Tag Archives: fish

Rustic Italian loaf with baked haddock


This meal fits together perfectly. The crunchy crust on the loaf goes perfectly with the tasty, plump roast vegetables. The fish is, well, fish, but it just fits. Everything is exactly as it should be. Which is actually a total coincidence, because really I just wanted to break in the Italian home baking book my lovely mother-in-law bought me and I winged the rest based on what colours I thought would look nice together on a plate. To be honest, though, the bread on its own is so good that you could put basically anything next to it and still have a wonderful meal. I love a loaf with serious crust but a soft, moist inside, and this delivers in every possible way. I am so excited for the rest of this baking book.

Ingredients for the rustic bread:
225g white bread flour
100g wholemeal bread flour
1 tsp salt
a pinch of black pepper
7g dried yeast
210ml warm water
1 tsp olive oil
30g sun dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)

Serves 4
Calories: 330
Takes about 3 hours

Stage one: Either combine all the ingredients in a bread maker and switch to the dough setting, or make by hand by kneading for 10 minutes and then covering with a damp tea towel and leaving in a warm room for 90 minutes. I added sun dried tomatoes, which were pulverised in the bread machine such that you can’t really see them in the bread when it’s baked, but give the whole thing a lovely extra flavour. In the original recipe were olives, which you add in just before proving.

Stage two: Punch the dough down, knead for a couple of minutes, and then shape into an oval loaf. Place it on a baking tray and leave it in a warm room for 40 minutes to prove. I do this by placing it on top of the preheated oven.


Stage three: If you haven’t already, preheat the oven to 200C/fan180C. Brush the loaf with olive oil and bake for 35 minutes.


Ingredients for the baked haddock:
4 fillets haddock
200g cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
a handful of basil leaves

Serves 4
Calories: 200
Takes 30 minutes to make

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C. Prep the vegetables and put them on a roasting tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, season and put in the oven for 15 minutes.

Stage two: Give everything a stir, and then push the vegetables aside so there’s space for the 4 fillets in the middle of roasting tray. Lay the fillets in the middle of the tray, season, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and finally tear the basil leaves over the top. Pop back in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve immediately.



Grilled plaice with balsamic sweet potatoes and veg


I’m having a bit of a balsamic vinegar phase at the moment. I love to roast things in it, because the vegetables suddenly go all sweet and intense and golden. Sweet potatoes in particular work well for this. This meal was mostly inspired by the question “what do I have that I can roast in balsamic vinegar tonight?” and the contents of my fridge. I love all the different colours going on in this dish, it just looks so bright and cheerful.

4 fillets of plaice
a pat of butter/margarine
lemon juice
600g sweet potato
100g spinach, washed
150g button mushrooms
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Serves 4
Calories: 400
Takes 40 minutes to make

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C and the grill to medium. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into slices about an inch thick. Lay them out in a roasting tin and drizzle with 1 tbsp each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season well and then put in the oven.


Stage two: After 20 minutes, take out the potatoes, add in the button mushrooms and an extra tbsp each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Give everything a good stir around, and then pop back in the oven. Then take out the grill pan, and lay out the plaice on it. Spread a little butter/margarine over each slice, sprinkle over a little lemon juice (about 1 tbsp overall), season and put in the grill. Leave for 12-15 minutes.


Stage three: After the fish is done (it will flake easily), take it out and gently put on plates – it will want to fall apart if it’s done, which can ruin the look a bit! Then take out the vegetables, put the spinach in the pan on top of the mushrooms and sweet potatoes, and give them a stir around so that the spinach wilts slightly. Distribute onto plates, and serve.


Teriyaki salmon with broccoli and beans


Today, I walked into my hallway and smelled gas. A very nice man was sent along by British Gas to tell me that the boiler is very dead in a dangerous kind of way, and to switch the gas off until we get a replacement mid next week at the most. Fun times. I am now heating the flat using the tumble dryer and a portable heater. Today of course would also be the day I planned a meal that entirely relies on the stove. Did you know that attempting to cook a marinade over a vanilla scented candle from Asda really doesn’t work that well? On the upside, today I relearned various things about fire that I knew when I was in school but forgot since, such as that putting a pan down on top of a lit candle will make the candle go out.

Since all I have to cook with is now an oven and a vanilla scented candle, in sum this is not really the way I had intended to cook any of this food. But actually, I think that the salmon and vegetables are the better for it. The irony of my blog’s title is not lost on me, however.

4 fillets of salmon
3 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 square inch ginger, grated
200g tenderstem broccoli
200g fine beans

Serves 4
Calories: 360
Takes 5 minutes to make the marinade, 20+ minutes to marinate, and 15-20 minutes to bake

I serve this with noodles or rice. Because I have no stove, the only thing I could cook was bean vermicelli noodles. I’m not wild about them, but used them because all you do is add hot water. I suggest egg noodles or rice with this dish, though. I’ll prompt you when to prepare your carb of choice and how I would serve it for maximum flavour.

Stage one: Put the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, oil, garlic and ginger in a small pan. Cook over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the garlic and ginger are fragrant. This should only take a minute or so, unless you’re cooking by candle, in which case it takes somewhat longer. Meanwhile, put the salmon in a bowl face-down. When the marinade is done, pour it over the salmon. Cover and put it in the fridge. I did this around lunch time, which meant I left it in the fridge for 6 hours or so. You don’t need to wait that long, maybe 20 minutes, but the longer the better.


Stage two, some time later: Preheat the oven to 190C/fan170C. In a roasting pan, place the fine beans and the broccoli and then gently lay the salmon on top. Admire the lovely red/orange colour that well-marinated salmon goes. Drizzle the remaining teriyaki sauce over everything. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the salmon flakes easily.


Stage three: Meanwhile, prepare your carb of choice. See how nicely that timing works out? I made noodles.

Stage four: OK, serving up. Take the salmon out of the pan and put it on your plate. Put your noodles/rice/other carb into the pan and give everything a mix around. This will soak up that lovely leftover sauce. Eat!