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!)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Salty Holidays

After a 2 week break, we are proudly back, introducing a new blog layout - again ;)

Actually if we do the maths - which we wont, it's more or less a four week break with random comings and goings - and also the week our blog deleted an entry itself and re-added it in a font we can't change or do anything with. What an August that was!

We also kinda disappeared from the tweeting and gossiping pages... which if any of you have ever followed us on twitter, this means we have gone from one tweet a month to... one tweet a month - ish.

But fear not as a break is as good as a holiday - and as part of this break was a holiday and while on holiday we did break something (tray of food jumped off a table all by itself) - Salty Squid is back, more eager and hungry than ever.

However, until our tapas blog kicks off next week, here are a few photos of what we were up to while holiday-ing or breaking. Not that you care. But you can pretend you do! Stand by stomach, here comes banana.

Late August saw Miss Salty Squid celebrate another 21st (a-hem!). I made this - under the strict supervision and stern eye of Caroline from Nelly's Cafe on South Circular Road. Black forest gateaux was the aim - Black forest roulade was the result!

Black Forest Roulade

Fresh Porcini mushrooms, freshly picked from a German forest - the most efficient foraging ever:

Fresh Porcini Mushrooms

Fresh Porcini, butter, parsley and s&p. I have never envied a plate before but every time I look at this picture, I really really envy this plate. Stupid delf.

Vegetable Moussaka

Only back two days and already Miss Salty Squid is full cooking mode. Yesterday's vegetable Moussaka......perfect thing to greet you as you walk in the door on a wet Saturday eve!!