Smoked salmon pappadum stack

Had this light meal the other night. Just using up a few odd items in the fridge and pantry.

Savoury and salty pappadums are a real treat here and go lovely with the variety of textures and flavours between them. I sprinkle a bit of sumac for something extra. The recipe is linked below. Just chop and change salad ingredients with what you have although i would say the avocado is essential! Dill always goes great with smoked salmon and so nice to go outside and clip some from the garden. You could also use some capers too!

Smoked salmon pappadum stack

Lots of goodness inside.

 

Sashimi plate

We started off the year with something simple but incredibly fresh and tasty. I know sashimi isn’t everyone’s thing, yet others can’t get enough of it.

We went to the seafood markets and picked up fresh tuna and scallop sashimi. These sashimi grade scallops are pretty much the only ones i buy nowadays. I’d noticed that some scallops i’ve bought in the past have been cut in half, (lengthways), and placed on the half shell and sold like that. Greedy bastards.
These babies are $3.50 each, we don’t get them all that often but when we do we know we’re getting the best product available.
I used two, (cut in half), for our sashimi plate and the other 4 were going on shells and lightly grilled with a bit of butter and ponzu sauce.

Colourful as you like.
Colourful as you like.

I store empty scallop shells in the freezer. Saves paying for them every single time. Wash and reuse next time!

scallop shells

A dollop of butter and a drizzle of soy sauce. I used ponzu here. Ponzu is a citrus style of soy sauce.

Scallops with butter and ponzu

I probably had the grill too high, opps! Regardless, when the butter melts and mixes with the soy it’s divine. Oh yeah and the scallops were good too.

scallops

My new sashimi knife was christened. What a beast.

So shiny :)
So shiny ๐Ÿ™‚

I now buy Pure Wasabi. The wasabi on the left is the stuff you see everywhere. Funnily enough though, it’s 30% horseradish and only like 5% wasabi. We get the Pure Wasabi from Harris Farm and originally ordered it from New Zealand. Alternatively you can use the powder. You can fine tune the taste and texture. Ignore that expiry date ;P
Ange never used to like wasabi but now she loves it.

Got wasabi?
Got wasabi?

Red curry of prawns and potato

I’ve made this curry a few times now and it’s exceptional. It’s a one wok dish too!

The herbs really highlight this red curry, stirred through just before serving, add to that the fresh, fiery chilli thrown in at the beginning of the cooking process? It lingers wonderfully on the pallet.

The recipe says to cook the potatoes for about 10minutes until soft but i’ve found each time that it takes longer. Put a lid on the wok or saucepan so the sauce doesn’t evaporate and cook the potatoes until soft when pricked with a sharp knife. At that point add the prawns to cook for the final couple of minutes. I also added shredded kaffir lime leaves because they’re just so fantastic.

Don’t forget to serve in warmed bowls, you want that curry to stay hot, tastes so much better that way!

That time is upon us!

And if you have leftovers, as with most curries, they’re often better the next day as was the case here.

Red curry of prawns and potato.

 

Salmon Frittata

I’ve had this one circulating in my mind for a while. We bought some salmon pate, (comes in a tube), a while ago and gave me an idea to do a multiple types of salmon frittata.

Hot smoked, normal smoked salmon plus the salmon pate would adorn this creation. I’d incorporate some classic ingredients that go with it such as dill and capers.

Dice up a zucchini and soften in a 20cm frying pan. Meanwhile, whisk up 7 eggs with 1/4 cup of milk, season with salt and pepper.
Break up the hot smoked salmon into chunks and when the zucchini is softened add the hot smoked salmon, chopped dill, parsley and some salted capers that have been rinsed and drained. Add the egg mixture and then leave on medium low for about 10 minutes. In a separate pan crisp up the salmon skin in a little oil.

Preheat the grill to high. After 10 minutes the bottom will have set now just need the top to set and brown. Place under the grill for 2-3 minutes, watching so that it does not burn. Once the top has set and has reached a nice brown colour, remove and invert onto a plate and then invert again onto serving board.

Sprinkle extra capers on top and fold the smoked salmon over the top also. Squeeze little lines of the salmon pate and finally add the crispy skin.

It was a pretty fabulous dish. Lovely contrasts of salmon flavour and texture. From the salty, warm hot smoked, creamy pate and then the soft and luscious smoked salmon sitting on top. Oh and some nice crunch from the skin. In the back ground you have those tart capers and hints of dill. Not bad mang.

Served here with chips and simple salad leaves ๐Ÿ˜‰

Little messy ;)
Little messy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Probably best to cut the slices and then add the toppings! Oh well…

Mussels with garlic, chilli and kale

I posted this to Instagram the other night and have been wanting to share this recipe and dish with you all.

You’ve heard me say it many times how good mussels are. Not only are they good for you, they’re tasty, (some will disagree!), cheap and sustainable, we don’t use them enough.

It seems the simpler the recipe the better for these guys.

This one blew my socks off, so simple but a flavour that will have you nodding your head in approval.

Heat a tbs of oil in a wok or large saucepan over high heat. Add 3 chopped garlic cloves and chilli’s, (depending on how spicy you like it you can reduce the chilli) and cook for a couple minutes until fragrant. Add 250ml vegetable stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add 1kg cleaned mussels and a large handful of kale, removing the leaves from the tough stems. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times to make sure the kale is submerged in the stock. Before serving, stir through 1/4 cup chopped parsley.

Pour into a large, warmed bowl. This is important as you want to keep the stock hot. Spoon onto warmed plates and devour.

Mussels and stock

 

Served with chips here but you could also just eat with fresh, crusty bread.

Mussels and chips

The kale really gave the stock an extra depth of flavour and with the chilli also letting its presence felt this was sensational, i couldn’t stop spooning for more soup.

You could even remove the mussels from their shells and serve as a small soup for a starter.

Forgive the dodgy phone photos! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mussels with garlic, chilli and kale.

Seafood Sunday

Seafood Sunday is quite a common thing for us. A chance to serve up a few small dishes throughout the afternoon and evening. All 3 of these dishes were amazing and all i’d never cooked before. The scallops one though was the knockout, wow, so simple but so gooood ๐Ÿ™‚
Can you believe it? There’s no oysters for once!

Crispy goodness :)
Crispy goodness ๐Ÿ™‚

Whitebait fries with OLD BAYยฎ Seasoning.
I haven’t made these for a couple of years now and after having these i don’t know why? So crispy, lots of taste and with the addition of Old Bay and lemon they were superb.

Recipe based off of this one, i just replaced the cayenne with Old Bay and then additional Old Bay on serving.

Whitebait fries recipe.

Less is more with these delicious plates of lush.
Less is more with these delicious plates of lush.

I still had some leek and tarragon from my parents garden and didn’t want ย them to go to waste. What a way to serve it. From Manu Feildel‘s cookbook, French Bistro. This simple yet beautiful dish had us licking each empty shell for just a little bit more sauce. This one will definitely be going on our regular menu.

And finally, pippi’s with celery and peas.

I’d been watching Good Chef Bad Chef in the morning while looking for something to cook, at first Adrian was cooking lobster and i was certain that was what i was going to do. Then Zoe cooked these yummy clams and when cost came into consideration this one got the nod. I’d been eyeing off pippi’s for quite a while and that helped sway my decision also.

Wonderful broth, every pippi opened and eaten and served with some toasted sourdough. The inclusion of the celery was fantastic.

Recipe for Clams with celery and peas.

I've got my eyes on the sauce at the bottom, hehe.
I’ve got my eyes on the sauce at the bottom, hehe.

You know, all that seafood cost us $20. With a few extra groceries it’s an affordable afternoon of fantastic seafood. Accompanied by a cold crisp Riesling? Oh yeah ๐Ÿ™‚

XO prawns and snow peas

With a handful of ingredients, minimal prep and hardly any cooking time this recipe was perfect for a hot and windy Monday.

I was eager to get XO sauce back on the menu. Stir fried withย juicy prawns and crunchy snow peas this simple dish would have ample flavour, spice and texture. Fabulous XO prawns tonight!

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Serves 2.

12 large green prawns, peeled, deveined.

1 tsp peanut oil.

80g snow peas, trimmed, sliced in half on an angle.

1tbs XO sauce, (i use Lee Kum Kee).

1/2 tsp cornflour, combined with 2 tbs of chicken stock.

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The wine wasn't part of the recipe ;)
The wine wasn’t part of the recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Butterfly the prawns by cutting through the back about halfway through and pressing open with the flat side of a knife.

Heat a wok over high heat and drizzle the oil around the edge. Add prawns, season with a pinch of salt and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until prawns start to turn pink.

Add the snow peas and stir-fry for a further minute. Add XO sauce and toss through for a further minute or until the prawns are just cooked and snow peas are tender but still crunchy.

Drizzle over the cornflour mixture, a little at a time, while tossing to combine for a final 30 seconds. Transfer to warmed plates and serve immediately.

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Get all your prep done, get that wok smoking and off you go, tossing, turning, scraping, ahhh the smell as each ingredient is added! Luckily it only takes a few minutes cook, it’s torture.

Beautiful meal, the prawns were succulent, the rich, salty, spicy sauce with crunchy snow peas. ย Ange was pretty wrapped, she’s not usually one for the rich, salty dishes but she was thumbs up in this case.

You could use any greens really, whatever you have available, just cut them into appropriate sizes. XO sauce is quite versatile so having a tub in the fridge can be used with a variety of ingredients!

This recipe was from delicious magazine 131

 

Sumac crusted Tuna with Mint & Coriander salad.

Getting towards the end of the cooking week i try to use as much as possible from the week that was. Trying to find that recipe that not only uses the rest of what you have but makes you drool reading the ingredients? It’s rare to find one! Having to only buy the tuna, coriander and cucumber for this dish made it quite an inexpensive meal with plenty to get excited about.

Mint from the garden, left over feta, spices, beetroot relish, Greek yoghurt, lemons, pomegranate molasses, slivered almonds, cannellini beans; this was already in the kitchen somewhere.

Lots of fresh and vibrant colours :)
Lots of fresh and vibrant colours ๐Ÿ™‚

To coat the tuna you’ll need 1 tbs each of dried oregano and spearmint, (this is a better replacement for normal mint), sumac and freshly ground black pepper. This will coat 4 steaks.ย I halved the recipe, using 1/2 tbs of each for 2 steaks and had some left over which i jarred for another time ๐Ÿ™‚

Wonderful image.
Wonderful image.

Mix all the spices together, brush the tuna with some good quality extra virgin olive oil, season with sea salt, coat the tuna and set aside.

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For the salad.

1 telegraph cucumber, halved length ways, seeds removed and thinly sliced.

1 cup of torn mint and coriander leaves.

2 tbs slivered, toasted almonds.

80g marinated feta.

1 tbs lemon juice, plus wedges to serve.

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Place all items in a large bowl and add ย 2 tbs olive oil, season and toss to combine, set aside.

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400g can cannellini beans rinsed, drained.

1 tbs pomegranate molasses.

1 tbs olive oil.

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Combine the beans with the pomegranate molasses and olive oil in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat to warm through.

Heat remaining 1 tbs olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Sear the tuna for 1-1/2 minutes each side depending on the thickness of your steak. You still want it rare in the middle.

Spoon some of the bean mix on the plate then top with tuna, add some salad, top with a dollop of yoghurt and beetroot relish, finish with a drizzling of pomegranate molasses and a wedge of lemon.

IMG_9764

For a dish that was comprised of mostly leftovers it was an absolute sensation. From the herbs in the salad, the crunch of the cucumber, fabulously toasty almonds then fantastic soft feta, and that’s just the salad! The cool yoghurt and relish, the sweet pomegranate molasses, the beans, freshly squeezed lemon and finally the star of the dish, that spice crusted tuna, still rare in the middle, again, what a dish.

I wasn’t going to write this recipe up to begin with being just a ‘leftovers’ dish but it warranted an inclusion here ๐Ÿ™‚

Just pulling out random magazines is good fun sometimes because you never know what you’re going to find.

This recipe is from delicious magazine 131.

Fish n chips

I go from one recipe to another when it comes to fish n chips at home, there’s always something different i like to try, be it with the fish, the coating, the chips or any side dishes and here we go again with another.

The chips were the first thing i wanted to try on this menu. I forget where but Ange had her chips served in large batons, stacked up and that gave me a nice idea for ‘pallets of chips’. Par boiled then cooked in oil until brown and crispy on the outside and a fluffy centre, a sprinkling over each layer of Sichuan salt that i had made previously when serving. Oh yummy!

I cooked the chips first and then transferred them to a warm oven while i cooked the fish.

Chippies :]
Chippies :]

I bought a lemon balm plant at the markets on the weekend, wow the scented leaves are amazing, i wanted to incorporate those into the coating of the fish. Angela also bought some cashews for a slice recipe she made, so chopped up some of those. With the addition of breadcrumbs, chilli flakes, we have a coating.

Shallow dish with some flour, another shallow dish with an egg whisked with 1/3 cup of milk and a third dish with the coating mixture. First dust fish in flour, then coat in egg and finally in the coating mixture. I used flathead for this recipe, nice little strips of fillet are great for coating and so succulent.

IMG_9695

Cook flathead for a couple of minutes each side until golden and crispy, serve on warmed plates with simple minted peas, tartare sauce, (recipe)ย and your chippies. So so good and a nice version of ‘fish n chups’ ๐Ÿ™‚

You know you want it now ;]
You know you want it now ;]

Fabuloso ๐Ÿ™‚

Oysters with a Ginger and Sesame dressing.

As part of our Sunday seafood banquet we served these fabulously fresh oysters from Sydney’s seafood markets with a tasty Japanese dressing.

I’d been craving oysters for weeks and had been patiently waiting for an opportunity to head down to the seafood markets. I just love walking around there looking at all the fresh seafood they have. I still have those moments where i am like, ‘look at that!’.

Being a Japanese themed menu i wanted a dressing to match for these oysters and this one was absolutely amazing. Even Angela commented on how much she loved it, (she prefers her oysters naked).

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24 fresh oysters, chilled.

1-1/2 tbs rice vinegar.

1-1/2 tbs cooking sake.

1tbs Japanese soy sauce.

1cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated.

1 tsp caster sugar.

1/2 tsp sesame oil

Toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle on serving.

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Combine ingredients in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30mins.

Spoon mix over oysters and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

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Nice refreshing afternoon snack.
Nice refreshing afternoon snack.

Half a dozen just wasn’t enough ๐Ÿ™