Recipe 30: Mirin-glazed salmon

August 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Posted in savoury | Leave a comment
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After a lovely, but rather piggy week at the seaside (lots of ice-cream, cake and even Cornish pasties as it was raining!) this week I have been trying to eat very sensibly without feeling like I am missing out! So the search was on for something delicious that didn’t feel like deprivation, for when Sarah came over for food and Bible study. I remembered that when Nigella Express came out there were many positive reviews for mirin-glazed salmon and as i had never tried it myself, I thought this would be a good moment to try it out.

Making it: ridiculously simple! The salmon was briefly marinated in mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), soy sauce and sugar and then cooked in a hot pan. The marinade was chucked in as it cooked and then the pan deglazed with rice vinegar to make a sauce. I served it with noodles and some baby corn and mange-touts.

Eating it: It lived up to expectations! I thought it was yummy.The glaze gave depth of flavour without being heavy and although the vinegar was added last, it didn’t leave any unpleasant tang  – I think it mainly offset the rather sweet marinade.

Next time: Sarah agreed it tasted good, but suggested that there should be more liquid for the noodles – and I think I agree! I also will cook it for slightly longer to make sure it is cooked through(I think mine was slightly undercooked).

Recipe 29: Saffron scented chicken pilaf

August 16, 2010 at 8:56 am | Posted in savoury | 1 Comment
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Saturday night, Louise and Caroline coming over for a chilled out evening of food and film (we watched “Up in the Air” – interesting film made me value even more my friends and the fact that I live in community with others not in isolation). Another opportunity to try out a new recipe – this time a rice dish from Forever Summer – called saffron scented chicken pilaf – which Nigella promises will lead to people gratefully strewing my path with rose petals – who wouldn’t want to try out a dish with that promise attached!

Making it: The chicken was marinated in greek yoghurt, lemon and cinnamon and then fried off in a plan. The stock (using marigold bouillon powder) was infused with the saffron threads. The the rice cooked in the stock, with added cardamom pods. Finally once all was cooked, I browned off cashew nuts, flaked almonds and pine nuts. Once assembled this was then supplemented by a sprinkling of chopped pistachio  nuts and some parsley

Eating it: Utterly delicious! I’m often sceptical about the impact of saffron – but here it created a softly scented flavour that did transport me to somewhere else. In true Nigella style the portions were generous – but we managed to eat it all!

Next time: While it was delicious, it required attention for much of the cooking process and used 3 pans.  But I loved the principle and the flavours, so i will look for ways to simplify the recipe so that it is quicker, easier and requires less washing up!

Recipe 28: White chocolate and almond cake

August 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Posted in baking | Leave a comment

Picture the scene… I’m cooking Sunday lunch for my parents and some good friends, but I need to be out of the flat on time for church as I am helping run the crèche and Saturday was devoted to getting jobs done (the flat was in a state of barely restrained chaos – mainly hangover from the kitchen work – but left to develop a momentum of its own as it had been ignored for so long). So time for some easy, prepare-ahead food for Sunday lunch! At this moment – San Tropez chicken comes to mind – chicken legs/thighs marinated and then cooked slowly in the marinade liquid – perfect for shoving in the oven and dashing out! But that is a classic, stand-by recipe… so time for innovation on the dessert front… careful reading of Forever Summer had reminded me of the white chocolate and almond cake – which sounded interesting and suitable for a relaxed, but lovely Sunday lunch pudding – I love wheat-free chocolate cakes for their texture which often manages to be somehow dense but light and invariably improve on sitting about for a day for the flavour to develop. Continue Reading Recipe 28: White chocolate and almond cake…

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