Cod, Cauliflower & Chorizo Mornay

On 14th February 2016, This was Dinner

We were going to make a ‘special’ meal for Valentines Day but we were naughty yesterday and had a Chinese takeaway which meant the cod that I had defrosted needed using before the pork did. All’s well that ends well as this was a far better meal than the pork anyway.

We took Walter for a walk in the woods today. It was a lovely crisp morning and we donned our wellies and off we went. It is nice to walk him up at Cusworth Hall and the surrounding area but in the woods he can be off the lead a little longer. Although he got a bit cocky at times and had to be shouted back. He has some confidence that little bugger! He doesn’t get to meet as many new friends but he still met some.

I never thought to take him here but was reminded of the place when I read this Doncopolitan post.

Anyway, what is a Mornay I hear you ask? Well it is ‘a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated Gruyère cheese and egg yolk added’ (source: Wikipedia). There’s no egg in this one so does that make it cod, cauli and chorizo in cheese sauce? I’m not arguing with BBC Good Food where the original can be found.

Cooking cauliflower really takes me back to my distant not-so-long-ago childhood. It must have been the go to veg.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan)
  • Cut a small cauliflower into florets*
  • Roughly chop a chorizo**
  • Grate some gruyère
  • Chop a cod loin into bite sized pieces
  • Chop some parsley
  • Slice some spring onions
  • Boil the kettle
  • Get 25g butter, 500ml milk, 3 tbsp plain flour, breadcrumbs, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Pop the cauli in a pan and add the boiling water. Add salt and bring back to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes until al dente. Drain and leave to one side.

Heat a frying pan and cook the chorizo for a couple of minutes until starting to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon resisting the urge to eat it. Cover it to pretend it isn’t there.

Melt the butter in the pan with the chorizo oil then add the flour and stir to create a roux. Remove from the heat and pour the milk in gradually, whisking constantly to ensure there are no lumps.

Pop back on the (gently) heat and stir in the most of the gruyère. Season.

In individual dishes (if you can), divide up the cauli. Add the chorizo and the cod then add the spring onions.

Spoon over the cheese sauce. Mix the breadcrumbs and parsley together and sprinkle over the top. Add the remaining cheese.

Pop in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Dish it up…

It’s in an individual dish so no extra effort needed but I have a large bag of frozen green beans so I served it with thise. Let it cool a bit, it’s hot as hell!


* in the spirit of Miranda – florets is a nice words isn’t it?

** yes I said a FULL chorizo


Salmon & Broccoli Pasta Bake

On 11th August 2015, This was Dinner

I can never praise a pasta bake enough and this one was no exception. I had some spare cheese sauce left over that I’d frozen a while ago which worked perfectly to make this.


  • Cut some broccoli into florets
  • Slice some sun-dried tomatoes
  • Rinse some capers
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Cut some salmon into bite-sized pieces
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Get cheese sauce, mascarpone*, pasta, basil, anchovy fillets, oil & seasoning ready


Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, adding the broccoli for the last 5 minutes.

Add a little mascarpone to the cheese sauce along with the capers, sun-dried tomatoes and basil.

Drain the pasta and broccoli and add the remaining ingredients (not the cheddar) along with the cheese sauce.

Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake in the oven until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes).

TWD_1108_Salmon_BakeHere’s a plate full:

TWD_1108_Salmon_Bake2*optional, I used it to flesh out the sauce

Salmon, Pea & Caper Pasta

On 23rd June 2015, This was Dinner

I’m pretty much prepared each month for what we are having to eat. We decide on the list, then I write it up, trying to make sure it isn’t too repetitive. Then I stick the required ingredients into a spreadsheet and mark up whether it’s a) the online shop at the beginning of the month, b) fresh from the market or c) fresh from the supermarket. It can be quite a task, 28 meals cross referenced by week then sorted around the spreadsheet into various shopping lists.

That’s a long and boring story showing my true list-geek colours to tell you that I forgot to buy any cream cheese for this recipe so I had to improvise.


  • Grate some parmesan
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Drain & rinse some capers
  • Zest & juice a lemon
  • Get salmon fillets, pasta, frozen peas, milk, butter, plain flour, bay leaf, dill* & seasoning ready


Pop the salmon and bay leaf into milk and poach gently until cooked. Set to one side and strain the milk into a jug.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions in boiling,salted water. For the last couple of minutes, add the frozen peas.

Melt some butter in a small pan and add the flour. Cook for a minute, stirring in the flour.

Remove from the heat and slowly add the poaching liquid, stirring continuously until all the milk is added. Bring to the boil then add the dill and gently simmer to thicken. Add the cheeses to the sauce along with some seasoning and stir well. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Drain the pasta and peas and flake in the salmon, then stir in the lemon zest.

Pour in as much of the sauce as you require. Stir it all well and serve.


* Use fresh dill if you can get it, I couldn’t, so I used dried.

Haddock & Leek au Gratin with Sweetcorn Mash

A quick and easy fish pie. Extremely tasty and one of my favourites of the week.


•  Heat the oven to 180ºc (fan)

•  Peel & quarter some potatoes

•  Drain a can of sweetcorn

•  Thickly slice some leeks

•  Grate some cheddar

•  Cook some frozen spinach

•  Get your milk, butter, plain flour, English mustard, haddock & seasoning ready

To make:

Boil the potatoes until tender and mash. Blitz the majority of the corn until smooth then mix in with the mash.

Pop the leeks in the pan with some milk and butter, cover and cook gently until soft. Mix the milk, flour and mustard and add to the leeks. Remove from the heat and stir in two thirds of the cheese. Season well.

Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and layer in the bottom of your chosen dish(es). Pop your fish fillets on top, spoon over the leek sauce and top with the mash.

Scatter with the remaining corn and the cheese and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.


Here is the BBC Good Food recipe if you want it.

This was dinner…11th September 2014.