Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Even If....

Many years ago was talking to a friend who said she never served fish to her family because she herself didn't like it - even though her family did. It occurred to me that I don't give recipes for food that I don't use - grapefruit being one. Apparently this should not be eaten when taking pills for high blood pressure, so I don't. Mind you, I used to love grapefruit and really miss eating it.

Today am giving a few recipes using grapefruit because other people still DO eat it, and it's not fair to stick to only what I eat and forget the rest. Because grapefruit is sharp rather than sweet, it is are best used for salads or starters, although the sweeter pink grapefruit can be quite refreshing added to a fresh fruit salad for dessert during the hot (!) summer days.

The first recipe is very attractive in appearance, especially if the larger prawns are used, although the small (frozen then thawed) peeled prawns also work well. If you have no wholegrain mustard, use Dijon - the English mustard being too hot. Rocket leaves or other spicy mixed salad leaves could be served instead of watercress. The grapefruit can be the ordinary yellow, or if you prefer, use the sweeter pink or red grapefruit (or use one yellow and one of the pink/red). Nothing wrong with using canned grapefruit segments if you prefer. Drain well and use some of the liquid to add to the dressing (freeze the surplus for another use).
Prawn Salad with Grapefruit: serves 4
2 grapefruit
1 bag (or bunch) watercress, big stalks removed
9 oz (250g) cooked peeled king (jumbo) prawns
1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
3 tblsp olive oil
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
Using a sharp knife, slice away the peel and most of the pith from the fruit, then remove the segments. Do this over a bowl to catch the juice, and also squeeze what's left (membrane) to extract even more juice.
Divide the watercress, prawns, and avocado between four individual plates, then scatter the grapefruit segments over. Whisk together the oil and mustard with 4 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice, then drizzle this over the salad and serve.

Blushing Grapefruit Salad: serves 4
3 pink or red (or both) grapefruit
2 tsp sunflower oil or olive oil
1 small red onion, finely sliced
half tsp soft brown sugar
handful fresh mint leaves, torn into shreds
2 oz (50g) toasted cashew nuts, chopped
handful fresh coriander leaves (opt)
Slice the peel and pith from the grapefruit and remove segments. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Put the oil in a small frying pan and fry the onion until fairly crisp and changing colour, then stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
Spread the grapefruit segments over a shallow serving platter and sprinkle the onion, mint, cashews, and coriander (if using) over the top. Serve with what you will.

This next recipe uses smoked salmon, and my suggestion is - as the fish is torn into pieces, then use a pack of the cheaper smoked salmon trimmings. The approximate weight is good enough, use less fish and more grapefruit. Whichever works out cheapest. Served with buttered brown bread, this makes a good starter for a dinner party.
Smoked Salmon with Grapefruit: serves 4
3 grapefruit (a selection of colours if you can)
4 fl oz (100ml) olive oil
1 lemon
approx 12 slices smoked salmon (see above)
flat-leaf parsley or coriander for garnish
Cut away the peel from the grapefruit over a bowl and remove the segments. Keep any juice that drips and also squeeze the membrane to extract even more. Boil this juice for several minutes until it has reduced to one or two syrupy tablespoons, then mix this with the olive oil to make a dressing, and set aside.
Treat the lemon as the grapefruit, removing peel and segments. Add the lemon flesh to the grapefruit, the begin arranging the salmon, grapefruit and lemon segments over four individual plates, tucking the salmon between the segments, under and over in any way you like (as long as it looks attractive). Spoon the dressing on top and garnish with the herbs. Serve with slices of buttered brown bread.

Thanks for comments. Sounds as though you missed being flooded out gillibob, but it must have been a touch and go situation in your area at the time. Yes, a tea-rooms would be something I'd love to have (or organise, or cook for), if only I could have known when young enough to do something about it. Mind you, needed the money to set up, and as we didn't have that, all pipe dreams I suppose.

Your visit to a tea-rooms sounded lovely Alison, what a wonderful variety of foods you were given. It would be interesting to know the filling in those sandwiches. Might give me some idea, as I often get cook's block when it comes to what to put into sarnies. Tend to take the easy route and use cooked ham, or tuna, sweetcorn and mayo, sardine, or egg mayonnaise.... not forgetting Spam sandwiches of course (my favourite!).

Goodness me Eileen, how time flies. Is it really 35 years since we had our last Wimbledon champion? And how long did we have to wait for that? We have had very few British champions since Wimbledon started, can count them on the fingers of one hand (and then with some digits missing). As Andy Murray is playing today, I will certainly be watching his match, and will continue watching him throughout the tournament as long as he can keep going. The rest I am not interested in. Well, not at the moment, I may keep watching - always used to in the old days when there were 'watchable' players such as John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Yvonne Goolagong.... Today much of the pleasure of watching has been ruined because of the continual loud grunts when each ball is struck, mainly from the women players. So tend to be more selective about who I watch.

Well, if I wish to keep my afternoon clear for the 'Andy match', then had better get on with my domestic chores. Today began sunny, but has clouded over and despite the temperature in the London area being in the high 20C's, our area is expected to be much cooler. Still at least warmer than many of our recent days. If the sun comes out again might grab half an hour of 'basking'.

Not sure tomorrow what time I'll be sitting at the comp as it is Norma the Hair day. Depends on how I get on today (clear the conservatory ready for her to put up her hair dryer, and place for me to put my chair), and what time I get up. Otherwise will 'blog' once Norma has gone (so it could be almost noon before I publish).

A reminder to those who are interested in domestic history that 'Turn Back Time' is on tonight (BBC1 9.00pm) beginning (I think) with the Edwardian period. More interesting to me of course because the series was filmed in Morecambe where we now live, so can truthfully say 'been there', if not back in time, at least to the area where it was filmed (just off the prom). If nothing else you can get an idea of my 'stamping ground' (or should this be 'scooting region').

The three adjoining houses used in the series were/are council owned, and I think not lived in when chosen for filming, the 'innards' were stripped away and refitted with traditional fittings and furnishing for each of the five eras to be covered in the series. Several of the characters in the series (council workers, street cleaners etc) were played by the people who do the same work for Morecambe council today.

Nearly 9.00am, that's an early finish for me for once. Still, hope at least the recipes were interesting. Nothing of interest re yesterday's meal, as B ate lunch out with our daughter, he didn't want a cooked supper, so it will probably be the fish dish today. All depends on Andy Murray - if his match carries on over supper time, then B will have to get his own.

Join me tomorrow to find out if I've managed to do anything at all worth writing about (doubt it), and if someone can tell me how to block those constant 'anonymous' comments that are now being sent daily by one (or more) who just want to promote their own site, then please let me know. TTFN.