Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Something Fishy About This?

Despite the forecast it seems as though Morecambe has the possibility of a lovely summer's day. Clear blue skies and very little wind, so hope to have half an hour basking in the sun around noon time.  Fingers crossed.

Unlike you Cheesepare, I find the sushi flavourings quite pleasant.  Perhaps I know no better.  Fish sauce is one I tend to avoid, but the rice vinegar and sugar flavoured shushi rice I just love, also the wasabi.
Assume the Nori sheets ARE made from seaweed, but have never heard that the crispy fried 'seaweed' served shredded is - in the UK - made from lettuce, but know that it is often shredded fried dark green cabbage leaves.   A few months back, when serving a Chinese meal to guests, shredded and fried some kale leaves and these were really gorgeous.  Everyone loved them.  They were not pretending to be seaweed, just 'fried kale leaves (I may have added some sesame seeds after frying but can't now remember).

Do hope you have a go at making some sushi Taaleedee.  Your young grandson may enjoy making some with you.  The easiest sushi are those made without the Nori, in fact only four of those in a pack of 11 sushi bought recently HAD Nori wrapped round them.  The others were rolls or blocks of rice filled with different (cooked) fish, and a few were just blocks of rice with either a split, cooked prawn or some shreds of smoked salmon placed on top.   One or two of the filled blocks had been dipped in sesame seeds, this giving them a bit of extra crunch/flavour.

Although I've given the flavours/fillings of the sushi pack bought the other week, it might help to give a few of the easiest for readers to use:
smoked salmon with soft cheese and cucumber
smoked mackerel with chilli
prawn, rocket, and mango
crab 'roll' with sesame coating
'seastick' and carrot with sesame coating
tuna mayonnaise and red pepper
(although not in the sushi pack, omelette also)

Have a rather busy week this week, so just one recipe today that is slightly more unusual in that it is a 'fish stew'.  Hearing the name wouldn't inspire me to try it, but then I have the advantage of seeing a photo of the finished dish, and reading the ingredients feel that this will make a perfect summer 'stew'.  More like a very chunky fish 'soup', and considering the recipe originated in Spain, one to make for the warmer weather.

Spanish Fish Stew: serves 4
handful flat parsley leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tlsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 lb (450g) floury potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp each paprika and cayenne pepper
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
water (tomato canful)
1 fish stock cube
good pinch of salt
8 oz (225g) raw peeled prawns
half a 410g can chickpeas, drained
1 lb (450g) skinless fish fillets
Put the parsley, half the  garlic and the lemon zest into a bowl and mix together, then set aside.
Heat 2 tblsp of the oil in a large frying pan, then add the onions and potatoes.  Cover the pan and cook over low-medium heat until the onion has softened, then add the remaining oil and garlic, with both spices, and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the lemon juice, letting it sizzle for a moment to reduce slightly, then add the tomatoes, the canful of water, and the crumbled stock cube, and the salt.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked, then stir in the prawns and chickpeas.  Cut the fish fillets into really large chunks then place these on top of the stew.  Cover and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring gently once or twice.  When the fish is cooked through, remove pan from heat, scatter the parsley/garlic mixture over the top then take the pan to the table and serve from there.  Offer a bottle of olive oil to drizzle over, and crusty bread to dip in the pan juices.

Nearly forgot to reply to Pam (sorreee!).  Am wondering what the oven temperature would be for the Texas brisket during the 18 hours cooking time?  Surely it must be very low, something like 100C (or less)?   I've slow-cooked meat at 80C, and considering this is lower than the outdoor, daytime temperature that Texas seems to be having at the moment, am wondering if anyone has ever cooked meat (or anything else that can be cooked at that temperature in the oven) outdoors without any other heat being used other than the sun?  
One very hot day when I was a little girl, my dad showed me how he could fry an egg on a hot paving slab.  So presumably we could make more use of heat from the sun and less from the oven?

That's it for today.  Norma (the Hair) will be here at 9.00am tomorrow, and I'll be busy later in the morning, so hope I get up early enough to write a few words, or I may have to give it a miss.  If my blog doesn't appear tomorrow, you will know why.   I have a 'coffee morning' visit on Thursday, but that isn't until 11.00 so will at least be able to grab an hour or so before that to have our usual chat.

It's not like me to miss days of 'blog', but recently this seems to be happening, mainly because so many other things have suddenly landed on my plate, so to speak.  And not all to do with food!   In the past I seemed to be able to fit a lot of things into a very few hours, but I'm having to learn how to do this again, and also pace myself.  This means that sometimes my favourite occupation (writing my blog) has to take second place, so occasionally you will find I take a day off, maybe once a week.  Hope that doesn't prove a problem, but 'occasionally' is what it means, not every week.  Yet! 
One thing about doing 'things new' it does give me something more interesting to write about than 'in a few moments I'm back in the kitchen to bake bread'.  That's makes boring reading when it happens often don't you think?   If I find my life boring to me, then so will you.  We can't have that. 

Think I've talked myself into jumping into Norris' lap and scooting down to the shops to see if there is anything happening there.  One way of enjoying the sun without wasting time sitting in it.  I still have the 'June £1' to spend, so will see what the charity shop has to offer. 

Hope to return to blog tomorrow, if only a time for a very few words, otherwise it will be Thursday, so watch this space.  TTFN.