Monday, December 6, 2010

Xmas cookies are back

Citrus Snow Flakes and Chocolate Whirl-Wheels

Monday, November 22, 2010

No Post, Well Except This One

The good news for all of our millions of die hard followers is that Salty Squid has not been dipped in batter and deep fried - nope, just that the 'brains' behind Salty Squid are busy moving house and thus have been away for a while.

The great news is that the move should be complete this week and Salty Squid will have a new kitchen and new surrounds to inspire us.

We will be back very very soon!

Salty Squid x

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goats Cheese & Rocket Bread, Mini Yorkshire Puddings and Autumn Rolls

I get the sneaky feeling that summer is over. When you wake in the morning to find the room even darker than before you went to bed, you do tend to think that it couldn't possibly be morning, until you realise that cold, harsh, dark reality is staring you in the eye and it's time to kick off the 6 duvets and venture out into the wind, the rain and the cold. You can hear the wolves in the distance. You venture out into the cold armed and ready for the armies of the undead that await you. Zombies dragging themselves to zombie banks, Ghosts quietly floating out of ghost estates. You turn on the radio and all you can here is Jedward. You flick through your Ipod only to find all you music erased and Jedward the only option, playing on an continuous loop.

How did things end up like this? When was the last time you saw daylight? When is the last time you had human contact. You cough into a tissue and notice blood. It's beginning. It's happening to you. You are infected. Your only option now is to take a video camera and run into the woods.

You run. And you keep running. Filming all the time. Shouting out random names - people you know, maybe people you knew, maybe people you thought you knew.

You notice a wall ahead, you approach cautiously. There is something written on it but you can't quite make it out. You get a bit closer only to see written in large letters written with blood: 'I KNOW WHAT YOU DID FOR TAPAS LAST NIGHT!!!!!!'

Potato, Goats Cheese & Rocket Bread

Ingredients: 1 x goat and someone that can milk it and also make cheese. Alternatively about 150g of nice goats cheese should do. I used Ryefield; 4 x spring onions, thinly sliced; bunch of rocket mister!, chopped; 175g self raising flour, 1 x potato, peeled and grated; pinch of cayenne pepper; lots of black pepper, pinch (ouch!) of salt; T of mustard; one beaten egg, no witnesses; splash of milk

Sift the flour, pepper and salt into a bowl. Grate the potato into the mix and mix. Lots of mixing. Don't get mixed up. Add the rocket and spring onions, mix well (more mixing!) using the back of a knife. Beat the egg, milk and mustard together - and add to the (DEEP BREATH) mix and continue to - (HOLY MOSES!!) mix (I CAN'T STOP IT) well with the knife. Give it a good season of black pepper and (ah for gods sake!?!) mix. Add most of the goats cheese to the cursing MIX - AAARRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!. Turn out onto a floured tray when it formes a rough dough. Press the rest of the cheese into the mix (NOOOOO THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WORD!!!!!!), give a dust of flour and bake for 40-50 mins at 180c. Simple.

Steak With Mini Yorkshire Puddings and Pea & Wasabi Purree
(from the Ballymaloe Cookbook)

Ingredients: bunch of frozen peas; some wasabi; a dollop of creme fraiche; 55g plain flour; 1 egg, 150ml milk; 5g butter

Preheat the over to 230c. Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Drop in the egg and beat or whisk drawing in more flour from the edges while steadily pouring in the milk. If you are and Octopus this is easy. Once you have mixed in all the flour and milk add the cooled melted butter and allow to rest for an hour or so.

Season your meat well and cook in a hot pan with some oil for a couple of mins each side for medium rare. Remove and rest. Don't be a donkey like myself and overcook the meat a little as you can see from the photos!

Heat your muffin type tray in the oven. Once hot, grease with a little oil and fill each half way with the batter. Pop back into the oven for 15mins or until crispy brown.

Vietnamese Autumn Rolls

Rice paper squares; 1 carrot, thinly sliced; 1 courgette, thinly sliced; handful of oyster mushrooms, chopped; handful of bean sprouts; bunch of fresh, chopped coriander; some rapeseed oil for frying
For the dip:
juice of 1 lemon; 2 tbsp fish sauce; 1-2 tbsp sugar; 1 clove garlic, finely chopped; opt. 1 hot chilli
finely chopped

Have a bowl of hot water handy. Dip each sheet of rice paper in to it to soften. Lay on your work top and fill with a little of each of the veggies and herbs. Roll tightly. Repeat until all the filling is used. Heat the oil in a pan and fry, turning until they are coloured each side.

For the sauce, just mix all the ingredients together.

In the glass

Basiano, Tempranillo, 2009, 23.5%

On the stereo
Pantha Du Prince; Basement Jaxx

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nachos, Sesame Chicken Wings, Prawns On Toast

Another week and another post - well apart from the fact that we didn't post last week, but who's counting? We are actually. We have also been struggling a little with time lately and as the Salty Squid ethos is something along the lines of only doing something that you love and enjoy, well we tend not to do a post if it's not going to be given 100% love and attention. But we will be trying so much harder not to miss any more postings!

Please bear in mind that the Salty Squid ethos is free to change repeatedly to suit us and be used as an excuse for whatever we need an excuse for. But lets not get bogged down in all this legal This is a food blog, by food eaters, about eating food so let's get to business.

Nachos With ....

Ingredients: Corn or flour tortilla; an avocado, good cheddar, creme fraiche, chilli - lots of chilli, beans or mince - I used chickpeas!; onion, garlic, paprika, fresh tomatoes, coriander

There is something very comforting about nachos. Surprising really considering that what we have here is heart-stopping amounts of melted cheese on posh crisps - with some salsa, guacamole, chilli straight from the mine and bucket-fulls of creme fraiche. Yep a real surprise.

Make the tomato and coriander salsa by chopping your fresh tomatoes, coriander, crushing a clove of garlic and giving it all a good mix and an even better seasoning. Refrigerate overnight if possible or until needed. This gives the flavours a chance to mingle. But I have bored a tiny hole in our fridge and spent many a night spying on such salsas and have never seen them mingle. A little bit of small talk but honestly, there is just awkward silences.

Cut your tortillas into triangles and fry until golden and crispy, sprinkle with salt and paprika and set aside. Repeat until all the tortilla has been fried.

For the guacamole, crush your avocado, and mix it with red onion and lime juice and a tiny blob of creme fraiche. Season.

To assemble, plate some tortillas first with a healthy topping of grated cheddar and pop into the oven to melt the cheese, Remove, add another layer of nachos, followed by more cheese, guacamole, salsa and creme fraiche. Sprinkle with sliced fresh chillies.

Darina's Sesame & Ginger Chicken Wings

Ingredients: 400-500g chicken wings
For the marinade: 30 ml soy sauce;
30 ml red wine ; 30 ml honey; 2 tsp (or as much as you can take) freshly grated ginger; 30g untoasted sesame seeds

Clean the chicken wings and separate joints if not already done. Mix all ingredients for the marinade together in a saucepan and bring to boil for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool down and then combine with the chicken wings. Set aside for at least couple of hours, or overnight if you're better prepared than me.

Take the chicken wings out of the fridge and bring them to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 180c and bake the chicken wings for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and sticky.

This recipe was robbed from the Ballymalloe Cookbook.

Prawns On Toast

Ingredients: Prawns, fresh or frozen; garlic; chilli, lemon juice

Clean the prawns if using fresh ones. A nice shower will do or a bath if time allows. Prawns do like a nice bubble bath - but be careful as they do tend to fart and giggle and try blame it on the bubbles. Don't believe them.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the prawns, garlic and chilli. Cook for a couple of mins until the prawns are done. Add a generous helping of parsley and serve on some toasted sourdough

In the glass
Chateau Cotes Du Gros Caillou, Saint Emilion, 2008

On the stereo
The Cure, David Bowie, retro baby

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fish Rillettes, Leek Fritters and Liver on Toast

Salty Squid starts to get very excited around this time of year. After a summer of eating nothing but leaves and hay, Mr Salty Squid is looking forward to stuffing his face with stews, casseroles, hot pots, curries, mash potato, and baby elephants. And what of the beautiful picture above, you ask? Well that was a plum and chocolate cake Miss Salty Squid whipped up. It has nothing to do with this weeks tapas, nor does the rant about stews etc, but hey, that's the essence of Salty Squid, pointless, in a meaningful kind of way.

Mackerel and Tuna Rillettes With Toasted Croutons

Ingredients: 2 fillets of fresh mackerel; 1 tin tuna steak; 1/2-1 red onion; handful chopped chives; 2 egg yolks; white wine vinegar; 2-3 tsp Dijon mustard; rapeseed oil; salt & pepper; 2-3 tbsp capers; juice of 1 lime; 1/2 baguette or few slices of bread or toast...

First, bake the mackerel fillets in oven, 180 degrees, for 15-20 min. Allow to cool and carefully flake the fish (taking out all fish bones you can find). Set aside and prepare the mayonnaise, by whisking the egg yolks together with the vinegar and mustard. Slowly add the rapeseed oil, while whisking like a world champion whisker. Drain the canned tuna and add to the mackerel flakes. Combine with finely chopped red onion, capers (which you fry for 2 min in a hot pan first), as much mayonnaise as you desire, and chopped chives. Season, and enjoy with some toasty fingers!

Leek Fritters

Ingredients: 2 Leeks, one in the sink the other in a bucket; 1x red onion diced; 1/2 tsp of whatever spices you have, I used tumeric, ciminaminoninon, fenugreek, chili powder and hot madras curry powder; 1x egg white well beaten and one whole egg, 110g flour, 1tbsp baking powder; .

Gently cook the leeks and red onions until soft. Add the spices and mix well. Set aside to cool. Whisk the egg white like a mo'-fo' and gently fold in the onions. It's best to make a better batter by mixing the flour, baking powder and egg together - whisking in some milk until its has the consistency of a troubled teenager. Add this to the onion mix - sorry I mean gently fold into the onion mix. I came up with this recipe and if Yotam Ottolenghi and his Plenty cookbook have a problem with well they can just sue me**

** suing not recommended, your book rocks Yotam, I have a wife and kids - sue them!***

*** original joke by Homer Simpson - please don't sue me either Homer!

Heat some oil in a pan and spoon in the better-batter, say 2 tbsp per fritter. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and some creme fraiche.

Liver on Toast with Sherry Vinegar

Ingredients: 100g of fresh lambs liver; some sherry vinegar; bread, slice and toasted

Get your pan good and hot, maybe some Barry White and dimmed lights will do the job. Add a drop of oil and fry the liver for about 2mins each side. Remove from the pan. De-glaze the pan with some sherry vinegar. Slice and arrange the liver on the toast and pour over the sauce.

In the glass

Chateau Cotes Du Gros Caillou, Saint Emilion, 2008

On the stereo

Arcade Fire, Nick Cave

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Black Pudding Croquettes, Eden Smokies, Duck with Parsnip

Looks can be deceiving. Think of that ugly duck we all heard about as kids. Where is he or she now? Probably writing agony duck columns in some duck tabloid newspaper for all the other ugly ducklings. Giving them advice about how it doesn't matter what's on the outside or how you look, it's what's inside that counts. A bit like this weeks tapas entry.

You see, the black pudding croquettes may not look like a, eh swan? but they taste really really good. Any left overs are particularly good the next morning with scrambled eggs with Harissa on toast. Yes we could have breaded these babies up - but we chose not to and we are standing by that decision. Kinda. The point is, they taste so nice regardless. As do the Eden smokies - which are so easy to make and, if you scale up the recipe, they are a perfect thing to give you a big kiss on a cold autumnal eve. Assuming that kissing smoked fish is your thing. If not ! Fear not ! Kill the aforementioned duck and have it with parsnip crisps! Enjoy!

Black Pudding Croquettes With Sweet Woodruff & Whiskey Jelly

Ingredients: 3 potatoes; black pudding (as much as you can handle); 1/2 red onion; 3 tbsp cider vinegar; 2 tbsp Dijon mustard; salt & pepper

Cook your potatoes in salted water until done, drain and mash without adding any milk, cream or butter. Season. Peel the black pudding and cook in some oil for a couple of mins. Add to the mash along with the mustard, sliced red onion, vinegar and mix. Taste and adjust your pants.

Form croquette shapes using your hands and allow them to rest for about 30mins in the fridge. You can get croquette beds that fit in fridges in good kitchen supply stores.

You should probably roll the croquettes in some breadcrumbs for a nice golden finish - alas Salty Squid didn't. We just fried them off and the finished result - while tasting great, they were a bit harsh on the eye.

For the jelly, just add some hot water to some Woodruff jelly - add a drop or a pint of whisky, mix well and leave in the fridge to set for two hours or so.

Eden Smokies

Ingredients: 350g smoked cod, diced; handful of cherry tomatoes, halved; few spring onions, springs removed; 3tbsp of creme fraiche, yum; lots and lots of black pepper, ah-chew; couple of elbow fulls of grated cheddar, cheesy

This is best done on a camping stove set up on the back of a trailer. Heat your pan or whoever's pan, I really don't care, on a moderate heat, not so moderate that anything goes, but not so unmoderate (another salty makey uppy wordy) either. Add the smoked cod and cook for a minute. Next add the tomatoes and spring onions and continue to cook. Add 2 of the tbsp of creme fraiche, then the third, Stir well - as in stir the pan well, not run to the end of the garden with a huge - HUGE wooden spoon and stir the well. In fact, you might not even have a garden. Or a well. Or if you do have a garden with a well, maybe you don't have a big enough wooden spoon.

Portion up the creamy mess into small individual dishes and pop under the grill. Or you can just sprinkle cheese over the lot and stick your pan under the grill for a minute, trying to lick some of the crispy cheese off the pan as it grills. Painful but worth it. Then serve.

Pretentious Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Parsnip Crisps and Roast Parsnip Puree and Red Wine and Quince Jus (yeah whatever)

Ingredients: Duck breast, fat well scored ideally 3 goals per game; parsnip, a little bit shaved, the rest chopped; clove of garlic; smoked paprika, a bit of milk, a bit of red wine; a bit of quince; a bit of love

Heat the oven to 180c. Add the chopped parsnip, clove of garlic and smoked paprika to a tray and drizzle with oil. Mix it all together and stick it into the oven until the parsnip is soft and cooked. Blitz, using a bit of milk to loosen it and give it a pureeeyeey consistency. Season well. Loads of black pepper.

For the parsnip crisps, heat some rapeseed oil in pan, add the thinly shaved parsnips, fry until golden, remove and drain on some kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt.

Heat a pan on a medium heat, add the duck breast skin side down. Don't add any oil or butter to the pan as you want to render all the fat out of the duck breast. Continue to cook skin side down for about 5 mins until the skin is brown and crisp. Drain the fat from the pan and flip the breast over the the flesh side. Seal the flesh for about 2 mins then turn again back to the skin side for another 3-4 mins before giving the flesh side another final blast for a min or two. Remove and rest the breast for about 10mins before slicing it with a sharp knife. You can cook it for a bit less if you prefer it more rare.

Arrange the breast on top of the puree with the crisps on top of the duck. Drizzle with the red wine, which you made by reducing some wine (which also had some quince paste thrown in) to a syrupy consistency and seasoned well.

In the glass
Domain Grand Nicolet, Rasteau, 14.5%

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chourico Cake, Steamed Moules, Courgette Volcanoes

On a week where tickets for The National sold out faster than baseball bats at a Jedward gig, it would be hard to imagine how the weekend could be enjoyable. I am still asking myself as to exactly how that happened.

Another question I was asking this week was how did I manage to get covered in red wine whilst catching up with some friends earlier this week. I remember the amazing foie gras terrine and the excellent dark celeriac puree that came with the rack of pork, I just don't remember how wine jumped from Miss Salty Squids glass (YES! the very same 'angel' that takes these beautiful photos and cooks some top nosh , eh nosh) and landed on me. All over me. Down the back of my shirt, over my right shoulder and down the front of my shirt to my belly button fluff holder. Perhaps I was getting a bit too much pleasure from the food? I don't know. It was as if Miss Salty Squid suddenly found a tiny frog on her hand and tried to shake it off. While holding a glass of wine. Quite a big glass of wine in fact because even after giving me the tie-dyed shirt luck there was STILL wine in her glass! You know it's time to leave a restaurant when the waitress brings your a spray of carpet cleaner.

Alas, ticket-less, shirtless (kinda) and stuffed on rich food, Salty Squid waddled into this weeks tapas determined to make something that will set the tone for the week ahead. Fresh Irish mussels, a chorizo cake and courgette volcanoes....what more does one need, apart from tickets to the National and a new shirt?

Chourico Cake

5 eggs; 100 g melted/cooled butter; 4-5 tbsp olive oil; 185 ml milk; 310 g flour; 2 tsp baking powder; salt; 250 g chorizo (the best quality you can get); chopped fresh coriander/parsley; 1 small onion; 2-3 garlic cloves - finely chopped.

When oh, when will we run out of chorizo recipes? Or when will we turn into chorizo ourselves? One excellent way around 'not' having chorizo again is to cook a recipe from the excellent 'Piri Piri Starfish' cookbook from Tessa Kiros.

Sweat the onions and garlic off until soft. Add the chopped chorizo and cook for about 5 mins. Add the chopped coriander and set aside to cool. Season.

Beat the eggs until fluffy and add the butter and oil, continuing to whisk. Mix the baking powder and salt into the flour and whisk into the mix. Then add the milk and continue to mix until it is all nice and smooth.

Add the chorizo and mix well. Pour the mix into a greased and floured cake tin and pop into a pre-heated oven at 200c for about 25-30mins.

Moules Mariniére with Crémant-cream

600g fresh mussels; enough garlic to cancel Season 3 of True Blood; couple of shallots; chilli; a sarcastic handful of parsley; cream to taste; butter to cook; a big pot with a lid; white wine or Crémant

Wash your mussels in plenty of cold water. I really want to make jokes about mussels here but I am going to rise above it. Nope, not going to do it. It's childish and we here at Salty Squid are really really mature. Half German remember!! For washing the mussels, I like to fill the bath with water, add the mussels then dive in myself in full scuba diving gear and pretend that I am actually catching them myself, but you don't have to do do this.

Perhaps, placing them into a big bowl or pot and leave the cold tap running over them for few mins would better suit your lifestyle. If the shells are open gently smack them off your neighbours car - they should close. If not, feed them to Jedward.

Finely chop the garlic and shallots and chilli and cook gently in butter until soft. Not coloured. Add some white wine or Crémant*, the mussels, crank the heat up to 11 and put the lid on. Shake the pot about from time to time - well you are only cooking them for 3 or 4 mins so don't go for a trek in the hills or anything. Once they have opened, add the cream and parsley and remove from the heat. Serve with crusty baguette.

* we happend to be drinking Crémant, and were not going to but some vino just for this - 15 eur budget and all that!

Courgette Volcanoes w/ Fennel & Ginger purée

2 x courgettes; 2 x fennel; knob of ginger, finely chopped; 2 x onion chopped; 2 x garlic crushed; 1 celery stick chopped; bunch of coriander; 500ml chicken stock; thin slices of Parmesan; thin slices of prosciutto

Depending on the size of the courgettes, cut the into 3 or 4. Remove the seeds with a knife. Cook one of the onions and some garlic until soft. Add the courgettes and the hot chicken stock and cook until the courgettes have softened a little - about 3 mins. Remove them and set aside. Reserve the cooking stock.

To make the fennel puree, sweat of the rest of the onions and garlic and the celery and ginger. Once softened, add the fennel which has been roughly chopped and cook for a few mins. Add the chicken stock and cook until the fennel is soft. Blitz and pass through a sieve. Season to taste.

Line the courgettes on a baking tray and fill them with the puree. Arrange a slice of Parmesan and a slice of prosciutto on top and place under a hot grill until the ham is crispy. Devour at once!

In the glass
Crémant De Loire, 12.5% Bodegas Abanico, Eternum Viti, Toro 14.5%

On the stereo
Lali Puna, Red Hot Chilli Peppers (why?), The National (Cry!)