Sea Bass On A bed Of Spinach With Pea Broth

Sea Bass On A Bed Of Spinach With Pea Broth

Sea Bass On A Bed Of Spinach With Pea Broth

The were only two types of fish I remember as I was growing up.  The blue black mackerel we caught line fishing whilst on holidays in Cornwall, that had to be gutted and scrapped before eating.  A job for my mother, whilst we watched with vague disgust.  And fish and chips from a little corner chip shop in the North End Road in Fulham in London.

Sea Bass On A Bed Of Spinach With Pea Broth

Sea Bass On A Bed Of Spinach With Pea Broth

We’d shop in the market on Saturday morning, each of us lugging ancient canvas bags full of fruit, veg and whatever treat might be on offer that week.  Then stop for lunch, Rock and chips all round, well a half portion of chips for my sister and I.  The formica counters and tables were alway bursting with customers, their bags of shopping, like ours, piled around their feet as everyone shared tables.  The constant ping of the door kept time with the ching of the cash register, but we were never hurried away.

This was an era when chips still came in newspaper and fish was cheap.  Every week I’d eat all my chips first, slathered in ketchup from a sticky, plastic squeezey tomato and then not have room for my fish.  Every week I’d be in trouble.  The truth was, I far preferred the chips and it was a long time before the fish came first.

Sweet Pea Broth With A Bed Of Spinach And Gently Fried Sea Bass

Sweet Pea Broth With A Bed Of Spinach And Gently Fried Sea Bass

Now I can’t get enough fish, sadly it’s never a cheap meal any more, but delicious none the less and so good for you.  I love fish with spinach and who doesn’t like petit pois?  So sweet, a perfect traditional accompaniment.  By making a broth from the peas this becomes a warming winter dish, in the summer the broth can be served at room temperature, making it perfect for balmy sunny weather.

The broth can be made up to three days ahead and the fish and spinach take just minutes to cook, a wonderful dinner party meal or simply a delicious supper.

RECIPE

Sea Bass On A Bed Of Spinach With Pea Broth

Serves 2

Pea Broth With Spinach And Sea Bass

Pea Broth With Spinach And Sea Bass

Sea Bass On A Bed Of Spinach With Pea Broth

This fish dish has flaky Sea Bass, sweet pea broth and a bed of wonderful wilted spinach. Surprisingly quick to make, perfect for a dinner party or supper at home.

Ingredients

  • 300g Frozen petit pois (peas)
  • 15g Butter
  • 1 Shallot (finely chopped)
  • 750ml Warm vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Mascarpone
  • 2 Sea bass fillets
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 80g Fresh baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1
Place the peas in a bowl with just enough boiling water to cover and leave to defrost for about 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
Step 2
In a medium size pan melt the butter and add the chopped shallots. Fry until translucent and soft. Place the shallots, peas and the stock into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour back into the sauce pan, add salt and pepper, if required and set aside until ready to heat.

Boil a kettle of water for the spinach. Pour into a large saucepan and place a colander on top of the pan. Place the spinach in the colander and use your largest pan lid to cover the colander. Steam until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove the colander, throw away the water and add the spinach pan and cover. Set aside
Step 3
Place the soup back on the hob and heat gently for about 5-7 minutes until hot but don't over cook as it will loose the vibrant colour and go muddy green/brown, then stir through the mascarpone

Place a frying pan on the hob over a medium heat and allow to heat up, Meanwhile oil the fish on both sides with the olive oil and then place skin side down holding the fish flat against the pan for about 1 minute to stop it curling. Don't move it, cook for about 5 mins on the skin side and then flip over and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Step 4
In deep dishes place half the spinach in the centre of each in a heap. Gently pour the broth into the plate but not over the spinach. Remove the skin from the fish and break each fillet into about three pieces. Place on the mound of spinach partially in the broth and part out, add salt and pepper to taste.

If you enjoy eating fish, try these recipes from the Glamorous Glutton Archive

Cod Loin Wrapped In Parma Ham On A Bed Of Samphire

Parma Ham Wrapped Loin Of Cod On A Bed Of Samphire With Chorizo

Smoked Haddock Natas

Smoked Haddock Natas

Fish Stew Rio Style

Fish Stew Rio Style

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Kettner’s Laurent Perrier Champagne Tea

Kettners Laurent Perrier Champagne Flight Afternoon Tea

Kettner’s Laurent Perrier Champagne Flight Afternoon Tea

Kettner’s has been a bastion of buzzing, vibrant  and glamorous Soho in London for  one hundred and forty eight years.  Celebrated for it’s risqué parties, it has always attracted the famous and infamous, Agatha Christie, Noel Coward and more recently John Galliano.  it’s now a Brasserie, Champagne and Cocktail Bar and has eight private rooms for hire. Continue reading

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Cheat’s Vanilla Cream Berry Tart – House Of Fraser Blogger’s Recipe Book

Cheats Vanilla Cream Berry Tart

Cheats Vanilla Cream Berry Tart

Even the most accomplished cooks need time savers, those meals that take elements of something ready made and with a tweek or two, or an innovative combination, turn them into something else.  When House Of Fraser asked me to contribute a recipe to their Bloggers Recipe Book, I chose one of my ‘cheats’ recipes.  Something that can be made by both novice and expert cooks.  Even the possibly scary thought of blind baking, could be swopped for a shop bought pastry case.  But the result is a bit of a show stopper. Continue reading

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Salt Beef Sandwiches And Blooms Of Whitechapel

Hot Salt Beef Sandwich With Crisp Sweet Pickles And Oozing With Mustard

Hot Salt Beef Sandwich With Crisp Sweet Pickles And Oozing With Mustard

Piling on to the tube for a trek across London to the East End, pushing through the crowds on Petticoat Lane.  Finally ending up in Whitechapel High street and the trailing queue for Blooms, was a treat I discovered in my early teens.

Perfect Packed Lunch - Hot Salt beef Sandwich

Perfect Packed Lunch – Hot Salt beef Sandwich

Blooms was the home of Jewish food. More chopped liver and gefilte fish than falafel and hummus.  An Ashkenazi restaurant as famous for it’s hot salt beef sandwiches as it’s surly waiting staff.  Sadly this bastion of the community, both Jewish and gentile, passed from retro to rundown and closed in 1996 after forty three years.  I still remember sinking my teeth into soft rye bread stuffed with warm salt beef, crisp sweet pickles and oozing with sharp mustard. At the time this was a treat unavailable elsewhere in London and well worth the hike.

Hot salt beef sandwich with lashings of mustard and sweet pickles

Hot Salt Beef Sandwich – Take It With You

I always vowed I’d learn how to cure the brisket, It takes ten days to cure but it’s fairly straightforward, and such a treat to have the wonderful aromatic beef at home.  It’s best served warm and kept in the liquor that it’s cooked in, to stop it drying out, serve it with mustard and pickles, of course.  Perfect!

RECIPE

Salt Beef

Serves 8

Hot Salt Beef Sandwich With Crisp Sweet Pickles And Oozing With Mustard

Hot Salt Beef Sandwich With Crisp Sweet Pickles And Oozing With Mustard

Salt Beef

Soft tender salt beef, served warm with potatoes or perfect stuffed in a sandwich with mustard and sweet pickles.

Ingredients

  • 2kg Deboned beef brisket
  • 350g Sea salt
  • 300g Soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Juniper berries (lightly crushed)
  • 4 Fresh bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Black pepper corns
  • 1 tablespoon Corriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Allspice berries
  • 50g Saltpetre (Optional (preserves the colour of the beef))
  • 3l Cold water
  • 1 large carrot (chopped in 4)
  • 1 Onion (quartered)
  • 1 Celery stick cut in 4

Note

This is a delicious way to serve a relatively inexpensive cut of beef.  It does need planning ahead as it takes 10 days to cure, before cooking for 2 1/2 hours.  The beef will loose some of it's red colour during pickling, if you want to preserve the colour you can add 50g of Saltpetre to the pickling mixture.

Directions

Step 1
Put all the ingredients except the beef, vegetables and 2 of the bay leaves into a large pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes ensuring that the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Step 2
Pierce the beef all over with a skewer. Place the liquid and the beef into a plastic box, large sealable plastic bag or preserving pan. Ensure that the beef is totally immersed in the liquid and weigh down with a plate with tins on top if necessary. Leave in the fridge or a cold place for 10 days turning daily if you use a plastic bag.
Step 3
After 10 days remove from the liquid and rinse under the cold tap. Roll up and tie with string (not essential, it just makes carving easier). Place in a large pan of water with the vegetable and the remaining 2 bay leaves. Ensure the meat is covered in water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours until very tender. Serve in thick slices, warm from the liquid or leave to cool in the liquid and serve at room temperature.

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If It’s All Too Much – Gluten Free Healthy Coconut And Goji Berry Cereal

It's All Been Too Much!

It’s All Been Too Much!

If you too are feeling it’s all been a bit much, then join me in a few healthy recipes to start the new year and a healthier 2015.  That’s not to say this is a New Years Resolution-  Certainly not!  But a look at what I eat when and making some healthier choices.  Some of  the recipes for those choices will appear on my blog along with the usual Glamorous Glutton Fare including travel and book and product reviews.  Have a wonderful 2015 everyone! Continue reading

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Dolianova Sardinia – Food Tour

Sardinian Seadas Drizzled With Honey

Sardinian Seadas Drizzled With Honey

The fire snapped and crackled as the ancient olive wood burnt in the enormous fireplace.  The smoke gently flavouring the suckling pig as it turned slowly on the large metal stake like spit.  This was dinner Sardinian style. Continue reading

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Perfect Gift – Sparkly St Nicholas Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

The battered red wooden skis and memories constructed from family stories and photos are all that remains of our two years in Germany.  Pictures of my older sister, then three, dressed in a furry lined anorak, Scandi patterned hat and mittens proudly skiing to Kindergarten. Photos of my mother, barely recognisable behind the veneer of 1950s European fashion, pushing a pram around the university campus where my Father was a professor. Continue reading

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Cupcake Doughnuts Filled With Hotel Chocolat Raspberry And White Chocolate Jam

Doughnut Cupcakes With Hotel Chocolat Raspberry & White Chocolate Jam

Doughnut Cupcakes With Hotel Chocolat Raspberry & White Chocolate Jam

When Hotel Chocolat offered me a choice of their wonderful chocolate goodies, I didn’t want to go for Dasher the Chocolate Reindeer or the beautiful Enchanted Forest in caramel and milk chocolate.  I knew these would be fabulous with the distinctive quality that Hotel Chocolat chocolates always have.  I wanted to try one of their slightly more off beat products, White Chocolate And Raspberry Jam. Continue reading

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Book Review – Spice By Dhruv Baker

Discover how to use Spices With Spice by Dhruv Baker

Discover how to use Spices With Spice by Dhruv Baker

Masterchef fans may well remember Dhruv Baker, the winner of the 2010 series.  His deft use of spice and astounding palate were often commented on by judges John Torode and Greg Wallace.  Baker has now put that experience and his love of flavour between the covers of his first cook book, Spice.

Split into practical sections, based around ingredients, Baker  demystifies spices, saying that spice is about flavour, not heat.  This book shows you how to get the best flavour from ingredients that are easily available from the supermarket and many of which may already be in your kitchen cupboard.

Chicken Lollipops in Spice By Dhruv Baker

Chicken Lollipops in Spice By Dhruv Baker

It would be a mistake to think of this as just another Asian cook book.  Influenced by his multicultural background with an English father, Indian mother and having lived in Mexico, India, Tanzania as well as Great Britain, the dishes span as many continents.  Slow Roast Pork Belly With Fennel And Coriander, Aubergine Crisps With Truffle Honey, Braised Duck With Star Anise And Galangal and my favourite, partly because it  is fairly simple, but mainly because it packs a punch of flavour – Mushroom Pilau.  A side dish or a main, full of fragrance from the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, rich in texture from the earthy flavoured mushrooms and a sweet crisp crunch from the fried onions.  This has quickly become a Glam favourite.  With over a hundred recipes, there’s still many more to explore.

Masterchef Champion Dhruv Baker's Mushroom Pilau From His Cook Book Spice

Masterchef Champion Dhruv Baker’s Mushroom Pilau From His Cook Book Spice

Unlocking The Spice Cupboard at the back of the book is an alphabetical list of spices with clever descriptions of flavour and uses, from Ajwain Seeds to Vanilla Pods.  It includes the different ways that spices can be used beyond the obvious: making flavoured oils, dry roasting, marinades, rubs and flavoured butters.

Chocolate And Cinnamon Torte From Dhruv Baker's New Cook Book Spice

Chocolate And Cinnamon Torte From Dhruv Baker’s New Cook Book Spice

The section on Drinks is a innovative addition and again steers away from the mundane, with recipes for a Cardamom Martini and Pear And Prosecco Spritz.

This book is an all rounder with great dishes, it instills a confidence with spices in the cook and has some new and out of the ordinary dishes to experiment with and Baker wants his readers to do just that.  “Once you have tasted some of the recipes…you might want to add more or less spice, or add or take away ingredients…..however you use them, I hope that you will make them your own.”

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Venison Cottage Pie With Spring Onion Mash

Crispy Spring Onion Mash Topped Venison Shepherds Pie

Crispy Spring Onion Mash Topped Venison Cottage Pie

The steel grey light of a damp November day gives way  to cold  fat drops  splatting against the windows as the wind drives the rain forward.  The fire’s lit, the intermittent crackles forming a percussion with the rain.  It’s time for comfort food.  Game is perfect when the weather gets cold, but you don’t always want the bones and bits that go with a pheasant or a quail.  Venison mince is the perfect ingredient for a meal eaten curled up on the sofa.  Rich in flavour and a creaminess from the oats, it can be eaten with just a fork or a spoon and if you make a cottage pie it has all your veg too!  Well nearly.  What’s your favourite dish to warm you on a cold autumn day? Continue reading

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