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Corn with Lime & Chilli Butter and Feta

Corn with Lime & Chilli Butter and Feta

Corn with Lime & Chilli Butter and Feta

This morning something joyful, simple and full of flavour. I was thinking about corn, how wonderful it is and quick, and remembering how I had had corn in some Mexican restaurants. With a fresh tangy crumbled cheese on top, and of course, a kick.

I am working on a whole slew of BBQ recipes this week, and some sides are warranted, so let us start here. Working with what we have, instead of a Mexican cotija cheese, I use feta. Feta, a Greek cheese, is protected, and can only be called feta if it is the traditional cheese produced in specific areas of Greece from sheep’s milk, or sheep and goat’s. You, of course, know it, and it is widely available in supermarkets. The real stuff is aged for a minimum of 3 months resulting in a salty firm & crumbly cheese with a bit of a tang. Imitators pale by comparison and sometimes taste odd, but there are some fantastic British & Irish sheep’s cheese you can use too. Like Irish Knockalara (from my home county of Waterford).

Corn, well that is simple enough. Buy whole corn that is fresh and still luscious and moist, not dry. Preferably with the green husks still on as they keep it nice and fresh. Good juicy limes and a fresh bouncy chilli. As hot as you like, I went for a fresh jalapeno. Read more

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Recipe: Home Cured Salmon

home cured salmon

Continuing with the fishy theme from my last post, this next post is also a recipe from the Tante Marie Seafood Cookery Course that I recently attended. This home cured salmon was swift and gratifying, the prep is super quick, and then it’s just a matter of waiting. The taste and textures tells of an altogether more complex process, but it’s the science behind the curing that does all of the work. It relies as always on high quality ingredients, so source good salmon, the best you can afford.

I think that I will be rolling this out for the summer picnic season. It would be perfect, especially with a nice cold glass of prosecco. Let’s hope it’s soon! The clocks have changed and these glimmers of sunshine tease me so.

Home Cured Salmon

Ingredients:

750g piece middle cut salmon fillet

Cure mixture for salmon:

1tbsp coriander seeds
2tbsp juniper berries
1tbsp fennel seeds
1tbsp pink peppercorns
225g sea salt
375g granulated sugar

Method:

Place the pink peppercorns, coriander, juniper and fennel seeds, in a dry frying pan and shake over the heat to toast them. Grind them all together in a pestle & mortar or spice grinder.

Mix the ground spices with the salt and sugar.

Rub over the salmon, wrap well and leave to cure for 4-5 days.

To serve, wipe the cure mixture from the salmon with kitchen towel. Slice vertically, excluding the skin if you have left it on.

Recipe courtesy of Tante Marie Cookery School – for further info and for details on courses see http://www.tantemarie.co.uk/

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Cosy, quick and healthy snacking

Toasted tortilla with manchego and tomato
Sometimes, with food, instant gratification is called for. As close to instant as is possible in any case. I am not talking about reaching for the haribo (although, that has been known to happen), but something flavoursome, healthy, crispy and super quick.

Don’t worry, I haven’t lost my mind and am not about to tout the health benefits of leftover pork belly or a bag of crisps. Tasty: yes. Healthy: not so much. The snack I am about to describe, is colourful, pretty and delicious and so easy, it’s ridiculous.

Take one tortilla (corn or flour), add a handful of chopped tomatoes, the best you can get, I like sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes. Top with some grated manchego (or similar cheese) and put in a preheated oven (180 degrees celsius should do it) on a lightly oiled tray. Toast for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Drizzle some good extra virgin olive oil on top and season with salt & pepper. Serve with a handful of greens as a garnish, I used pea shoots but rocket would be good too.

Sit back, briefly admire your handiwork, for it will be pretty, and eat. Run back into the kitchen and prep another as you’ll probably want one. I almost always do.

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Prawn Curry (again)

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So, round about the time I started this blog, just under a year ago, I blogged one of my favourite dishes – Prawn Curry. We were eating it about once a week, it’s tasty, healthy and quick, and fit in perfectly on those evenings where you’ve had a long day in the office and all you want is something quick and tasty with a glass of wine. On some of these evenings, the wine may even be the most important part ;)

Now, when I like something, I tend to talk about it, and friends of mine were hearing alot about this prawn curry. Then they started to think that perhaps I was making it up! How can she be making a curry from scratch after work when she only leaves the office at 7pm? How?! So, to salvage my reputation I had to gather some of them together and cook it for them. Then they would see!

The recipe is based on a Goan recipe I found online some years ago. It requires using masses of fresh tomatoes and a fresh coconut. I urbanised it by using a tin of tomatoes and a tin of coconut milk, which makes it quick and convenient – almost a storecupboard dish. It really is super quick once you’ve ground the spices, I would estimate no more than half an hour, although try to buy peeled prawns to save your self time. I vary the amount of coconut milk depending on whether I want the fruity flavour of the tomatoes or the creaminess of the coconut milk to dominate. This time I went with the tomato so used one tin of tomatoes and half a tin of coconut milk. It works well 50/50 though if you prefer that.

The recipe serves 2 hungry people. Read more