Saturday, 27 August 2011

mackerel with cucumber and radish

Brilliant; Doctor Who has returned to our screens! Yes it is too confusing for Ruth but that misses the point - it's all about the smart quips and new monsters. Simply the funnest (a Norfolk word if ever there was one) romp through history, past, present and future. All of the praise out of the way, it is a shame that ten past seven came about so quickly. In fact, due to the short gap between Skyline (middle boy's movie choice) and Doctor Who, I slightly undercooked the fish. Ah well, what the hell!

serves 3

  • mackerel, gutted and top and tailed
  • 2 inches of cucumber, peeled, seeded and quite finely diced
  • 4 radishes, topped and diced like the cucumber
  • juice of half a small lemon
  • tbs parsley, finely chopped (I think dill might work better)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • generous pinch of sea salt
  • glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • twist black pepper
  • 1 tbs good white wine vinegar
  1. combine all the ingredients except the fish and set aside for at least an hour
  2. griddle the fish (or, better still, bbq)
  3. spoon the garnish over the steaming fish
...devour with salad and good television!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

smoked haddock with parsley and cream

Well, the mist and drizzle failed to ever materialise; the Peak District remaining sunny for the entire visit. The chilli was a big hit, particularly with the inclusion of chicken! Tonight, the kids had pizza, bought and stored for yesterday's return but vetoed at the last minute because the fridge was full of sausages we had forgotten to pack in the cool box. Neither Ruth or I could face sausage casserole tonight so the trip to the supermarket was a quest for a bargain. On offer... smoked haddock. Beautiful fillets, undyed and full of promise. Despite not actually liking it, I had in mind parsley sauce. The original is too heavy for this delicious fish (and my stomach) so I have given it a twist and turned it upside down. Not really a parsley sauce but it does contain the said herb. Give it a try.


  • 2 large smoked haddock fillets (probably about 450g or so)
  • 125g double cream
  • 25g butter (slightly salted in my house)
  • a glass of dryish white wine
  • 1tsp whole grain mustard
  • a handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped (I used one about as big as a pickled onion)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 or 6 pepper corns
  • milk and water (half and half to cover the fish, depending on the size of pan being used)
  • parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper to season

  1. cover the fish with the milk and water, bay leaves and pepper corns
  2. heat the fish over a gentle flame until it begins to boil, then turn the heat off
  3. in a small pan, heat the butter and cook the onion until translucent, stir in the mustard and cook until it just slightly splits
  4. add the wine and reduce by two thirds
  5. stir in the cream and parsley, bringing it to the boil before removing it from the heat
  6. stir in a couple of dessert spoons of the cooking milk into the sauce
  7. season the sauce
  8. place the fish in a heat proof dish, spooning the sauce over the top
  9. top with the grated cheese and grill under a hot grill until the cheese begins to brown
We ate this with new potatoes and some veg from the garden - french beans, peas and the very last of the broad beans.

Those sausages will just have to wait!