#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

A #true #Christmas #wreath …ala Tomato, Bocconcini, Basil & spinach salad

Served with a side of poached salmon ..

Sprinkled with salt and black pepper, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar..

Simple, effective and delicious!

Dressed:

#merry #moroccan #christmas

Our family is away at a holiday house where most of us have gathered together for a week of festivities and relaxation together.

The week we have been balancing spoiling ourselves with eating well.

Tonight’s menu focussed on Moroccan themes once again using some tried and tested recipes and adding some new!

Also with the limitations of a holiday home pantry, some ingredients are substituted but the overall outcome was just as good. That’s how family cooking should be.

Menu:

Cauliflower and orange salad

Tonight was a great example of how ingredients can be mixed and matched , depending on what you have on hand catering to to different tastes e.g no coriander, and still having lovely meal.

Chicken B’stilla
Couscous with zuchinni and carrot

A Christmas #salad #wreath

I made a Lamb Briyani tonight …which is the same recipe as Durban Indian Chicken Briyani .

I served it with Tarka Dhal and made this Christmas salad wreath with a cucumber raita centre to add a festive flavour to our Pre-Xmas dinner at our holiday home in the Mornington Peninsula.

I just put a small side plate in the middle of the platter and then layered the salad around it with a simple vinegar, oil and sugar dressing. The colour and texture are up to you. I used finely chopped iceberg, shredded carrot, quick pickled red onions and wedges of tomato. I filed the centre with cucumber raita but this Grape and Apple Raita would be lovely too. (The deseed chillies are decorative)

Festive salad and cucumber raaita wreath
Salad Xmas wreath
Lamb Briyani

Old #Tapas favourites at new beach house #morningtonpeninsula

Lovely days settling into our #airbnb beach house at Koonya Beach in Blairgowrie, on the edge of the Mornington Peninsula National Park at the very southern tip of Victoria. This is a very special part of Australia.

View from point overlooking Koonya Ocean Beach, Mornington Peninsula, Australia

Today we went for a walk to Koonya Ocean Beach which is the nesting site of endangered birds and visits form wild seals. The coast is rugged and stunning with swim warnings along the way. After our walk we felt we deserved a lazy tapas lunch on the deck and a lazy afternoon, made extra special with time spent with our love,y new 6 month old granddaughter.

Lovely relaxing times in the lead up to Christmas.

Surveying the beauty!
Wild seal resting!!!

Here are some photos and recipe links for old favourite Tapas dishes and menu for lunch!

Tapas lunch

Menu included:

Prawns with chilli and garlic

Catalan chickpeas with spinach and raisins

Roasted capsicum with tuna filling

Potato and onion tortilla

Fried chorizo

Caperberries and olives

Cheese Plate with Manchego and delicious nectarines…

Oven crisped Baguette to sop up the prawn juices!

A lovely relaxed meal conducive to siesta on the deck!

#Bengali inspired #Prawn Curry #nigellaseeds

The combination is inspired by Bengali curries that use of Panch Phoran Five spice mix, except I substituted some of the spices with fresh ingredients to add zing, and added a “Tadka” style garnish for an extra layer of flavour.

The Nigella seeds are key to adding their unique almost maple syrup tones complementing the sweetness of the prawns.

So, the key ingredients for this curry are fresh prawns, nigella seeds (kalonji in Hindi), fennel seeds, lemon, fresh coriander and lots of ginger. I add two whole red chillies to impart some heat but they can be removed or allocated to the spice lovers!

I finished the prawns by adding my version of a Tadka, by slow frying thinly sliced onions in butter and adding fresh ginger and coriander. This “garnish” added another layer of flavour to the dish, resulting in quite a scrumptious outcome.

Can be served in lettuce cups, naan and/or with rice.looks great on a bed of turmeric rice.

Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500g shelled and deveined green prawns
  • 2 brown onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, double that amount of ginger
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 3 red chillies
  • 2 Handfuls of curry leaves (or use 2 bay leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh Coriander and ginger for Tadka

Method

1. Prepare all the fresh ingredients: a) shell and devein prawns, b) finely dice only 1.5 of the onions and finely slice the other half into thin half moons (keep seperate), c) finely dice the tomatoes, d) pound to make a paste the garlic, equivalent amount of fresh ginger and 1 red chilli together with 1/2 teaspoon salt, d) zest lemon and juice it.

2. Heat oil in shallow wide saucepan, add cumin seeds, add 2 red chillies left whole and curry leaves and cook on low heat until fragrant and leaves stop sputtering. Add diced onions only (not the sliced half moons), cook over low heat until just transparent.

3. Add ginger and garlic paste, nigella seeds and fennel seeds, mix through the onion mixture and cook until just fragrant, taking care so it doesn’t stick to the pot.

4. Add tomatoes and mix through, add the other 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer with lid on until tomatoes break down, adding small amounts of water if necessary.

5. While tomatoes are cooking, make the onions for the “Tadka” garnish: in a seperate pan, melt butter add sliced onions and cook slowly until caramelised. Chop 2 handfuls of coriander, finely slice ginger into matchsticks together with coriander. Set aside

6.When the tomatoes have broken down into a saucy consistency, add 1/2 lemon juice, the prawns and cook for 6-10 minutes, simmering until as much excess water that might come from prawns has evaporated but ensuring prawns don’t over cook. Pour over rest of lemon juice.

7. Garnish prawns with the “Tadka” and serve with rice, naan and/lettuce cups.

Bengali inspired prawn curry with nigella seeds