Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Chinese Fishcake, Fishball & Cuttlefish Soup....

Rinse the Chinese or Vietnamese supermarket or your green grocer of all the colourful chard, greens, leafy things they have-Mange tout, baby corns, green beans, pok choi, cavelo nero or just cabbage... whatever you fancy and finely slice wash and put to one side. I like to cut things length ways but its whatever you fancy, the finer you slice the less time they need to cook.

Finely slice, cucumber and spring onions, ready to garnish your soup with, slice coriander and red chilli too.

Fried Fish Cake and fried fish ball

I've gone through a weird obsession with fried fish balls and fishcake, both are similar, salty, rubbery and made up of non specific fish parts...DON'T be put off they're great.
Both can be added 5 mins before serving the soup as you can't really over cook them and they only need heating through. 
I'm slightly partial to eating them cold...

For the soup stock...

Miso paste is a great and easy cheat when making a light stock soup, add a teaspoon at a time to hot water and keep trying it. Watch it though coz this to is salty so don't over do it.

It's always nice and healthy to finely slice 2/3 cloves of garlic, 2inches of ginger (bash it before slicing so that you maximise the flavour you get out of it) 1 lemongrass stalk, again bash this up a bit before slicing then add to a tiny bit of oil before adding the stock. Kaffir lime leaves very finely sliced are also good for adding zest along with fresh lime, (add this at the end).

You can always add a spoon of Tom Yum paste to the stock, don't be afraid to add a bit of soy sauce (again a salty option) or fish sauce (another ....salty one) or try out the vietnamese stock cubes. Also adding a dash of sugar can give it a nice edge too.

Aim for a good mixture of sweet and salty

Chop up your fish, I've always bought the frozen cuttlefish or squid from the Vietnamese but FMC, Fish Man Craig has since told me that's probably the most unsustainable fish you can get, slight error!

You can use any fish you fancy, it doesn't have to be cuttlefish.

Sweet Thai Basil...the herb that beats coriander and parsley, its sweet and slightly aniseedy, it makes the soup and it perfect in thai green curries.

Add greens 3/4mins before serving, once you are happy with the taste of your stock, cherry tomatoes are also a nice addition. This soup is defo a favourite and a must try. 

Perfect for dinner parties, everyone can help themselves, serve as just soup or add any type of noodle to it or rice, either way it's great.(A good way to avoid carbs too, if your trying!)

Ted pre hair cut & very interested in the soup :-)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Best Pasta Dish (think I say this all the time but this is a good one) AND I forgot to post this one after the camping trip!!

In the Kitchen/Bedroom

CAMPING COOKING TIPS...(that I wished I thought through before!!)
Don't cook in the dark!
Don't forget lids to pans (helps things cook quicker and saves gas)
Make sure everyones out of your way, cooking in the van is borderline stressful if other people are in there too!
Make sure knives are sharp-Bring your favourites
Don't forget Salt/Pepper & at least one dried herb...oh and oil!
Bring a chopping board- it's good for serving food on too so your not making extra washing up for yourself.

Ripe salads stuff :-)

Garlic x 3 Crushed then sliced
Large Spring Onions x 2 finely sliced
Big handful of Sun dried tomatoes sliced
Fry in Oil for 2/3mins
Good sprinkle of herb de provence

I totally cheated on the rest of the sauce, found a little local shop that was selling amazing meats, cheeses, home made pastas and sauces so got a home made Arrabiata sauce...SO GOOD!!
Onion, garlic, red pepper/dried chilli, white wine, fresh tomatoes, basil, parsley, dash of sugar.

Added Anchovies and Proscuitto, some meat for the boys...

Huge salad or Avocado, Tomato, Mozzarella and lettuce...french dressing, chopped up  and left on the board for minimal washing up!!

Parmesan to finish it off

Monday, 5 September 2011


Ted busy as ever...

FMC Fish Man Craig gave me 40mins of sustainable fish chat and with a budget of a £10 I got 1 x Gurnard, 1 x Wrasse (smaller bycatch) big hand full of mussels, bunch of parsley, bunch of tarragon, 1 x shallot lrg, 1 x lrg fennel 

Base of the fish stock-
1x lrg Onion with 7 x cloves
2 x fresh bay leaves
Handful of tarragon
2 x stalks of celery
1/2 a bulb of fennel
Salt & Pepper corns
A dash of white pepper

Fish Man Craig descaled and gutted the fish and added a few extra heads in there- Apparently you have to rinse the fish as you don't want any blood or guts in the fish stock.

Add a splash of White Wine, and water bring to the boil for 5mins then simmer for 20.

Bouillabaisse -
Finely Slice the Shallot
Finely Slice the Fennel
Take the fennel green wispy leafy bits and add those too-good to enhance the aniseed flavour.
Few Sprigs of Tarragon
Few slices or red Chilli
Lightly fry with Oil
Then add a tin of tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato puree
When you've drained the fish stock through a sieve then add it to the bouillabaisse

Finely slice then rinse the potatoes put them into a tray of oil, sprinkle with rock salt, black pepper, paprika add a few sprigs of tarragon and roast.

Finely sliced cabbage and yellow courgette 

Add the fresh white fish and fresh cherry tomatoes 3/4mins before serving the simmering stock

Add the cleaned mussels that are all closed and let cook for the 3/4mins

Make sure the potatoes crispen up...

Add parsley 

Get the bake in the oven french stick so it's crispy and soft on the inside add loads of fresh butter and dunk in bouillabaisse.