#Christmassy #canapes

Made these delicious canapés for Christmas Day but would be lovely anytime.

Bought these delicious Pastry shells from Simon Johnson, purveyors of fine foods in Sydney and filled them with a mixture of soft goats cheese, marscapone and sour cream with some finely chopped spring onion to give it a savoury zing.

The pastry shells are flaky and light, unlike many store-bought versions. Highly recommended for savoury or sweet fillings.

Topped with yummy gravalax from Peninsula Seafoods who are the best seafood suppliers on the Mornington Peninsula and topped with red “caviar” and finely sliced green tops of the spring onion.

Looked great and tasted great

Savoury gravalax and red caviar pastry shells

#Poached Side of #Salmon with asparagus salad #christmaseve

We thought a light dinner on a Christmas Eve would be nice ahead of a day of planned feasting today.

I have never actually poached a whole side of Salmon before but I certainly will be in future.

I bought this 1.5kg side from Peninsula Seafood’s Processing Plant outlet in Dromana on our way down to the Mornington Peninsula last Monday. They cryovacced the salmon for me which meant I could keep it in the fridge rather than have to freeze it and defrost it.

The recipe I used is based on Mary Berry’s Poached Salmon with shrimps and asparagus which looks delicious, but I really wanted to keep dinner simple so we had it with asparagus a d feta salad in the side.

Ingredients:

  • Side of salmon – 1.5kg
  • Butter
  • Foil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Dill – 2-3 stalks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Asparagus – 2 bunches
  • Feta to crumble over asparagus
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Foil

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2. Lay 2 long foil sheets across a large roasting pan, fold over does in middle to join together into one sheet, grease foil with butter.

3. Lay dill in middle of sheet. Season salmon with salt and pepper on the cut side and place face down (skin side up) on the dill. Put a few dabs of butter across top of salmon for good measure.

4. Pour wine and lemon juice around the salmon and fold over long edges of foil to create a packet, then fold over short edges, rolling and scrunching to seal.

5. Bake salmon for 25 minutes. While salmon is baking, blanch asparagus until bright green and tender.

6 remove salmon from from oven, undo package and remove skin which will easily peel off. Using a teaspoon or palette knife, gently scrape off the grey coloured meat/fatty layer under the skin to reveal the pink layer of flesh.

7. Carefully flip salmon and juices onto a serving platter, surround with Baby spinach, asparagus, sprinkle with feta. Dress salad with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

8. Serve with other salads or roast potatoes. We had a tomato, basil, bocconcini salad which went well with it too.

Poached side of salmon with asparagus, baby spinach and feta salad

#salmon #caviar #Crepe Cake

Changed up the traditional Smoked Salmon Crepes recipe creating a layered crepe cake for a celebratory brunch.

Layered with herbed creme fraiche with dill and capers, smoked salmon and caviar, the overall result was delicious and looks fabulous. You could add finely chopped red onion or replace caviar with salmon roe..lots of options to suit your taste.

I used my favourite crepe recipe Martha Stewart Crepes but made them a bit smaller so that the mixture made about 18-20 crepes to layer up into a high pile, leaving a few to drape over the top to complete the picture.

Easy and fun. plenty of options to make a sweet version for a dessert too!

Grilled #Chicken or Salmon with Spicy #Romesco Sauce

Spiced up this classic Catalan sauce and then smeared it over chicken, salmon fillets before grilling and even used as a base for a fish curry over the next few days.

Sweet, smoky, nutty and this version has a nice spicy kick with the inclusion of chilli flakes.

It’s great to have in the fridge to brighten things up.

It’s delicious as a dip on it’s own as well. The recipe makes a big bowl of it so use it as you please!

Sauce: Prep time 40 minutes

Ingredients:

· 2 large red capsicums

·       1 tomato

·       6 cloves of garlic with skin on

·       1 slice of white bread

·       ½ cup of nuts – I used walnuts but traditional is almonds

·       1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red/white wine) – I used apple cider vinegar

·       1 tablespoon smoked paprika

·       2 teaspoons chilli flakes

·       1 tsp salt

· 3 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius

Wrap tomato and garlic in foil

Place red capsicums whole in oven, alongside foil parcel

Grill turning red capsicums until blackened and char grilled on all sides

Remove capsicums and foil parcel from oven

Put bread and nuts in hot oven and grill until nuts are browned and bread is toasted on both sides – take care not to burn nuts (lower oven heat to 170 degrees or so) my walnuts got a bit dark but it still tasted good!

Place blackened capsicums in a plastic bag and seal – leave to steam and cool, remove skin and seeds – put in blender

Remove skin from tomato and peel garlic and put in blender with rest of ingredients – break toasted bread into large “crumbs”

Whizz until smooth thick paste forms, place in bowl.

Chicken Thigh Cutlets: Marinate overnight if you like, cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken thigh cutlets – skin on and bone in

1 tablespoon olive oil

Fresh Thyme

Black peppper

Method:

· Rub Chicken thigh cutlets with 2-3 tablespoons of romesco sauce – leave to marinate for a while, even overnight if you can but it’s not mandatory.

· Sprinkle with black pepper, thyme and olive oil – might need a bit more salt

·       Place in hot oven 175 degrees Celsius

· Roast until skin crisps up and chicken is cooked through – about 30 minutes, then turn up to 250 degrees for 5 -10 minutes to crisp up skin

· Serve with salad, rice or roast vegetables with romesco sauce on side.

Salmon Fillets

Smear Salomon fillets with romesco sauce, grill in hot oven 180 degrees for 15 minutes or so, turn skin side up, turn up oven to 250 degrees and grill until skin crisps up for about 5 minutes, I served this with couscous and a vegetable tagine with preserved lemons.

Smoked salmon with crepes, cucumber, herbed Creme Fraiche and “caviar”.

This classic combination of ingredients is hard to go past as a delicious brunch, breakfast or entree.

Smoked salmon with crepes, herbed creme fraiche and caviar.

Crepes

For the crepes I just halve the sugar and throw in some dill leaves into my favourite easy Martha Stewart crepe recipe….https://www.marthastewart.com/921813/how-make-crepes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Small handful Dill leaves (no stems)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (1 tablespoon extra for frying crepes)

Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until frothy.

Heat small non-stick pan, dip kitchen paper in butter and lightly coat pan with butter.

Pour a small ladleful of crepe batter into pan and swirl to create a thin crepe. Wait until browned on one side and flip. Repeat until you finish batter. You will have about 12-14 crepes depending on the size of your pan.

Filling:

  • 250g Thinly sliced Smoked salmon
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons dill leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber diced
  • 100g smoked salmon pearls or caviar

Mix creme fraiche with herbs, pinch of salt, a grind of black pepper.

Lay crepes on plate, line with smoked salmon, add a dollop of herbed creme fraiche,a few bits of cucumber, roll up and serve topped with a teaspoon or two of caviar, and additional cucumber on the side of you like.

Individual #Fish and #prawn #pies with #puff pastry

These fish pies are great if you are on a low carb diet like we are at the moment. There are lots of different versions online including a weight watchers version but most of them have potatoes in them or potato mash as the topping.

My version combines the best of both worlds and I think it is as tasty as you can get without the potatoes but keeps the cream and milk to make a lovely roux and resulting sauce.

Preparation time: 30 minutes cooking time: 20 minute

Ingredients:

  • 400g monkfish or other firm white fish chopped into chunks
  • 6 green prawns peeled and chopped into 3 or 4 pieces each
  • 100g hot smoked salmon or trout or smoked haddock
  • 200ml of milk
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 50ml cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 stalks of dill with friends removed and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of parsley, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of finely sliced leek
  • 15g butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 sheet of bought puff pastry
  • Beaten egg to brush pastry
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard400g blue eye cod or other firm white fish

Method:

Remove a sheet of puff pastry from the freezer to defrost.

Place the monkfish and prawns (not the hot smoked fish) in a small pot and cover with milk, add bay leaves and bring to a light rolling boil, then reduce heat and allow fish and prawns to poach in milk for 2 minutes. Remove fish and prawns from the milk with a slotted spoon and place into a seperate bowl.

Strain the milk through a sieve and reserve.

In a seperate non-stick pan, melt the butter and add leek and cook slowly until well softened.

Add the flour gradually and stir constantly to form a roux, and cook for a minute until flour is “cooked out”.

Add milk and wine to the roux gradually and whisk to form a smooth sauce.

Add mustard, salt and pepper to taste and mix through sauce.

Then add the cream and mix through.

Add fish, prawns and hot smoked salmon and allow the mixture to cool.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius

Put cooled fish mixture, focus on getting as much of the fish and prawns rather than all the sauce, into 3 small ramekins and then cover the ramekins with round of puff pastry cut to slightly larger rounds than the tops of the ramekins. (You might end up with a bit extra sauce leftover) Decorate with some of the leftover pastry and make a small hole in the middle of each to allow steam to escape.

Brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg and place in the oven on a foil lined baking tray for 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden and puffed.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with a green salad on the side.