Archives for category: Fish

I thought I’d pretty much covered Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook in my last post, but then I had these for dinner, and I enjoyed them so very, very much that I had to share. These are some seriously delicious burgers. Juicy and zingy and fresh tasting and really, really quick and easy to put together. The perfect TV dinner. We ate them with sweet potato chips and a rocket salad, which was entirely great, but you could also do the bun thing, and Gwyneth has a little recipe for a soy and sesame mayo which I wasn’t about to go anywhere near (me and mayo…let’s just say we don’t see eye to eye). Either way, whatever you eat them with, eat them. The only thing that’s going to stop me making these burgers on a near constant basis is the fact that tuna is rather expensive, justifiably, since there isn’t too much of it left, and I’m a long way short of a Hollywood star’s salary.

Tuna and ginger burgers

Serves 2

The recipe calls for you to marinate the burgers for at least an hour, which I didn’t have time for, and I can’t see that it would make a huge difference. If you did want to make them in advance, though, know that you can do this as early as the night before.

1-2 tsp wasabi paste, or to taste
black pepper
salt
small knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus more for cooking
2 fat tuna steaks, cut into chunks
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
accompaniments of your choice: burger buns, rocket, sweet potato chips, etc.

Put the wasabi, ginger, garlic and oil in a food processor. Add a good dose of salt and pepper – it depends how much tuna you have, but you want around 1/4 tsp sea salt per 225g tuna. Pulse together to make a paste. Add the tuna and pulse carefully to combine, just so the mixture will come together as a burger but making sure the tuna still has some texture. Form 2 burgers, which at this point you can refrigerate. If you want to check the seasoning, you can fry a small amount in a pan (or you could taste it raw if you’re confident in the quality of your tuna).

When you’re ready to eat, saute the sliced shallots for 10 minutes or so, until soft and golden. Heat a frying pan or griddle over a high heat, rub the burgers with a little oil, and cook for a couple of minutes a side. You have a bit more leeway than when cooking a tuna steak, which you definitely want rare – I’d say these can be just cooked all the way through, but obviously don’t let them dry out. If using buns, you can grill them alongside.

Serve with the shallots on top and serving suggestions of choice.

Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Notes from My Kitchen Table’

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I feel that when it’s cold and wintry and uninviting outside, you can seek solace in your kitchen in one of two ways: you can retreat into the traditionally warming stews, pies and puddings, or you can look to balmier climes for inspiration. I don’t mean salads, that would unquestionably be a bad idea, but when I made this tagine it struck me that it was the perfect uplifting food for a grey day: hearty, cooked in one pot (more or less), brightly spiced and warming on two counts, if you include the liberal addition of stingingly hot harissa. Plus, the chance to use one of my tagines (yes, I have more than one) always makes me feel happier.

I used a recipe from the first Moro book, but the basics could be altered at will, using different vegetables, making a vegetarian version with chickpeas or using another type of meaty protein. The important component here is the chermoula, which is what will make you want to keep on eating mouthful after cold-fighting mouthful.

Fish tagine with potatoes, tomatoes and olives

Serves 4

4 white fish fillets (hake is good)
20 small, waxy potatoes e.g. Charlotte
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
15 cherry tomatoes, halved / 1 x tin chopped tomatoes
4 green peppers
a handful of black olives, preferably the small, oily type
100ml water
salt and pepper

For the chermoula:
2 garlic cloves
1 level tsp sea salt
2 tsp freshly ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp paprika
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

Firstly, make the chermoula. The Moro recipe wants you to do this in a pestle and mortar, but mine is tiny, and even if it weren’t I doubt I would have bothered. Sorry. It still tastes pretty darn great if you just chuck all the ingredients in the blender. Anyway, once you’re done rub two-thirds of it into your fish fillets and leave them in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours.

Meanwhile, grill or roast the peppers until the skin blackens and will peel away easily. Scrape out any seeds and slice them into strips. While you do this you might reflect on how rarely a recipe actually calls for green peppers. And yet you always seem to end up with them.

Scrub the potatoes and boil them in salty water for 10-15 minutes, or until just cooked. Drain and slice in half.

In a medium saucepan heat 2 tbsp olive oil over a medium heat and fry the garlic until light brown. Add the tomatoes and allow to soften for a couple of minutes. Stir in the green peppers and leftover chermoula and check the seasoning. Now you can get out your tagine, if you have one, and spread the potatoes over the bottom. Dollop three quarters of the tomato and pepper mixture over this, then the chermoula-marinated fish, then the rest of the tomato/pepper mix and the olives. Pour over the water and remaining tbsp of olive oil, put the lid on, and cook over a medium-high heat for 10-15 mins, or until the fish is cooked through. If you don’t have a tagine, just use a lidded saucepan or frying pan. Also note that some tagines are a little delicate, so if you’re wary of putting yours over direct heat you could use a heat diffuser mat and cook the dish for longer. Although I gave up doing this because I’m impatient, and so far no harm has come to mine.

From ‘Moro: The Cookbook’, Sam & Sam Clark