The Weekend Coffee Share – or Vin Chaud if you prefer

If we were having coffee it would be small and European (annoyingly so), or you could have a Vin Chaud to warm you to your toes.  It’s been a cold morning traversing the slopes, and a little warmth is required although for some crazy reason we are sat outside drinking it!  The power of the sun is a welcome sight forthose of us emerging from a Scottish winter, pouring over the majestic Frenchand Swiss alps.  The little mountainrestaurant has found the perfect spot away from the wind chill and I take adeep breath, it’s a Monday and it’s not a workday!

The last two days the resort has been on lock down due to wind and snow, so it’s with great relief that we are now able to enjoy ourselves, move away from the lower crowded tree lined slopes and up to the peaks with the fantastic views.

We are staying just off the French village of Avoriaz, part of the Porte de Soleil, a vast network of interconnected ski resorts and we’ve been in and out of Switzerland already today.  Early birds catching the first of the fresh snow and the best day to do the Swiss Wall without concern of breaking something!  At certain points it has a 90% incline, so it’s steep and daunting in equal measure.

The Swiss Wall

The boys are happy with a hot chocolate and frothy cream topping.  Another year older, and stronger we are covering more distance and the reluctance to go over the edge typically rests with me now.  Although I’ve brought them to the wall with no knowledge of my plan, we go over and down like it’s the most natural thing to do in the world.  Out the four of us it was me that was last down….age and the feelings of being the weaker skier start to creep in.  Feels like only yesterday I had these boys between my legs when anything got too tricky, now it’s them who support me with yelps and the odd grunt from the eldest.

I’m writing this at Geneva airport a moment of pause after luggage drop off and boarding, an early start of 4am to get from the mountains to the airport….I’m sat having a coffee in an effort to bring some element of stability to my system and dreaming of being back at the start of the week again.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share, Snowdrops

Sunday Afternoon, and I’ve managed to get away with my cup of coffee and an old School CD.  I don’t buy many now, and this one a Christmas present from my Mum….an easy gift for her…..but mental torture for me as I pleasure delay by not steaming the material pre-gift giving.   I still don’t think you can beat listening to new music from your favourite artist for the first time on a physical medium.

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January and they appear #snowdrops

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I’ve been searching and these have got to be the bravest flowers as the pop their heads out not knowing what weather they are going to face, I have no idea if it’s the earth’s axis, the moon or a change in temperature that drives them to appear in January.  My favourite flower that I think stems back to my childhood, possibly something I had to illustrate at primary school.

They appear in clumps, and easy to split down, spread out and over the years the clumps grow and spread further.  The farm that I used to visit as a child had a blanket of them at the entrance. A sight to been seen as you entered the gates.

The weekend has been filled with a few chores, carpet measuring and ordering…surely a sign of this home build coming to an end.   The sockets that were fitted a couple of years finally getting the much need plaster repaired round the edges ready for  final coat of paint

Kitchen wise and tales from the table…. A mixed bag of activity

Bread

Started Fridaymorning kicked off a leaven so that when I came home would be in good fettle tokick off a sour dough for an overnight rise. Eventually got it in the oven Saturday afternoon…..  Really struggling with the whole shapingthing.  The one thing that has saved meis the dutch oven approach.   If anyoneis thinking of attempting sour dough then this technique is a no brainer.

Saturday Tea

Got the smoked Haddock out the freezer from pre-Christmas and intended to put it too good use in a Risotto, to be presented with the job of dealing with the veg box left over potatoes and kale…..Dauphinoise sprung to mind with the Haddock being given a short sharp pan fry.  One of my sons not happy with the potatoes, he has some kind of aversion to creamy things unless Mac and Cheese or…..it’s chocolate.

For after’s followedwith individual prune sponge puddings….the boy managed the cream as a caramelcustard amazingly!   The only issue withindividual pots….there’s no 2nd’s.   Probablya good thing given the unofficial diet that I’m trying to be on……I kid myself.

Soup

Whilst all that’sgoing on I throw together a soup for tomorrows Sunday lunch, we’ll have it withthe bread.   A mildly spiced SweetPotatoe and lentil concoction

Sunday Tea

Sunday tea going for a Moroccan style butterflied leg of lamb, it’s been marinating in what I always seem to remember as called the ra’s al ghul spice (too many hours watching Batman) when really it’s the ras el hanout, a mixture of the shops best spices on offer.   Taken this recipe from the Borough Market book I got for Christmas.   First trip out.  As ever happened to pick something that wasn’t your usual fair.  A butterflied leg of lamb and a small one at 800g.…..Butcher was a bit thrown….and I didn’t realise why.  It was the small size not the cut.  Helped me out by taking few steaks to put back in the window….fully committed it wasn’t cheap at half the price and although the butcher said it should serve 4 at that size….my thinking it will serve 4 over 2 meals.   We’ll see!

Having now done my research the butterfly method is popular with BBQ’s, A way of folding the meat out and getting an equal cook across the joint.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my wordpress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share, welcome to 2019

Come on by and grab that coffee, welcome to 2019 from the EdinburghCook!

It’s been a funny week from a schedule point of view, both work and holiday intermingled.  The boys still off on holiday from school.  One revising for his first batch of what we’d call real exams

I’ve been in and out the office, which has been quiet with an element of thinking time.  I’d craved it so much that when I got it I was almost paralysed with too much choice, like a rabbit in head lights.  It didn’t last long and service was promptly returned to normal yesterday as folk started returning.  The nuance of the day changes, people need things, decisions need to be made and the time for thinking is reduced…even by the simple hello’s along the corridors or the stairs.

Cooking wise there has been a one pot with chicken and oranges (good seasonal produce) and a disaster spelt loaf that turned into an amazing Focaccia.  This evening we have our last Christmas invite…albeit overdue, catching up with friends who are cooking for us….which is a real treat and leaves me at a loose end cooking thoughts for a Saturday.

Means a trip into town guilt free without the rush of having to get back in time to start preps, it’s really nice to be cooked for at a personal level and not to be taken for granted.

The weekend otherwise is looking cold and damp, the decorations are down and we are very much starting to think about the warmer times ahead.  And this reminds me I want to look up a list of Munro’s (Scottish Mountains over 300ft)in Excel format.  I’m going to tackle or more correctly bag 50 before I’m 50 as a challenge.  I’ve revisited an older post on new years resolutions and what it means blogging wise….advice for myself more than anything else.

The bulbs are starting to come through and I’m looking forward to seeing Snowdrops, the temperature doesn’t know what it’s doing so maybe by the next time you come round for coffee….I’ll be able to report back sightings.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my wordpress account or instagram feed.

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

2019 the Resolution post

At this time of year I like many others are trying to start a new habit, put right the things I didn’t get right and change the way we approach the world.

My most popular post by a good distance has to be the one I wrote about New Years resolutions some advice for food bloggers way way back in 2015! I thought I’d revisit and steal, re-purpose that content and jump in on the resolution band wagon. Mainly remind myself what it’s all about.

Your Only Human – Take Time

Forgive yourself for what you didn’t achieve last year and give yourself a pat on the back for the things you did. Also recognise or acknowledge that you most likely helped others to achieve through out the year.

I’m reminded that at the tail end of November my 8 year old son got a bronze in a local swimming gala. He’d won his heat, but got missed off the final race due to a mess up…so raced against himself, with everyone watching….. They’d retained the actual commonwealth podiums from the 2014 games and he stood there proud as punch. This was not only his achievement, his teachers but also his mums for taking the time to get him to class after school in amongst the errands. The smile on his face, this was one of life’s precious moments for me…..and it’s important to take these moments when you can.

Sharpen Your Saw

To do that relax and take time out. Remember to live and enjoy the things around you. Go to an art gallery, visit the cinema or simply take a walk. Even maybe taken a different route to work. The lost art of free time time struck a cord with me in that it’s important to plan free time.

Crisp walk into work today, allowed me to catch the sunrise, a bright orange opening up the day

Join in

Join a community and get involved. I was given a huge boost mentally by taking part in the blogging101 course ran by the daily post. The free course was great for creating momentum, a schedule around activity, genuine feedback and some good old fashioned advice. Looks like the format has slightly changed, the courses look available all the time and some great articles that I think I’ll go back and take a look at.

I take part in the weekend coffee share (hosted by EclecticAli), helps start my frame of mind in terms of just writing, a nice community of bloggers with a good mix of content from all manner of folk across the globe. Helped me create a good heart beat to posting.

Avoid Rabbit Holes

This is the process of following link after link. I find following rabbit trails too easy, going from site to site. I find lots of good stuff, and usually end up adding to my list of things I want to do and read. A bit like finding new recipes when I already have some to try! It’s easy to procrastinate and follow too many links. Set yourself a time limit and realise when your doing this.

Ohhh help me to follow my own advice!

Daydream

Not the same as procrastination…..this is about visualising your goal. Think about what it is you want to achieve and picture yourself succeeding. The telegraph wrote an article related to Sports Visualisation and explores this further.

Getting Things Done

Discipline is key here and what you do gets done!

Find yourself a process and stick to it. David Allen has defined the GTD process. If you haven’t heard of GTD then for me this guy is the most widely known author of Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity.

There are a few GTD videos on YouTube. This one is a TED talk as well…..be careful you might go down a few rabbit holes with this!

I’ve still not got to grips with GTD….what I have found that works is bullet journaling

Got a Tablet?

There are a myriad of apps out there that promise the world in terms of being organised and the new you. This is another one of those rabbit holes and the irony of procrastination comes to mind as I try to find another life saver app. My recommendations are to-do (Microsoft took over Wunderlist), Trello and OneNote. I’m still battling with to-do/Trello but OneNote seems to be the one constant in my life. Across all operating systems, I plan holidays with my wife through to simple lists such as my list of Jack Reacher Novels that I’ve read, still to read, got and not got. Its a god send when you’re at the school fair and can whip up the list on your phone!

There are quite a few productivity tools out there, my key advice is to choose and give it a good shot, stick with it and your process……saying that if it isn’t working at the same time don’t be afraid to swap and try something new (just to sit on the fence). The key thing is that it’s you who gets things done……not the app! The app is purely a mechanism to organise and group your thoughts along with your process. Discipline is key here! Same with the bullet journal. I think that the old fashioned list writing can’t be beaten.

Get Organised

Easier said than done, juggling is hard work. We all find time for the things that must be done. Treat your being organised as a priority. Book a regular slot and stick to it in your diary where you choose and stick to just organising yourself. That diary you’ve just bought isn’t going to organise itself. Make it work for you and put the things that are important to you into the regular slots. Can’t find a diary that works for you…..create or tweak your own. I use CalendarPedia a great free calendar resource. I take the excel version and tweak to suite my style of working. I download the school term calendars and fill those into the spreadsheet as well.

Bullet Journalling also allows you to bring your own creative streak to organising and I think that’s why I’ve taken to it. I’ve just created a 6 week block in my journal. 42 Days between now and term ends….a really short spell of time. I’m going to focus my head around what I want to achieve in those 42 days and stick to it.

The Blog

Sort it out! Only you can do this.

There is a great list of resources at the Blogging University. You could build a plan to achieving this list….they all take time so be realistic. I’ve definitely not mastered this! I find myself less proficient throughout the summer as I take to the outdoors at the weekend. The key message to myself in this space is to take a few moments to plan out the schedule…….take notice of the getting organised section and stick to it.

2019

Have a great new year! Remember for all the organising and planning that you do there will be curve balls, these can be both good and bad. It’s how you choose to deal with them that’s important. One thing is pretty certain, there are 24 hours in the day….and in the main you do choose how to spend them!

2019 New Year – New Day

For some in Scotland today is the big party day, with neighbours operating an open door policy…..the door staying open until the wee early hours of the next day.  We kicked the new year of early yesterday with a late afternoon meal out for 2 before the stramash of madness kicked in that is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Walking against the flow of the inward bound city revellers, we could taste the excitement in the air.  Back home the dark had crept in whilst we emptied our messages, the boys still not home from the cinema….we cracked a bottle of fizz and got ourselves  setup in the kitchen.  The hourly count down started at 6pm lighting the skies with a flurry of colour.   We are lucky that in if you turn your head 88 degrees and stand on your tippy toes we are able to see some of the castle way way in the distance.

A smoked, haddock risotto was the plan followed by a crumble….it ended up being a sea wolf risotto.  Having had a doh moment when Iunwrapped the paper to find that I’d taken the wrong block out the freezer.  My excuse being that the paper had stained yellow!  The good news is that I now have some smoked haddock to look forward to in the freezer.

Our eldest sensing there were better things to be doing willed his phone to ring at our weakest point, we’d had dinner and a 2nd round of Cluedo was going to be too much forthe boy.  Despite the promise of MarioKart for 4 on the switch, he disappeared for a couple of hours whilst we washed up, channel surfed and entertained the youngest whilst he put me in my place time and time again despite switching cars, wheels, characters and race tracks.

The minutes tick byand the boy returns closer to 12 rather than the agreed 10, he’s kept in touchwhich is the main thing.   The fireworks last for 8 minutes and by 12:10 give or take a minute we hit the hay.

8am came around fastand there is a calm about the place, I don’t hear any street noise, coffee inbed and the sun rising above the chimney tops hitting the crags with a majestic force that says this day is mine.  There isn’t a cloud to be seen.

I’d started the post with a view to giving some advice mainly to myself around the plan of attackfor the year and ended up with a match report of the last 12 hours or so.    I am going to write that advice post…..but to start, remember the moments are passing by, enjoy today.  Work will be there first thing in the morning…..and it’s going to be a tough 6 months by all accounts.

Happy New Year Folks

Weekend Coffee Share – Last One of the Year

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my lower back pain which started just as I finished up from work for the Christmas break.   I’ve managed to use it as an excuse to not do any of the exercise I’d planed in order to keep the excess away from my body.  I think I overdid it in the lead up at the gym and cursing myself.

Christmas has been and gone in the blink of an eye and I’m starting to think about the New Year.  The resolutions are there looming and I’m pondering how did I get to here without accomplishing the things I’d wanted to and then I’m reminded of the things I have done this year….a family trip to Orlando and a life dream of visiting NASA (which has to be a highlight).  Importantly I’ve kept my job despite a number of turbulent moments.   The house that owns us is starting to feel and respond to our ebb and flow rather than the other way round.

The boys are growing so fast now and an independent 15 year old in the house is both opening up free time and challenging the family of 4 dynamic.   Exams are looming and the need to create study time a constant reality as he hit the books on boxing day.

My food aspirations are ever present and I did manage to tackle a few things from the supplements I’d collected over the last few weeks in the run up.   My highlight has to be the Donna Hay Chocolate Meringue and the Cranberry and Pear Compote from the Waitrose magazine.  Roast Shoulder of lamb (Cumin and Szechuan pepper lamb with steamed aubergine) from Ottolenghi in the Guardian provided us with a few meals, not sure the rub was worth the agro and perhaps just slow roasting au naturale would have wielded just a wonderful result.  The aubergines, steamed and dressed in the juice were pretty tasty though.  The masterclass yule tide log, although simple in it’s constitute parts…assembly under time pressure proved a challenge…..the boys didn’t seem to mind though.

I’ve set myself a challenge of tidying my desk today, filling those things that have built up over the year in order to be ready to hit the new year running.

I hope that you had a peaceful Christmas and wish you a great start to the new year.

I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger!  Please subscribe at the top right. 

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share – The One Before Christmas

Saturday, It’s 11am already, the morning has just run away with itself.   This is despite me waking at 6, the normal work day time.  I dosed till 7 and then was keen to get the day on the road.  The plan to hit my favourite fish and butchers shop before the chaos starts.

Nowhere nearorganised enough to think ahead and place an order this year, the dates forlast orders long since gone. We are also being cooked for on Christmas day sothe pressure was off.   Despite thatthough I’m whipped up into a frenzy of trying to fit in a years’ worth ofcooking over the space of a few days. I’m a rabbit in headlights though, so many days, so little time tothink, all my books staring at me….the food magazines pushing all these thingsthat oooze Christmas.  The ramp up hasnowhere been subtle and then there’s the TV chefs with their Christmas specialsfilmed way back in autumn….the leaves on the trees giving away theinauthenticity of the whole thing…..harmless though.

So breathe…..we drewup a plan last night a simple grid….days across the top and breakfast, lunch,dinner/tea by the side…..a simple plan to fill in as things firm up.

The butchers……they’dbeen open since 7.30 I arrived at 8, and a fine display of everything, full onstaff and a couple of runners for orders. I’d clocked a couple of recipes for slow cooked lamb shoulder recently,an Ottolenghi and a Nigel, not sure which off the top of my head.  Boxing day taken care of.  Some stewing venison….if anything can go inthe freezer for the week of January once stewed.  Chipolatas and streaky for the pigs inblankets….we are in charge of the nibbles for Christmas lunch…..they need to besubstantial….who knows when we will eat.

The fish monger……Ipassed them first but I don’t think they were ready for me, so 20 mins later ahealthy turnaround of folk….but not too bad that I would be looked at as anidiot as I ask for a side of salmon (not in the window) for home curing.  Christmas tea/boxing day lunch taken careof.  A few other pieces, couple filletsof haddock for a risotto or kedgeree. Couple of fillets of trout.  Atsome point a light salad is required and then two pieces of wolf fish for thefreezer.  The fish shop shuts for 2 weeksfrom Christmas eve….so I’m thinking ahead.

Puddings anddesserts are spinning round my head…..apparently an egg mountain has grown inthe fridge and I’m in trouble with the boss. It was my fault, I was going to bake for work.  The school Christmas concert and a Ceilidh atthe local church hall for some pals who returned from New Zealand for 4 weeksgot in the way.

I have plans for ayuletide log, and a chocolate méringue, again from magazine cuttings and thepaper…..the idea of getting more than 5 mins to sit down and read a luxury……Ineed to carve some time out. 

In the odd momentwere I got to read some of the paper food section last Sunday, the articleinterviewed some well know chefs who talked about the favourite thing they atelast year.  I was racking my brain tothink what was my favourite thing and where. Then it came to me and I’m making it this weekend.  Cured Salmon, grated beetroot, salt, vodkaand time in the fridge.

So one thing I’mgoing to do from now on in is get better at keeping a food diary, so it’s easyto reflect and use this year as a forward plan for next (promises,promises!).  

Thanks for popping by for Coffee,  as the days go by I hope you find peace and tranquillity, you enjoy the holiday season and I wish you a Merry Christmas.

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffeeshare

I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger!  Please subscribe at the top right. 

Weekend Coffee Share – Tales from London

The night was a bad one, our room next door to a main entry door that shook the room every time it was used. If that didn’t wake you then the hourly chime of the cathedral would remind you that you should be a sleep. Then there was the mirth below, the windows no match for the merriment of closing time. Old school single pains of glass overlooking several pubs on the back streets of London.

The coffee is needed, with 3 boys in tow, we have a full on day planned for the London.

 

A visit to the design museum is a regular feature on my annual calendar and usually it coincides with the Beazley design awards. An amazing collection of ideas under 6 themes Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport. Have to admit, I’m not really interested in the fashion but the ski jacket made from spider silk was amazing. As was the 3D printed pots from algae. Im always struck by the architecture pieces. I think my winner would be the joint venture piece between Elon musk and Richard Branson on with the Hyperloop project. I can’t argue with the people’s choice winner of the SurgiBox, an operating theatre that fitted into a backpack.

The posts have been few and far between, I’m struggling to keep up with the blogging agenda I set for myself. This an amalgamation of thoughts across a couple of trips to London over the last few weeks, for work and for leisure purely coincidental.

Yesterday I saw both ends of the day in darkness and in light. A streak of orange so pure that drew a line across the sky after the plane took of from Edinburgh. I was on the wrong side to take a picture and then arrived to see glorious views of the city….as a consequence bitterly cold on landing. Felt warmer in Scotland.

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Amazing views of the city this morning

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Socialising with colleagues after work, we frequented a local house straight from a Dickensian scene, hidden away from the modern day shops. I’d never have gone without local knowledge.

London at Christmas is a marvellous place, the old and the new architecture with the lights is just so special. There’s a hustle and bustle that I’m sure just walks by and doesn’t notice. For the infrequent visitor though, you have to pause and take a breath, absorb it in.

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffeeshare

I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger!  Please subscribe at the top right.  

Tales from the Table #15

Just been out on my bike and it is cold and crisp, I’m wrapping my hands round my cup of coffee to warm up. My fingers throbbing.

I’ve come back from the butchers with an overwhelming, I love our butchers kind of feeling. I’d picked my recipe and new what I was going to go get to find I’ve come away with something completely different in terms of a cut. I’d asked for a shoulder steak, to find I was being given steaks of pork (obviously taken from the shoulder). I was bold though and exclaimed that I was looking for something with the bone in. To find I was then talking to man brandishing a cleaver as long as his arm. He promptly brought forward this huge hunk of a shoulder along with an education session on the bone, we moved onto other cuts and agreed on a loin of pork with the bone left in. I asked about fat and we talked about the top end of the loin. This was all done with the love and care of a man who wanted to help his customer and knew his trade. I came away very happy and now I’m thinking will this cook in the same way.

The worst time of year for a cookbook hoarder…..the Christmas releases are out in full force. The best roundup that I have come across is from eat your books website. How they manage to get all these books into one review is amazing…think tardis for cookbook reviews.

French cooking this week was really stressful, a mix of turning up harassed and head fried (post work, mad rush to have tea and get to the school). A caramel disaster for creme caramel and a pastry so short it was more like builders sand for a tarte au chocolate. On my third attempt at re constitution of the sugar crystals I managed to get something that could be poured into a ramekin. And a drop of water whilst the teacher wasn’t looking remedied the sand. My friend and I were last out as the the final school bell went, just in time to pick up my son who was having his Halloween disco.

Classes have been broken into 5 week chunks this term, so that’s it for the French cooking. All in all it’s been good, a couple of learning’s and some things I’ve never cooked before. Biggest disaster was my roux for the goats cheese soufflé. Cream goes in at the end, otherwise you get a disgusting ball of fatty goo.

Week 1, Coq au Vin demo…a little cheated
Week 2, Boeuf Bourguignon, Dauphinoise Potatoes
Week 3, Onion Soup, Goat Cheese Soufflé
Week 4, Fish Casserole, and definitely something return to. Sole Meuniere…no point as you need to eat immediately
Week 5, tarte au chocolate and crème caramel

Came across Never Panic Buy a House this week where my favourite quote of the week sticks the house owns you not the other way round….never more true when the shower blew mid way through washing out the black die my son used for his Halloween hair. It was messy.

Hope everyone had a good week and Halloween went well. It’s bonfire night here in the uk and we are well and truly heading into slow cook and comfort food eating territory. My goal has been set and I’ve to start decorating the front room…so my cooking exploits are likely to be curtailed!

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share hosted by Eclectic Alli, nice to see you,  I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger!  Please subscribe at the top right.  

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