Smoked Mackerel Breakfast Salad

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.For years our morning meal has contained a single item… a coffee. Well, we both aren’t morning eaters and the very idea of solid foods in the earlier hours of the day just isn’t very appealing to us, normally but things can change… Lately, we have swopped sitting in the office in front of the PC for more physical work like gardening or woodworking. This change has forced us to reevaluate our eating habits. We are now much more inclined to have a proper, high protein breakfast which will keep us going till lunch or maybe dinner time, depending on how busy we are. We have started to experiment with different food combos and this salad is just a perfect result from this experiment. Who would have thought that fish and a white cheese could go so well together? I know it might sound a bit off but don’t diss it before you try it. The smoky taste from the fish rounded out by the creamy white cheese, the mildest hint of mayo zinged to the heavens when a piece of spring onion is bit a truly wondrous combo.

Ingredients:

  • 500g smoked mackerel
  • 150g soft white cheese*
  • 3 eggs
  • 2tbsp mayonnaise
  • Handful of chopped spring onions
  • Fresh cracked black pepper; to taste

*if you are in the UK you could check your local supermarkets’ Foods Of the World fridge section and see if they stock a Polish white cheese called twaróg  – it will work perfectly 🙂

Method:

Put a pan of water and 3 eggs on to boil, when done remove from the heat and allow to cool.

De-bone and flake the fish, then place it in a bowl. With a fork, mash it up a bit to reduce in size any large clumps of fish.

Add the white cheese and mash some more.

Once cooled and peeled, roughly chop the eggs and add to the bowl of fish and cheese. Sprinkle the spring onion over the top, add the mayonnaise and finally crack some black pepper and stir gently till everything is just combined.

Serve as a salad or even as a sandwich filling, it works perfectly both ways. And if you have any leftovers after breakfast time, pop it into the fridge and use as a dip for some crackers come evening time.

Enjoy!

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.

Homemade Haddock Fishcakes

Quick and easy homemade haddock fishcakes which are crispy on the outside and soft and flaky inside. A perfect recipe for using up any fish leftovers which will provide a healthy meal at any time of the day.

Quick and easy homemade haddock fishcakes which are crispy on the outside and soft and flaky inside. A perfect recipe for using up any fish leftovers which will provide a healthy meal at any time of the day.Ingredients:

  • 500g cooked haddock*
  • 4-5tbsp homemade breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1tbsp fish sauce
  • Small bunch of parsley; finely chopped
  • Dash of sunflower oil
  • 10g butter

*we normally use leftover haddock to make our fishcakes, which means that I use fish I cooked myself and my fish was cooked with salt, pepper and herbs. If you cook your fish plain you might want to add some fresh cracked pepper and maybe an additional half a spoon of fish sauce into the mixture.

Method:

Pop your haddock into a large bowl and using a fork or two shred it a little to break up any large chunks. Do not squash it too much as you want to retain some of the fish flakes and not to turn it into a mash.

Add eggs, fish sauce, a dash of sunflower oil, chopped parsley and 4 heaped table spoons of breadcrumbs.

Mix well but gently with your fingertips, do not mash it.

If needed, because the mix is to wet, add an additional spoon of breadcrumbs. It will really depend on the method by which you cooked your haddock in the first place and how moist the fish is.

Quick and easy homemade haddock fishcakes which are crispy on the outside and soft and flaky inside. A perfect recipe for using up any fish leftovers which will provide a healthy meal at any time of the day.Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts.

Form a ball in the palm of your hand and then with the flat of your hand squash down slightly until you achieve a kind of burger shape. Do not make your fishcakes too high as they will not cook properly, the middle will still be cold when the outside has burnt.

Pop into the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will allow them to set better.

Quick and easy homemade haddock fishcakes which are crispy on the outside and soft and flaky inside. A perfect recipe for using up any fish leftovers which will provide a healthy meal at any time of the day.Preheat a heavy bottomed frying pan, add 10g of butter and a splash of sunflower oil and fry about 4-5 minutes on each side or until nice and golden.

Serve warm or cold with a green dressed salad and enjoy!

Quick and easy homemade haddock fishcakes which are crispy on the outside and soft and flaky inside. A perfect recipe for using up any fish leftovers which will provide a healthy meal at any time of the day.

Quick and easy homemade haddock fishcakes which are crispy on the outside and soft and flaky inside. A perfect recipe for using up any fish leftovers which will provide a healthy meal at any time of the day.

Herbs Infused Grilled Trout

Lately we were introduced to the wonders of so called “Ukrainian BBQ” – it is a long story but let me tell you this – all you need is some outdoor space, 3 large bricks, some dry wooden sticks and a metal griddle… this will provide you with an amazing grilling experience… just like they did in an old days, I believe. There is really no need for elaborated BBQ “machines”; the food which comes out from this simple construction is spectacular! And today I would like to share with you herbs infused grilled trout, which we grilled on this low tech barbecue.

Herbs Infused Grilled TroutIngredients (per fish):

  • 1 whole trout, gutted and cleaned
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • ½ clove garlic; minced
  • 1 spring fresh thyme
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary
  • 1 spring fresh lovage
  • Pinch of herb salt (or make your own with sea salt and a mix of herbs)

Method:

1. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutWash and clean your trout.

2. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutCut the heads off. (It is always better to buy fish whole; the fresher the fish the more they will have shiny sparkly eyes… that become more foggy as they get older, so buying headless fish might be considered risky).

3. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutSlash each side of your trout a few times along its length… you want your cuts to penetrate the skin and get to the flesh but not so deep that your fish starts to fall apart during the grilling process.

4. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutSprinkle your fish with the herb salt if you have it in your cupboards otherwise your own herb and salt mixture. Don’t forget to season inside the cavities as well.

5. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutMince some garlic and spread it throughout the inside cavity.

6. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutNow it is time to stuff our fish; to begin with stuff it with lemon slices (one slice cut in half for ease of fitting), followed by the rosemary, thyme and lovage.

7. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutPlace them on a platter adding a little bit more of the seasoning on top and then leave to marinate for as long as you can but at least for a while (being around an hour). Remember the longer you leave it the more the flavours will have chance to penetrate through the fish.

8. Herbs Infused Grilled TroutOnce you are ready, start your low tech BBQ and once it is nice and hot and the flames have fully died down then start to grill your fish. Your trout will need around 5-7 minutes on each side depending obviously on the size of your trout.

Herbs Infused Grilled Trout.My Herbs Infused Grilled TroutServe with a fresh green salad and enjoy the delicious smokey moist tender divine almost orgasmic taste.

Do you like fish?

If not why not, what is wrong with you?

What’s your favourite fish and way of serving it?

Yum

herbs-infused-grilled-trout

What’s Cooking – Oven Poached Salmon in white wine

Oven Poached Salmon in White Wine
Oven Poached Salmon in White Wine

Salmon is one of my favourite fishes. I like it smoked, fried, poached, on its own or as a part of a more complicated dish. Salmon taste great, it is very easy to prepare and quick to cook and I still cannot get over the fact that in this day and age it is cheaper than cod to buy.

If you are handy in the kitchen you can have a home cook, delicious dinner ready in under 30 minutes (+ a little extra time needed by your oven to get up to the desired temperature of 200 degrees).

So what is needed in order to make oven poached salmon in white wine?

  •  A piece of Salmon big enough to give 2 steaks per person
  •  200ml of white wine, the rest can be drink with your dinner 🙂 or in Marks case by the chef
  • Lemon, juiced, no pips required
  • 2tbs of olive oil
  • Fresh sprig of rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

Cut your salmon into a portions
Cut your salmon into a portions
Place it on deep baking tray covered with foil that has been brushed with a little bit of olive oil
Place it on deep baking tray covered with foil that has been brushed with a little bit of olive oil
Brush your salmon with a little bit of olive oil
Brush your salmon with a little bit of olive oil
Season with salt, pepper and rosemary; sprinkle with lemon juice
Season with salt, pepper and rosemary; sprinkle with lemon juice
Add white wine until whole bottom of your trey is covered in it
Add white wine until whole bottom of your trey is covered in it
Seal your whole baking tray with cooking foil, making a neat parcel and bake at 200 for around 15 - 20 minutes
Seal your whole baking tray with cooking foil, making a neat parcel
and bake at 200 for around 15 – 20 minutes
Remove from the oven and serve. Enjoy!
Remove from the oven and serve. Enjoy!

Serving suggestions:

Peel a couple of potatoes whilst your oven is heating up and your fryer, cut into micro fries and cook whilst fish is in the oven for posh fish and chips.

Go healthy and whilst your fish is cooking make a bed of lettuce on your plate with some other seasonal salad foods of your choosing. Tomatoes go well as do mushrooms.

Ultra lazy home cooks can just bang a bag of Uncle Bens 2 minute packets of rice in the microwave to have fish and rice, Mark says to add a good shake of pepper sauce to this version for a Caribbean twist.

Out and about – The Japanese Koi Company

A few miles down the road from us is a fantastic Aquatic Superstore called The Japanese Koi Company. The place is so amazing, despite the fact that we do not own an aquarium, we visit it every now and then just to please the eye.

The store itself is huge and it stocks 100s of different types of fishes including of course a very impressive selection of Koi Carps and even more impressive price tags sometimes.

Before my first visit there 5 or 6 years ago, I did not have a clue that there are fishes out there costing 100s of pounds. Their selection of Koi start from £9.99 (I think) for the little fellas and I have seen a big Koi for as much as £599.00

The Superstore is set by a lovely outdoor pond, and a few “cages” with rare land animals (they are a new addition, most likely to bring new customers in and it seems to work)

Normally it takes us 1.5-2 hours to walk around and check out all the creatures. If you are not into fishes they also stock reptiles, small animals and birds, as well as huge selection of all pet foods and accessories.

If you are ever close by Henlow in Beds, make a pit stop and you will not be disappointed, trust me.

I adore looking at this lovely fishes so I took a selection of pictures for you, to show you what Koi you can see there.

I hope you like them as much as I do.

Please note the names are my own as I’m no Koi expert; I’m sure they have names that reflect their beauty and presence, I’m just not aware of them.

Selection of mix coloured small Koi
Selection of mix coloured small Koi
Golden Koi
Golden Koi
Silver Koi
Silver Koi
Red and white Koi
Red and white Koi
Orange Koi
Orange Koi
A laaarge one – just look at them aren’t they fantastic
A laaarge one – just look at them aren’t they fantastic
This blue one was particularly stunning,  but I couldn’t take a better picture of him
This blue one was particularly stunning,
but I couldn’t take a better picture of him
And my favourite Koi,  which you have all seen before on one of the “Who am I?” shots, I called him Mr. Big
And my favourite Koi,
which you have all seen before on one of the “Who am I?” shots,
I called him Mr. Big