An informal food blog...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bourek Bel Hout

Fish filled pastries.

½lb white fish
1 clove of garlic crushed
½ onion finely chopped
4 tbsp chopped parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
1tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1boiled potato crushed
1 egg
Pinch of chilli, coriander, cumin
Salt and pepper

Pack of Fillo or Spring Roll pastry

Microwave the fish for 2 minutes or poach for 5 minutes and then flake it into a large bowl.
Remove skin and bones. Cool down. (A glass of white wine ought to do it!)
Add all the ingredients to the bowl, mix well and season.
Lay one fillo pastry sheet (25cm by 10cm) flat on a damp cloth and place a tbsp of fish mixture on the top corner.
Fold diagonally three times to create a triangle.
Shallow fry or bake to heat up thoroughly and lightly brown.

You can add tiny bits of other vegetables or seafood to the mix depending on your taste.

Serve with a dressed salad and a wedge of lemon.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chicken with Marsala....

2 Chicken breasts, boned, skinless
1 Packet of sliced Parma ham
1 handful of fresh sage
Olive oil
½ Glass of Marsala wine
½ pint chicken stock
½ carton of double cream

Place a couple of sage leaves on each breast. Season and then wrap with Parma ham.
Heat the frying pan. Add a Tbspful of olive oil.
Brown the chicken on all sides. (5 minutes)
Place in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and stick into a preheated oven (Moderate)
Pour the stock and Marsala wine into the frying pan and reduce by half. Add a couple of sage leaves.
When the chicken is cooked add the juices to the sauce.
10 minutes in addition to the frying time should ensure that the chicken is cooked while still remaining moist.
Lower the heat and then add the cream. However much you feel comfortable with.
Mix well and check the seasoning.
Stir in a Tbsp of Marsala just before serving.

Slice each breast diagonally in half, place on warm plates and drizzle some of this simple, delicious sauce all over.

Serve with some steamed baby spinach flavoured with nutmeg, sautéed potatoes or whatever you fancy on the day!

This is one of those dishes that may sound complicated but as you can judge, it is very easy to execute!

Friday, April 14, 2006

An Ode to Rosemary and Thyme.

THYME flies when you're having FENNEL.

We've CINNAMON CUMIN and going.

We never got CARAWAY by our success.

No matter how CHILLI the North wind blew,

It was SAGE to CURRY on serving a good stew.

I sat making OREGANO planes with old menus,

And landed them in the waste PEPPER basket.

The mirror told me to turn a new BAY LEAF,

But, I CORIANDER piling on the beef.

To all our long SAFFRON staff,

Truly the SALT of the Earth,

Please kindly accept this BOUQUET GARNI

For GINGERLY putting up with me.

COS LETTUCE be honest, I think I have gone

PARSLEY NUTMEG, nearly as faulty as BASIL.

After eleven SEASONINGS in Sunny Seaton,

Could it be all the beef that I have eaten?

If this sounds all FENUGREEK to you,

It is MINT to be!

Says who?

SESAME, Cream!

I wrote this daft thing in 1996 for the restaurant's 11th birthday!

What a turkey!

I worked for a very kind but forgetful guy who used to give all his staff a 14lbs. turkey for Christmas.
Yes, a 14lbs. turkey, frozen solid on Christmas Eve afternoon.
Some of us who had heard of this practice bought our own turkey and kept our Christmas Bonus for New Year's Day.
The rest had to resort to various unorthodox means to defrost the wretched bird so that they could sit down to dinner on Christmas Day

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuna in a tomato and basil sauce

2 Tuna steaks (2cm thick)
1 onion finely chopped
4 ripe tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 fresh chilli
1 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp olive oil

Marinade the fish for 1 hour.
Drain and pat dry. Reserve the marinade.
Fry the onion until soft then add the tomatoes and the marinade.
Cook for 30 minutes. Sieve the sauce and keep warm.

Brush a ribbed grill pan with a little olive oil and heat until it starts smoking.
Sear the tuna for 1 minute on each side.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place on a bed of tomato sauce and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
Serve with new potatoes and sauteed green beans or simply a dressed salad.

Note: Tuna should ideally be served undercooked because the longer it is cooked, the tougher it gets.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Monkfish with Whisky Sauce

This is DcVer's recipe

6 chunks of clean monk fish
4 tbsp of margarine
1 ½ cup of tomato pulp
1 ½ cup of heavy cream
1 ½ oz of whisky
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp powdered ginger
2 tbsp of little onion shoots
Salt and pepper

Season the monk fish with salt and pepper to your taste.
Place the margarine in a saucepan and stir fry the monk fish chunks until golden.
Remove from the heat, pour the whisky over the fish and flambé it (set it on fire, that is, careful not to set the whole kitchen on fire though). Let the flames extinguish on their own and remove the fish from the saucepan, setting it aside.
Add the tomato, sugar and ginger to the saucepan and when it starts boiling add the cream. Let it simmer until thick.
Taste and add some more salt and pepper if you so wish.
Add the onion shoots and place the fish back in the saucepan for a couple of minutes more (without letting it boil).
Serve with white rice.

UPDATE (Easter Sunday)

This recipe was expertly executed...killed prepared by Wendy who is now in a convent fish CONVERT !

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Fish Tagine


1lb of fish (Cod, Mullet, Sea bass, Monkfish, Prawns...any combination but no oily fish)
4tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1tsp paprika
Juice of one lemon. Keep the zest.
1tbsp Cumin and Coriander, tomato puree and chopped coriander
2 cloves of garlic
2 skinless red peppers
1 fresh fennel
¼ lb potatoes
Other small quantities of your favourite vegetables can be added.


Marinate the fish cut into 1" chunks overnight or for a couple of hours in olive oil, lemon juice, fresh coriander, saffron or turmeric, garlic and cumin.

Finely chop the onion. Soften it in olive oil. Add some sliced fresh fennel, 2 diced skinless sweet peppers (Refer to Meshwia for method of skinning peppers), chopped garlic, pinch of saffron, pinch of cumin, 1tbsp chopped coriander, 1tsp of blanched lemon zest or pickled lemon, 1tbsp tomato puree, a tsp of paprika, 2 potatoes cut into wedges.

Cover with water, add a fish stock cube and simmer until potatoes are nearly ready.

Add the fish to the Tagine and poach until cooked (5min).

Serve with chopped coriander.

You can add a little chilli if you wish.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sea Bass with Rosemary and Garlic

4 fillets of sea bass
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
A sprig of fresh rosemary
1 lemon
Olive oil
2tbsp of plain flour
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley

Marinate the fish for around 1 to 2 hours in 2tbsp of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, the chopped garlic and half the rosemary.
Place the flour in a shallow dish. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Heat a frying pan for 2 minutes then add 2 tbsp of olive oil. (Heating the pan will help the oil spread easily and you won't need too much fat.)
Dry the fish with kitchen roll, coat with seasoned flour and fry skin side first for 3 minutes. Turn over and fry for a further 2 minutes.
Decorate with chopped parsley and slices of lemon.
Serve immediately with a green salad or sautéed potatoes.
Note: The sea bass may also, ideally be bought whole, if one is not squeamish. Make sure to add 4 minutes to cooking time.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chorba Soup

Chorba Soup from North East Algeria

2lbs boned and diced lamb
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chick peas
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp chopped celery leaves
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp dried mint
½ cup of bulgur or cracked wheat

Lightly brown the onion and lamb in olive oil
Add all the other ingredients except the mint and wheat
Cover with water and cook until the lamb is tender (1 hour)
Add the wheat and mint. Cook for a further 15min
Garnish with a little chopped coriander
Serve with a wedge of lemon

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mushrooms and Ratatouille

Flat cap mushroom with ratatouille, goat's cheese and basil
3 peppers, red, green and yellow cut into thick strips
2 courgettes thickly sliced ½ inch
1 aubergine cut into 1 inch cubes 1 onion thickly sliced
2 cloves of garlic
1tbsp fresh basil
1 tsp of sugar
1tbsp of white wine vinegar
pinch of thyme
salt and pepper
3 tomatoes peeled and diced
4 large flat cap mushrooms, one per person is enough as a starter.
To peel tomatoes: Score them with a sharp knife. Bring a pan full of water to the boil and then drop the tomatoes in for 30 seconds. As soon as the skin starts flaking away, place them into a bowl of cold water. The rest of the skin will come off easily.
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan
Place all the ingredients in the pan and sauté on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vinegar, a pinch of thyme and sugar. Turn down the heat and cook for a further 15 minutes.
4 large flat cap mushrooms, one per person is enough as a starter.
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan.
Fry the mushrooms skin side down for 3 minutes until golden. Season with salt and pepper. Place in an oven tray skin side down. Put enough ratatouille to cover the mushroom. Flake some goat's cheese on top of the ratatouille. Bake in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has turned golden.
Sprinkle a little bit of chopped basil and serve with garlic bread.