Monday, 24 June 2013

Grilled Haddock with Tomato and Rosemary Butter - Surprisingly Frugal

Recently I moved in with my boyfriend, and into another shared kitchen...which hasn't gone quite as swimmingly as one had hoped but its being a result most of my cooking stuff is still in storage boxes whilst we await both space and furniture to arrive and cooking has been limited...however nothing gets in the way of dinner and this fishy dish was not only surprisingly frugal but delicious too and nothing complicated needed other than a grill, a bowl and a fork. Oh and the shared microwave (slightly grim inside but nothing a good dose of anti-bac won't fix!)

Sainsbury's recently were doing a blogger promotion for a fish called River Cobbler, and sent me a voucher, unfortunately my local branch didn't stock it and instead used it to pick up some lovely MSC fresh Haddock Fillets, that were on offer and reduced to 99p for the two! I do like a bargain! I am hoping to still try the River Cobbler, I've heard mixed reviews but always like to go with my own judgement on these things... 

Keeping on the frugal theme the butter was just the basics unsalted stuff, the rosemary came from a neigbour's garden and the tomato puree was a recent discovery also by coincidence from Sainsbury's, and I use it in so many things is worth its fridge place! The lemon juice is from a bottle, far more economical if you don't often buy lemons or just need small amounts. And the potatoes were Jersey Royals, paid for by Dad when we were in Jersey. 

Serves two - Easy


2 large boneless Haddock or similar white fish fillets
Approx 3 tbsp butter
1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp cherry tomato puree
Twist of S&P


Soften the butter, either by being organised and leaving out of the fridge ahead of making or via a couple of short blasts in the microwave.

Beat in the lemon juice, puree, seasoning and rosemary, use a teaspoon or similar to smother the fillet.

Pre-heat the grill to medium heat, place the fillets skin side down on foil and gently grill for approximately 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and is just opaque inside. Gently remove using a fish slice or whatever does the job in the mess of the kitchen draw.

Serve with buttered new potatoes and steamed vegetables of your choice:

Simple, delicious, healthy and nearly free. What more can you want!

I am also entering my dish over at Cooking with herbs June challenge:

With thanks to Kate at Sainsbury's

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Crustless Pizza - Round Two and with Pretty Plates!

I know I have blogged Nigella's Crustless Pizza before but it really is delicious, frugal and so easy I make it regularly, and with some minor adaptions the last one was perfect!

Following the same base, I substituted the previous cherry tomatoes for a couple of diced up sundried tomatoes from a jar and they added such a lovely earthy, sweet tang to the mixture!

Serves two:

1 egg
100g plain flour
250ml milk
4 sundried tomatoes (in oil) finely chopped
Pinch salt
Butter for greasing
100g grated mature cheddar cheese 

Pre-heat your oven, 200/ gas 6/ fan 180

Lightly beat the egg with the flour, salt, slowly adding the milk to form a smooth batter and add 3/4 of the tomatoes and half of the cheese

Grease a large pie dish, pour in the batter, and bake for 30-35 minutes until just cooked through.

Top with the remaining cheese and tomatoes and return to the oven until the cheese has melted and is all lovely and golden brown. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the dish, it will make it easier to remove from the dish!

Slide onto your lovely new pizza plates and serve!

Good side dishes are something simple like rocket, dressed in a little of the oil left from the tomatoes and pine nuts. Or also on this occasion I pan fried courgettes, peppers, sundried tomatoes and seasoned with smoked paprika and served warm alongside. Delicious! (Apologies for awful picture - was taken under very bad lighting in previous flat!)

My new lovely 'Alessi Pummaroriella Piatti' Pizza Plates plates are from Red Candy, who have lots of lovely things to drool over on their website. They are just the right size for serving (or eating!) pizza on and 'feel' so nice to touch! They are made of fine porcelain but feel equally solid and I love them! The designs are both cute and funky and will make a great addition to your kitchen.

Many thanks to Ariane at Red Candy

Monday, 10 June 2013

Channel Island Eating

Hellooooo I am back, in my new home (remind me not to move and go away in the same week!) and at long last have wifi again. Oh And Sky telly! So I can sit here watching tv (I.e. the food channel) and from the comfort too of the new futon! Blogging just got a whole lot better!

I recently spent 10, mostly glorious days eating and walking my way around Guernsey, Sark and Jersey and whilst I don't have as many foodie pictures as some of the places it *just didn't feel right* to take pictures, you will have to drool over the scenery and ice creams!

There were among bar meals some very nice treats - one meal was at a place called Auberge, nestled up on picturesque hillsides over looking the sea. Fortunately Dad paid for this one!

I liked my starter of raw scallops with fennel and apple, though the dressing was a little tart and it was my first time eating raw scallops...they themselves were soft like butter and delicious!

My main was a perfectly cooked loin of Lamb, served on a bed of wilted little gem lettuce, crispy salty pancetta, crisp asparagus and peas. We also shared side dishes of tender broccoli with sesame seeds on and perfectly cooked mange tout.

However the pudding was the ultimate in desserts and was simply titled 'Coffee' this beauty consisted of a little cup containing a layer of coffee infused pannacotta, topped with espresso jelly that was like wow and finished with a lighter than air tiramisu foam, served with warm amaretti biscuits!

My favourite meal however of the trip came as a surprise. Outside, the place didn't look much more than a cafe, we were wandering off the main seafront as the bars were heaving and the noise overwhelming after the quiet of Guernsey, and stumbled across Bracewell's. The menu was a mixture from Japanese vegetable tempura to Beef Carpaccio, a strange menu to read but surprisingly inviting. Inside it still didn't feel much more than a cafe but the food was simply perfect, not much cheaper than our meal at Auberge but I preferred it, it was relaxed, friendly waiting staff and perfect food after an afternoons travelling!

We started with fresh little balls of foccacia, then I had for the first time ever a Pear Carpaccio - perfect slivers of ripe pear, topped with walnuts, heavenly cream cheese. I think there might have been something else but it was literally perfect. Light, tasty and just right! Definitely something I want to make at home! We then shared another first - Horseradish icecream with rocket and parmesan shavings. Delicious, confusing, hot but cold. Bizarre but the right kind of bizzare! Pudding was a lemony concoction of meringue and cream, but was the chewy kind which doesn't float my boat... but overall was a great meal and was a shame I get paid so little and couldn't really justify a repeat visit!

In our first hotel on Guernsey, we ate in the hotel restaurant several evenings but the highlight was their seafood buffet evening - beautiful poached salmon, smoked salmon, giant prawns, little prawns, you name it! Oh and it included a huge choice of cold cut meats, slices of mozzarella and this was only the starter...

Just one of the many ice cream's eaten..

My big ass Texan burger stuffed with onion rings and cheese mmm (and Dad's huge pie in the background!)

More ice-cream? Go on then - this was half a pint of scoops of strawberry, vanilla and choc chip, topped with hot chocolate sauce!

Towards the end of the holiday, the cost of eating out every night was quickly adding up, and one night we opted for good old Fish and chips, with added calamari and a pot of their yummy home made garlic mayo, eaten whilst watching the sun set over Gorey seafront:

Whilst being closely watched for any dropped chips by the seagulls!

Another super cheap dinner was a beach picnic in Jersey watching the sunset at Le Pulente – we had popped into a local shop and picked up some yellow sticker bargain items including a tub carrot houmous @ 38p, large sausage roll for 20p, a packet of Le Roule cheese for 51p! Added in some rolls, crisps and a few bottles of J20 and it was apart from being a bit chilly, quite perfect!

Whilst on Jersey, we also had a lovely beach picnic overlooking Elizabeth castle, how better than to do a picnic in style with a mini bottle of Prosecco!

A little more ice-cream..though this was my dads!

 Our last evening in Jersey, paddling through the waves!

There were a couple of not so good meals.. I got served hot steak pie pie with ice cold mashed potato..which the restaurant then zapped in the microwave = inedible on every level not to mention burning my mouth! We received free drinks but was such a disappointment to the evening! O and waiting 45 minutes in a cafe for a prawn sandwich... but overall we ate very, very well and I can't wait to return!

As well as eating, and a little drinking..I did the whole tourist thing, visiting an awesome wildlife park, exploring castles and crossing scary causeways on Sark but one thing you cannot fail to notice is the constant reminders of the 2nd World War, when both Guernsey and Jersey were under German occupation. It was sobering to visit the memorials and reminded me how lucky we are to have our freedom to live our lives now. May we never forget.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Back soon!

I am sadly approaching the end of my holidays in the beautiful channel islands :(

But I suppose I have to return to the real world sometime...

Food and drink has been a plenty - will be salad and porridge when I return!

We have gone from Michelin dining, feasting upon raw diver caught fish and chips watching the sunset! And both were equally delicious!

This is how beach picnics can be glamorous - a bottle of chilled prosecco in the sun!

Back soon! 

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