Lemon and Lime Salmon with tarragon cream

Outside in my mini herb garden I have some lovely tarragon plants (and a lot of mint but that is another story!) so to use it up we bought some fresh salmon and decided to bake it with butter, lemon and lime before serving salmon with tarragon cream.

Ingredients:

One Salmon Fillet per person
One knob of butter per salmon fillet
Slices of lemon and lime (I used a couple of slices of each on each fillet)
1 shallot, finely diced
1 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
200ml double cream
1tbsp chopped tarragon
70g diced pancetta
Bag of spinach
New potatoes, quartered

Get the oven on to warm up, Gas Mark 7 – 220C or 425F. The potatoes take longest plus they can be kept warm in the oven so the first task is to boil these. I use a hob to oven skillet to minimise the washing up. Any products I link to on Amazon are ones I own and use myself. This skillet is one of my most used pieces of kitchen equipment. Continue reading

Pasta carbonara

Reading a post the other day made me hungry. Really hungry. I haven’t had cabonara for ages, I’m not a big pasta fan but bacon in a dish always helps. Having read the excellent foodboozeandreviews spaghetti carbonara recipe, I decided that we were having it for tea the next day. To make a quick dish take longer and to add complication, I decided to make my own pasta as well.

It is actually really fairly simple to make your own pasta, especially if you have a pasta maker to roll the dough with. I definitely prefer the taste but for time and ease, dried pasta is more than sufficient.

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Somerset Pork

This Somerset Pork is based on a Hairy Bikers recipe called Somerset Chicken. Here I’ve swapped the chicken for pork, amended some quantities and left out the cheese. This is not a healthy recipe as it’s full of butter and cream, but it is tasty and you could try a few other tricks to reduce the calories. Its been a while since we last had this so I didn’t mess about with the recipe too much.

Ingredients:
Pork Steaks
Butter
1 onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 apple, cut into batons
Handful of sliced mushrooms
500ml cider (this is approximate, use either a can or bottle and leave a swig for yourself!)
Vegetable or pork stock cube
200 ml double cream
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Season and pan fry the pork steaks in a decent size knob of butter until browned on both sides, then put to one side in a warm place while you do the sauce. If you like extra washing up you could do the sauce in one pan and the steaks in another, but I like the idea of less washing up and getting some of the flavour from pan frying the pork into the sauce.

For the Somerset Pork sauce, hopefully you have some butter left in the pan from the steaks, if not add a little more before pan frying the onion on a gentle heat, you want it softened not caramelised, for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until they have taken on a little colour. Now stir in the flour and mustard and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Throw in the apple batons and cook for another minute before adding the cider and stock cude. Bring to the boil and then let the sauce reduce over the next 5 minutes, turn down the heat, stir in the cream and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes.
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Now put your pork steaks in an ovenproof dish and pour over the sauce. Put in the oven on Gas Mark 6 for 10-15 minutes.
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I served the Somerset Pork with roasted new potatoes, peas and green beans. Overall I think I preferred this with chicken but it was still tasty, I could have done with a baguette to soak up all the sauce.
Somerset Pork with potatoes and greens

Chicken and chips

That is what the Other Half announced he wanted for dinner. Chicken and chips. Helpfully accompanied by stating we had plenty of mushrooms and he’d bought some cream to make a sauce with. So off I set.

Ingredients:

Chicken breasts
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp parmesan
1 tsp oil
20g butter
Finely sliced onion
100g Mushrooms
Splash of white wine
75ml chicken stock
200ml double cream
Black pepper

First of all I decided I was going to pan fry the chicken. Usually I’d either cook it in the oven or poach it but today for some reason I decided pan frying was the way to go. Whilst the oil and butter were heating up, I put the chicken in a bowl, added the flour and parmesan, covered with cling film and shook it all up until the chicken was well coated. Add to the frying pan and cook until brown on both sides and cooked through. As I had chips in the oven, I put the chicken in the oven to finish cooking through whilst I made the sauce but that did involve getting another pan dirty, something I try to avoid wherever possible!
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To make the sauce use the same frying pan and finely slice the onion with a mandolin, cook on a low heat until softened and just starting to colour, then add the mushrooms. Cooked for two to three minutes then add a splash of wine (normally this is roughly the same as the volume of stock but I never measure so it was what was left in the bottle) and allow it to reduce until hardly any liquid left. Then it is time to add the black pepper and stock, which needs to reduce by at least half. Turn down the heat and add the cream, stirring until well combined and then allow to cook through for a few minutes.
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The chicken was then served on top of some of the sauce with chips and peas. For a healthier version, I’d use crème fraiche instead of cream, stir the peas into the sauce just after the stock and serve with pasta and other veg instead. Other less healthy alternatives include adding bacon at the same time as the mushroom and serving with home made chips, roast potatoes or parmentier potatoes. Sometimes ease and speed take priority, tonight was one of those nights!
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