Saturday, 22 January 2011

Ceviche a la Chris!!

I am very lucky to have a creative husband in the kitchen :-)) This is a dish Chris made at the end of last summer and I have just come across this picture whilst having a sort out.

We first tasted ceviche on our honeymoon to Costa Rica last year and were really keen to try it out for ourselves when back in the UK. I definitely recommend having a go if you get the chance. Google has tons of recipes, however this particular one was in the Guardian last year and was submitted by Tom Parker Bowles (Tom Parker Bowles is a food writer and journalist). The link to the Guardian website, which includes a number of Summer seafood recipes is below, however I have also included an extract from the Guardian website for the ceviche recipe as seen in the picture above.
The ceviche recipe is about 3/4 of the way down the page.

Serves four
  • 1 medium-large sea bream (around 1kg), filleted, skinned and pin-boned (ask the fishmonger to do this, if need be)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
  • 3 chopped jalapeƱo chillies (the proper ones, not those impotent Dutch monstrosities)
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Morecambe Bay shrimps, peeled
  • Crisp tortilla, to serve
Slice the bream fillets into 0.5cm strips, then dice. Place in a large, shallow bowl or plate, then pour or scatter over the lime juice, coriander, tomatoes and chillies. Add a good pinch of sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper, and refrigerate for no more than 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge, stir in the shrimps and serve on a crisp tortilla. 


T :-))

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Cheesy crumpets

Out of all of the days of the week Sundays are possibly my favourite! On these days I love lingering over breakfast with a pot of tea and the morning papers; however in my case it is typically the Saturday Guardian, as I never get around to reading it all on one day!

This morning Chris and I treated ourselves to cheesy crumpets using up some of the left over Christmas brie (leftovers are one of the great throwbacks from the Christmas season)! This is actually a breakfast treat that friends of mine from Bristol re-introduced me to during the course of last year. Their version included the addition of marmite before adding the cheese, which for marmite lovers out there is really very good and definitely one to put on your list!

I am sure everyone has their own method for making these; however my technique is as follows…

• Toast the crumpet under the grill on both sides.
• Add sliced brie to the top of the crumpet and place back under the grill until the cheese is starting to bubble.
• Remove the crumpet and spread the cheese as evenly as possible over the crumpet.

[now for the naughty bit] …

• Spread a small amount of butter over the top of the cheese, this will melt into the cheese and make the crumpet go all gooey.
• Season with a little salt and pepper then eat whilst still hot…

Yum… I hope your Sunday mornings are all special in your own ways!

T :-)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Indulgent (if a little lazy) roast duck with potatoes and green salad!

Firstly, Happy New Year to you all! I hope everyone had a great Christmas break and that you are all feeling nice and refreshed for the new year ahead!

As a very special treat (and one that my husband and I had been trying to enjoy since our 1st wedding anniversary on 19th December 2010!), we shared a roast duck supper on the final evening of our Christmas break. I had been really keen to try this recipe since seeing it on Nigella’s Kitchen show before Christmas, however due to difficulties tracking down duck legs over the Christmas period and then social commitments we were unable to try this out until the final day of our holiday. Having now tried this dish I can honestly say that it is one of the easiest meals that I have ever made and also one of the tastiest!

The recipe follows and includes a great Italian proverb for preparing the salad dressing, which I recommend trying as it can be used for any salad. We enjoyed this dish (and not just because it had taken no time at all to prepare) with a bottle of Marks & Spencer Pinot Noir from the Mediterranean region of France. A lovely medium bodied wine with a good level of acidity that offset the richness of the duck very well indeed!

NB. The following recipe is adapted from a Nigella Lawson one.

Serves 2 people
Preparation time: 5 mins for the duck and potatoes, 5 mins for the salad
Cooking time: 1hr 30mins


For the duck and potatoes
  • 2 Duck legs
  • 2 Baking potatoes
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the salad
  • 1 bag green salad (we used watercress)
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar (red wine is best, however a white wine or balsamic vinegar would work just as well)
  • Salt


For the duck:

1. Preheat a fan assisted oven to 180 oC.
2. Seal the duck legs on each side in an oven proof pan (I used a frying pan that can be put straight into the oven).

NB. You do not need to add any oil to the pan, as the duck legs contain plenty and will start to release this during the sealing process.

3. Chop the potatoes into thick slices and then into quarters.
4. Take the pan off the heat and place the potatoes around the duck.
5. Baste the potatoes in the oil released from the duck.
6. Place a few sprigs of thyme into the pan.
7. Season the duck with salt and pepper.
8. Place the pan into the oven for approximately 1hr 30mins.

NB. The Nigella recipe says cook for two hours at 200 oC, however as I was using a fan assisted oven I dropped the temperature by 20 oC and found that the duck was ready after about 1hr 30mins.

For the salad:

1. Place the washed green salad into a bowl.
2. Add salt, vinegar and oil to taste and stir.

NB. Nigella used an Italian proverb to prepare the salad dressing, which I absolutely love and will be using for most salads from here on!

Italian Dressing Proverb

Four people are needed:

A wise person for the salt
A generous person for the olive oil
A stingy person for the red wine vinegar
A patient person to toss until every leaf is evenly coated (cc. 35 times)

Additionally a fifth person can be added:

A wealthy person to add a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Enjoy!! T :-)))