Mustard Milanese with Fennel & Rocket Salad

On 18th March 2016, This was Dinner

Well it was a toss up which was the best meal of the week – the koftas or these. I’m not going to choose as they were both very good indeed.

I got the idea of these from the Smitten Kitchen cook book. I must say, adding some mustard to the egg is a revelation!

I love some of the different words we use from English to American. Arugula (rocket) and Cilantro (Coriander) being my favourites, or is that favorites 😉 Oh and a special mention for zucchini although courgette is a good word too.

I digress.

Get set…

  • Butterfly some chicken breasts then cut in two
  • Finely slice a fennel bulb
  • Finely shop some garlic
  • Bash up some cornflakes and spread on a plate
  • Season some cornflour and spread on a plate
  • Get olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, wholegrain mustard, egg, rocket & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Whisk up the egg with some wholegrain mustard, add the garlic and pop on a plate.

Pat the chicken into the cornflour then dip in the egg mixture then coat with the cornflakes. Cover and chill for a bit.

Whisk up some Dijon and wholegrain mustard with a little white wine vinegar and some seasoning then slowly add olive oil to make a dressing, whisking constantly.

Heat some oil in a pan and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of your chicken, ensuring it is fully cooked through.

Toss the fennel and rocket in the dressing.

Dish it up…

Serve the chicken on the salad with a side of fries

TWD_Mustard_Chicken.jpg

There was far more than this picture would suggest, we picked at it all night!

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Scandi Trout

On 24th September 2015, This was Dinner

Apparently the Swedish have a saying – ‘Man tager vad man haver’ or ‘You take what you have’ which I think is a pretty good rule to live by (see source). Supermarkets have spoiled us for years with imports and the availability of what you want at any time of the year that I would imagine there are people that don’t even understand the concept of seasonal.

As I buy my fruit and veg from the market I am often told something isn’t available so I adapt my recipes accordingly but of course even at the market I can still by some things out of season.

One of the main things I remember when I was young was having Sunday lunch placed in front of me with boiled new potatoes. Urgh, how I hated them. My young mind couldn’t get around the idea that you couldn’t mash these things so one day my Mum (or was it my Nan) did indeed mash them just to prove a point.

So there’s a lot of waffle just because I looked up ‘what are the staples of Scandinavian cooking’. Fish obviously and for me dill and sour cream, is that right? I still don’t know.

I do know that this was very good and better than the trout I made a couple of weeks ago. It’s not quite warm enough to sit in the garden and eat a dinner like this with a glass of chilled white wine but that’s how I would have liked it.

Preparing:

  • Preheat the oven to 180Âșc (fan)
  • Halve some baby new potatoes (yes I like them now!)
  • Thinly slice a red onion
  • Thinly slice a fennel bulb
  • Zest & juice a lemon
  • Finely chop some dill leaves
  • Finely chop some parsley
  • Get trout fillets, wholegrain mustard, honey, sour cream, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.

Cover the onion and fennel with the lemon juice and set aside.

Mix half the lemon zest with the mustard and honey and add some olive oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment and pop the trout on. Brush the trout with the mustard mixture and bake in the oven. Probably about 10 minutes.

Mix the remaining zest with the sour cream and the herbs. Season well. Stir through the potatoes. You can add the fennel and onion at this stage but I served mine separately.

Great & low fat too!TWD_2409_Scandi_TroutOriginal recipe can be found here.

Baked Trout with Fennel Potatoes

On 4th September 2015, This was Dinner

This was supposed to be Trout en Papillote but as I had no ‘papillote’ I baked it in foil Trout en feuille, if you will. Not quite as pretty but still very tasty.

Preparing:

  • Halve some baby new potatoes
  • Slice a couple of lemons
  • Finely slice a fennel bulb
  • Preheat the oven to 190Âșc (fan)
  • Get some trout fillets, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Blanch the potatoes in boiling salted water. Drain then transfer to a baking dish and toss in oil and seasoning along with the fennel. Add half of the lemon slices to the tray.

Bake these in the oven for 40 minutes, adding the trout to the oven half way through.

Place the trout fillets on some foil, season then place a couple of slices of lemon on top and wrap the foil well around the fillets. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.

TWD_0409_Baked_Trout

Sausage & Courgette Pasta

On 27th August 2015, This was Dinner

I like a good sausage pasta. I’ve done them with basil and ricotta, with cabbage, as a carbonara and with beans of course. Let’s face it, you can throw anything together and not be disappointed, especially with good quality sausages. I chose this one whilst flicking through August’s Good Food mag.

Preparing:

  • Skin some sausages (I used Cumberland) & break into small chunks
  • Toast some pine nuts
  • Finely slice half a fennel bulb
  • Finely chop a couple of shallots
  • Zest & juice a lemon
  • Finely chop a large garlic clove
  • Slice a large courgette into ribbons
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Get pasta, mascarpone, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the sausage meat until starting to crisp, breaking it down as you go. Remove from the pan.

Add a little more oil if required then add the onion, garlic and fennel and cook gently until softened.

Cook the pasta. When it has a couple of minutes left, throw in the courgette ribbons.

Add the zest and juice of the lemon to the onion mixture along with some mascarpone and seasoning. Stir well, adding a little pasta water if required.

Drain the pasta and add to the mixture along with the sausage meat. Stir well.

Serve topped with the pine nuts and parmesan.

TWD_2708_PastaIf you’d like the original recipe, it’s here.

Smoked Haddock, Prawn & Fennel Pies

On 23rd August 2015, This was Dinner

I have a fish pie recipe which is a fairly decadent business and requires a fair bit of effort and a big chunk of change. I’ve not made it since starting the blog so have stuck it on the to-do list. This one is a totally different kettle of fish (puntastic!). It’s very tasty and a (fairly) quick and easy affair. I thought a whole fennel might be a little overpowering but it wasn’t.

Preparing:

  • Peel and cut up some potatoes
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely slice a fennel bulb
  • Finely chop a few garlic cloves
  • Skin a small piece of smoked haddock and cut into small pieces
  • Skin a small piece of haddock and cut into small pieces
  • Drain & rinse some capers
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Chop some parsley
  • Prepare some fish stock
  • Preheat the oven to 180Âșc (fan)
  • Get plain flour, crĂšme fraĂźche, raw prawns, milk, oil, butter & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat some oil and butter in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and cook until softened. Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring well.

Gradually add the stock to the pan, stirring as you go. Remove from the heat and stir in the crÚme fraßche. Season well and add the fish, prawns, capers & parsley.

Pop it all in the dish (or dishes) you are going to cook it in and set aside.

Cook the potatoes in salted water and bring to the boil, cooking until tender. Drain and let steam for a few minutes then return to the pan and add some butter and milk and mash, seasoning to taste.

Cover the mixture with the mash and sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes.

It was great that I had yummy leftovers for lunch at work on Monday but there were some sarcastic comments on the fishy smell. That’s great, normally I take a sandwich and have to suffer the horrendous smell of various people’s lunch merging together and offending my nostrils for the rest of the day as my office is very close to the kitchen!

TWD_2308_Fish_Pie2

TWD_2308_Fish_Pie

Just managed to catch this fella before he got to my pie!
Just managed to catch this fella before he got to my pie!

Here’s the original recipe on the Delicious magazine website.

Tuna & Fennel Pasta Bake

On 14th February 2015, This was Dinner

Well Happy Valentines Day! If I’m honest, I’m not a big Valentines Day celebrator, but we do normally make a three course meal and have a bottle of bubbly. Here’s the ‘P’ word again but one little puppy put the brakes on that. I’m too bloody tired for one. It’s our wedding anniversary in a month anyway so we’ll do the big meal then.

Anyway, I’m always happy when there’s a pasta bake in the oven.

Pre-preparing:

  • Hard boil a few eggs

Preparing:

  • Preheat the oven to 190Âșc (fan)
  • Finely slice a fennel bulb
  • Finely slice an onion
  • Roughly chop the eggs
  • Drain a tin of tuna
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Get pasta shells, oil, butter, plain flour, milk, parsley & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion and fennel. Cook until softened and set aside.

Cook the pasta shells until just tender. Drain and pop to one side.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour, cook for a couple of minutes stirring well. Remove from the heat and add the milk gradually, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil and stir until thickened. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes.

Mix the pasta, fennel mixture and white sauce together. Season well and add the tuna, eggs, parsley and most of the cheddar.

Pop into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes.

TWD_1402_Pasta_BakeThis was really good, It’s from Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook.

Roast Cauliflower, Garlic & Fennel Soup

On 26th January 2015, This was Dinner

I bookmarked this soup such a long time ago. It can be found on the Guardian website and is actually a creation of Jack Monroe, originally a blogger famed for her ‘austerity’ recipes,

You can’t go wrong with this one, it’s a really filling recipe and the flavours are perfect. I doubled up to freeze some for another day.

Preparing:

  • Cut a cauliflower into florets
  • Preheat the oven to 190Âșc (fan)
  • Cut some bread into pieces
  • Peel & dice a couple of pototoes
  • Bash a few garlic cloves
  • Peel & quarter an onion
  • Prepare some vegetable stock
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get fennel seeds, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

In a large roasting pan, pop the cauli, potato, onion and garlic cloves.

Drizzle well with oil then sprinkle on a small amount of fennel seeds. Don’t overdo it, you just want the flavour to be there as a hint.

Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Take out the garlic cloves and transfer everything to a blender, squeeze the garlic in as well, removing the papery skins.

Add the stock and blend well, seasoning to taste.

When ready to serve, heat some more oil in a pan and quickly fry up the bread pieces for quick croutons. Serve with a little parsley.

TWD_2601_Soup