Fish Florentine

Mondays in our household normally mean fish or seafood for dinner. I have to confess I’m much more comfortable cooking a carnivore’s feast rather than a fish dish. I’ve been lately getting more experimental with fish however, and here’s today’s recipe for Fish Florentine. I was a little bit nervous with this recipe, as I would never have put fish and cheese together, but it actually worked really well!

serves 2

2 fillets of white fish (I think cod is best for this kind of dish)
150g spinach
3 large chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
splash of olive oil
25g butter
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2dl milk
1 tsp ground paprika
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cayenne pepper
2tsp potato flour or cornflour
1dl grated gruyere cheese
1tbsp grated parmesan cheese
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250ml dry white wine (I usually use Sauvignon Blanc in cooking)
2tbsp chopped parsley
1tsp dried tarragon

1. Heat oil and butter, cook onion until soft. Add thinly sliced mushrooms and garlic. Fry, stirring occasionally, for few minutes and add spinach. mix together until spinach is wilted.

2. Heat milk in a pan, and add all ground spices. when the milk is starting to simmer mix the potato flour / cornflour with a splash of water, and pour into the milk. Stir until the mixture thickens. Add both cheeses.

3. Poach the fish in a frying pan with the white wine and herbs for 4-6 minutes.

4. Put the onion, mushroom and spinach mixture at the bottom of an oven proof dish. Lay the fish on top, and pour the sauce over everything. sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, and grill under preheated grill until starting to brown and bubble over.

Smoked cod with mustard and kale mash

This cod dish is pretty good, easy cooking for those days when you’ve been working late, and just want to quickly get on with it when you get home. Cod itself can normally be quite a tasteless fish in my mind, and buying it smoked makes a nice change. I might also swap it to smoked haddock, which works well too. I would say this recipe can work for anything between 2-4 people, depending on the diners’ appetite!

3 medium to large potatoes
300ml vegetable stock
3 handfuls of chopped kale
2 large smoked cod fillets
25g butter
1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
salt
black pepper

1. Peel and cut the potatoes into fairly small chunks. Place in a pan, and boil in the stock for 5 minutes, covered with a lid.

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2. If the chopped kale pieces are large, you may want to chop them more finely. Stir in the kale and butter, and lower the temperature to simmer. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

3. Place the fish pieces on top of the potato – kale mixture. Simmer gently, steaming the fish for 7-8 minutes.

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4. Carefully remove the fish. Coarsely mash the potatoes and kale together, and mix the mustard in. Season with salt and pepper.

 

 

Salmon en papillote

En papillote cooking is an easy, mess-free and quick way of cooking food. You basically place all the ingredients per portion inside one parcel, which each diner will then have.

serves 2
2
salmon fillets (about 125g each)
6 tbsp frozen
peas (3 tbsp on each portion)
1/2
leek, sliced (split in two parcels)
4 tbsp
crème fraiche (2 tbsp per parcel)
2 tbsp tarragon or parsley, finely chopped (1 on each parcel)
dash of
black pepper
dash of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F. Remove peas from the freezer. The fish will cook quickly, so it might be better if the peas have defrosted a little bit.

2. Take 2 large non-stick baking parchment sheets. Place the salmon pieces on the sheets, at around 1/3 from front, leaving 2/3 at the back, so that you will be able to fold it on top. Season with salt and pepper. Add the leeks, peas, crème fraiche and herb.

3. Bring over the baking paper, to cover the fish. The front edges should be together. Roll until it reaches the fish. Then roll the ends. The parcels are now sealed, which means the fish will cook in it’s own  juices / steam.

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4. Cook in the preheated oven for 7 minutes.

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Easy oven grilled sea bass and vegetables

This kind of easy and quick one pan food is perfect for those long busy days, when you want your dinner to be ready super quickly, and without much effort. Sometimes I fry the fish skin side down in a frying pan first, for the crispy skin result, however this time I wanted to put the least possible amount of effort in, and grilling alone is also healthier than pan-frying it first.

serves 2
2 sea bass fillets
1 courgette / zucchini, chopped
2 -4 chestnut mushrooms, whole or quartered
1 medium to large leek, chopped to large pieces
6 cloves of garlic
vine tomatoes
1/2 pepper, chopped into large pieces
olive oil
salt
black pepper

1. Place all ingredients on a oven tray lined with foil. Drizzle some olive oil all over the fish and vegetables, and season the fish with salt and pepper.

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2. Preheat the grill to medium heat, and bake the fish and vegetables for about 15 minutes.

 

Jansson’s temptation

I have always though of this as Finnish food, however I have a feeling this food might also be served in other Scandinavian countries. This dish tends to be something children hate (I would guess it’s because of the anchovy being quite a pungent fish), however most people turn around at the beginning of their adulthood, and love this food. I, too, have followed this evolution path. Ingredients wise, you really don’t need much.  This is one of those foods that I make semi regularly, and if I’ve had too long a break my husband starts asking for it. Other variations of this is Salmon temptation, where you replace the anchovy with salmon, however I would really like to encourage you to try this with the anchovies if you’re not a hater of the fish. As the anchovies are salty, you don’t need to add any salt into this dish, however if you make this with salmon you would probably want to add some salt too.

8 medium to large potatoes
2 onions
1 jar of anchovy fillets (100g)
black and white pepper
5 dl cream
1 tbsp bread crumbs
50g butter

1. Peel and finely chop the onions, and fry in half the butter.

2. Peel the potatoes, and cut into this strips, like matches or French fries. Rinse with cold water, drain and dry.

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3. Butter an oven dish. At the bottom, place half of the potatoes. Season with pepper. Put the onions next, as a second layer. Next, put all the fish in as a third layer, then cover with the remaining potatoes. Pour all the oil from the fish tin over the potatoes, and add 3 dl of the cream, as well as some more pepper. Put pieces of butter on top, and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

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4. Bake in a preheated oven 200°C / 390°F (fan) for about 40 minutes. After this time, add the remaining cream, and bake for another 10 minutes. I love the crispy potatoes you will end with on top.

Fish pie

Before moving to Britain, it was quite an alien idea to me to eat pretty much anything in a pie (the savoury kind). From chicken to steak – and to fish. Pies  are very versatile, and you can add whatever your favourite ingredients are, which make it an ideal kind of food. Your next pie might also be very different from the last. For example, I might often add ingredients depending on what I can find in my fridge, and the next time that might be something completely different. This recipe will make quite a lot of filling. You could double the amount of pastry and make eight instead of four pies, or even have some of it with pasta the next day.

makes 4 pies

320g puff pastry (I use ready to use, rolled sheet)
125g salmon, chopped into cubes
170g cod, chopped into cubes
120g smoked haddock, chopped into cubes
100g prawns
250ml milk
150ml double cream
100ml vermouth
2 bay leaves
small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 large leek, finely chopped
1dl peas
1/4 broccoli
salt
white pepper
black pepper
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25g butter
1/2 dl plain flour
1/2 dl milk
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1 egg

1. Put the onion, leeks, bay leaves, milk, cream, vermouth and the chopped fish in a pan. Bring to boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

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2. Cut the broccoli florets into small ones. Place in a pan with hot water and boil for 30 seconds. Pour the hot water out, and cover with cold water.

3. In another pan, melt the butter, and add the flour. Mix together. This will form quite a firm dough. Pour in the milk, and mix with the dough. Ladle by ladle, add some cooking liquid from the fish, mixing to the dough, until it becomes more of a runny texture, then pour to the fish, and mix together.

4. Add the peas, drained broccoli, prawns and parsley, and stir until it’s all mixed together. Let the mixture cool.

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5. Cut the pastry into four pieces. Brush the edges of one half with the egg. Put some cooled filling on the same half, and fold the other half over. Press the edges tightly together. I use a fork, to go around the edges, pressing them firmly together. The pies will seems quite small at this stage, but will get bigger once cooked.

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6. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F (fan). Brush the pies with the egg, and cook for about 20 minutes.

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Sea bream with mango and crab salad

This plate of food is like sunshine on a plate. It’s so fresh and colourful, and all the flavours just simply work really well. Even though raw garlic and chilli are used, when eating this you don’t notice it. It’s also a quick dish to make.

1 mango

1 avocado

2 large red chillies (mild, or to your liking), finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

3 spring onions, chopped into thin slices

100g cooked white crab meat

100g king prawns (I tend to use raw and cook them myself, but cooked are ok too)

1 lime (juice)

1. Cut the mango and avocado into cubes.

2. Add finely chopped garlic and chilli (deseeded). Add all the other salad ingredients.

3. I usually use raw prawns so I put the mixed salad into fridge, and pan-fry the prawns. I then let them cool, while cooking the fish (pan-fry for about 5 minutes, then finish under a grill in the oven for another 5 minutes). Then mix the prawns into the salad, and serve with the fish.