Friday, 22 September 2017

Steamed Sea Bass Fillets with Soy, Chilli and Garlic

Post in collaboration with Iceland Foods


Punchy Asian flavours abound in this healthy, quick and easy fish dish which is syn free on Slimming World. Steamed Sea Bass Fillets with Soy, Chilli and Garlic using frozen fish cooked in a bamboo steamer over a wok. On the table in less than 10 minutes.




So much excitement to share in this post. Firstly a trip to London, secondly visiting an Iceland Foods flagship store, thirdly eating a feast of fish cooked seven ways by Iceland Head Chef Neil Nugent. But I've saved the best till last... I got to visit the Saturday Kitchen Studios! Check out little old me stood behind the self same kitchen counter where James Martin et al have stood. Alas I never got to try my hand at the infamous omelette challenge. I'll need to blag an invite on the show for real for that one.


Fangirl moment over, let me tell you the real reason for my visit to London. As regular readers will know I've been collaborating with Iceland Foods for almost 18 months now sharing the #PowerOfFrozen message (frozen food - not Anna and Elsa) and working alongside them to change perceptions of both frozen food and their brand. I'm the first to admit that prior to working with them I'd only ever visited at Christmas to stock up on party food and the ubiquitous Prawn Ring! To further enhance our partnership I was delighted to be invited to attend their 'School of Fish' day in London to find out more about the them, their products and plans for the future. Along with a group of nine other bloggers, vloggers and influencers I met the team from Iceland after having spent the night at the gorgeous Windmill Hotel. Fueled up on breakfast and coffee we were ready to be escorted to Iceland’s flagship Clapham store. 


The store looked nothing like my local Iceland. If it wasn't for the branding I would have struggled to tell that I wasn't in the adjacent premium supermarket! An abundance of fresh produce, seriously impressive drinks selection and the swankiest freezers you ever did see. Over the last two years Iceland have worked hard to up their game, change perceptions and increase their product range, but they put their hands up to the fact that the majority of their stores don't as yet look the part. This one most certainly did and I sincerely hope that this fresh modern look will continue to be rolled out across all of their sites. On a walk round the store we were introduced to a selection of new and innovative products, best sellers and old favourites. I was particularly excited to see the elusive frozen avocado halves. These have proved so popular that alas they aren't available in all stores yet. I was also introduced to some new products all of which I've since bought in my local store. Rainbow Fries, Cauliflower Rice, Multi Greens Rice and Mac & Cheese Pizza. My facebook page went crazy for the pizza. But then again we do love a Macaroni Pie in Scotland. 


From the store it was a short walk to Cactus Studios, home of the The Michel Roux Jr Cookery School and filming location for Saturday Kitchen. Here we were hosted by Iceland's Head Chef Neil Nugent who shared with us his culinary expertise and in particular the sentiment that if you want fresh fish - buy frozen. Now this may seem like a contradiction of terms but here's the Iceland explanation.

"Some ‘fresh’ fish displayed on the supermarket fish counters has previously been frozen or transported on ice. Tucked away in the small print you will find ‘previously frozen’. It often takes well over a week to reach the store, losing valuable nutrients and freshness in the process; whereas freezing is nature’s pause button so the goodness is locked in."

Makes sense when you think about it. If a fish is caught and frozen immediately (which often occurs at sea in factory boats) you literally stop the clock. The freshness is frozen in and nutritionally nothing is lost. However fresh fish on a supermarket fish counter could have been caught days if not weeks ago. There's something fishy going on there! 


Preparing fish and seafood can be a wee bit scary but Iceland have done all the hard work for you. No worries about heads, tails, guts and scales, all you need to do is defrost.The best way is overnight in the fridge but if you are in a hurry and are going to cook the fish immediately there's a quicker option. Just watch the video below for full instructions. I'm definitely going to use Neil's tip of defrosting on a J-Cloth. For our lunch Neil cooked us a risotto using white and claw crab meat and Argentinian red shrimp. I'd already tried both products (the shrimp featured in my BBQ Steak and Shrimp Kebabs with Maple and Mustard Glaze) so I knew it was going to be a tasty dish. But it didn't stop there. To finish off the dish was a perfectly cooked fillet of Sea Bream with wonderfully crispy skin. In order to achieve this make sure you dry the fish skin really, really well.


Throughout the afternoon Neil took us on a voyage of discovery on the good ship 'School of Fish' to sail through his seven (seas) methods of cooking fish (enough of the fishy puns already?!) And so we watched, learned and ate...

1. Deep Fried Lemonade Batter Cod Goujons 
2. Grilled Trout Fillet with Toasted Almond Butter 
3. Baked Cod en Papillote 
4. Poached Salmon served with Warm Potato Salad 
5. Steamed Sea Bass Fillets with Soy, Chilli and Garlic 
6. Pan Griddled Tuna with Salsa Roca 
7. Pan Fried Sea Bream with Chermoula 

Yes. We did also have dessert. Luxury Sicilian Lemon Tartlets. It all tasted just as amazing as it looked and it all came out of the freezer. 





The recipe I'm sharing with you below was my absolute favourite. So quick and easy to make yet packed full of fresh and punchy Asian flavours. And as a bonus if you are following Slimming World then my version is syn free! (Neil's original recipe used the juice of 1 orange which I have substituted for 2 Tbsp of lemon juice) If you like the sound of any of the other dishes above you can find the recipes for them all in an instore leaflet or online at Iceland Fish Recipes.


The video below gives a step by step run through of the Steamed Sea Bass Fillets with Soy, Chilli and Garlic. I have a small bamboo steamer basket so could only fit in a couple of fillets on a side plate. I think a visit to my local Chinese supermarket for a larger one is on the cards as I can see this becoming one of my new favourite ways to cook fish.





Steamed Sea Bass Fillets with Soy, Chilli and Garlic
(Syn Free on Slimming World)
Serves Two

Ingredients:
4 Defrosted Sea Bass fillets
2 Tbsp of Dark Soy Sauce
Thumb sized piece of Fresh Ginger, grated
2 Garlic cloves, grated
1 Red Chilli - 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 sliced for garnish
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Whole Carrot, Sliced into Match Sticks
2 Spring Onions, Cut into Strips
Fresh Coriander to garnish

Method:
Defrost the Seabass fillets and pat dry. Place them on a plate and then into a bamboo steamer. 
In a bowl mix together the dark soy sauce, grated (a microplane grater works best for this) ginger and garlic, finely chopped chilli and lemon juice.
Add approximately 4cm of water to a wok, place in your bamboo basket and bring to a simmer.
Pour the soy dressing over the sea bass fillets and top with the prepared carrots and spring onions.
Place the lid on the steamer and allow to steam for 5-6 mins.
Garnish with chopped fresh coriander, sliced red chilli and serve immediately with steamed rice.



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www.foodiequine.co.uk Punchy Asian flavours abound in this healthy, quick and easy fish dish which is SYN FREE on Slimming World. Steamed Sea Bass Fillets with Soy, Chilli and Garlic using frozen fish cooked in a bamboo steamer over a wok. On the table in less than 10 minutes.


Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Iceland Foods. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Rice Recipe Round-up for #NationalRiceWeek

Post in collaboration with www.loverice.org


25 Rice based Recipes from top UK food bloggers to celebrate National Rice Week 2017. Whether you’re looking for inspo to use up leftovers, rustle up a quick midweek meal, or discover a new go-to salad there’s something for you below. 

www.foodiequine.co.uk 25 Rice based Recipes from top UK food bloggers to celebrate National Rice Week 2017. Whether you’re looking for inspo to use up leftovers, rustle up a quick midweek meal, or discover a new go-to salad there’s something for you below.

Rice Rice Baby!  We're slap bang in the middle of National Rice Week which this year runs from 18th to 24th September 2017. It really is a staple in my cooking repertoire. A quick check in my pantry and I've currently got seven types. Basmati, Pudding, Spanish Paella, Basmati & Wild, Arborio Risotto, Sushi and Brown Basmati. That's not including the pouches of ready cooked in both my freezer and cupboard. In Britain, we now eat five times more rice per person than we did forty years ago and consumption is still on the rise as more of us enjoy its taste, versatility and take advantage of convenient microwaveable packs. (I will put my hands up an admit that when I first spotted packs of precooked rice in the shops I was a total food snob about them and thought it was something that I'd never use. How wrong was I?! I am a total convert.)


This year’s National Rice Week is focusing on the versatility of rice. This single ingredient can be eaten hot or cold, sweet or savoury and can be enjoyed as a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or pudding. My roundup below comprises of 25 Rice based Recipes from top UK food bloggers. Whether you’re looking for inspo to use up leftovers, rustle up a quick midweek meal, or discover a new go-to salad there’s sure to be something for you below. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post for all the fantastic Rice Pudding variants. But before the recipes I'm a sucker for factoids so here's five things you may not know about rice. Number five is my favourite...
  1. Rice is the main food for half the worlds population
  2. Rice is cultivated on every continent except Antarctica
  3. There are over 29,000 grains in one pound of long grain rice
  4. Rice is the symbol of life and fertility, which is why it is thrown at weddings
  5. The Chinese word for rice is the same as their word for food 


























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www.foodiequine.co.uk 25 Rice based Recipes from top UK food bloggers to celebrate National Rice Week 2017. Whether you’re looking for inspo to use up leftovers, rustle up a quick midweek meal, or discover a new go-to salad there’s something for you in this roundup


Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Love Rice. As always, all views expressed are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to only ever bring you the cream of the crop.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Beef Chilli with Cheesy Garlic Bread Crust

Post in collaboration with Asda


Cheesy Garlic Bread and Chilli Con Carne combine to form a dish that just screams comfort food. Super easy to make and sure to be a hit with the whole family. 





Is there anything better than a slice of fresh crusty bread spread with butter? Possibly not. Unless that bread is a Carrot and Pumpkin Boule, or a Sourdough Batard or a Jalapeno Cheese Bread. Following hot on the heels of the Great British Bake Off Bread week (did you see that snail?!) Asda have launched a new range of specialty artisan bread. These loaves are inspired by different breads from around the globe so you can now pick up a perfectly baked Pain Pavé or a squidgy Italian Ciabatta alongside your weekly supermarket shop and enjoy an authentic taste of the world from the comfort of your own home. 


The new bread range was developed by Maddie Munden who is Asda's Master Baker. She had the enviable job of travelling all around Europe visiting local bakeries to get inspiration for her loaves. The thirteen products - a bakers dozen - include Carrot & Pumpkin Boule, Sourdough Baton, The Parisian, Sunflower Bloomer, Mediterranean Bread, and Jalapeno Cheese Bread. Each loaf is hand crafted using traditional artisan techniques and is baked in store daily for a fresh golden finish. No soggy bottoms here!


As delicious as these breads are spread with butter, made into a sandwich or toasted and slathered with jam or honey they also make fantastic recipe ingredients. Personally I like to enjoy au naturel on day one, toasted on day two and as in ingredient on day three. The perfect way to avoid any food waste. In the recipe I'm sharing below I've used Asda's Mediterranean Bread to make a Cheesy Garlic Bread Crust on a Minced Beef Chilli, but all bread can be utilised in a multitude of ways. Breadcrumbs are ideal for binding meatballs or burgers, coating fishcakes or schnitzel or as a topping on pasta bakes. They also freeze really well. But it doesn't stop there. Bread & Butter Pudding, French Toast, Summer Pudding, Croutons, Melba Toast, Panzanella, French Onion Soup - the list of dishes you can make with bread is endless so don't throw out a stale loaf.


To create my Minced Beef Chilli with a Cheesy Garlic Bread Crust I used half an Asda Speciality Artisan Bread thinly sliced. This gets toasted and spread with garlic butter before being layered on top of the chili. Finally it's sprinkled with cheese before the whole dish is placed under the grill. I make a fairly mild chili using a couple of cans of Asda Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (a store cupboard essential of mine!) but if you like things hot do feel free to add in some additional chili powder or paste. This is the family friendly version so won't blow your head off however if you also use the Asda Fiery Grated Cheese Blend watch out as it does have a bit of a kick to it.


Minced Beef Chilli with a Cheesy Garlic Bread Crust
Serves 4-6


Chilli 
Splash Rapeseed Oil
2 Onions, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 stick Celery, finely chopped
1 Carrot, finely chopped
500g Lean Beef Mince
2 x 290g Tins Chilli Beans in Chili Sauce
1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
200ml Beef Stock

Cheesy Garlic Bread Crust
1/2 a Loaf of your favourite Asda Speciality Artisan Bread (I used the Mediterranean Bread)
25g Butter, softened
Clove of Garlic, crushed
100g Grated Cheese (I used Asda Fiery Cheese Blend)

Heat the oil in a large pan or casserole dish and saute the onion for approximately 5 minutes or until softened.
Add the chopped celery, carrots and crushed garlic to the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the beef mince.
Stir it through gently until broken up and browned.
Tip in the contents from the cans of chilli beans and tinned tomatoes and finally the beef stock.
Bring to the boil before reducing the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes.

To make the cheesy garlic bread crust first preheat your grill. Then thinly slice your bread and lightly toast it on each side.
Mix together the crushed garlic and softened butter and spread some on top of each slice of toast.
Pour the cooked chili mixture into a lasagne dish and arrange the garlic buttered slices of toasted bread on top.
Sprinkle over the grated cheese and pop under the grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.


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www.foodiequine.co.uk Minced Beef Chilli Con Carne with a Cheesy Garlic Bread Crust. Super easy to make and sure to be a hit with the whole family. Cheesy Garlic Bread and Chili Con Carne combine to make a dish that just screams comfort food.


Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Asda. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Polish Forest Mushroom Soup

Forest Mushroom Soup from the debut cookbook 'Wild Honey and Rye' by Ren Behan. In this book we are invited to discover the very best of the new food of Poland with lighter healthier versions of traditional dishes and fresh seasonal fare served in contemporary ways.

Image credit - Yuki Sugiura, Pavilion Books


I'm delighted to be sharing a recipe today from yet another blogging colleague's newly published debut cookbook. Hot on the heels of Katherine Hackworthy's Veggie Desserts from which I shared a Strawberry & Spinich Swiss Roll, Ren Behan's book 'Wild Honey and Rye' hits bookshelves today. Ren is a British food writer of Polish descent who has blogged for the last six years at www.renbehan.com. Inspired by the food of her childhood and by the new wave of flavours to be found in the fashionable eateries and farmer’s markets of modern Poland she has compiled an evocative, mouth-watering collection of recipes, truly celebrating her heritage. To find out how her first cookbook came into being read The Story of Wild Honey and Rye on her blog.


The book itself is absolutely gorgeous to flick through, read and cook from with wonderful introductions and personal stories to accompany each chapter and recipe. It's divided into seven chapters which I've shared below along with a couple of my 'bookmarked to try' recipes from each. Hopefully this will give you a feel for the variety of it's contents. It kicks off with an Introduction and The Polish Pantry which provides advice on sourcing ingredients and what alternatives could be used. 
  • Sweet & Savoury Breakfasts - Baked Eggs with Kabanos, Fruit Souffle Omelette, Polish Plum Butter
  • Seasonal & Raw Salads - Cucumber, Soured Cream & Dill Salad, Homemade Fermented Dill Pickles
  • Seasonal Soups & Market Inspired Sides - Apple Mashed Potatoes, Carrots with Honey and Star Anise
  • Light Bites & Street Food - Polish Flatbreads with Courgette, Red Cabbage and Rocket, 'Feed a Crowd' Hunters Stew, 
  • Food for Family & Friends - Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce, Millet 'Kaszotto' with Wild Mushrooms, Polish Gnocchi with Bacon and Mushrooms
  • High Tea: Sweet Treats & Cakes - Pierogi with Strawberries, Honey and Pistachios, Polish Apple Cake, Blueberry Crumble Squares
  • Fruit Liqueurs and Flavoured Vodkas - Salted Caramel Vodka, Polish Plum Martini
Image credit - Yuki Sugiura, Pavilion Books

My own knowledge and experience of Polish food is very limited. I've looked curiously at the Polish grocery shelves in the supermarkets and have eaten Bigos (Hunter's Stew) and Pierogi (the classic sweet or savoury dumplings) in a sadly short lived Polish Restaurant in Aberdeen. But that's pretty much the extent of it. The reality of what Ren shares is far from what you may expect of cuisine in a post communist country. It's certainly not solely vodka, cabbage and rib sticking stews and dumplings. It seems that the contemporary Polish food scene is striving at both street food, home cooking and Michelin star level. In addition to inspiring me to recreate her recipes at home, I've also been inspired by Ren to add a visit to Poland to my ever increasing travel bucket list. 


Many of the recipes that immediately caught my eye seemed to contain mushrooms and the first one I chose to recreate was Forest Mushroom Soup. Alas my mushrooms came from the supermarket rather than the forest so did not have quite as intense a flavour or colour as the original version. I also used a vegetable stock cube as -shock horror - I never make my own stock. I absolutely adore pearl barley so cooked up 200g of this for 45 minutes which I stirred through at the end. The resulting soup was earthy, rich and with the addition of the barley a meal in itself. I shall definitely make it again. Particularity should I be lucky enough to stumble across a patch of Chanterelles in the coming weeks. 

Ren says "My grandmother adored picking mushrooms and she carried the knowledge of identifying mushrooms with her throughout her life, from the forests of Poland to the forests of England and Wales, where she would look for prawdziwki, meaning ‘the true ones’, or borowiki, porcini mushrooms, as well as other edible fungi. Of course, you can buy all manner of wild mushrooms safely from local food markets these days, so I would probably encourage you to do that for this soup. For a meat-free version, leave the chicken out of the stock. You can serve this with cooked pearl barley (kasza) to make the traditional Polish soup, krupnik.


Recipe Credit - Wild Honey & Rye by Ren Behan, published by Pavilion Books

FOREST MUSHROOM SOUP
ZUPA GRZYBOWA
Serves 8

1 large potato, peeled 
30g/1oz dried porcini or other dried wild mushrooms 
1 tsp vegetable oil 
1 tsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
200g/7oz fresh chestnut mushrooms or mixed wild mushrooms, chopped in half or quartered 
juice of ½ lemon
small bunch of parsley, finely chopped 
100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup double (heavy) cream or soured cream 

For the chicken stock
500g/1lb 2oz chicken wings 
2 carrots
1 onion, halved 
1 celery stick 
small bunch of parsley
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
sea salt and ground black pepper

To make the stock, put the ingredients and a pinch of salt and pepper into a large pan. 
Cover with cold water (about 2 litres/3½ pints/2 quarts) and gently bring to the boil, using a spoon to skim off any foam that forms. Leave to simmer for 1½ hours. 
Chop the potato into small cubes, add to the stock and cook for a further 15 minutes until the potato is soft.
Remove the chicken wings, onion, celery and bay leaf. 
Put the dried mushrooms into a cup or small bowl, pour over some boiling water and leave to soak. 
Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. 
Drain the rehydrated mushrooms (reserving the liquid) and chop very finely. Add to the pan with the fresh mushrooms. Squeeze in a little of the lemon juice and stir in the chopped parsley. 
Tip the mushroom mixture into the stock and pour in the reserved liquid. Remove half of the soup and transfer it to a blender, blitz, then pour the puréed soup back into the pan. 
This will thicken the soup slightly. Bring back to the boil. Take the soup off the heat, stir in the cream and serve.






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www.foodiequine.co.uk Forest Mushroom Soup from the debut cookbook 'Wild Honey and Rye' by Ren Behan. In this book we are invited to discover the very best of the new food of Poland with lighter healthier versions of traditional dishes and fresh seasonal fare served in contemporary ways.