Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Smoked Haddock and Sweetcorn Chowder

I love smoked haddock, and one of the best ways to eat it is in the form of the Scottish soup, Cullen Skink, from the village of Cullen on the Moray Firth, near Aberdeen.  It can be a bit creamy, though, and I wanted to incorporate more veg than just the usual onion or leek and potato.  So, I lightened it and turned it into a chowder tonight, with chunks of potato, red pepper and some tiny fresh corn niblets from a fresh ear of corn - all from Riverford, of course.  Just sweat a finely chopped onion or leek in a little butter, add the chopped veg and I like a chopped chilli too.  Just cover with an equal quantity of veg stock and milk, and simmer gently until the potato is tender.  Add chunks of good, undyed smoked haddock, simmer gently for an further 5 minutes until fish is cooked.  Sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley and ladle into bowls.  Serve with crusty bread - a hearty, warming complete meal for a dreich night, as Aberdonians would say.  And they should know, they have enough of them.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Pasta with Salmon and Courgette Sauce

I was ticked off today for not doing enough blogging over the last week, so, simple though this dish is, I thought I'd placate my fans and publish it!  I had some poached salmon left over from the weekend, so whilst a pan of pasta was cooking, I lightly sauteed a sliced courgette in a little butter with the zest of half a lemon, then added 40ml of Noilly Prat vermouth (or use white wine), the juice of the lemon, a heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche (use half-fat if watching your intake) and the flaked salmon.  GENTLY heat through (you don't want to split the cream or make the salmon go 'woolly'), and then drain the pasta, reserving a little cooking water, and toss the pasta in the sauce.  Thin with a little cooking water if needed.  Grind in lots of black pepper and some chopped parsley, and serve piping hot.  Italinas would never dream of adding Parmesan to a fish sauce, neither would I, but don't let me stop you, it's YOUR tea!

Black Pepper Chicken Curry

As the years go by, I am much more brutal about the worth of a cookbook and whether it merits precious space on my bookshelves.  If I have never cooked a successful recipe from a book, then it is OUT!  A new book I got last week has already passed the test - 'The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook' is a really good publication with what seems to me to be authentic North Indian home cooking.  The Black Pepper Chicken curry I cooked tonight was WONderful!  It was a dryish curry, which I partnered with a nice recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for Potato and Chard Curry, and simple boiled basmati.  I shan't reproduce the recipe here in full, as it is copyright, but to give an idea,skinless chicken pieces are marinated in lemon juice, ground ginger, turmeric and LOTS of ground black pepper.  A paste is made of onion, garlic and fresh ginger.  Cloves, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods are assembled, along with more ground black pepper.  The chicken is fried in a wok along with the paste and whole spices and some water to just cover.  The dish is simmered under chicken is tender and water has reduced to cover the chicken in the spicy paste.  Lots of chopped coriander is stirred through just before serving - delicious!  Get the book for some really simple, achievable North Indian food.