Sunday, 30 October 2016

What's for dinner?

If you have ever had trouble getting the skin on a fillet of salmon nice and crispy, then this recipe is the one for you.
There’s no tips about achieving crispy skin, not this time sorry, I’m basically abandoning that method altogether and encouraging you to try something easier.
It’s so simple, but importantly tastes flipping amazing.
I love salmon, which is why I use it in this recipe but it would also probably work well with any good fish if salmon doesn’t tantalise your tastebuds.
You can change it up according to whatever you’ve got in the fridge (within reason, let’s not get too crazy – leave the cheese alone), although I would suggest that the ginger is a good staple to stick to if you can.
Mushrooms may sound like a strange addition, but trust me, it works really well.

Baked Salmon Parcels
2 salmon fillets (skin-off or on)
2 spring onions
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated or chopped finely
2-4 field mushrooms, sliced
Parsley or coriander, roughly chopped
1 lemon, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Drizzle of sesame oil

Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
Grab an oven tray and line with two big pieces of alfoil, one running horizontally and the other vertically (but the same size).
Place a piece of baking paper on top of the alfoil, running horizontally.
This is your parcel, so you can do individual parcels using the same method if you prefer.
Layer your spring onions, mushrooms and ginger on the baking paper before gently laying the salmon fillets on top.
Drizzle with the sesame oil and soy sauce, before topping with lemon and herbs.
Wrap your parcels up, loosely but ensuring there aren’t any openings.
Bake for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of your fillets and your cooking preferences.
Serve with stir fried vegetables.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Harvest time

There is something extremely satisfying about cooking with an ingredient you’ve just harvested from your own vegetable garden.
In this household, just being able to harvest anything before the middle lad gets to it first is worthy of celebration.
So what better way to celebrate the first Everyday Baker beetroot harvest than to make a cake?!
Well, cupcakes to be precise and by “harvest” I’m being a little generous but there was enough for this recipe so that’s the main thing.
These puppies are like the healthy (ish) version of a red velvet cupcake, without the horrid red food colouring that turns my lads into a mob of raving lunatics – I don’t need that in my life, it’s crazy enough here on a good day thank you very much.
Shout out to one of my favourite food blogs for this base recipe, The Nutritionist and the Chef.
The wonderfully earthy flavour of the beetroot pairs very well with almond or hazelnut meal, and the icing is not too sweet, but sweet enough that the lads loved it.
The next crop of veggies have now been planted with excitement, but personally I’ll be very surprised if we manage to pick any strawberries from a plant that’s already had to be replanted five times.    

Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes
85g dark chocolate
3 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup olive oil or melted butter
300g cooked beetroot
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup cocoa
200g almond or hazelnut meal
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup of cream or full fat yoghurt
1 cup cream cheese
½ cup icing sugar

To cook the beetroots, steam for about half an hour or until tender when pricked with a knife.
Wash under cold water and just rub the skin off with your hands, before mashing or blending until you get a rough puree.
Set beetroot aside and pre-heat oven to 180C. Line a cupcake tray with cases.
Melt the dark chocolate.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and oil or butter together.
Add the cooked beetroot, the chocolate and the vanilla to the egg mixture and stir until combined.
Sift in the cocoa and add, with the almond meal, baking powder and salt, folding gently until all mixed through.
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the spring to the touch.
Allow to cool before icing.
To make the icing, whip the cream to soft peaks and add the icing sugar and cream cheese, beating until combined.

Spread over cupcakes and if you desire, grate a little extra chocolate on top.