Posts Tagged ‘spices’

We are having this tonight with our friends Andrew and Peggotty who are here for a few days rest and recuperation!

Meredith says it’s not really from the Mediterranean region so what’s it doing in the cookbook?!

She’s right–it’s more Cajun than Med. I think–but it’s healthy and tastes good, so…!

It’s also a good dish for company–easily adapted to feed more than four.

Allow 200 g/7 oz of salmon fillet per person.

Serves 4

800 g/28 oz salmon fillet–skin and small bones removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

more olive oil for sautéing

For the Orange Yogurt Sauce 

4 tbsp/80 ml/3 fl oz olive oil

400 ml/14 fl oz/1½ cups yogurt of choice – whisked smooth (I use no-fat)

zest and juice of 1 large juicy orange 

For the Herb and Spice Mix 

3 teaspoons each–dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried oregano 

3 teaspoons dry roasted cumin seeds – roughly ground

1½ teaspoons each Spanish sweet smoked paprika, cayenne pepper 

3 cloves of garlic–pulped in a mortar with a pinch of salt

3 teaspoon salt

  • Make the sauce by whisking the olive oil into the yogurt, followed by the zest and juice of the orange. Set it aside.
  • Put all the herbs and spices in a bowl and mix them
  • thoroughly.
  •  Run your fingers over the top of the fillets to check that all
  • the small bones have been removed.
  • Cut up the salmon into squares roughly 3 cm/11/2 inch in size – they need to be cooked quite quickly so mustn’t be too large.
  • Put them in a bowl and add the olive oil. Turn the salmon carefully until it is well covered.
  • Tip the salmon into the bowl with the herb and spice mix.
  • Again turn the salmon carefully until all the pieces are well covered in the mix.
  • Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil into a large frying pan.
  • When hot transfer the “blackened” salmon to the pan and fry for 4–5 minutes.
  • Check for doneness, try not to overcook; it’s better that some pieces are slightly underdone – they
  • continue to cook a bit off the heat.
  • Serve over a steaming dish of brown basmati rice.
  • Don’t forget the sauce!

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We had these last night with quinoa, plain green beans, and garlicky yogurt sauce.

It’s adapted from a recipe by Rick Stein–known as the uncrowned king of Cornwall.

When we were filming Poldark in Cornwall 35 years ago, eating out in the county was very different from what we experienced last weekend and Rick Stein has a lot to do with it.  His fish restaurants in Padstow have set a benchmark. Things have improved!

We tried to reserve a table at one of Rick’s places a couple of weeks before our trip but they were all booked–sad for us but “Hooray” for Cornwall!

for 2+

500gms/1lb aubergines–cut up into smallish pieces (quicker to sauté), lightly salted and left in a sieve or colander for an hour to drain off their liquid, then dried ready for the pan. (This seems tedious to do but they absorb less oil this way.)

4 tablespoons olive oil

1” square piece of fresh ginger--chopped fine

3 garlic cloves–pulped with half a teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of water

2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds

1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds–crushed

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

500gms/1lb tomatoes–chopped with their juice (or use tinned)

3 more tablespoons of water

  • whizz the ginger and garlic in a tablespoon of water to form a loose paste.
  • heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan that you can cover.
  • when hot, add a single layer of  the dry aubergine pieces.
  • turn them in the oil and sauté on all sides until nicely browned–a pair of cooking tongs comes in handy here–then set aside. (It’s worth taking your time to make sure the aubergine is cooked through.)
  • continue the process until all the aubergine pieces are cooked, adding more oil as needed.
  • let the pan cool a little before heating two tablespoons of oil and adding the fennel and cumin seeds.
  • let them colour for a few seconds before adding the ginger and garlic paste.
  • cook this gently for a minute or two before adding the coriander, turmeric and chili powder.
  • cook this gently for a minute before adding the tomatoes and the extra water.
  • turn the lovely looking mix over and cook on a low heat for ten minutes to form a sauce.
  • add the aubergine pieces turning everything over thoroughly before covering the pan and cooking for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
  • test the doneness of the aubergines, cooking them a little more if necessary, adding a little more water if  needed.
  • check the seasoning and sprinkle some chopped mint, fresh coriander, or parsley over the dish before serving.

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Meredith is pursuing one of her passions–teaching circle dancing–today.

She’s invited to lead and teach at a Quaker retreat in the Pyrenean foothills tonight.

So–I can have chicken wings for supper without pause.

Meredith is not so keen on this fingerlicking special treat.

There’s a recipe for them in my book that uses lots of black pepper.

This is a different one with garlic, allspice, cinnamon, and a little cayenne–we’ll see.

I’m reckoning on four for each person.

chicken wings–washed and dried

enough marinade for 16 wings
12 cloves of garlic-– peeled and pulped with a pinch of salt
juice of a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon allspice
i/4 teaspoon cayenne
good grinding of black pepper and salt 

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  • Put in the wings and turn them over until they are thoroughly coated in it.
  • Leave them to marinade for at least an hour.
  • Heat the oven to 180C/350F
  • Cover a shallow oven tray with foil and brush it with oil.
  • Lay the wings out on the tray.

I couldn't resist five...

  1. Roast them for 45 minutes.
  2. Turn up the heat to 200C/400F.
  3. Continue roasting for a further 5 minutes–then take them out of the oven.

I’m told that home-made mayonnaise goes very well with them–but I couldn’t possibly comment.

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