Category Archives: Fish

Warm new potato and mackerel salad recipe

I’ve featured mackerel a few times on this blog – only because I love it and because it’s such a nutritious source of food; packed with protein, vitamin D, selenium, niacin (vitamin B3) and vitamin B12.

This recipe provides good all-round combination of energy, texture and flavour. I love the warm and waxy new potatoes, the crunch of the gem lettuce, the slight acidity of the red onions and the saltiness of the smoked mackerel.

Bon Appetite!

Grilled mackerel, red onion and potato salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 200g new potatoes
  • 2 smoked mackerel fillets (about 200g weight; skinned and flaked)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 baby gem lettuce, chopped
  • a small handful of dill or chives, chopped

Directions

  • Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, mix the red onion with the lemon and add small a pinch of salt. This helps to tenderise the red onion.
  • Drain the potatoes, halve and set aside to cool down for a few minutes.
  • Add the smoked mackerel and gem lettuce to a serving bowl and toss gently together. Then add the new potatoes with the olive oil, red onion (including the lemon juice) and dill. 
  • Toss together to mix thoroughly.
  • Pile on two plates and serve warm.

Scrumptious summer salad recipes

I’ve included these recipes as a tribute to the bright and joyous colours of summer (UK not included). They’re rather eclectic but the flavours are definitely there. Hope you enjoy them.

Mackerel, mozarella and red pepper salad with mustard root mash aerial Soba noodle stir fry with broccoli, spring onions, tofu and leafy greens 2 Carrot, red cabbage and broad bean slaw Mackerel, mozarella and red pepper salad with mustard root mash 2

Smoked mackerel, mozzarella and red pepper salad with wholegrain mustard root mash

They say never to pair fish with cheese but I think this recipe works wonders. The strong flavour of the mackerel is well matched with the creaminess and texture of the mozzarella. Finally, the oiled peppers and mustard mash give it some additional punch alongside the crunchy gem lettuce.

Mackerel, mozarella and red pepper salad with mustard root mash 2

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 100g smoke mackerel, cooked
  • 100g reduced fat mozzarella cheese, torn into small chunks
  • 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, in oil/char grilled (pre-packaged)
  • 1 baby gem lettuce
  • A handful of lambs lettuce

For the root vegetable – mustard mash

  • 500g mixed root vegetables: I used 1 small swede, 1 small celeriac and 2 carrots
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Directions

  • For the root vegetable mash, put the vegetables in a large pan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes until tender. Drain well, then mash adding the butter and mustard.
  • Mix together until the butter has melted.
  • Add some salt and pepper then serve.
  • For the salad, arrange the mackerel, mozzarella, salad leaves and mixed peppers in a bowl and pour over the oil from the mixed peppers.
  • Mix together thoroughly before serving alongside the mash

Soba noodle stir fry with broccoli, spring onions, tofu and leafy greens

This vegetarian recipe has great East Asian flavours and is seriously flavourful. The soba noodles offer a decent alternative to wheat pasta, if you are gluten-intolerant, and the dish itself offers a healthy balance of protein, carbs and very little fat.

Soba noodle stir fry with broccoli, spring onions, tofu and leafy greens 2

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g soba noodles
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • A small cube of fresh ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 150g firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into small cubes
  • 4 Spring onions, sliced lengthways
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • (optional) a handful of leafy greens
  • (optional) 2 tbsp almond nut butter
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  • In a large pot of boiling water, cook the soba noodles according to package instructions. Add the broccoli florets for the final 5 minutes of cooking. Cook until tender.
  • Drain the water then toss the noodles and broccoli with 2 tbsp of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  • Next, in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and honey; set aside.
  • Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown, stirring constantly, for about 3-4 minutes. Set the tofu aside in a small dish.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil over a medium heat, adding the garlic, ginger and spring onions. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute.
  • Add the soy sauce and honey to the pan and toss in the soba noodles, broccoli florets and tofu.
  • (optional) Finally, stir the almond-nut butter into the pan until well mixed.
  • Season to taste and then serve alongside the (optional) leafy greens.

Carrot, red cabbage and broad bean slaw

This is a colourful and crunchy recipe which can be eaten as a main or side dish.

Carrot, red cabbage and broad bean slaw

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 small red cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded finely
  • 6 carrots, cut into thin strips (a decent food processor should have an attachment blade for this)

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil,
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice,
  • Salt and pepper,
  • 150g broad beans,
  • (optional) a handful of coriander,
  • (optional) a sprinkle of sesame seeds, or some other variety of Omega 3/Omega 6 rich seeds (linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)

Directions

  • Mix the sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make a dressing and then set aside.
  • Boil a large saucepan of water, add the cabbage and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the broad beans and simmer for 1 minute more. Drain the vegetables, leave to cool, then toss with the grated carrot, dressing and (optional) coriander leaves and sesame seeds.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes

A pile of sweet potatoes

“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow” – A. A Milne

Roasting a whole sweet potato in the oven for an hour – is there anything more gratifying than the end result? Perhaps not.

Peeling away the outer skin of this wonderfully versatile tuber reveals a vibrant, clay orange colour, with a satisfying, earthy and rather sweet flavour entirely different from the more conventional white spud. The taste is unusual; not quite carrot, pumpkin or squash, but more like a combination of them all.

The applications of sweet potatoes are not just limited to roasting, however: you can mash them together with butter, eggs and flour to make sweet potato cakes; or mix them into a spicy Indian curry. They’re also part of one of the latest snacking trends: gourmet crisps; vegetables thinly sliced through a mandolin and deep fried until crisp.

My favourite of all, though, is mashed sweet potato with plenty of butter, salt and pepper used as a topping for shepherd’s pie. The strong flavour just seems to complement the minced lamb incredibly well.

Another great way to enjoy them is alongside fish. Hence the recipe for this section – which is a slight twist on the traditional tuna/baked potato combination.

Baked sweet potato with tuna

Tunaandsweetpotatowithgreensalad_thumb.jpg

A twist on an old Classic

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 can of tuna in spring water (sustainably sourced where possible)
  • 2-3 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp real mayonnaise
  • Green salad leaves (optional)

Directions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas 6
  • Place the sweet potato on a oven proof tray and bake on for 45-50 minutes, or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, flake the drained tuna with a fork and mix together with the mayonnaise and spring onion.
  • Split the cooked sweet potato in half and place each one, cut-side up, on a serving plate.
  • Divide the tuna mixture between the sweet potatoes halves.

Homemade tuna fishcakes

Tuna fishcakes

Flavoursome, time saving, convenient and, dare I say it, frugal. Tuna is all of these things and more.

As well as the aforementioned reasons, tuna is also extremely nutritious: a single can of tinned tuna packs has about 22g of lean protein and barely any fat. As a member of the mackerel family they also contain a high proportion of healthy fish oil (Omega-3).

For me, tinned tuna it’s an essential store cupboard ingredient. My ideal dish?

There are several:

…Homemade tuna sandwiches with a good dollop of real mayonnaise, horseradish sauce, crunchy gem lettuce and a few capers;

…Tuna pasta bake; with a good tomato base, olives, capers, garlic and linguine.

….and the ultimate decadence: the ‘tuna melt’; a toasted tuna sandwich with tuna and cheese as a filling (with the cheese nearly, but not quite, melted).

By contrast, tuna steaks (or fresh tuna) are somewhat pricier than the tinned variety and come with a denser, meatier flavour not unlike chicken or pork. The distinctly “fishy” smell which you find in tinned tuna is completely missing too. If your supermarket or fishmonger have tuna steaks in stock, and they are sustainably sourced, I’d encourage you to bag a couple and sear them on a hot griddle pan. They are excellent served alongside boiled new potatoes and a lemony butter sauce.

For the recipes below I’ve offered up two altogether adventurous uses of tinned tuna. For a great tuna salad see my earlier post for Salade Nicoise recipe.

Recipe 1: How to make… homemade tuna fishcakes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 200g oats
  • 200g canned tuna chunks or flakes in Brine (drained)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Directions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200C
  • Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl

Tuna fish cakes ingredients bowl

  • Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon

Tuna fish cakes ingredients mixed

  • Place on a baking sheet (below)
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes

Tuna fishcakes on baking sheet

  • Remove from the oven and serve

Tuna fishcakes

Recipe 2: Tuna “pastry slice” with green beans

I’ve scoured the internet and cannot find anything remotely similar to this dish. I admit the plate looks a bit sparse but the don’t be dissuaded; the tuna mayonnaise and the buttery pastry are a fantastic pairing.

Enjoy!

Tuna pastry bake with green beans

Ingredients

  • 2 x tablespoons of shop-bought Real mayonnaise or homemade mayonnaise
  • 200g canned tuna chunks or flakes in Brine (drained)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 125g puff pastry, rolled to 0.5 cm think and cut into a 8cm/15cm rectangle
  • 100g green beans
  • 1 egg yolk (for egg wash)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C for at least 15 minutes
  • Place the pastry on a baking sheet, brush with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes or until well risen.
  • Place the green beans into a pan of gently simmering water for around 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to make the tuna mayonnaise, start by thoroughly draining the whole can of tuna, pushing the fully opened lid down hard into the can.
  • Empty the fully drained canned tuna into a bowl and, using the back of a fork, grind the tuna chunks down in to smaller flakes to make the tuna mashed and spreadable.
  • Add two tablespoons of mayonnaise into the tuna and mix the tuna and mayonnaise together thoroughly.
  • Add the chopped red onion and stir to combine.
  • Lift the cooked green beans out of the boiling water and serve on a plate.
  • Place the pastry alongside the green beans and top with the tuna mayonnaise.

The greatest anchovy recipes

Anchovies are a small oily fish best utilised as a salty additive to some dishes. Part of the herring family, their taste is of the intensely savoury ‘umami’ category, otherwise known as ‘the 5th taste’, a characteristic shared with marmite.

Anchovies marinated in oil

Anchovies marinated in oil

Speaking of which, anchovies also have the ‘Marmite efffect’; the propensity to split people into fiercely opposing love/hate camps.

I love them with a passion – for the very same reason I love marmite, chilli and wasabi: the sensation, the sheer unusualness of the taste, the fact that its neither one thing or the other. For me, if they’re eaten on their own or as a pizza topping they can be a bit overpowering but used in a sauce or cooked down to a ‘paste’ with garlic, chilli and olive oil and there’s noting better.

Anchovies have found their niche in many varied dishes across Europe; in Spain, they are known locally as Boquerones, where they pair well with tomato-based dishes with plump Spanish olives. In France and Italy, they are used to great effect in a Salade Nicoise (see below) recipe or in a puttanesca pasta sauce, respectively.

I’ve tried to be as eclectic as possible with the recipe choices below; one vegetable, one salad, one nibbles and one pizza.

Purple sprouting broccoli with chilli, garlic, toasted cashews and anchovy dressing

Purple sprouting brocolli recipe

This is a great recipe to have just on its own or as a side dish for roast lamb or another type of meat. You could also serve it as a starter or toss it with linguine.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 200g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 red chillis, roughly chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Half a lemon, juice only

Directions

  • Boil the broccoli for 4-5 minutes until cooked but still with a nice bite to it.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan on a low-medium heat and add the cashew nuts. Stir them in the pan for 4-5 minutes until beginning to colour. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the garlic cloves with the chilli and chopped anchovies. Turn up the heat and add a splash of water to help the anchovies break down into a  loose ‘sauce’ consistency.
  • Season, add the lemon juice and drizzle the sauce, with the toasted cashews, over the broccoli.
Salade Nicoise

Tuna and anchovy salade nicoise with prep

This French classic is one of my firm favourites. Colourful, packed with protein and one of the best dishes to order if you’re dining out. It also isn’t short of ingredients: tuna, anchovies, green beans, black olives, tomatoes, boiled new potatoes, crunchy walnuts and salad leaves, served along with a vinaigrette dressing.

Serves 1 – 2

Ingredients

  • For the salad:
  • 200g canned tuna
  • 4 new potatoes, cooked and quartered lengthways
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100g Green or runner beans, topped, cooked and drained
  • Handful of mixed salad leaves
  • Handful of walnuts
  • 1 boiled egg, halved
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • Handful of sliced black olives
  • A few sprigs of dill

For the vinaigrette dressing:

  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Black pepper

Directions

  • To make the dressing or marinade whisk together the white wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Lay the salad leaves onto a large plate and pile on the tomatoes, potato, tuna, walnuts and anchovies. Drizzle over the dressing
  • Finish by adding the egg, black olives and the dill.
Anchovy, rosemary and chilli popcorn

Anchovy and rosemary popcorn

“Popcorn for breakfast! Why not? It’s a grain. It’s like, like, grits, but with high self-esteem.”

– James Patterson, The Angel Experiement

This is an interesting take on salty popcorn. Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it. Rosemary has a wonderful pine scented aroma and goes well with the anchovies in many dishes. So next time you’re thinking of having a movie night make sure you prioritise this.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Steve Parle’s original.  You can make the popcorn from scratch by heating up the kernels or use readymade (unflavoured) popcorn.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sunflower or peanut oilAnchovy and rosemary popcorn how to make
  • 60g popping corn
  • 25g butter
  • 5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli powder

Directions

  • Pour the oil into a large, heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the corn and shake the pan gently so the kernels are in one layer and coated in oil. Cover with a lid and leave on the heat, shaking the pan gently every 30 seconds. When the first kernel pops, turn the heat down to low.
  • The popcorn is ready when the pops are about 2–3 seconds apart. Tip into a large bowl. Place a plate over the top to keep warm.
  • For the anchovy sauce, heat the butter in a pan with the until bubbling. Add the anchovy fillets (careful, it may spit)
  • Cook on a low heat, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes. Squash the anchovy fillets with the back of a spoon.
  • Stir in the rosemary and chilli powder and pour the sauce over the popped corn, cover the pan, and shake to combine everything.
  • Serve warm.
Anchovy and Egg pizza

Anchovy and Egg pizza

Both are slightly unusual toppings to see on a pizza. Its quite rich, nutritional and very tasty. Just don’t expect to find this one at your local kebab shop.

Serves 2 – 3

Ingredients

For the pizza base

  • 150g ‘00’ flour
  • 25g butter
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the toppings

  • 2 free range eggs, segmented
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • a handful of pitted green olives
  • a handful of spinach leaves, shredded
  • a handful of basil leaves, shredded
  • 2 tbsp passata or tomato puree
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Black pepper

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • For the pizza base, in a food processor mix together the flour and butter. Add the milk and mix into a dough.
  • Lightly flour a clean kitchen surface, and take the dough and flatten into a disc, approximately 1/2 cm thick.
  • Spoon the tomato passata or tomato puree onto the pizza base and ‘dress’ with the remaining toppings. Place in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve.