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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Forever Nigella #6 Sea Fish & Eat it!

This month's, Maison Cupcake, Forever Nigella challenge is being hosted by Housewife Confidential  and today is the last day to get your 'fishy in a dishy' cooked a la Nigella into the pot!  

I had some salmon marked out for our supper tonight, so had a flick through the index of  Forever Summer and found this easy peasy recipe for Seared Mustard-Coated Salmon.

The flavour of this coating is subtle but there is a nice combination of sweetness and savoury heat contained in the sugar and mustard rub.

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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Smoked Langoustines

When we were in St Monans we stopped at the East Pier Smokehouse and bought some smoked Langoustines.  They were delicious if a little tricky to eat!

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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Anstruther Fish Bar

Pittenweem Harbour

I've been on a little trip to the Kingdom of Fife.  It was a lovely day on Sunday so we headed to the coast and the East Neuk.  We started in Elie and then on to St Monans and Pittenween, seen above.  Pittenweem is a working harbour whereas the harbour at Anstruther or 'Ainster', as it is known locally, is for leisure craft. There will be more about my trip on my other blog 'Serial Crafter'.

Anstruther Fish Bar

We stopped off at the Anstruther Fish Bar for our lunch.  This chippie has won awards over many years although the last national award was in 2009.  This doesn't seem to deter the crowds of people who queue up for a fish supper pretty much every day.    We decided that we would 'sit in' and had to queue for about 10 minutes before a table was available.  The take-away line moved quite quickly, with waitresses moving down the queue taking the orders so they were ready when customers reached the fryer.

The sit in meal included white bread and butter and a hot drink, the traditional 'fish tea', not a fishy drink, but a meal with fish and chips, cup of tea and the bread and butter, and it cost Ā£7.95 each.
Haddock & Chips

My mum and I ordered the local haddock and chips,  we did look at the 'sustainable' Hake and I would have ordered it, but it is imported from the seas off the south west of Africa, which didn't seem very sustainable to me!  I think I'd rather support the sustainability of the local fishermen.The fish was fresh and the batter crispy and not oily.  The chips were really hot and delicious.

Herring in Oatmeal with chips

Mr Farmer chose the herring in oatmeal, there was a bit of a mix up and they initially brought him haddock, which was sent back.  Fifteen minutes later, no sign of the herring, so we asked the waitress what had happened to it,  I reckon they had forgotten to bring it as she returned with huge apologies and said it would be there in 5 minutes and would not be charged.  The herring arrived quickly after that and Mr Farmer was very impressed, it certainly looked good.
Overall, I felt the Anstruther Fish Bar was slightly overrated, but the food was fresh and well cooked and the staff were responsive, if not particularly attentive, due to the sheer numbers of customers coming through the restaurant.

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Monday, 6 June 2011

Chocolate Pavolvas with Strawberries

This is the first time I've actually managed to take part in 'We should Cocoa' challenge run by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog and Chele at Choclate Teapot  You can read all about the challenge HERE, but basically you have to make something with chocolate or cocoa and a 'special' ingredient chosen by the host.

I was making pastry today for a quiche and the recipe uses two egg yolks, so I had two egg whites left.  I am renowned for leaving egg whites in the bowl in the back of the fridge to use 'later'.  Of course, later rarely comes and I end up throwing them out.  I had half a punnet of strawberries left from the weekend, so immediately thought I could make meringues,  or even better some meringue nests or mini pavlovas.  Then I was struck by inspiration.....I have a recipe for chocolate pavlova, I've made it before several times and it is fabulous.  I could make that and top it with greek yogurt and strawberries. Can you tell how excited I was?

It's funny how these things work out,  when I did my Random Recipe for Belleau Kitchen, I used the book 'Seasonal Cooking' by Claire Macdonald.  I haven't cooked anything from it for ages.  This recipe is also by Claire Macdonald and it's from 'More Seasonal Cooking' - the sequel!

So how do you do this?  Claire makes a huge pavlova but here is what I did:

For the Pavlova
2 large egg whites
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Green and Blacks), seived

Line a baking tin with baking paper.  Whisk the egg whites until stiff.  Then, still whisking gradually incorporate the caster, a spoonful at a time, until the meringue mixture is very thick.  Measure in the vanilla essence and, with a large metal spoon, quickly and thoroughly fold the sieved cocoa into the meringue - watch out for little pockets of cocoa.

Pour and scrape this mixture onto the lined baking tray either in a single round or individual nests.

Bake in a moderate oven 350F/180C/Gas 4/for 2 minutes then lower the temperature to 200F/110C/Gas 1/2 and cook for a further hour.  Take the pavlova out of the oven and leave to cool.

Claire fills her pavlova with whipped double cream mixed with grated dark chocolate - it is divine!  But that's not what I made,  lets get back to the strawberries.

I read Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall in the Guardian magazine at the weekend, he as mascerating strawberries in lemon juice and caster sugar, so I did that with my strawberries - very good too.  I didn't have any cream, but it is rare that I don't have a tub of Greek Yogurt in the fridge, so I dolloped that on the pavlova and topped with strawberries and grated chocolate.

Pretty impressive huh?  I even impressed myself and was really pleased to rediscover this recipe,  it's so easy and completely delicious, enjoy!

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