Linguini alla Vongole
Fabulous Fish Recipes
MM Fresh is a NZ supplier of 100% grass fed beef and lamb as well as seafood - email firstname.lastname@example.org to order. From time to time, she has these live little necked clams on sale which are perfect for a Linguini Alla Vongole. And this goes particularly well with a bottle of Pouligny Montrachet (which I had to open anyway as the recipe needed a glass but don't tell my husband.....shhhhh.....)
What you need:
1kg of live little necked clams
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Handful of parsley. Separate into stalks (finely cut) and leaves (roughly cut)
250ml of white wine - pick something nice so you can finish the bottle over lunch!
300g of dried linguini/spaghetti
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
The key to success in this dish is preparation and organisation. It's otherwise quick and easy. Make sure your surface is clear and tidy and do all your mise en place (putting little things in little bowls) well in advance.
Ensure your clams are well scrubbed and tightly closed. Tap any that aren't and if they don't close easily, discard.
Start boiling the pasta to al dente. 5 minutes before the pasta is due to be ready, heat up another large pan. Once hot, add a good slug of your best olive oil along with the garlic, parsley stalks and tomatoes. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the clams and the white wine. Put the lid on and keep on the heat for around 3 minutes by when the shells should have opened. Discard any that haven't by then.
Drain the linguini once al dente, add to the clams, stir, then add the parsley leaves and a good grind of black pepper. Serve immediately with hunks of crusty bread to dip in the juices.
Thai Green Mussels
There is a new superfood on the block. Forget blueberries and quinoa; they are sooooo last year. It is the the New Zealand green mussel that you should be cooking following recent studies that it can ease arthritic pain (joint pain and joint mobility) and well as improve gut health. Aside from the health aspect, they really are delicious and a very substantial meal, as far bigger and meatier than other varieties. Mango Menus were delighted to receive a kilo from the NZ supplier, Mie Mie Fresh, to review. Just perfect for a coconut Thai broth, nicely mopped up by lots of white crusty bread.
Wild New Zealand Blue Cod with a Parmesan & Parsley Crust
Wow, this is the best fish I have tasted in a while. Total melt in the mouth velvety flesh, so don't murder it. We did a basic crust with breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon zest, parmesan, parsley and rock salt. Delish. To order the blue cod, email email@example.com
Wild New Zealand Blue Cod with Herby Couscous Salad
Using the same blue cod, we made a quick lunch dish the next dish. Screw the crust this time. Just bake it with a knob of butter and serve on top of a couscous salad. To order the blue cod, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian Style Salmon with Fresh Water Chestnuts
I had a couple of girlfriends for lunch so marinated then baked 3 salmon fillets in tamari, sesame oil and herbs, and served them with brown basmati rice, steamed beans and blanched water chestnuts. Raymond Blanc once said that life is too short to stuff a mushroom, well let's apply that also to the water chestnut, but they taste so much better than the canned variety. I bought them fresh in the supermarket, but annoyingly have seen other ones sold fresh AND PEELED in the wet market. Don't peel them yourselves as it really buggers up your nails. Did you know that they are also a natural breath freshener too?! Perfect for less hygienic guests therefore...
Make your marinade by combining the oil, tamari and herbs. Pour over the salmon and refrigerate for a couple of hours if you have the time, but it's not essential. Cook straight away if you have to!
Cook your rice and keep it warm. We used Lundberg brown basmati which took 1 hour in a rice cooker.
Preheat the oven to 190c.
Take a large piece of foil, big enough for all the salmon fillets and place them skin down (if there is skin). Ensure you have enough foil to make a big, watertight parcel.
Pour the rest of the marinade into the foil and place the onion slices on top of the fish. Fold over corners and scrunch up bits of foil until it's fairly secure. Bake for 15 mins.
While the salmon cooks, put a small pan of water onto boil with a bamboo steamer above. Steam the beans for around 5 minutes al dente. Once boiling, place your peeled, sliced water chestnuts into the pan and blanch them for 1-2 minutes.
Place a salmon fillet on a plate and garnish with the chopped coriander. Place the basmati next door with chopped spring onions on top. Green beans next with slithers of water chestnut on top. Pour the marinade in the tin foil into a small jug and invite your guests to pour a littlre more on top of their salmon, rice & vegetables.
Serves 2 adults
Comfort food on another grey, rainy day in HK. This was my late mother in law's recipe so I made it with a lot of love as well as the following ingredients:
What you need:
2 medium onions
1 knob of butter
2 large potatoes
1.5 pints of chicken stock
1 pint of milk
380g canned/fresh sweetcorn
Bunch of parsley
200g cooked sweet prawns - buy sustainably fished Icelandic prawns online at Wild C.
100g Red Leicester or Cheddar cheese
50 ml double cream
Finely chop the 2 onions and soften them in a knob of butter in a large saucepan.
While they cook, peel and dice 2 large potatoes. Add to pan and just cover with enough chicken stock. I ended up using 1 pint of homemade chicken stock and 1/2 pint hot water with 1 chicken knorr stock cube. Boil until potatoes just are cooked - around 5-7 mins.
Add 380g of canned/fresh sweetcorn and 1 pint of whole milk and stir through on a low heat for a couple of minutes.
Prepare bowls for serving and at the bottom of each place a good pinch of cheddar/Red Leicester grated, fresh parsley chopped, a swig of double cream (optional - my husband insists whereas I am happy without, and slightly thinner as a result) and the prawns. No need to cook them again in the soup or they'll go rubbery. The hot chowder will warm them up once you pour it into the bowl.
Grind black pepper on top and done! A hearty, warming chowder and bread is not really necessary since you get your carbs from the potatoes.
This post was sponsored.
Thai Baked Cod in Banana Skins
This is a very quick and easy dish but looks impressive nonetheless. If you can't find banana skins, then baking/parchment paper will work but it loses its wow factor somewhat...
What you need:
Banana leaf - (sold in some wet markets e.g. Wan Chai, near the entrance on the right and Aberdeen). I bought these in the small Thai shop off Graham St market. One leaf is enough for 4 parcels, but buy more if (when) case you rip some.
50 ml coconut or olive oil
Cod or other meaty white fish such as monkfish (100-200g per person). We used the Atlantic cod from Wild C portioned in 100g units.
Tin of coconut milk
Thai spices - chilli, lemon grass, garlic, coriander, ginger, lime (often sold all together in a pack)
To serve with jasmine rice and steamed choi.
Take one large banana leaf and cut it into quarters. Hold it over a naked flame to soften it a little then brush one side (the inside) with a little coconut (or olive) oil. Place the fish on top of the leaf with a handful of mixed fresh Thai spices and a generous swig of coconut milk. Wrap up the parcel, like a sweetie, by tying up each end with a thread of banana leaf, or wrap it like a present and secure with a rosemary twig, partly plucked. Bake for 15 mins for a 100g portion and 20 mins for a 200g portion. Place on the plate, allowing your guests to unwrap the parcel like an act of ceremony. Serve with jasmine rice garnished with chopped spring onions and a quarter of lime to squeeze on the fish. Accompany with steamed greens.
Serves 4 people
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This is so quick and easy that by the time your rice is ready, I assure you that your curry will be also.
What you need:
Paste ingredients: 4 spring onions, 1 clove of garlic, 1 red chilli, 1 stick of lemongrass, 1 inch cube of ginger peeled, 1 teapoon of cumin (seeds or ground)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tin of coconut milk
2 cod portions (100-200g per person). We used the Atlantic cod from Wild C portioned in 100g units.
10 okra (ladies' fingers), fresh or frozen available in most supermarkets
1 plantain or banana
Small bunch of coriander
Rice to serve
Put your rice of choice onto cook. I used brown Thai rice in the picture above, which can take a little longer than white rice, so I didn't even start cooking the curry until the rice had been cooking for 10 minutes.
To make the paste, place the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chilli and cumin in the blender for around 10 seconds until it forms a paste.
Heat up the oil in medium to large saucepan and fry your paste for a couple of minutes, not letting it burn or brown. Add your tin of coconut milk and stir in 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. Once it is simmering, add your cod in large pieces (it will disintegrate, trust me) and okra. The fish and vegetables takes only 3-5 minutes to cook in the milk. Then add your plantain (although I couldn't locate any today so used a green flat banana and warm through for 1-2 minutes. Squeeze half a fresh lime over each serving and garnish with lots of chopped coriander. Serve with rice.
Serves 2 people
Cod, Okra & Plantain (or Banana) Coconut Curry
Kedgeree has long been comfort food to me. As a child, we would make it simply with rice, smoked haddock, eggs and peas, always with ketchup on the side. Having tasted it at The Ivy restaurant in London, I am now inclined to spice it up a bit. This one has a mild curry flavour that you can moderate according to your kids' preferences. Whether or not use you have recourse to tomato sauce, we will never know...
What you need:
4 cups of brown rice
200g smoked haddock
4 cups of whole milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 brown onion
1 clove of garlic
1 inch cube of ginger
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
4 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Put your brown rice onto cook, ensuring there is a 1 cup per person.
While the rice cooks, pour the milk into a deep frying pan and place your bay leaf and haddock in too, so that the fish is immersed in milk. Heat up the pan until simmering and let it bubble gently for around 4 minutes, turning the fish half way through. It should then be cooked so remove the fish from the pan and flake it off into bite size pieces from the skin. Discard the skin and place the fish to one side. Keep the milk in the pan that you cooked the fish in as you will need it later, but turn the heat off for now.
Put 4 eggs onto boil for 5-6 minutes so that they are hardboiled.
Finely chop your onion, mince your garlic and peel then grate your ginger.
In another frying pan, melt your butter, then fry your onion, garlic and ginger gently for around 5 minutes. Then add it to the milk in the previously used fish pan along with the turmeric, saffron, cumin, cayenne, salt and frozen peas. Heat up the milk again to cook the peas for a few minutes.
Peel your hardboiled eggs and chop or slice them.
Assuming your rice is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the flaked haddock and eggs. Stir through until all is combined and warm.
Taste then add more salt, pepper or cayenne and cumin to spice things up further. Just before serving, stir though the fresh parsley.
Despite the healthy brown rice, spice from the herbs and all the other goodness from it, I'll admit that it still goes pretty with a blob of ketchup....
Serves a family of 4.
Wild blue cod steamed Chinese style
Did you know that a whole fish is traditionally served at the family dinner table over Chinese New Year to symbolise surplus in the coming year? I also thoroughly recommend serving a whole fish to your children rather than fillets or fish fingers the whole time. It reminds, if not teaches them where their food is really from. I produced this dish at lunchtime today, and after first asking me if they could stroke it and if it would bite, we went onto a brief biology lesson of the fish's anatomy, with one child asking me "Mummy, do all fish swim in soy sauce?". Er yes, perhaps they do locally... This is a super easy recipe to make for which I used my steam oven, but you simulate this in a wok as per this image.
What you need:
1 whole fish, gutted & gilled weighing approximately 1kg. We used a whole wild blue cod from MM Fresh.
Half a lemon, sliced
2 inch cube of ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 spring onions, cut on the diagonal
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander leaves
10 stems pak choi
Brown rice to serve
Put your rice onto cook.
Cut a slit down the fish's belly and stuff it with lemon slices and grated ginger.
Lay out the pak choi in a baking dish and place the fish on top.
Pour the mirin and soy sauce on top of the fish.
Scatter with sliced garlic, more grated ginger, and half the spring onions.
Steam the fish & pak choi for 10-15 minutes.
Before serving, scatter with more spring onions and freshly chopped coriander.
Serve with brown rice.
1 kg fish serves 2 adults as a main course.
Green Oki Oki Mussels in Ginger & Lemongrass
What you need:
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 cube of ginger, peeled and grated
1 lemongrass stalk, skinned of outer layer then finely chopped, discarding the ends
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1kg green oki oki mussels. These are from MM Fresh.
250 ml dry white wine
Coriander to garnish (optional)
Bread to serve
Scrub your mussels and discard any already open.
Finely chop the shallot, lemongrass, ginger and chilli
Melt the butter in a pan, then add the shallot, lemongrass and chilli and soften the onion for a few minutes.
Add the wine and mussels then cook with the lid on for around 7 minutes, until the shells open. Shake them up a bit every now and then. Bear in mind these are large mussels so take longer to cook than most other varieties.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with hunks of crusty bread.
Curried Coconut Mussels
Mussels are so easy and versatile to cook with as you can add whatever flavours and spices you like. I have previously posted about Thai coconut mussels and also a lemongrass and ginger version. Here is curried version where I cooked the mussels in coconut milk with a bunch of Indian spices. We used large green oki oki mussels from MM Fresh.
What you need:
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 knob of ginger peeled
1 red chilli
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 stick of lemongrass, ends discarded and outer skin removed
1 kg oki oki green mussels
1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Salt to taste
Scrub your mussels and tap each one hard on the counter top. Discard any that open.
Place your coconut oil in the blender with the garlic, ginger, shallot, chilli and lemongrass. Blend to a paste.
Heat up the paste in a pan fry it gently for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk, cumin, cayenne, turmeric and fish sauce and bring to simmering point.
Add the mussels and cook with the lid on, stirring occassionally for 7-10 minutes. Since these green oki oki ones are larger than usual they make take some time to open. Discard any that have not opened after 10-12 minutes.
Salt to taste and serve.
Serves 2 adults as a starter
Quite honestly, I have been dipping my finger into this ALL DAY LONG! I made it for a piece of salmon at lunchtime, then added to it and tweaked it for a steak in the evening. The latter was possibly more successful as a flavour combination but unfortunately my appetite beat the camera... It is the business! Don't be put off by the anchovies as I know they are a dealbreaker for some. You cannot taste them but they add a salty depth that would otherwise be missing. Use the best olive oil you have. We love that from Olivetreehk.com plus that large tin sets off your kitchen rather nicely.
What you need:
4 anchovy fillets
1 tbls capers
4 small cornichons
1 tbls chopped fresh basil
1 tbls chopped fresh mint
1 tbls Dijon mustard
1 tbls balsamic vinegar
4 tbls olive oil
Blend until smooth or leave a little texture if you prefer. Spoon over warm steak or salmon fillets, with enough to flavour your rice, other carbs and veggies. Pictured above is NZ king ora salmon, the only farmed salmon to win recognition from Seafood Watch based on sustainability criteria. This is available from MM Fresh.
You can't beat those small Filipino mangoes which are currently on sale everywhere, so thought I would make a salsa from one today to accompany some fish. This is Ora King salmon from MM Fresh.
What you need:
2 firm small mangoes
2 medium sized tomatoes
1/4 red onion
1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
2 tsp coconut sugar
Salmon to serve
Boil the kettle then pour the water into a large bowl. Make a small cross in the bottom of each tomato and allow it to soak in the hot water for a few minutes until the skin peels off. Don't leave them in there too long or they will go mushy. Remove the skin then quarter it. Discard the seeds and dice.
Dice your mango and red onion approximately the same size as the tomato. That was my intention anyway. Finely chop the coriander, red chillis and onion then add them. Spoon in the vinegar, sugar, pinch of salt and combine.
Pour over a hot salmon steak and serve with brown rice.
One of the best things to come out of Scotland in my opinion (after my husband, naturally), is smoked haddock, so I was super excited to find it in Marks & Spencer here and be able to make one of my favourite dishes and the ultimate comfort food, kedgeree. Having previously failed on some attempts, including one occasion where I was little too liberal with the cayenne and produced a "haddock madras", this week's was a personal best so I thought I would share the recipe...