I had this, well the half pint version, in a lovely little seafood restaurant in Hythe a couple of weeks back. It’s super simple to assemble and makes quite an entrance with the pinky, orange prawns piled up high in their shells. You can buy these prawns, frozen, cooked, shell on, sometimes from the supermarket, almost always from Wing Yips and from your local fishmongers. They’re much more reasonable than the peeled frozen ones you get and make for a fantastic deconstructed prawn cocktail where you have to get all involved, ripping the heads off and peeling the shell away. Despite this possible palava, I quite like it, the prawns are sweeter and juicier that way and it makes a lovely starter or light lunch. I had my ‘pint’ for lunch on Saturday served with some seriously old ‘skool’ Marie Rose sauce, a wedge of lemon and a slice of buttered brown bread (gf).
Shell on, cooked, frozen prawns
Bread to serve
For the Marie-Rose Sauce:
Defrost your prawns in cold water. Shovel the prawns into a pint glass, I chose a rather pretty Stella glass. Mix up the Marie-Rose sauce, a couple of teaspoonfuls of mayo and creme fraiche, a squirt of tommy k and a splash of Worcester. Set up your sauce in a little dish or a ramekin and serve alongside. To be really kitsch, like me, add a round slice of lemon to the glass and a nice slice of buttered brown bread cut into triangles (don’t you know?!). Make sure you provide an empty vessel for the heads and shells and eat with someone who loves you or someone you hate and spray them with prawn juice as you get stuck in! Yum, yum!
So like a good girl I’m obeying the fish on Friday rule, despite the fact I had ham for breakfast and left over meatballs for lunch, I prepared a good old fish supper for dinner tonight.
The version I did was totally gluten free and my other diners who are not coeliacs were non the wiser. However this can be done just as easily using normal breadcrumbs, I don’t like to discriminate see!
I had great plans to serve the fish with home made potato wedges and some posh mushy peas but after a long sunny day of parks and shops (I got a little carried away on the summer wardrobe expedition, shhh don’t tell anyone) I decided to keep it simple and serve it up with some oven chips and traditional marrow fat peas (see almost a proper chip shop dinner!).
Cod fillet portions, skinned
Breadcrumbs ( I have started keeping a stash in the freezer ready for things like this, any time your bread is beginning to get a bit stale just whizz them up in a blender and bag em up and pop in the freeezer, you can pretty much use them from frozen and that way they are always there)
A couple of tablespoons of plain flour (gf for me)
Salt and pepper
For the tartare sauce (makes a little pot ful):
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, shop bought or home made you decide
5 mini gherkins/cornichons
A teaspoon of capers
A handful of parsley
For the fish:
Lay out three dishes or plates. One for the flour (add some salt and pepper), one for the egg lightly whisked and one for the breadcrumbs. Portion your fish then flour, egg and breadcrumb and set aside until your ready. I did mine this afternoon and popped in the fridge until dinner time just to save extra hassle.
When you fish is coated, shallow fry in a hot pan with about half a cm of oil in. It really depends on how big your fish is, mine took about 3 min each side and I finished it off in a hot oven whilst the chips were cooking for a couple of min.
For the tartare sauce:
Finely chop the parsley. Chop the the capers and gherkins fairly small and then add them and the herbs to the mayo and stir. Easy peasy and much better than that hideous stuff you get in sachets or bottles. You can add a bit of chopped egg if you wish as well.
The sun has come out and I’m feeling all summer-y and that my dear readers means barbecue type foods (even though we don’t have a garden 😦 ) and salads. These drumsticks have got to be my best yet, spiced with five spice, ginger, garlic and other chinese condiments and then glazed with a sweet chilli sauce, these are moreish little numbers that can’t fail to be loved. The remoulade is a classic salad dish using the not so summery vegetables of celeriac and beetroot, but they were there in the green grocers so I wanted to use them.
For the drumsticks:
7 chicken drumsticks (average packet from the supermarket)
A heaped teaspoon of five spice powder
An inch of ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
A tablespoon of sesame oil
A good slosh of soy sauce (I used Tamari because it’s gluten free)
Sweet chilli sauce
Slash your chicken drumsticks so that they cook through thoroughly and the marinade penetrates the meat.
Mix all the ingredients together except for the chilli sauce and rub over the chicken. Marinade for as long as you’ve got, the longer the better, mine spent the afternoon in the fridge.
Pre-heat an oven to about 200 degrees. Lay your marinated drumsticks on a tray and cook for 20/25 min. Then
drizzle slather your drumsticks with sweet chilli sauce, return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Serve hot, cold or warm with whatever you like but remoulade below goes very nicely.
Celeriac and Beetroot Remoulade
Serves about 2/3 people
A quarter of a large celeriac
A medium sized beetroot
A heaped tablespoon of mayo
A heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche
Half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, more if you like it
Salt and pepper
A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
Peel and cut your veg into match stick sized pieces. Make sure you put the celeriac into a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep it white. Drain the celeriac and add beetroot. Mix your mayo and creme fraiche, mustard and seasoning, adjust if necessary. Squeeze in some lemon juice to loosen the sauce. Add the veg to the dressing and mix to coat. Add chopped parsley and stir, you could add chopped gherkins and capers but I didn’t have any. Put in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours combine.
Serve with your cooled drumsticks or other cold meats and salads.
Shredded left over chicken
A heaped dessert spoon of creme fraiche
A heaped dessert spoon of mayonnaise
A heaped teaspoon of mild curry powder
Half a teaspoon of ground coriander
A handful of raisins or sultanas
A dessert spoon of mango chutney (i used a smoothish variety but you could just chop up a chunky one)
Salt and pepper
Gently toast your spices in a dry pan. Mix creme fraiche, mayo, chutney, spices and raisins together then stir in chicken until evenly coated, season and there you have it, a very delicious luncheon with salad, in a sandwich or jacket spud.
So for dinner tonight (ok I know it’s early but we were hungry!) we had the above and the below.
For the potato salad:
Boil some new potatoes
Mix some mayo and creme fraiche (I used half fat) with plenty of salt and pepper. Add in the cooled potatoes, some finely chopped spring onions and some shredded spinach. Stir. Done.
For the sausages:
Mix up some BBQ sauce, basically combine ketchup, hoisin sauce, balsamic vinegar, Worcester sauce and some agave syrup together. Then roll your sausages in it then cook in the oven for about 15/20 min depending on sausage size. You can go back to them and re glaze half way through cooking.
I think this may be a bit of cheats pickle, I kinda browsed the t’internet for ideas and then went out on a limb, I’m not too knowledgeable about pickling so I think this kinda thing will only last about a week in a jar, but it’s lush, and suddenly you’ll be pulling out bits of cheese and cold meats just so you can have a yummy snacking partner for this piquant treat.
I basically had a go at microwave sterilising the jar first (an old jam jar) but I figured I couldn’t do the top (it’s metal) so just washed that in extremely hot water and decided we’d eat it fast and not worry too much.
Then I half filled the jar with half red wine vinegar and half cider vinegar and a couple of spoonfuls of caster sugar. I stirred this well and tasted to check, I like a sweet pickle you might want to adjust. Then I sliced a smallish onion and packed it into the jar and poked it down so it was covered by the pickling liquor. I left it for a little while then couldn’t resist and snacked on some with some cheese, then later we had it with this dinner and went extremely well and I’m sure there may be more pickle action later but you’ll just have to watch this space. I think ideally this needs to stand for about 4 hours but do as you will…
I made this for lunch today. It’s my first attempt at home made mayonnaise and I’m rather proud of the results and it wasn’t half as hard as I thought it might be (ok ok i did have a semi disaster as had hoped to make a lemony mayo but my first attempt was rather sour so I binned it and started again with a very nice sherry vinegar and it worked out!).
As usual I’m not going to be precise, it depends how many you are making for so just add appropriate amounts and give it a go.
For the fishcakes…
Spring onions, chopped
Tinned tuna, drained (dolphin friendly please!!)
Salt and pepper
Mix the ingredients together, form in to patties and fry off in a little hot oil. Pop the oven on and put in there to ensure heated through.
For the Basil Mayo…
1 egg yolk
a tablespoon or two of sherry vinegar
salt and pepper
About a tablespoon of shredded fresh basil
Whisk the egg yolk, vinegar and seasoning. Slowly trickle in the oil whisking quickly, my dad always said figure of eight, but just keep whisking and slowly adding oil until thick and glossy.
Add basil, stir, serve with your fish cakes. We ate ours with a little tomato and basil salad dressed with some more of that delicious sherry vinegar.