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Making fish yummy

25 Mar

Fish is something I neither love nor hate to eat. Give me a choice between a piece of fish, and a piece of steak and I will probably chose the steak every time. However, I know there are good health benefits to eating fish and so I try to cook it at least once a week – and I’m always on the look out for recipes to make fish taste less ‘fishy’ if that makes sense. I’ve found the following Donna Hay recipe to be the best yet – quick enough for a mid-week meal, sophisticated enough for a dinner party and doesn’t stink out the whole kitchen!

Fish roasted in lemon, parmesan and caper butter sauce
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 x 200g firm white fish fillets (like deep sea perch, ling, gemfish, flathead or monkfish)
2 tablespoon salted capers (rinsed)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
60g softened butter (works OK with margarine too)

Heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Mash together the capers, lemon zest, cheese and butter. Smear over the fish. Cook fish on non-stick baking dish (or line a dish with non-stick baking paper). Cook for 20mins or until fish is cooked. Serve with steamed greens and boiled or roast potatoes.


Chicken and Preserved Lemon Salad

7 Mar

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about cooking a dead-easy roast chook, and I mentioned how my husband and I eat half the chook on one night and use the left-overs in a salad the following night. So here’s how to make that salad

Cooked Chicken (enough for 2- 4 people)
1 Juiced lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon (not hard to find at any decent deli/grocer)
1 cup toasted almond flakes
1 cup chopped coriander
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup sultanas (I know some people don’t like sultanas in salads – but the sweetness is great with the salty preserved lemon)

Basically – mix all of the above in a bowl – and voila, dinner served. To up the vegetable content, you can add your favourite salad vegies, like capsicum, cucumber, capsicum, avocado, lettuce etc.

An easy and totally delicious mid-week meal – dead simple roast chook

3 Feb

I have to say that I was a little surprised when I read a story in the news the other day, saying that a social research survey found only 51 per cent of women aged under 30 can cook a chicken roast compared with 82 per cent of baby boomers. Now, the article was more about how Gen Y women are losing the basic ‘skills’ that their mothers had – ‘skills’ being defined as baking a lamington, growing a plant from a cutting and hemming a skirt.  Read the full article here. You could also argue that Gen Y women have gained a lot of skills that their baby boomer sisters do not have – like – working – in a job – and using a computer. Anyway, this is not the point of my post. Now – I would struggle to bake a lamington or grow a plant from a cutting. However, one thing I can do is roast a chicken. My husband and I have it once a week. It’s also cost effective. The chicken lasts us two nights – one night we have the roast chook, the next night I make a cold chicken salad out of the leftovers. I would argue that anyone (man, woman, child) can do it. So – here are the instructions.

Very basic Roast Chook

  • pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • Spray your chook with olive oil spray and throw some salt and pepper on the skin
  • Put your chicken in a roasting dish and then in the oven
  • Cooking time depends on the weight of the chicken. It’s half an hour per 500gms.
  • 1kg chook – one hour
  • 1.5kg chook – an hour and a half
  • 1.75kg chook – an hour and three quarters.

How do you know if the chook is cooked? Take it out of the oven and slice down where the leg meats the body of the chook. If the meat is white, it’s done. If it looks a bit pink – give it another ten minutes.

Stuffing options
– quarter one onion and one lemon (squeeze over a bit of lemon for extra flavour) and stuff them into the cavity of the chook

For proper stuffing
cut crusts off 4 slices of bread and throw into your food processor with a roughly chopped onion, some herbs (fresh or 1 – 2 teaspoons dried) and an egg. Blitz until it comes together. Place in cavity of bird.

Basic gravy
I personally don’t bother with traditional gravy. A well roasted chicken is absolutely delicious without it. But – if you must have some ‘jus’ then

  • removes chicken from roasting pan and drain almost all fat
  • put your roasting pan on a hot plate
  • slosh some (enough to cover the base of the pan) white wine in the pan, bring it to the boil and scrape off the crusty bits from the pan and mix it all around.

What to serve on the side

  • in summer – a green salad
  • in winter – some green beans and roast potatoes (quick tip: use white-skinned potatoes. Don’t bother peeling. Just halve them. Throw them in a roasting pan with some olive oil and salt. Roast for 1 hour at 180 degrees. Turn them over once or twice)