Monday, 17 October 2016

Peanut Butter Ghosts - No Bake Halloween Treats

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays when it comes to getting crafty with food and drink, it is second only to Christmas in this respect. There is just so much to play with in terms of ghosts, pumpkins, witches and wizards, guts and gore. Admittedly I'm a bit nostalgic for the Scottish Halloween of my youth with guising, neeps and well rehearsed turns. Not sure that trick or treat, pumpkins and a knock knock joke quite cuts it. However pumpkins are definitely easier to carve than neeps and their burning flesh smells much better so it's not all bad. As well as giving us Trick & Treat and Pumpkins, the US of A has also given us SKIPPY Peanut Butter. I absolutely bloomin' LOVE the stuff and simply can not get enough of it. Their Extra Crunchy Super Crunch is my personal preference over the Smooth variant and despite not having a particularly sweet tooth I can't resit a PB desert, milkshake, cake or cookie. Check out my recipes for Peanut Butter Ice Lollies, Peanut Butter Oreo Milkshake and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

SKIPPY® is the iconic Peanut Butter brand who have been manufacturing in the USA since 1932. They challenged me to come up with a Halloween sweet treat incorporating their authentic American Peanut Butter as part of the 'SPOOKtacular SKIPPY Bake Off'. The recipe below is a no bake treat that would be perfect to make with kids. My daughter reckoned that the ghosts are friendly, like Casper or the Pac Man ones rather than scary Harry Potter Dementors. I tend to agree with her and depending on how you position their eyes and how the chocolate sets they can take on different expressions and personalities. If you can't track down any edible eyes they could be substituted with chocolate drops or small sweets. 

The recipe is based on my recollections of a childhood treat that I remember my Great Aunt Nellie serving up. I reckon Peanut Butter must have been a pretty exotic ingredient in Scotland in the late 1970's and early 1980's! Her recipe specified the ingredients in Cups which makes me wonder if like SKIPPY it also hailed from the USA? By using orange chocolate or candy melts you could transform them into Halloween Pumpkins, and for all year round Peanut Butter treats simply roll into balls and fully or partly cover in your preference of white, milk or dark chocolate. But for now, I ain't afraid of no ghosts! 

Halloween Peanut Butter Ghosts 
Makes approx 25 

340g Skippy Peanut Butter Crunchy 
100g Crunchy Nut or Regular Cornflakes 
150g Icing Sugar - sieved 
25g Butter, softened 
300g White Chocolate 
Edible Eyes 

Put the Skippy Peanut Butter, cornflakes and softened butter into a bowl and sieve in the icing sugar. 
Mix until thoroughly combined, you may find it easier to use your hands. 
Cool in the fridge for 30 minutes before shaping into approximately 25 small balls the size of a walnut. 
Place on a baking tray topped with greaseproof paper or a reusable non-stick liner and return to the fridge for a further 30 minutes. 
Break up the white chocolate into a bowl and melt in the microwave or over a bain-marie. 
Remove the peanut balls from the fridge and shape them into 'ghostly blobs' and space out well. 
Spoon over the white chocolate until the peanut mix is completely covered, allowing some to drip down to form an ectoplasm base! 
Once the chocolate is starting to set press two edible eyes into each ghost. 
Return to the fridge to chill before serving.

Some of my food blogger friends have also been whipping up spooky Halloween treats with Skippy. Check out Diana's oh so cute Halloween Peanut Butter Cupcakes complete with spiders and spiderwebs and Elizabeth's spectacular spooktacular Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Halloween Cake.

Have you spotted my spooky seasonal logo on my social media accounts? As always designed by

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for SKIPPY. 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.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Traditional Homemade Toffee Apples

Halloween and Bonfire Night just aren't complete without traditional toffee apples loved by both little and big kids. Rather than buy the highly coloured bright red versions from the supermarket why not try making your own this autumn? When it comes to any kind of hot sugar work the tricky bit is getting your boiling temperature right. Whether you're looking for thread, soft ball, firm ball or soft crack, things can easily turn to burnt sugar if you're not careful. Time for my trusty Thermapen to once again come into it's own. It's an absolute kitchen essential as far as I'm concerned. British made, the Thermapen is probably the worlds fastest reading kitchen thermometer. The true temperature of a foodstuff can be tested in just three seconds. In addition to ensuring that the toffee on your apple will be crunchy it will also take the guesswork out of other areas of your cooking. Steak will be perfect, your fudge, will set, your jam won't run off your toast, your chocolate will be shiny and tempered and your BBQ won't give anyone an upset tummy.

For toffee apples the magic number you're looking for is 150c which is the hard crack stage. The Thermapen takes only 3 seconds to give an accurate reading and it's temperature display automatically rotates through 360 degrees so you can see it at any angle. There's even a back light which is triggered in dim light whilst a motion-sensing sleep mode automatically turns on/off when set down or picked up. No wonder it's one of my most regularly used and invaluable pieces of kitchen kit. I recently gave my Mum one as I couldn't cope cooking without it when visiting her! 

When it comes to colour the traditional toffee or candy apple is bright red from goodness knows what food colouring. I used Jazz apples which are a wonderful mix of red and green and their colour shines through from the light caramel colour of the 'toffee'. The variety is a cross between the UK's two biggest sellers – the Royal Gala and the Braeburn. I also experimented in adding colour by way of beetroot powder but had mixed success, as whilst it looked brilliant red at the start of cooking it turned to a rather dark brown as the mixture came up to temperature. So my recommendation would be to avoid any artificial colour in your toffee and go for a beautiful coloured fruit instead. 

Traditional Homemade Toffee Apples 
As a child I always thought that a toffee apple was the perfect sweet, as once you'd eaten the toffee the apple would clean your teeth! 

6 Apples (I used Jazz Apples) 
400g Caster Sugar 
1 Tsp Vinegar 
50g Salted Butter 
100ml Water 
4 Tbsp Golden Syrup 

You will also need 
6 lolly sticks 
Thermapen digital food thermometer 

Wash and dry the apples. Remove any stalks and use a skewer to make a hole from the stalk end, then securely push in a lolly stick. 
Set the apples aside on a baking tray topped with greaseproof paper or a reusable non-stick liner. 
Place the sugar, vinegar, butter, water, and syrup in a heavy based pan and gently dissolve over a low heat. 
Turn up the heat and boil WITHOUT STIRRING (otherwise the sugar may crystallise) until the mixture reaches a reading of 150°C on a Thermapen thermometer. 
TIP - whilst boiling have a small bowl of cold water and a pastry brush to had and use the wet brush to wash down any stray sugar from the sides of the pan. 
Remove the pan from the heat and let the bubbles die down a little. 
Tilt the pan and carefully dip the apples one at a time into the toffee, twirling them to ensure they are fully covered. 
Let any excess toffee drop off before placing them back the lined baking tray. 
Once set store in a cool place - not the fridge - and eat within 48 hours (otherwise the toffee will start to soften and liquify. 

Do take a peek at the three recipes I've previously developed in conjunction with Thermapen which highlight its versatility: 

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Electronic Temperature Instruments Ltd 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.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Moules Écosse - Scottish Gin & Tonic Mussels

Sometimes with a recipe you need to keep it simple and let the high quality ingredients shine through. Such is the case today. Without a doubt my favourite food is shellfish and my favourite drink Gin. When I was asked by the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group to develop a recipe with Mussels to celebrate Seafood Week (7th - 14th October) I had a brainwave. I've had Mussels in white wine, cider and beer so why not Gin & Tonic? Scottish Shellfish needs Scottish Gin & Tonic so I reached out to local Aberdeenshire producers Esker Gin and Walter Gregor Tonic and a truly amazing dish was born.

Many of us love to eat Mussels when dining out but are more wary of cooking them at home thinking they are fiddly to clean and dangerous to eat. There is really nothing to be scared of as long as you follow the 4 simple steps below you really can't go wrong. With their plump and sweet tasting flesh they are one of the best and most affordable Scottish shellfish out there. The old myth about only eating mussels ‘when there is an ‘R’ in the month’ is incorrect and they are perfect to enjoy any day of the year.

  1. Store mussels in a bowl, covered with a damp cloth, in the bottom of the fridge. Apart from when cleaning, don't store or submerge the mussels in water or you'll drown them. 
  2. Sort through the mussels to check that they are all closed. Give any that aren’t a gentle tap on a surface to see if they close shut. Discard those that don’t close, along with any that are cracked or damaged. 
  3. Scrub the mussels well with a stiff brush under cold, running water and use the back of a knife to remove any barnacles. Pull away any tendrils or ‘beards’ from the sides of the shells. Rinse well again. 
  4. Cook the mussels according to your recipe and discard any shells that have not opened up. 

The flavours in this dish are absolutely fantastic. Of course much of that comes from the wonderful Scottish shellfish but the Gin & Tonic adds some amazing delicate notes. Feel free to experiment with the proportion of Gin to Tonic to find what works best for you. Shallots can be substituted for onions if you like a milder flavour however by cooking them and the garlic out first with the butter any real harshness is removed. I swithered about adding cream at the end as the cooking liquor tastes amazing in unadulterated form however I felt that a small amount really lifted the dish. Crusty bread for dunking is of course essential when it comes to eating, or you may prefer to dive straight in with a soup spoon. Frites work well too. We enjoyed both with our Moules Écosse. Slainte! 

Gin & Tonic Mussels
Moules Écosse
Serves 4 as a Starter or 2 as a Main Course

25g Salted Butter 
1/2 Onion, very finely chopped 
1 large Garlic clove, crushed 
150ml Scottish Tonic Water 
50ml Scottish Gin 
1.5 kg Scottish Mussels 
4 Tbsp Double Cream 
1 bunch Parsley, chopped 
Salt & Pepper 

Wash the mussels under cold running water and pull out any beards. If any are open, give them a wee tap to see if they will close shut. Discard those that don’t close, along with any that are cracked or damaged.
Melt the butter in a large heavy based pan. (Make sure it's one that you have a well fitting lid for) 
Gently fry the chopped onion and crushed garlic until soft. 
Pour in the Gin & Tonic and when it comes to the boil add the mussels. 
Cover with the lid and simmer for four or five minutes, occasionally shaking the pan, until all of the mussels are opened. 
Add the cream and parsley and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. 
Serve with plenty of crusty bread to soak up all the Gin & Tonic infused Mussel juices.

For further inspiration of what you can cook with Fresh Scottish Mussels take a look through these fantastic recipes from some of my food blogging colleagues:

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group. As always, all views expressed are my own. Thanks to Esker and Walter Gregor for providing the G&T. 
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Potato, Gruyere and Spinach Dauphinoise - the perfect accompaniment for Steak

I LOVE a steak. But I also love all the accompaniments that go with it. Fries, Peppercorn Sauce, Onion Rings, Mushrooms, Peas, Mustard, Fried Egg and of course Red Wine. I'm drooling at the very thought! As much as I love Steak and Chips my absolute favourite side is creamy layered dauphinoise potatoes. I simply can't resist them. A wee bit naughty but oh so nice! I'm sharing my recipe for Potato, Greuyere and Spinach Dauphinoise with you and boy is it good. Crispy topping - which everyone will fight over - with a gooey, cheesy, comfort food interior (plus the spinach makes you feel it's healthy!) To go with it I've got Surf and Turf. Not something that I've actually ever cooked at home before. My friends at Iceland asked me to try out something from their new range of luxury frozen meats and at £10 for 2 British beef fillet steaks and 4 whole shell on, raw king prawns neither my taste buds or my wallet could resist.

The new range of luxury meats from Iceland includes premium products for great prices so you can afford to treat yourself to something a wee bit special a wee bit more often. In addition to steaks there's Pork Tenderloins, Whole Poussions, Duck Breasts, Chicken Supreme, Tomahawk Pork Chops, Rack of Lamb, and Beef Wellingtons. Not the kind of thing you'd perhaps expect to find in the aisles alsongside fish fingers, burgers, pizza and ready meals. There's a perception that freezing steaks changes their quality or texture, this simply isn't the case. Modern freezing methods lock in the natural flavours of foods and retain their integrity. That's the #PowerOfFrozen I'm a shellfish fan so plumped for the surf and turf but also had the choice of Gaucho Sirloin Steak, Chateaubriand and Gaucho Rump Steaks. The 'Turf' is 21 day matured fillet steaks from British Red Tractor Assured Farms. That ticks all my boxes. 

Back to the dauphinoise. Par cooking the potatoes beforehand is a real time saver otherwise this dish needs a good 90 minutes to 2 hours to cook. Getting your potatoes and shallots thinly sliced is also another essential for a good result. Do please be so careful of your fingers if using a mandolin, they are viscous. The steak and prawns require to be defrosted prior to cooking so take them and the spinach out of the freezer the night before and let them defrost in the fridge. When you go to make the dauphinoise take the surf and turf out of the fridge and remove them from their packaging and allow them to come up to room temperature. Cook according to the packet instructions when the timer for your dauphinoise has 10 minutes to go. I always use a food thermometer to get my steak perfectly cooked - I like mine rare. Whist the steak rests the king prawns took only minutes to cook and turn pink. To accompany I added Iceland's Pea & Four Bean Medley in a Mint Butter, one of my favourite sides. The whole meal was a hit. The steak and prawns were tender and tasty and the dauphinoise added further decadence to our Saturday night in. As it serves six, I can thoroughly recommend any leftover dauphinoise for Sunday breakfast served up with bacon!

Potato, Gruyere and Spinach Dauphinoise
The perfect accompaniment to a juicy steak
Serves 6

1 kg Potatoes (I used Roosters and kept the skin on)
900g Iceland Frozen Spinach, defrosted
2 Shallots
264ml Single Cream
Chicken or Vegetable Stock Cube
2 Garlic Cloves
170g Gruyere Cheese
Black Pepper

Preheat your oven to 200c
Wash then very thinly slice your potatoes, ideally using a mandolin.
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 5 minutes then drain into a colander.
Squeeze out the excess water from the defrosted spinach until its as dry as you can make it.
Peel and thinly slice the shallots as thinly as possible, ideally using a mandolin.
Pour the cream into a measuring jug and make it up to 500ml with boiling water and crumble in a stock cube.
Peel and crush the garlic and stir it into the jug of cream.
Layer 1/3 of the par boiled potato slices into a large shallow ovenproof dish.
Top with 1/2 the shallots, 1/2 the spinach and 1/3 the cheese.
Season with grated nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper.
Pour of 1/3 of the cream mixture.
Repeat the layers finishing off with a third layer of potato, cheese, seasoning and cream.
Bake in the oven for for about 45 minutes until the top is golden brown, the cream is bubbling and the dauphinoise is cooked through.

Some of my food blogger colleagues have also been trying out the luxury frozen meats range from Iceland. Here's what they created:

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Iceland Foods. 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.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Yiouvetsi - One Pot Greek Lamb with Orzo

We're now officially in Autumn. The equinox has been and gone and the nights are, as they say, "fairly drawing in". It's a time for comfort food and hunkering down with warm and tasty meals. It's also the key time for Scotch Lamb to be in season and at it's best. Whilst we tend to intrinsically associate lamb with Easter, historically lambs are bred in the spring rather than eaten then. As such a newly born spring lamb may look cute but it won't be ready to roast until the Autumn. Even then, there's far more to Scotch Lamb than just the Sunday roast. With a huge variety of fresh lamb cuts and products available it really comes into its own with regards to versatility, simplicity and speed of cooking.

There's really no excuse for Scottish supermarkets and butchers not to be stocking Scotch Lamb at this time of year. Keep an eye out for the Scotch Lamb PGI logo which is shorthand for wholesomeness, safety and taste. Only meat carrying this logo is guaranteed to come from animals born and reared on assured Scottish farms. You can be sure that whenever you buy Scotch Lamb PGI that it’s the genuine article. It has been quality assured for its whole life in Scotland; the farm and processor has been independently audited to make sure they meet stringent requirements regarding animal welfare and natural production methods. 
If you need further inspiration for simple and quick to cook delicious and nutritious mid-week family meals with Scotch Lamb checkout out for recipes and step by step videos. Whilst slow cooked and roasted Scotch Lamb is amazing, a huge variety of lamb dishes can be on the table in less than 30 minutes, perfect for midweek meals.

As part of their annual “Wham Bam Lamb” campaign Quality Meat Scotland challenged me to make a quick and easy family meal using Scotch Lamb. Initially I had Mediterranean Meatballs in mind but that will have to wait for another day as my sister mentioned a minced lamb dish that she'd enjoyed on holiday in Greece which featured Orzo pasta. A quick Google revealed that it was Yiouvetsi and it sounded right up my street. As a busy Mum with many roles to juggle, a one pot dish will always appeal. Yiovetsi traditionally combines minced lamb with tomato, oregano, cinnamon and orzo. I added a bag of spinach to boost the vegetable content and black olives as along with Feta they always scream Greece to me. Six of us enjoyed the dish accompanied by assorted flatbreads, pittas and dips however on its own it would make a substantial and delicious meal for four. I really hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Yiouvetsi - One Pot Greek Lamb with Orzo

Serves 4-6

on the table in under 30 minutes

500g Scotch Lamb Mince
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
180g Baby Spinach
500ml Lamb Stock
350g Orzo Pasta
50g Sliced Black Olives
200g Feta Cheese, crumbled
Salt & Pepper
Chopped Fresh Mint & Parsley

Brown the mince in a large heavy based pan/casserole along with the chopped red onion and crushed garlic. (The lamb will release some fat so no additional oil is required.)
Add the oregano, cinnamon and tinned tomatoes and mix well before adding the spinach. Allow it to wilt down then simmer the dish for 5 minutes.
Pour in the lamb stock and orzo and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender. (If it seems dry at any point and a little more stock or water)
Finally stir through the black olives, taste and season well with freshly ground salt and pepper.
Serve topped with crumbled Feta Cheese and chopped fresh Mint and Parsley.

Minced Scotch Lamb is such a versatile ingredient. Here are three more of my own favourite recipes using it. The image below is the perfect one to Pin so you can easily find my recipe for Yiouvetsi in the future. #WhamBamLamb

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Quality Meat Scotland. 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.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Mozzarella Stuffed Mushroom Arancini

There seems to be a week/day/month for everything these days. Some of which I can get behind more than others. 19-25th September 2016 marks the very first #NationalRiceWeek which I'm delighted to help celebrate with a recipe for Mozzarella Stuffed Mushroom Arancini. Rice is an absolute store cupboard staple of mine. Everything from brown rice, risotto, sushi, wild, pudding and basmati. A quick look back at recipes I've created for the blog found a whole host that featured rice, here's some of my favourites.

Love Rice have teamed up with the major rice brands, supermarkets and food magazines and throughout the week will be encouraging us all to to break free from our meal ruts with the help of rice. Keep a look out on social media for the #NationalRiceWeek hashtag where you'll find lots of inspiration. There's a different theme planned for each day of National Rice Week covering everything from leftover rice to packed lunches, Friday night Fakeaway's and bento. Love Rice want to inspire people to try new rice recipes, new rice varieties, dishes from a new cuisine, and to try different styles of rice. I'm a recent convert to both frozen rice and pre-cooked rice. I will put my hands up an admit that when I first spotted them in the shops I was a total food snob and thought they were something that I'd never use. How wrong was I?! I am a total convert to their convenience, flavours and versatility. Just another way to harness the delicious, aromatic, healthy and nutritious qualities of rice.

Moving on to the recipe I've created for Mozzarella Stuffed Mushroom Arancini. As always a recipe is only a starting point. You could make these from any kind leftover risotto, you could even make your risotto from leftover rice, just add some cream to get the right consistency. Rather than deep or shallow fry my Arancini I've sprayed them with oil and then oven baked them. This works really well and the double coating of Panko goes nice and crispy. The hidden surprise of a gooey piece of Mozzarella in the middle is my favourite part of the dish. 

I'm somewhat of a fan of kitchen gadgets and gizmos and the wooden spoon you see in the photo below is in fact a risotto spoon. I'm not entirely sure if it makes a difference but the idea is that the large hole in the middle means that you can stir the rice constantly without breaking as many grains as you might with a solid spoon thus the rice isn't ground into mush. However a quick Google revealed another potential reason for the hole in that its there so some of the rice can pass through for a smoother and more flowing stirring action. Either way I suspect that the concept of my spoon may have come from a marketing department rather than Italy! I'm sure you'll manage risotto making just fine with a regular wooden spoon! 

Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4 (or 2 with leftovers being made into Arancini)

1 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
300g mushrooms, sliced ( I used a mixture of white and chestnut)
300g Risotto Rice
1 litre Vegetable or Chicken Stock
Large knob of Butter
Chopped Parsely
25g Parmesan, grated (or Vegetarian alternative)
Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil in a large, heavy based pan and add the chopped onion and crushed garlic. Fry over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, until softened. 
Add the sliced mushrooms and fry for a further 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the rice and coat it in the oil, mushroom and onion mixture. 
Pour in a couple of hundred ml of the stock and simmer, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been absorbed. 
Carry on adding stock in this way until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. This will take about 30 minutes. (You may need to add additional water if your stock runs out before the rice is fully cooked)
Take the risotto off the heat and add the butter, Parmesan and chopped Parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You want it to be creamy and oozy in texture so add a wee bit more stock/water if you think it needs it.
Enjoy half as Risotto and coll and refrigerate the other half to make Mozzarella Stuffed Mushroom Arancini 

Mozzarella Stuffed Mushroom Arancini
Makes 8

Half portion of Mushroom Risotto, chilled
125g Tub of Mini Mozzarella Pearls or 125g Ball of Mozzarella divided into 8 pieces
160g Panko Breadcrumbs
2 Free Range Eggs
350g Pasata
Spray Oil
Fresh Basil, Shaved Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative) and Black Pepper to serve

Preheat the oven to 200c
Divide the risotto mixture into 8 equal portions. 
To form the arancini, scoop a portion of the cooled risotto into your hand and in the middle place a piece of mozzarella. Wrap the risotto around it to seal completely and form into a ball.
Repeat with the remaining risotto and Mozzarella. 
Place the flour, egg and Panko in separate shallow bowls. Carefully dip each arancini ball in the flour, shaking off any excess, then the egg, and finally the Panko, ensuring the rice is completely coated. 
Repeat again with the egg and the Panko so each ball has a double coating of breadcrumbs.
Place the Aranchini on a baking sheet and spritz them with Spray Oil. 
Bake for 15 minutes before turning and spritzing again. Return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are just starting to brown. 
Heat through the Passata in a saucepan. Divide it between bowls and serve the Aranchini on top garnished with fresh Basil, shaved Parmesan and black pepper.

For further #NationalRiceWeek inspiration check out the following recipes from fellow food bloggers

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe 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.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Salmon and Pesto Rice Bake

There's nothing like fresh fish. Healthy, nutritious and delicious. But how fresh actually is your fish? You might be surprised to know that recent research had shown that Iceland's freshly frozen fish fillets are actually fresher than those found on the fish counter of a leading supermarket. When you start to think about it, the reasons for frozen being fresher than fresh are obvious. 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! 

As well as being fresher, frozen fish can often be better value and less wasteful. It's recommended that we eat 2 portions of fish a week with one of those being an oily fish. Even as a real fish and seafood lover I don't always manage this however by keeping a stash of Iceland's award winning fish products which include salmon, seabass, red snapper and scallops in your freezer you'll be well prepared for conjuring up fishy feasts in a flash! For something a touch more exotic be sure to check out their new Seafood Dishes Range. Frutti Di Mare, Sugo Alle Vongole, Guazzetto Di Mare and Zuppa Di Pesce. They've all been created to traditional Italian recipes and can be cooked from frozen in 9 minutes. Combine with pasta for a quick and easy meal just like an Italian Mamma would make. 

Time to unleash my inner Elsa and unlock the Power of Frozen with my recipe for Salmon and Pesto Rice Bake. I've used a pack of Fish Market 4 Atlantic Salmon Fillets which retails at £6. These are skinless and boneless and come individually wrapped and cook from frozen in the microwave in only 3 minutes (30 mins in an oven). They've been approved by Good Housekeeping and are a staple in my freezer. I've combined them with a couple of pouches of frozen ready cooked white rice. This one pot dish takes very little time to throw together and makes a perfect family midweek meal. You can substitute the frozen rice with any type of precooked rice if that works better for you. Or you can use uncooked rice and increase the quantity of water to 600ml. Cook the rice/pesto/vegetable mix for 30 minutes before adding the salmon in this case. That's your one portion of oily fish sorted for this week!

Salmon and Pesto Rice Bake

4 Iceland Fish Market Atlantic Salmon Fillets
2 Sachets (400g) of Iceland Cooked White Rice
1 Onion, finely sliced
150g Mushrooms, sliced
75g Pesto
100ml water
Salt & Pepper
To serve - Toasted Pine Nuts, Shaved Parmesan and Fresh Basil 

Preheat your oven to 200c
Into a large ovenproof dish place the sliced mushrooms, onions and rice and mix well.
Brush the top of the salmon fillets with some of the pesto.
Combine the remaining pesto with 100ml of water, pour over the rice mixture, season well with salt and pepper and stir through until combined.
Nestle the pesto coated salmon fillets on the top of the rice.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Serve topped with toasted pine nuts, shaved Parmesan and fresh basil.

Disclosure : This is a commissioned recipe for Iceland Foods. 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.