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Friday, 31 January 2014

Pan fried cod with lemon, olives and parsley - customer's recipe.

Whilst we advise on some cooking tips on our meat and fish counters occasionally customers bring in theirs for us to try. Such is the case with this recipe for pan fried cod with lemon, olives and parsley.

The recipe indicates that it can be ready to eat in eight to ten minutes and the amounts should serve four. I don't normally do recipes but this sounded very nice so here goes.

4 tablespoons of plain flour
4 skinless cod fillets about 175g each
50g of butter
Zest and juice of one lemon plus lemon wedges to serve
6 pitted back olives roughly chopped
2 table spoons of pine nuts toasted
1 small handful of chopped flat leaved parsley

1. Season the flour then coat the fish on both sides

2.Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and, when bubbling add the fish and cook over a medium heat until the underside is cooked and browned (about 4-5 minutes). Carefully turn over and turn the heat down to low.

3. Scatter the lemon zest, olives, pine nuts and most of the parsley on the fish and squeeze over the lemon juice. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and cook for two to four minutes longer until the fish has started to flake and is cooked through. Scatter with the rest of the parsley and serve with steamed green beans and lemon wedges.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Squid and Madagascan prawns stir fry... hmmm!

This was a lovely tasty stir fry I made this evening for ease of cooking. Most of the ingredients came 'ready to use' from Tesco. I used a Tesco Chinese style stir fry sauce ( ginger, garlic, soya sauce etc.) that I added in last minute and stirred until deliciously warmed through and served in a pre- warmed bowl. I used six Madagascan prawns that come whole and have to be de-constructed i.e.: head taken off and meat pulled out of the flimsy shell. This is easy enough. Just make sure that you remove the grey green slime that sits below the head and runs along the back of the prawn. The neighbours cats - Soufie and Harris enjoyed a little raw taster along the culinary route. Meow!

I also purchased four squid pieces and washed them under the cold tap and sliced them into rings and left the head and tentacles mostly whole. The squid and prawns I quickly stir fried until they had lightly cooked (prawns pink and squid chewy but edible - deffo not chewy! Next I added the smallest sprinkling of chilli powder and stirred it into the fishy mix along with some sea salt for extra saltiness.. After they had cooked I removed them from the heat for a few minutes and drained off the oil whilst I vigorously stir fried the crunchy veg and the pre cooked noodles in a splash of fresh sunflower oil. Then I added the Chinese stir fry sauce and once warmed through I enjoyed the spicy crunchy fishy stir fry! All in all it took less than half an hour to cook and enjoy.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

I think I'm turning Japanese... I really think so!

As I type I am listening to Stephen Sondheim's ENO recording of Pacific Overtures (full version). Of late I have been trying to eat more healthily and have found myself the benefactor of a diet of noodles and fresh veg and stir fried meat.

Celery stalks and thyme for added flavour.

Whilst my three days worth of shin beef stew hardly counts as Japanese I have been feeding myself on supermarket sushi and other times a quickly fried sirloin steak/chicken breast with noodles and fresh vegetables with 'Squid' brand fish sauce (oops, it appears that the bottle should have been used by November 2011!!) and a light soy sauce - still in date.

Today I went all Danish and enjoyed a pack of Gravlax (Gravadlax) with a dill and mustard dressing. The Scottish salmon used for this gravadlax is Freedom Foods certified which means that the fish is farmed responsibly. Gravadlax, first requires the salmon to be cured with a precise blend of salt and sugar. Then it is marinated with lemon oil, dill, lemon pepper and cracked black pepper. It is smoked by experts who use time honoured methods to give it a succulent texture and rich aromatic flavour. The smoking takes place over gently smoking oak chips and left to mature over 24 hours for a deep succulent taste. Incidently a pack of Gravadlax would normally cost a fiver. As most of the customers in my supermarket aren't over familiar with the delicacy I managed to get it at a discounted price of two pounds to be used by the 19th.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast - Colwick Cheese.

Alright, Jamie got his 'Colics' mixed up with his 'Col-wicks' a few times but overall he and Jimmy did a great job of re-introducing and presenting our historically famous and versatile soft Colwick cheese on Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast  (Friday 10th January Channel 4).

The Radio Times described the show to be  a 'scrambly, bouncy, boysy cooking show'. My spell checker was not at all happy with a few of the words there but I guess the format that dashed across country from a funky pop up cafĂ© on a pier at Southend on Sea to Nottingham's fair city and Jamie's Italian with a pop into Nottingham's best deli - Delilah Deli - on route could be called scrambly.

Although the Olympic runner Usain Bolt's pieces featuring his Aunty Lilly's jerk pork, golden Jamaican yams and homemade fluffy dumplings as interpreted by Jamie and a tandoor made from a clean dustbin, a large plant pot and some bricks with heated coals created by Jimmy Doherty were interesting the highlight for me was the Colwick Cheese and the success it appears to be having with its versatility in homes and restaurants from Nottingham and spreading rapidly outwards. Good for us!!!

I watched the show on my Hudl on 4OD.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Using my noodles.

There have been a few people enquiring as to where I have been blog post-wise. Believe me when I say I have been busy busy busy. Work at Tesco was pretty full on over Christmas and the New Year and it involved me doing three late shifts instead of the usual one so come Christmas day and Boxing day I was shattered and just wanted a bit of peace and quiet. Since then I have keeping tabs on my theatre writing and play reviewing at Derby Theatre, Leicester Curve, Nottingham Playhouse and Lakeside Theatre.

On top of this I have been inspired to utilise my video camera filming myself reading Francesco Marciuliano's funny poetry books - I Could Pee On This (cat poems) and I Could Chew On This (dog poems). I would urge my readers to check them out on my Youtube page. Hopefully you will have as much fun watching them as I did making them.

I have a third fun blog that I enjoy creating some silly thoughts through my made up character, Phil E Stein (art critic) and although I haven't had the chance to do as much as I would really like to with this I have enjoyed sending up the art world periodically through this funny blog.

So to food - I have been cooking quick and easy dishes as I recover from the festive season. One evening I used up a bit of lamb rack by cutting it up into small thin chops and frying them off in a smattering of sunflower oil and then drizzled over some creamy riata I happened to have in the fridge. Yummy.

In an attempt to save some money I have been strict with myself and tried not to keep buying new food when I already have things to eat in the house. Not easy when I am surrounded by scrummy meat and fish at work. I have loads of pasta and noodles and so I plan to use these up over the next couple of months. Last night I had noodles with lemon and lavender chicken and stir fried a bit of left over stir fry vegetables. The lemon and lavender chicken I prepared the day before and cooked in the morning and let go cold to snack on over the next few days.

So, now over to my book of pasta dishes to see where that takes me!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My foodie start to the New Year. Just call me Le Rosbif!

A good sized rib roast joint of beef would normally cost me £30 plus. Lovely though it would taste this is way beyond my purse so as the ribs were on offer over the Christmas period at work I kept my eyes open for a bargain and a bargain I  got! Due to the half price offer and a further date related reduction and some Tesco money off vouchers I  got a fab bit of beef on the bone for five pounds!

I cooked it simply for two and a half hours in an inch of water with a few pieces of star anise. The potatoes were cooked in goose fat. Sublime! Happy New Year!!!!

Here are some pictures of the cooking process.