Fried cod loin ( Skrie the Norwegian cod ) with white bean purée and garlic crisps

15 Feb

Fried cod loin ( Skrie the Norwegian cod ) with white bean purée and garlic crispsimage
Skrei is the name for adult winter cod from the Barents Sea northwest of Norway where it migrates to spawn. This sustainable fish It is a delicacy which is looked forward too at the beginning of the year The cod travels from December to April from the Barents Sea to the warmer waters around Lofoten in the north of Norway to spawn . The migration ensures for a lean, tender and flaky fish.image

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Skrei is therefore a Norwegian cod in the prime of its life, in fact, the word Skrei comes from the Norse word “skrida” which means to wander or walk.
Skrie’s premium quality is preserved through strict grading guidelines on size, maturity, location and appearance. It’s then packaged within 12 hours of being caught, and branded with the SKREI® logo to guarantee you’re getting the best sustainable product.

A real Norwegian fish supper is the marvellous mølje, a traditional trio of poached skrei, cod’s roe and cod’s liver, cooked up with onions in its own oil. Served simply with boiled potatoes and crispbread, the hearty family meal is often washed down with a shot or two of aquavit (a Scandinavian spirit distilled from potatoes) and followed by a little nap💤image
Fried cod loin ( Skrie the Norwegian cod ) with white bean purée and garlic crispsThe recipe is taken from the fantastic chef Daniel Galmiche who was on the BBC’s Saturday kitchen dated 07-02-2015.

Ingredients
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For the white bean purée
150g/5½oz dried butter beans , soaked overnight, drained and rinsed.
1 carrot, peeled, cut into quarters
1 shallot, cut into quarters
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 lime, zest and juice
For the garlic crisps
Sunflower oil for frying
100ml/3½fl oz full-fat milk
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tbsp plain flour
Sea salt and ground pepper
For the cod
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 cod ( Skeie ) loins, about 150g/5½oz each, skin on, patted dry
40g/1½oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil

Method

1. For the purée, put the butter beans in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat, skimming off any foam the rises to the surface. Add the carrot, shallot and garlic, turn the heat down to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 40 minutes until tender.
Strain the beans, reserving 4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Discard the carrot, shallot and garlic. Put the beans in a blender with 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid and blend to a smooth purée. Add the extra virgin olive oil and blend again. Add the remaining cooking liquid if the purée is too thick. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley, half the lime zest and all of the lime juice.image
2. For the garlic crisps, heat a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan with enough sunflower oil to deep-fry the garlic. Heat to 160C/315F, or until a cube of bread browns in 45 seconds. Alternatively, use a deep-fat fryer. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)image

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Meanwhile bring the milk to a gentle boil in a small saucepan, add the sliced garlic and blanch for 2-3 minutes until softened slightly but not breaking up. Remove and pat dry with kitchen paper. Discard the milk.
Lightly dust the garlic in the flour, then carefully drop a few slices at a time into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden-brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Season with salt and set aside.
3. For the cod, blanch the garlic cloves in a small saucepan of boiling water for 4-8 minutes until softened, then drain. Refresh in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.image
Season the skin of the cod with salt and pepper. Heat a lidded non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is foaming, add the cod, skin side down, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden. imageTurn the heat down to medium-low, add the blanched garlic cloves, partially cover with the lid and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the fish over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until just cooked through.
Serve the cod on a bed of the bean purée with the buttery garlic sauce spooned over the top. Sprinkle with garlic crisps and the remaining lime zest before serving.image
For more info call or mail inquires to: 0031 (0)642297107
simon.bingham@simons-sauces.comimage

French Onion Soup ” soupe à l’oignon. “

13 Feb

French Onion Soup ” soupe à l’oignon. “image
There are few things more comforting than making a real French onion soup – slowly cooked, caramelised onions that turn mellow and sweet in a broth laced with white wine. The whole thing is finished off with crunchy baked croutons of crusty bread topped with melted, toasted cheese. If ever there was a winter stomach warmer, this is surely it!

Legend has it that the first French Onion Soup was created by King Louis the XV of France when all that could be found in the pantry of his hunting party’s lodge was butter, onions and champagne. It is said that he combined these ingredients to create the first French Onion Soup. It is unclear if this story is myth of fact, but it is a good story none the less!

Onions have been a popular staple in preparing meals from at least as far back as the Roman Times. Onions are easily grown in most soils they are cheap abundantly available and have a long shelf-life. For this reason onions were seen as The Poor Mans food.

The modern version of the soup has evolved from a basic recipe where onions were sliced, fried and then cooked in water and would typically be served with bread and capers. It was only in the nineteenth century that cooks started adding flour, salt and pepper and topped the soup with cheeses such as Gruyere.

Today French Onion Soup Recipes is often made with caramelized onion in a meaty broth. This is often served in individual ramekins and topped with grilled Gruyere cheese

Ingredients

50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1.5kg onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml dry white wine
2 litres organic beef, vegetable or chicken stock, hot
140g Gruyère, finely grated
1 good handful fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper to season

For the croutons
French bread or baguette cut into diagonal slices
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves crushed

Method

1.First make the croutons – begin by drizzling the olive oil on to a large, solid baking-sheet, add the crushed garlic and then, using your hands, spread the oil and garlic all over the baking sheet. Now place the bread slices on top of the oil, then turn over each one so that both sides have been lightly coated with the oil.image
Bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes till crispy and crunchy
2. Put the butter, 2 lugs of olive oil, the sage and garlic into a thick-bottomed, non-stick pan. Stir everything round and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pan, leaving it slightly ajar, and cook slowly for 50 minutes, without colouring the vegetables too much. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes – your onions will become soft and golden. Stir occasionally so that nothing catches on the bottom. Having the patience to cook the onions slowly, slowly, gives you an incredible sweetness, so don’t be tempted to speed this bit up.
3. Now Add in the flour and stir well. Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add the wine, followed by the hot stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins.
4. To serve, Preheat the oven or grill to maximum. Correct the seasoning of the soup. When it’s perfect, ladle it into individual heatproof serving bowls and place them on a baking tray Put a slice or two of crunchy croutons on top of the bowls of soup, and pile on the cheese. Grill until melted and bubbling. image
For more info mail or call; 0031(0)642297107 simon.bingham@simons-sauces.comimage

Prawn and tamarind curry (Chemmeen vevichathu)

27 Jan

Prawn and tamarind curryimage
Watching Saturday kitchen last weekend, Indian Michelen stared chef Atul Kochhar served up his prawn and tamarind curry that comes from the Keralan area of India.
I just had to make and share. when I make a curry it has to be from scratch, none of those pre made pastes that can be bought, making your own releases amazing heady aromas that fill float around the kitchen.

Ingredients
Serves 4 image

For the curry
1 seedless dried tamarind (about the size of a walnut)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 shallots, chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger, peeled
15–20 curry leaves
20–24 medium prawns, head and shell removed, deveined
½ tsp palm sugar (optional), also known as jaggery
100ml/3½fl oz warm fish stock or water (optional)
salt

For the spice paste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cinnamon stick (approximately 5cm/2in)
2 cloves
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 small dried red chilli
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp black pepperimage
To serve
Cooked basmati rice

Method


Preparation method
Soak the tamarind in 200ml/7fl oz water for 15-20 minutes.
For the spice paste, put all of the ingredients in a blender with 4-5 tablespoons of water. Blend to a paste.
For the curry, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook until you hear them pop, then add the fenugreek seeds and shallots. Cook until the shallots are light brown in colour.
Add the green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Season with salt. Cook over a medium heat for 3–5 minutes.image
Mix in the spice paste, cook for 5 minutes or until light brown in colour. Stir in the prawns and palm sugar.
Add the tamarind and its soaking liquid. Cook for 10–12 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, stir in 100ml/3½fl oz fish stock or hot water.
Spoon the curry into bowls and serve with the rice alongsideimage
For more info call or mail: 0031 (0)642297107 simon.bingham@simons-sauces.comimage

Pollo alla Cacciatora servito con erbe e parmigiano polenta, hunters chicken served with a herb and parmesan polenta

18 Jan

Pollo alla Cacciatora servito con erbe e parmigiano polenta, hunters chicken served with a herb and parmesan polenta
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Pollo alla Cacciatori (Hunter’s Chicken) is found across Northern Italy, with many variations. My version uses meaty bone-in chicken thighs, drumsticks and is full of onions, olives, garlic and tomatoes.
Ingredients
Serves 4

4 x free range chicken thighs and 4 x drumsticks skin on
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
8 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic, peeled (3crushed, 3sliced)
500 ml red wine
flour, for dustingimage
extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
1 tbsp capers
I handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 handful green or black olives, stoned
1 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes.

Method


1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper and put them into a bowl. Add the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and the crushed cloves of garlic and cover with the wine. Leave to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge.

2. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with kitchen paper.
3. Dust the chicken pieces with flour and shake off any excess. Heat an ovenproof pan, add a splash of olive oil, fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over and put to one side.

4. Place the pan back on the heat and add the sliced garlic and onions. Fry gently until golden brown, then add the anchovies, olives, capers, tomatoes (broken up with a wooden spoon) and the chicken pieces with their reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and bake in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.

When cooked taste and add the chopped parsley and little salt and pepper if necessary, and serve with a salad, pasta, some cannellini beans or as I do with creamy herb and parmesan polenta , garnish with chopped parsley

Polenta image
An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy. Where once it was just a humble peasant food, polenta has emerged as a versatile, fine-dining-style. It’s made by grinding corn into flour, or meal. It has a rich yellow, yolk-like colour, and has a slightly sweet flavourPolenta can be cooked to be creamy and thick, or allowed to set and then sliced. Serve it instead of pasta, rice or potatoes. Use in place of breadcrumbs to coat chicken or fish when frying.

Ingredients

Serves 4
150ml milk
½ tsp salt
150g coarse cornmeal
50g butter
25g grated parmesan (optional)
1tsp chopped flat leaf parsleyimage

1. Put the milk in a large, heavy-based pan along with 600ml water and the salt, and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, measure out the cornmeal and put it near the hob.

2. When the pan comes to the boil, add the cornmeal, letting it run in thin streams through your fingers, whisking continuously. Stir for a minute or two until it thickens.

3. Turn the heat right down and stir well, roughly every 4-5 minutes to prevent it sticking, for about 35-45 minutes, until the polenta begins to come away from the sides of the pan. Stir in the butter, parsley and cheese, if using, then put on a hot serving dish.
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For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call
: simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107
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Coconut mackerel curry with lemon rice

28 Dec

Coconut mackerel curry with lemon rice


This delicious curry from Chennai, packed of flavours that are then tamed by the coconut. Mackerel is very popular southern India and is used regularly in coconut curries with tamarind to balance the flavours. Cut it into steaks as these keep the fish together and the bones add flavour to the gravy. Serve with lemon rice – nothing else is needed.
Mackererel curry

INGREDIENTSimage

2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
15g garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
8g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4-1 1/2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 tablespoon coriander powderimage
350ml water
450-500g whole mackerel, cleaned and cut into steaks 2.5cm thick
3-5 green chillies, left whole
1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind paste, or to taste
250ml coconut milk
salt, to tasteimage
METHOD

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the fenugreek, cumin seeds and 10 of the curry leaves and fry for 10 seconds. Add the onions and cook for about 6–8 minutes until golden.
Meanwhile, puree together the tomatoes, garlic and ginger and powdered spices. Add to the pan and cook for 8–10 minutes over a high heat or until you can see little droplets of oil on the sides of the masala. Add a splash of water at any point, if necessary.
Add the water, bring to a boil and then add the fish, green chillies and remaining curry leaves. Bring back to the boil and cook for 3–4 minutes. Stir in most of the tamarind paste but leave a little to add later. Once the fish is cooked, add the coconut milk. Stir well, taste and adjust the seasoning and sourness (adding the remainder of the tamarind paste if necessary) and add more water if you prefer a thinner curryimage
Lemon rice

This South Indian dish goes well with seafood and vegetables. Curry leaves are used frequently in this part of India. When you find a fresh bunch, put them to dry on a towel on top of the boiler, then place them in an airtight jar to use as needed.<img src="https://simonssauces.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/image2.jpg?w=300" alt="image
Ingredients
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2½ tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
pinch fenugreek seeds
1 tsp split chana dal (also called Bengal gram lentils)
1 tsp split black gram (also called urad dal or black lentil)
2-3 dried red chillies, left whole
1 rounded tsp chopped fresh ginger
¼ tsp ground turmeric
4 tbsp roasted peanuts
10 curry leaves, torn in half
salt, to taste
3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
350g/12oz freshly cooked basmati rice

Preparation method
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add the mustard and fenugreek seeds, the chana dal, black gram and the chillies and stir fry until lightly browned.
Add the ginger, ground turmeric, peanuts, curry leaves and salt, to taste, and cook for about 40 seconds.
Stir in the lemon juice and cook for another minute before adding the rice. Stir fry to heat through, being careful not to break up the grains too much.
To serve, place the rice onto serving plates. imageimage
For more info don’t hesitate to contact me; simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com

Spaghetti with artichoke and anchovy

23 Dec

This is a dish I’ve loved for so long! Simple and delicious easy and self seasoning. It can be as a mid week meal or jazzed up for a dinner party.

Ingredients
375gr spagettini, cooked according to the instruction and drained, al dente please!
1 fennel bulb sliced if you can’t get don’t worry
I large sliced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped.
6 anchovies
Enough cherry tomatoes or normal tomatoes chopped ( a hand full per person )
olive oil
A spoon of capers
A spoon of black olives
A hand full of chopped basil
A hand full of chopped parsley
A handful of breadcrumbs
Grated Parmesan or other hard cheese to serve.

Method:
1,Heat a wide shallow saute pan, add a bit of olive oil and pan fry the breadcrumbs until golden then add the parsley and set aside until u serve

2, In a pan heat olive oil add onion and fennel cook until soft.

3, Add the garlic, tomatoes, olives, capers and the anchovies to the pan, add more olive oil if necessary.cook until just hot and the the anchovies have slightly melted.

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The Artichoke and my “tagliatelle with artichoke and black summer truffles”

21 Jul 20140721-155633-57393558.jpg

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Artichoke facts.
Technically, an artichoke is a flower. In full growth, an artichoke plant can spread nine feet in diameter and stand five feet tall, and one plant can produce over 20 artichokes a year.

Artichokes are a significant source of vitamin C, folic acid and magnesium. Virtually fat-free, the artichoke weighs in at 25 calories (per medium artichoke) and is low in sodium.

Artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to humans

The artichoke is a perennial thistle that originated in the Mediterranean.

The artichoke is technically a flower bud that has not yet bloomed.20140721-152616-55576405.jpg
The first mention of artichokes in literature was around 40-70 AD in The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides, a book on the medicinal uses of plants.

The Greeks and Romans considered them to be an aphrodisiac.

Until the 16th century, women were prohibited from eating them in many countries because they were still considered to have aphrodisiac properties.

King Henry II’s wife, Catherine de Medici, introduced the artichoke to France in the 16th century . She said, “If one of us had eaten artichokes, we would have been pointed out on the street. Today young women are more forward than pages at the court.”

Artichokes were introduced to England by the Dutch in the 1500s.

They were brought to the United States in the 19th century by French and Spanish immigrants.

The top artichoke producers today are Spain, France, and Italy.

California produces 100% of the United States artichoke crop, with Castroville, California calling itself the “Artichoke Center of the World.”

In 1947 Marilyn Monroe, then still going by her given name Norma Jean, was crowned Castroville’s first Artichoke Queen.

Artichoke preparation.

1. Fill a bowl with cold water, then squeeze in the juice of a lemon and add some lemon slices. Have a halved lemon to hand to rub over the cut edges of the artichoke as you prepare it. The lemon juice will prevent the artichoke from oxidising and turning brown.

2. Pull off the tough, dark green outer leaves of the artichoke. Continue until you’re left with the light tender leaves in the centre, then rub all over with the halved lemon.

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3. Slice off the top 2cm of the remaining artichoke leaves. Trim the stalk, leaving about 2.5cm, and rub the cut surface with the lemon.

4. Use a small knife to trim the remaining dark green skin from around the base of the artichoke and the top of the stalk, rubbing with lemon as you go. Trim to give a neat shape and flat bottom.

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5. Halve the artichoke lengthways to expose the fibrous choke in the centre. Rub with lemon juice, then use a teaspoon (or a grapefruit spoon if you have one) to scoop out the choke from each half. Pull out the tough, spiky red leaves from the centre and rub again with lemon. Put the prepared artichoke hearts in the bowl of lemony water until you are ready to cook them.

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Tagliatelle with artichoke and black summer truffles. Tagliatelle con carciofi e tartufo nero estivo

Ingredients
Serves 2

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2 globe artichokes prepared and sliced ( see my tip for perpetration )
2 tbsp olive oil
I medium onion or banana shallot
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp double cream
salt and pepper
250g tagliatelle pasta fresh or dried it’s up to you
75g parmesan half grated and the rest as shavings ( a potato peeler is fantastic for this )
25g toasted pine-nuts
50g/1¾oz fresh black truffle

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Slice the prepared artichokes in half and cut into fine slices.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and gently cook the artichoke onion and garlic for two minutes.

Add four tablespoons of water, cover with a lid and cook for four minutes, or until the artichokes are tender.

When the artichokes are cooked, add the parsley and cream and season with salt and pepper.

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Meanwhile In a pan of boiling salted water, cook the tagliatelle until al dente. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the tagliarini to the frying pan containing the artichokes.

Add a couple of tablespoons of pasta water and half of the grated parmesan to the frying pan. Toss well and grate a little truffle into the pasta.

Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as required. Toss again so the truffle is absorbed into the sauce.
Serve in hot bowls with more truffle slices, toasted pine-nuts and the remaining parmesan shavings on top.

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For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call
: simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

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