Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Prawn bisque anyone?

I don't know about you, but in my kitchen I have a folder.
A recipe folder into which I put those recipes from magazines, newspapers and dentist surgery copies of Readers Digest that I have torn out with the best intention of making. But never had.

But all this talk about http:///www.fishisthedish.co.uk made me re-evaluate and I dug out a recipe for prawn and fennel bisque.

I'm not quite sure where it came from but I think it was Delicious about 4 or 5 years ago but it looked yummy - a bit of a faff but sounded gorgeous. And given my desire to "de-carb" (*again*) I thought I would try it.

*Warning* this is not an authentic bisque - I never seem to remember to buy prawns with shells on. Oh well, this is my adaption.....

I generally take my prawns out of the freezer in the morning and leave them in the fridge to defrost. Please note the pink bear is optional.

Basically make a broth of onion, carrot and fennel as you would any soup. Then add brandy and white wine. Oh and some fish stock. Then a pinch of paprika and a tin of toms. Boil this for 20 mins, leave to cool a bit then give it a good blend.

The faffy bit is having to 'pass' the whole thing through a sieve. This is what leaves you with a really clear, clean bisque. I guess you are left with less if you have a better blender and possibly more if you have used the shells too.

Don't think about washing the blender - you'll need it again !

Then, warm the bisque, adding the prawns and cook them until they turn pink.

Oh, and then faff no 2. Reblend the bisque until smooth and creamy.

Add some cream and the fennel fronds (which you obviously kept) and there you go.

It might sound like a pain, but if you make the stock and blend but don't add the prawns, then freeze in batches, it becomes an easy freezer dinner.

And oh, I was wrong.... It wasn't Delicious. It was Good Food. And you can find the recipe here: Prawn and Fennel bisque

I hope that Fish is the dish agree that prawns can be easy too :p

Saturday, 19 November 2011

One of those moments: the first picture


The capitals at her insistence - she is no longer 3 and a HALF.

Today was one of those momentous moments - a month or so ago it was when she could spell her name, the month before that when she could count past 10, the month before that tell me what we can make from milk.

Today however, was momentous.

Today, we have a drawing of people.

I'm sure she has been able to do them for a while but when the pre-school bag comes home with 40+ pieces of paper, I have no idea which is hers.

Today, I know. All her own work.

So, from the left we have:

Father Christmas (NO, it''s not Santa, it's Father Christmas) complete with hat and bobble on the end, Me (aka Toots), my dollies, and the small person in the far right is my toddler sister Pip.

What can I say - serious lump.

I know you have all been there, but please join with me in shedding a tear for the first of the people pictures.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Fish is the dish - baked haddock & tomato

Fish is the dish is a new website which is there to help us cook more fish for our family.

I remember my granny always telling me that fish was good for the brain - but I have to say like many things my granny said, I wasn't sure she was right. All that 'if the wind changes your face will stay like that' made me a bit sceptical. But since having Toots and Pip I wondered whether or not she was right. And boy she was.

Fish is amazing - low in fat, easy to eat and filled with vitamins and minerals that you can't get anywhere else. Not to mention the omega3. But cooking more fish is easier said than done. Like many mums I'm never very sure what to do with it...... Until now.

My fish is the dish challenge this week was to make a fish pie. I got sent haddock, smoked haddock and salmon. Mmmm, thinking cap on. I make ordinary fish pie quite a lot but this week I fancied something different..... How about tomato and haddock bake?

I found a recipe on theWaitrose website which looked super easy. And given I had my sister and brother in law over for dinner, easy was the order of the day.

The fish was delivered from Delish Fish in Peterhead and comes individually sealed so that you can use what you need.

This really is a bit of a cheat of a dish - it uses a tomato and marscapone pasta sauce.

Oh and frozen peas.

Top with dill and horseradish mash (to die for) and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.

It was really very tasty - I did mix the smoked and unsmoked haddock and it definitely needed the smoked. My sister and brother in law thought it was fab.

I think there are many variations of this using pasta sauces - the arrabiata would be lovely too !!