My dinner plan for this week. Tonight’s meal is from Szechuan, tomorrow’s is from Cyprus, Monday’s is from Burma, Tuesday’s is from Italy, and Wednesday’s is from India. I really like to mix up the cuisines that I eat for my dinner.
Lemon grilled dab. This is a variant on the River Cottage lemon grilled sole from the Fish book. I’ve never seen dab on sale in the supermarket today so this was a real treat. Cheap too. I had it with a little bit of buttery mash (using the lemony butter from the bottom of the tray in which I’d cooked the fish), steamed samphire, and pea shoots.
One of the best frittatas that I have cooked. It’s a simple onion frittata with some Red Leicester and tarragon. The vegetables are new potatoes, French beans, and broad beans, and they are dressed with a tarragon garlic butter. I finally dressed the whole plate with pansy petals. Perfect celebration of my new home, new balcony, & new plants.
Friday is fish curry night. This is a portion of my coley & prawn curry which I had frozen & defrosted. I’m eating it with basmati rice, into which I’ve stirred some sizzling cumin and nigella seeds, and some parsley. I’ve also done some courgettes, griddled until smoky, and then dressed with lemon juice, yoghurt, a little bit of oil, and some garam masala.
Awesome fish curry. Toast some fennel, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek seeds with a few black peppercorns, then grind them in a mortar & pestle. Blend a tin of chopped tomatoes with three garlic cloves and about a thumb-sized piece of ginger. Add some cayenne pepper, turmeric, and the ground spices and blend again. Fry the blended paste while you poach some fish. Reserve the liquid from the fish. The paste will reduce down until it is very dry, so keep it topped up with the water in which you poached the fish. Try the cooked sauce - you may want to add some sugar if it is too spicy. Take off the heat and add some yoghurt to make it creamy. Add the fish and some cooked prawns, and stir gently. Cover and return to a very low heat. Whatever you do, don’t boil it: you just want it to be warmed through. Boil some basmati rice according to the packet instructions. When ready, drain and return to the pan in which you cooked it. Heat some oil (I like to use a nice rapeseed oil) until it is fragrant and add some cumin, mustard, and nigella seeds. Before long, the seeds will start to pop, at which point take the pan off the heat and stir the whole lot into the rice. It will sizzle and coat the rice. Serve the rice with the warmed curry, topped with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or coriander.
Kedgeree cooked according to Nigella Lawson (How To Eat) with as many appropriate ingredients that I had in the house. Mixed in some peas too. Given what I had, or rather didn’t have, this is a reasonable distance away from Nigella’s original (which uses salmon where I use coley) but it was still lovely. I usually use Delia Smith’s recipe for Buttery Kedgeree (which I think is on her website) but this is definitely one to do again.
Slow-cooked lamb shanks braised with citrus and vegetables. I ate this with butter beans and steamed greens.
Broccoli dressed with butter, parsley, and anchovies, and asparagus topped with scrambled egg. Quick and delicious supper.
Oven-poached coley fillets, with a poached egg, steamed asparagus, and boiled Charlotte potatoes (dressed with butter and parsley).
Dinner on the balcony tonight. A salad of spinach, watercress, and rocket, enlivened with radishes, olives, croutons, a few sprigs of parsley, and grilled halloumi. The dressing was made from lemon juice, olive oil, and Dijon mustard.