Fish Casserole – Bouillabaisse

 

Made an amazing fish casserole (bouillabaisse) during this week’s council run French cooking evening class that was so simple and so tasty that I really wanted to share it with you.


Credit: The Edinburgh Cook Recipe file
Prep: A lidded casserole dish, for the hob, and a frying pan if heading down the skin fillet route.

Ingredients

The Base Sauce

  • 3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped/crushed
  • 1 Small red chilli seeds removed, and finely diced
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 200g Mirepoix (which is roughly a Medium sized carrot, peeled finely diced Small onion, peeled finely diced Stick of celery finely diced)
  • 75ml white wine (preferably dry)
  • 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes
  • Orange Peel (using a potatoe peeler take a slice of orange skin without taking the pith, bitter white)
  • Olive oil, a generous glug
  • 25g knob of butter
  • 1 bouquet garni sachet
  • 200ml fish stock or good quality veg stock

The Fish Part – which I suggest you tailor to your taste/guests

Fish you cook in the sauce

  • 2 white fish fillets (cod, hake or coley)
  • 175-200g raw prawns

Fish you cook in a frying pan and add to the dish on serving (optional…maybe add another fillet above if you don’t do this part)

  • 2 small Sea bream or sea bass fillets


Directions

  1. Do the veg prep first as per the ingredients
  2. Add the garlic and lightly stir through and then add the mirepoix and chilli. Stir through some of the parsley. Gently fry for 4-5 minutes, the idea here is to soften the veg without browning. Add the orange peel
  3. Pour the white wine and burn off the alcohol by reducing it by a third
  4. Add the chopped tomato and bouquet garni, simmering for 10 mins.
  5. Now the stock and reduce to a third. (I used one of those stock pot’s more like a jelly and then added some boiling water)
  6. Gently add the white fish fillet and then cover the pot for 5 minutes
  7. Add the prawns and cook briefly, couple of mins as they start to turn pink, take away from the heat
  8. Remove the bouquet garni and orange peel, taste and add a little salt/pepper if needed
  9. If you are going down the fried fish addition route, fry the fillets in butter, skin side down to get crispy first and then turn over to finish the flesh, this will be a couple of minutes depending on how long you cooked the skin side.
  10. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

Serve in bowl with some nice bread of your choosing


Tales from the Table #14

Coffee today is served with a huge slab of carrot cake and a dark roast, it’s more a memory from last week as I scan my photo’s.

This time last week we were packing up the van and leaving a week behind of full on fresh air and bike trails through ancient forests.  This week though tails of waking up in the dark and barely seeing the day as I returned to work.

I did comeback enthused and determined to beat the office blues, and a minor agenda around some weight loss……the bullet journal as my guide, a habit tracker in tow.  Despite the strong winds I managed three runs pre work in the dark.  Email defeated me big time!

Food wise my highlight has to be the fish casserole I made at my french cookery class.  Not authentic as there was no fish carcass in sight….two hours in an evening is just not long enough.  Despite that though very tasty and a keeper.

And although I’m not longer buying cookbooks (honest!) I found the Borough Market Cookbook, Recipes and stories from a year at the market at a steal from Amazon for £7, at present it’s at £8.99.  Written by Ed Kyber who has a great inspiration food blog Rocket and Squash.  As I’m no longer buying cook books I gave it to my wife for my Christmas stocking, so potentially I’ve started my Christmas shopping!

I’ve been dabbling, with my own self hosted site, trying to tweak here, nip and tuck there.  My greatest breakthrough getting the Instagram feed up within seconds.  My undoing to find that as I marked the old house private my pictures are no longer visible on the archive……I’ve downloaded the history (call it the van) and I now feel a bit of unpacking and re-org required for the new house.

Music wise my top tip new release is the soundtrack from Bohemian Rhapsody, I’m more of an Eighties Queen fan so not every song floats my boat….the 20th century fox fanfare really put a smile on my face, that and Trent’s weekly smile returning.

Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack)

So back to the coffee, a day of DIY awaits, and I’ve forgotten to soak the beans overnight that I had planned to slow cook during that time spent hammering and bashing, so I need to find something else.   I do have a sourdough slowly proving in the fridge.

Thanks for joining me, I hope you have a great weekend.

The weekend coffee share hosted by Eclectic Alli, nice to see you,  I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger and this is my new home with my own url as well!  Please subscribe at the top right.  

Ritual – it’s Monday

Muesli and a Coffee - The Ritual

Monday morning, first day back after a week of fresh air and zero email contact….(ok I peeped a couple of times, but didn’t respond!).  I’ve vowed that I need to come back and change some of my rituals/habits that I have got myself into.  Almost like bringing the new year resolutions forward a couple of months.

The changes start today, the alarm went off at 6am….and rather than the usual cup of a tea in bed to ease myself into the week I weighed myself.  Not a good idea post-holiday, it wasn’t pretty, however it gave the jolt that I needed to do something.  I got my running gear on and stepped out into the dark.  Preparing myself for a cold chill it wasn’t too bad, the sky was a picture.  Not a cloud in site and the stars out in full force…and a clear Orion’s belt out in full force…..amazing I wouldn’t have seen that if I’d stayed in bed.

I’ve said before and no doubt will say again, I hate running and I don’t seem to get faster….although I do seem to be able to run further without stopping.   What it does do though is give me a sharper more positive mind…it’s just hard to remember that when the alarm goes off!

The plan this week is to avoid being a slave to email.  Whilst away I set out my bullet journal, created a few habit trackers and arranged this week into a diary format that allows me to set out my stall rather than allowing myself to be dragged with the flow.  My start of workday ritual is usually to sit down with my cup of coffee and open outlook, greeted with the usual message of running out of space and slowly like a frog being boiled in water I’m back into the old habit…..not this week.  This week I’m going to open the journal with my cup of coffee…..I’ll let you know how I get on!

Aviemore Tips and the Coffeeshare

Speyside Way SignCoffee and cake has been a big theme of the week, I’m so glad you can join me!  I’ve also moved location…got myself a full on URL!

The Coffee Choices:
Nethy House at Nethy Bridge: Fruit Scone, a dark carrot cake (which I mistook for chocolate) or pancakes with bacon and maple syrup
The Druie Café an old school house in Rothiemurcus:  Serves up all manner of tray bakes, fruit scones, hot chocolate with marshmallows or a Blueberry and Lemon drizzle cake.

Let’s just say as a family we may have sampled all these, across a couple of repeat visits.

We managed lunch at one of Aviemore’s leading institutions, The Mountain Café one day and although probably our favourite place to eat, it’s service this time was terrible, a buzzer system that’s been introduced adds nothing to the fact that the staff don’t seem to care anymore that people are tired and hungry…A 40 minute wait turned into 1hr 10, to find that lots of tables were empty when we were finally buzzed. The Glenmore forest café  further down the road, twice as much foot fall turned round a baked potato, venison burger, panini and scampi in 10-15 mins with a hustle that was just amazing and much needed after the 40k cycle….the staff just seemed to care.

If you need something to take home for the sweet toothed folk in your life then I can really recommend the Kilted Fudge Company and whilst your passing the Cairngorm Brewery. within a couple minutes walking distance of each other.

We’ve been really lucky with the weather, managing to make use of the vast array of cycle paths and a Munro to bag.

Day 1
Aviemore to Boat of Garten, The Osprey Centre, Nethy Bridge (see coffee shop above). Part of the Speyside Way. Just brilliant and exhilarating from the get go.

Day 2
Sgòr Gaoith…the weather forecast intimated the perfect autumn hill day and I’d have been annoyed not to take it. Got the house up for an early start and first in the car park for a 9.30 start. Like the book says the perfect short (4hr!) ramble in the Scottish mountains.

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Great day walking for October #freshair #munro #hillwalking

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Day 3
A rest day, a mooch around town….the poor lunch experience albeit we were early by arriving at 11:40

Day 4
Aviemore Orbital, onto Rothiemurchus, Loch Eileen, Loch Morlich and back

Day 5 – my favourite, a jumble of a few routes
Day 1 and then some….Nethy Bridge, through the Abernethy Forest, around Tore Hill, onto the B970 and then over the Slugan Pass towards Loch Morlich and the Glenmore Forest Centre, back along the old logging route. An eagle, a heron and forests that time forgot.

Day 6 – the rain came
And still we went out, just a little fresh air we said, a slice of cake later and we did another lap of Rothiemurchus. We couldn’t help ourselves. The last day here, the air, the colours just food for the soul.

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Fuel before a big circuit. #coffee

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The summary…..a great self catering family holiday with plenty of exercise, cake and coffee! The power of cycling giving on trails that take away the worry, time to reflect and a sense of daily achievement for all. I think I’m ready for the tail end of the year!

Thanks for joining me at the weekend coffee share hosted by Eclectic Alli, nice to see you,  I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger and this is my new home with my own url as well!, if you’ve been for coffee before you may have to click on follow again…..I’m working on a few self hosting issues!

Cairngorm Gold the Coffee Share

Cairngorm Gold

Got to that time of the day where it’s a bit late for coffee, you’re welcome to one, although we have a Cairngorm Gold on offer from the local brewery. Stumbled across it yesterday as we walked to the grocery store for milk. We are away for the week a few hours north of Edinburgh and always like to taste something locally made.

The weather has been terrible in the UK the past few days so although the sky was grey when we woke, it was a welcome relief to see it wasn’t raining, a coffee and a pancake later, the bikes loaded off the van and pumped up we were good to hit the Speyside way.

Cycling the route from Aviemore to Boat of Garten is one of those dream cycle rides, the landscape, the air, the colours just make you feel alive. Both boys smiles on their faces as the first few minutes were down hill with twists and turns, bridges, tunnels and loops. We were out in the open in a matter of minutes helped by staying at one of the last houses in the village.

Cycle rides mark the passage of time, where previously we’d had to coax the boys along, they are now setting the pace and before we knew it we were at Boat of Garten looking to extend our route and perhaps find lunch. The next section, to Nethy Bridge very similar in terrain once your out of Boat of Garten. Head towards the RSPB Osprey centre but then keep to the Speyside way, red route.

Lunch at the Nethy House café, where the boys were rewarded with Cairngorm hotdogs kilted in bacon….I was nearly envious with my haggis, sausage and cranberry meatloaf salad plater.

The route back, the same way we came this time rewarded with the sun in our faces.

Back to the beer…..just what I needed as I type away, a product of Scotland, a golden coloured light bodied continental style ale.

Thanks for joining me at the weekend coffee share hosted by Eclectic Alli, nice to see you if this is the first time you’ve read through, I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger. And if you read the post before the last post iPad Troubles….the iPad was replaced, finally mr Apple agreed it was a hard ware issue.…I’m happy and what a difference.