Thursday, March 27, 2014

Trying Something New

The annoying thing about recipes that give a long list of ingredients is that these can be off-putting.  For one thing they LOOK expensive (probably would be if we had to buy all the ingredients from scratch), but usually are not because most recipes have only one to three main 'hero's' - as they are called - the rest would be herbs, spices, sauces, and maybe a few veggies thrown in as well.

Recipe that have only a few ingredients usually are slightly more expensive to make, so it's with great pleasure that I can give one where the one main ingredient is fish, and although this could be costly my suggestion would be use the 'value' frozen fish fillets (often tilapia or some name like that), that really are not costly.   Ideally served with rice, we could serve them with another grain such as pearl barley, couscous or a bulgar-wheat based Tabbouleh.

This recipe also makes use of stale bread and if you haven't a lime, then use a lemon.  Korma curry paste is mild, but if you prefer a hotter one, then use the one you prefer (but pref. not too hot).
If using fresh fish (not previously frozen), then once the topping is in place they can be frozen.  Use with 6 (or so) weeks. 

Spicy Crusted Fish: serves 4
3 slices bread (about 3oz/75g bread
1 tblsp curry paste (pref. korma)
4 thick white fish fillets
salt and pepper
zest and juice of 1 lime
Put the bread into a food processor and whizz until rough crumbs, then add the curry paste and whizz again until the crumbs are fairly fine and coated with the paste.
Season the fish on both sides, and place the fillets onto a baking sheet., then sprinkle the lime zest over the top. followed by the curry-coated crumbs, pressing these gently onto the fillets.
Bake at 200C, gas 6 for about 7 minutes or until the topping is golden and crispy.  Plate up, drizzling the lime juice over the fillets and serve with rice or what you will.

Those who like the idea of a crunchy topping to fish but don't care for curry might like to try this variation.  Red or green pesto can be used, or black olives instead of green.  Instead of pesto/olives we could use tapenade.

Pesto Crusted Fish: serves 4
2 tblsp green pesto
zest of 1 lemon
10 green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
3 oz (75g) fresh breadcrumbs
4 thick white fish fillets
Mix the pesto, lemon zest, olives and breadcrumbs together.  Place the fish fillets on a baking sheet skin side down, then press the crumb mixture over the top of each piece.  Bake at 200C, gas 6 for 10 or so minutes until the fish is cooked through and the top is crispy and golden brown.

As ever, thanks for the comments, and please Grub-lover don't apologise for rambling for that is what makes comments so enjoyable to read.  Agree that it is best to buy the best sausages we can.  B bought some the other day from M's, and - after watching a programme on TV about the amount of meat in sausages - he went into the kitchen to read the ingredient list on the back.  It said 43% pork, the rest was fat, rusk, flavourings....  After they were cooked B said they didn't seem to have much flavour at all.  Not surprised.
Think 'proper' jpork sausages are supposed to contain at least 60% of pork meat, and probably the only place we are likely to buy these are from a butchers or ordering on-line.

Do envy you Kathryn for still having the cuckoos and skylarks to listen to.  Granny G wonders if the world is getting quieter away from the busy roads.  In some ways it may be as we seem to be losing a lot of bird song, but when we are used to the urban (and suburban) sounds, the country can seem extremely quiet.  But then it always has been, and hopefully always will be.
To a country person the country probably isn't deathly quier, especially at night with the odd rustle here, the snort of an animal over there, if we sit still and listen it is surprising what we can hear. 
Myself miss the hooting owls and the scream of the fox.  Now our night sounds are usually cats yowling (there must be at least 8 different cats that keeping crossing our garden during the day).

The suggestion of smells that bring back memories is a good one.  My main one is going into a primary school (usually the cloakroom) and the smell there is the same as the smell of my own school (and my children's school).  Not a particularly pleasant smell I have to say.

Another smell I love is that of bonfires.  My dad used to light these at the end of autumn when he had pruned the bushes and cleared up all the dead wood.  Some areas ban bonfires now, and this seems such a pity, although have to say when our children were small and I'd just hung out loads of washing, it always seemed then that one or other of our neighbours would light a bonfire and the smoke would blow onto the washing.   Very occasionally now I get a whiff of bonfire smoke and it really takes me back.
This reminds me of another sound I miss - that of the log fires in the grate when the half-burned log would suddenly collapse and send a stream of crackling sparks up the chimney.  A log fire also had a nice smell, especially when burning apple wood.

Goes without saying that the smell of Johnson's Baby Powder takes me back to when our children were tiny, and why I choose to keep using that powder for myself now.  
Another smell I quite liked was Vic.  My mother used to spread it over my chest when I had a cold, and when I was much older - and pregnant - this was one smell I seemed to HAVE to have around me, even smearing it thickly on my top lip so I could keep sniffing it.  Mind you, when I was pregnant I also loved the smell of fire-lighters and would walk around holding a bundle of them, so I could keep breathing in the aroma.  

There are some smells that have been around for centuries and always enjoyed like the smell of bacon frying, or bread baking.  Add to that the wonderful aroma of roast beef, or cakes baking, even the smell of toast. 
Food smells that I don't like (that seem to hang around for hours) are fish and boiled cabbage.

Hope you are now feeling better Alison.  We seem to share most of the same sound memories.
Can't say I'm over impressed with asparagus.  Not enough to want to eat it regularly, but it is quite nice.  We had the Riverford 'sparrowgrass' today and it was lovely dipped in butter.  Didn't make a meal of it as we had vegetable soup to follow (needing to use up the odds and ends of veggies before starting the latest delivery).  I've kept the asparagus stalks to cook down and blitz up with some eggs/milk to flavour a quiche.

A shorter blog as I wasn't able to start until nearly mid-night (due to B using the comp).  This morning got up very early (about 6.30am) and maybe, now the days are getting longer, I may change back to writing my blog early again, for if I start at 6.00am, I'll probably be finished by 9.00am and that will still leave a lot of the morning left to play with.  Have to wait and see how I feel once the clock has gone forward this weekend. 

It would be interesting to know whether readers prefer to have a new blog ready to read early each day rather than wait until mid-day as previously.  It's taken me quite a while to get into the right mood (I tend to be a bit more 'with it' in the mornings), but as long as you don't feel I've lost the plot now I've changed the timing, I'll be happy to fit in to whatever is most suited to readers.

As it's been a long day, forgive me for signing off early.  Will be back tomorrow.  Hope to see you then.