photo is for two. i have adjusted the recipe to feed six.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1 roll puff pastry, thawed
300g mini asparagus (or size of choice)
100g smooth cream cheese, at room temperature
300g/400g smoked trout ribbons / smoked salmon
1 egg, beaten
2 spring onion, sliced at an angle
black pepper
6 eggs
parmesan shavings, for garnish
fresh chives, for garnish
1 recipe hollandaise sauce (in my post dated 17 February 2021)

how to do it
preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
place the ready rolled sheet of puff pastry on a greased oven tray. using a sharp knife, make cuts in the pastry, about 1cm from the side, to form a border. take care to not cut all the way through the pastry.
dock the pastry with a fork in the centre as well as in the border.
coat the centre of the pastry with the cream cheese. now lay the asparagus (which has been cut to fit the pastry) down on the cream cheese. season lightly with salt & black pepper and brush the border of the pastry with the beaten egg.
bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden and beautifully flaky. meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to the boil. gently lower the eggs into the water and cook for five minutes for soft boiled. pour the water off the eggs and top with cold water to stop the cooking process.
make the hollandaise sauce.
carefully remove the pan from the oven.
top the asparagus with the trout or salmon ribbons. gently place the eggs between the fish ribbons and cut it open using a sharp knife.
garnish the galette with the sliced spring onion, chopped chives and parmesan shavings.
place the galette in the middle of the table and serve with the hollandaise sauce.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x

Phyllo baked fish parcels

A quick and tasty meal, perfect for lunch or dinner and great to make ahead! I often make a double batch of these as they freeze really well, which makes long days such a pleasure! These tasty phyllo bakes are great served with a zesty salad, lemony green beans or broccoli. And I love it with a cucumber, mint & yogurt sauce.
Cheap, quick & easy…just perfect!

White fish fillet (500g) I used hake
One roll phyllo pastry, thawed
1/2 C Butter, melted
Olive oil
1/2 Red onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 Small red chilli, chopped
1 Tbs Fish sauce
1/3 C Coconut milk
250ml Fish stock
Black pepper
Fresh dill
Fresh coriander

How to do it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add onion, garlic & chilli and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, fish stock & fish sauce, salt & pepper and bring to a simmer. Gently place the fish fillet into the poaching liquid and poach for 10 minutes, turning halfway. Remove the fish from the poaching liquid and scoop the onion & garlic mixture into a bowl. Once cooled, flake the fish and remove any small bones. Mix the fish, onion mixture, dill, coriander and 1/3 C of the poaching liquid together.
On a flat surface, cut phyllo dough in half. Place one sheet on the surface and brush with the melted butter. Repeat twice more. Place a few scoops of the fish mixture on top. Roll into a pocket and butter and press the sides to seal. Brush the parcels with butter and place on an ovenproof tray. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until beautifully browned and crisp.
Serve with a side of your choice and the cucumber yogurt.

Cucumber yogurt
1C Double cream plain yogurt
Cucumber, cut into blocks
Fresh mint, chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
Black pepper

From my kitchen to yours, with love x

Sesame crusted trout with pea & garlic pasta

I have been meaning to make a simple pea pasta for weeks now and when it finally came to it I had the desire to add fish to it. We love trout so, of course, trout was the winning fish for this dish. I used whole wheat pasta but normal white pasta will also work. Also a great dish for the little ones as it is really easy, simple and packed with flavour and goodness. You can stir through tinned tuna at the end if you don’t want to use trout or simply disregard the fish and serve the pasta as is with the pea puree, topped with parmesan! I prefer using frozen peas (petit pois) as they hold a lot of taste and also have the most amazing colour even after being boiled. A fresh, lemony pea pasta, on the table in no time at all!

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 Trout fillet, portioned to 4
1/3 C Black sesame seeds
Olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1 Shallot onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
10 Mint leaves
1 1/2 C Frozen peas
1/2 C Cream
Black pepper
2 Handfuls Coriander, leaves only
Few sprigs dill, chopped
Pasta of your choice

How to do it
In a small skillet, heat butter & oil and saute onion & garlic until translucent. Set aside. Bring salted water to the boil, add the peas, and boil for 2 minutes. Place onions, garlic, lemon zest, mint & peas into a small blender and blend until smooth. Place sesame seeds in a plate. Rub fish with a little olive oil, season with salt & pepper and press into sesame seeds to form a crust. Heat a pan and place the fish into the hot pan, crust side first, for 2 minutes a side. Remove and set aside.
Boil the pasta to packet instructions.
Spoon the pea mixture into a small pot, add the cream, season with salt & pepper and stir through while heating. Add about 4 tablespoons of the starchy water of the pasta and stir through.
Mix the cooked pasta with the pea sauce, plate and top with the sesame crusted trout. Garnish with the coriander leaves & chopped dill.

From my kitchen to. yours, with love x