Saturday, 13 April 2013

fennel, onion and radish salad

Doctor Who in the background - children quiet. I didn't even bother to suggest that they try this since this kind of salad is probably 'not for them'.
This plate was a reward for trudging around a woeful car-boot sale, looking for Nintendo Gamecube games that the middle boy has to have but will rarely play. I'm glad I went though since the plate was the inspiration for the salad which was very nice indeed with roast chicken and new potatoes. It is delicious with fish too and, in my opinion, almost anything else! Ruth just slipped in that she has just finished the left overs, making it 'serves 2' when it could feed a couple more!


serves 4

  • one red onion (finely sliced)
  • 1/2 a bulb of fennel (cored and finely sliced)
  • 6 or 8 radishes (finely sliced)
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2/3 of a small lemon

  1. combine the vegetables and parsley
  2. make an emulsion of the lemon juice and oil by whisking - about 3 or 4 times as much oil as juice
  3. combine the dressing with the vegetables
  4. season, serve and eat

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

sardine and potato tagine

The kids ate rubbish whilst Ruth and I dined like the proverbial kings. This is a combination of a couple of recipes from the excellent 'The Food of Morrocco' by Paula Wolfert. To be fair, the bones can be a bit of a faff but the flavour is worth the extra effort. I'm going to try this with sea bass fillets to retain the flavour but lose the bone bowl! The kids thought it looked like the kind of food we like to eat and thanked us for the road-kill they ate!

serves 4

  • 12 fresh sardines (gutted with heads and tails removed)
  • 1 onion (finely sliced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • flat leaf parsley
  • coriander
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small bag of new potatoes (1cm thick slices)
  • 1 courgette (sliced)
  • handful of black olives
  • 1tsp of smoked paprika
  • 2tsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 preserved lemon (pulp discarded - rind finely sliced)
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 green pepper (cored and sliced)
  • 1/2lb of cherry tomatoes (sliced) no real reason for cherry tomatoes as larger ones would be easier

  1. bring the paprika to boil for a few minutes in a very generous glug of oil and several tablespoons of water
  2. crush the garlic with the parsley; most of the coriander; the salt and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar to make a chermoula
  3. when the paprika oil/water has cooled mix 3/4 of it with the chermoula and stuff the sardines with it. Try to coat the sardines with the oily, herby mixture before setting the fish aside for an hour or so, to marinate
  4. layer a deepish earthenware or glass casserole with half of the potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, olives, onions and fish.
  5. repeat the layers before scattering the lemon over the top
  6. pour in enough water to cover the first layer of potatoes etc
  7. drizzle the remaining parprika oil/water over the top
  8. cover and bake at about 200/gas mark 5 or so for 90 minutes or so - until the potatoes are tender
  9. garnish with a few chopped coriander leaves
We ate this with a pile of couscous made with chicken stock. Oh and too much rose!
looked so good before cooking