Thursday, 29 November 2012

Salmon in a parcel

This is a speedy salmon recipe which can be baked in the oven on cooler days or cooked on a barbecue if it's summery weather.

Simple, as ever, needing just salmon (either a piece or fillets - up to you), some English mustard powder, demerara sugar, lemon juice and black pepper.

We lined a baking tray with a large piece of aluminium foil - overlapping the ends well (this needs to be used this to enclose the salmon before cooking.)

Next the salmon fillets were placed on the foil and some mustard powder was sprinkled on the fish (about half a teaspoon per fillet), we followed this with the sugar (about 1 teaspoon a fillet) and then added a good amount of lemon juice (we used half a lemon for 4 fillets).  Finally, the salmon was topped with a good grind of  freshly ground black pepper.

Then the foil was folded over the fish and scrunched up to make a sealed parcel. 
The parcel was placed in a pre-heated oven (180C) on baking tray for about 20 minutes.  If cooking on a barbecue, place the foil parcel directly on the grill once the coals are hot and cook for 15-20 minutes.

After cooking, we opened the foil parcel and served.  The mustard, sugar and lemon juice had made a lovely sauce to accompany the fish.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar

Once again, we are lucky to be one of Hotel Chocolat's Christmas bloggers.  Their website has a useful 'genre' dropdown menu which contains details of chocolate types and dietary needs that can be selected as necessary.  Here you can find out information relating to the products.

 Five weeks today it will be Christmas Eve...and this year we have been sent a Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar which retails for £12.  It has book-type folded design and opening the calendar reveals numbered windows behind which there are mini-chocolates to be opened each day during Advent.

Sous Chef J was adamant we were NOT to start the advent calendar yet as "it's not December" but did work out that he could access the chocolates behind the windows "for blog purposes" and here's a pic he took of what he found.

As you can see, there are lovely little chocolate figures waiting behind the foil - one for each day... Sous Chef J thinks they look 'bitesized' so I don't think I'll get a look in once December is with us!

Whilst we're blogging about Hotel Chocolat... in the summer we found out they have a factory shop in Huntingdon near where B works.  Naturally, we had to visit and here's Sous Chef J striding purposefully towards the store entrance.  Inside, we discovered a vast selection of short dated items and loads of special offers.  It's well worth a visit if you live in the area... and is open daily, in case you were wondering.

Disclaimer - Hotel Chocolat sent us the Advent Calendar for free.  We have not been paid for this blogpost and all the pictures and opinions are our own.  Thank you to @HotelChocolat and Beth.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Garlic Mushrooms

When the veg box arrived the other day with a paper bag of chestnut mushrooms, which Sous Chef J will not eat, a recipe was required to make use of them.  We chose another long standing family recipe as it's quick and easy with only five ingredients. 

Gathered with the mushrooms were a clove of garlic, an onion, a Tablespoon of oil and a Tablespoon of tomato puree.

The garlic was 'squashed and squished', then the onion was chopped fairly finely.  Next the oil was heated in a small pan before adding the garlic and onion, to sweat over a low heat for a few minutes. At this point, the tomato puree was added to the pan and left to cook through for about five minutes (again on a low heat). 

Whilst the garlic, onion and tomato puree was cooking, the mushrooms were cleaned, the stalks trimmed and they were quartered. 

Finally the mushrooms were added to the pan and left to cook, still on low, for a little over five minutes.  This allows the lovely mushroom juices to be released.

A quick mix round and the mushrooms are ready to serve... as a side dish with steak or on Gluten Free toast for a quick lunch.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Thrifty Tip

An 'issue' that's faced us a couple of times recently has been egg wash for scones.  Being of a thrifty Northern persuasion, I hate 'wasting' an egg on this task.  Sous Chef J commented that we rarely use a whole egg's worth for use with the amount of scones we bake.  So, our thinking on the matter began.  Last year, we'd learned that eggs can be frozen and, when we see some reduced in the supermarket we will buy them and freeze them, beaten, in one or two egg amounts (we just place the beaten egg in a labelled plastic bag and freeze).  These are great for using, once de-frosted, in recipes. 
Our lightbulb moment happened when we spotted our silicone mini muffin cases.  They're the perfect size for a small amount of egg.  What we did was beat an egg, divide it between the silicone cases, place the cases in a container and then froze them.  The next day, we removed the egg 'portions' from the cases, bagged and labelled them and returned them to the freezer for use next time we need a small amount of beaten egg for our scones.

 To use, remove frozen, beaten egg from freezer and allow to defrost at room temperature.  Use as normal.