the recipe sharer

Archive: Jul 2012

Mustard Roasted Fish

Absolutely divine, creamy, tangy and simple.
Thank you Barefoot Contessa for this recipe. I have tweaked it a little, however.

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Serves 4

4 (8 oz) fish fillets such as red snapper, salmon, Chilean sea bass, or whatever is your preference.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz creme fraiche
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp minced shallots
2 tsp drained capers
Grated rind of 1 large lemon
1/2 tsp dried dill weed (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish)
Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan/ baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and the grated rind of the lemon.
In a small bowl, combine the creme fraiche, 2 mustards, shallots, capers, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it is barely done.
The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it’s done)
Be sure not to overcook it! Serve it hot or at room temp with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.

Provencal oil cured olive tapenade

This is my very favorite tapenade as it’s made from oil cured Provence olives (if you can get them). It’s dark, rich and powerful tapenade and you need very little on a cracker or fish or chicken fillet. We always have some in our fridge as it has a great shelf life.
You can “play” with this recipe as far as how much lemon, garlic, anchovies you use. Some people add breadcrumbs, mustard or ground almonds for a different taste and consistency
If you can’t find the jars of black olives cured with Herbes de Provence (Vicente Foods supplies them, for my LA Westside friends)  then you can use the brand “Cento” and add a little more fresh thyme. The Cento olives are even darker and oilier than the Provence ones.

1/2 lb oil -packed black olives, drained
6 well rinsed anchovy fillets
3 tbsp drained capers
1/2 heaped tsp minced fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 good sized cloves garlic, crushed

Break open the olives by pressing on them with the back of a wooden spoon, then remove the pits.
Put the olives, anchovies, capers, thyme and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until a paste is formed.
With the motor running, add the olive oil a little at a time until the paste is smooth but not oily.
Use the tapenade immediately or put it in a covered jar and store it in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 3 months

Note;  This is lovely wiped on top of a piece of fish, then grilled or baked, on crackers, on a fillet of chicken, in any sort of dish you’re cooking, in soups, with cheese……..


Persian Rice

I just love rice dishes, especially with these spices!


1 cup jasmine rice
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp pine nuts
3 tbsp currants
1/4 lb leg or shoulder of lamb cut into small cubes
1-1/2 cup lamb stock
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
salt to taste


Season the small lamb cubes with salt and pepper then in a solid pan saute the lamb in a little oil and 2 tbsp of the butter on a medium heat till color turns and it starts to brown a little.
Add the other 2 tbsp butter and the chopped onion. Saute until the onions get soft.
Add the rice and other ingredients and saute for 2 -3 mins.
Finally, add the stock, bring to the boil then turn down the heat and cook until the rice absorbs all the stock.
Rest for 20 minutes, before serving

Pesto Rice Salad

Another gem from Delia Smith..

Just as homemade pesto does wonders for pasta so it does for rice too. This salad can be served warm as a first course and it’s really good as an accompaniment to fish or chicken main-course dishes. Served cold it makes a lovely addition to a selection of salads for a buffet.

Serves 4 -6

Italian arborio rice measured to the 8fl oz of a glass measuring jug.
1 quantity of pesto sauce, preferably homemade. (See recipe below)
16 fl oz boiling vegetable or chicken stock
5 scallions (spring onions) finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A good handful of fresh basil leaves
3 oz Parmesan Reggiano cheese shavings (made with the potato peeler)
salt and freshly ground pepper

First of all measure the rice into the glass jug then add about one quarter of the pesto sauce to it and stir it around to coat all the grains.
Tip the mixture into a shallow saucepan or frying pan with a lid and pour the boiling stock into a jug (pitcher) then pour this over the rice.
Now turn on the heat and stir with a wooden spoon adding 1 tsp salt.
Then, when it begins to boil, put a lid on, turn the heat down to low and let the rice cook for exactly 20 minutes.
As soon as it’s ready, tip all the rice into a serving bowl. then simply pour in the lemon juice, olive oil and the remaining pesto sauce.
Combine all the ingredients together stirring and tossing.
At this stage, taste and season with salt and pepper.
Finally, scatter some torn basil leaves, finely chopped scallions and then some of the Parmesan shavings over the surface f the salad as a garnish.
If you want to serve the salad cold, then add the basil, onion and parmesan just before serving.


2 oz fresh basil leaves
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 oz Pecorina Romano cheese, grated
salt and pepper

In a blender, put the basil,pine nuts, garlic and olive oil with some salt and blend until you have a puree.
Then transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the grated Pecorino cheese.

Roasted red peppers with basil, garlic, tomatoes, anchovies and olives

Make sure you have lots of crusty bread for these, as the juices are gorgeous!!  This is a recipe I use a lot in the summer months and it’s from the wonderful Delia Smith.
This recipe is quite simply stunning and is better when served at room temperature. It’s important to use a solid, shallow roasting tray 16 x 12 inches, approx. If the sides are too deep, the roasted vegetables won’t get those lovely nutty, toasty edges.

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Serves 4 as a starter

4 large red peppers (green are NOT suitable)
4 – 6 medium, sweet tomatoes
8 – 10 tinned anchovy fillets, drained
6 large cloves garlic
10 dessertspoons Italian extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
A really good handful of fresh basil leaves
2 to 3 Kalamata olives per pepper half, halved or quartered (optional)
Lots of really good focaccia bread (preferably with olives in it!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Begin by cutting the peppers in half lengthways, removing the seeds but leaving the stalks intact. (They’re not edible but they do look attractive and they help the pepper halves to keep their shape)
Lay the pepper halves in a lightly oiled roasting tray. Line the base of each pepper with fresh basil leaves, then cut the tomatoes into quarters and place two quarters in each pepper half. Keep some basil for shredding and garnishing the dish at the end.
After that, snip 1 or 2 anchovy fillets per pepper half into rough pieces and add to the tomatoes. Don’t be put off by the anchovy, you don’t taste it in the final dish, as it melts and just enhances all the flavors.
Peel the garlic cloves, slice them thinly and divide the slices equally among the tomatoes and anchovies. Add the Kalamata olives if using.
I sometimes put more garlic, basil and anchovy than it says to, as I love the flavors, so you can play with this a bit!
Now spoon a good dessertspoon at least, of olive oil into each pepper half and season well with ground pepper, but no salt because of the anchovies.
Place the tray of peppers in the oven and roast for at least 50 minutes and up to 1 hour. Transfer the cooked peppers to an attractive serving platter with ALL the precious juices poured over, and garnish with more fresh slivered basil.
These do need good bread to go with them as the juices are sublime!
Focaccia with olives would be perfect!

Cilantro, lime and sardine salad in avocado halves

I am posting this because it is a really delicious, quick lunch dish that is packed with calcium, protein, Vitamin B12, Omega 3 and 6 via the sardines and avocados.
It’s a sort of retro dish, and you can also use smoked trout instead of sardines.

Serves 2

1x 3.75 oz can boneless, skinless sardines packed in oil, drained
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp good mayonnaise (or Whole 30 compliant mayonnaise)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
1 ripe avocado
salt and pepper
salad greens
Good granary bread, optional

In a small bowl combine the drained sardines, cilantro, mayonnaise and 2-1/2 tsp of lime juice.
mash together thoroughly with a fork and season to taste with the pepper and a pinch of salt, if needed.
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Using a large spoon, with a wide shallow bowl, scoop each avocado half from it’s skin, run the tip of the spoon around the edge of the avocado to loosen it, then plunge the spoon between the skin and flesh. Keep the back of the spoon as close to the skin as possible, and work from the wider to the narrower end of the avocado.
Rub each half with the remaining 1/2 tsp lime juice to prevent discoloration.
To serve, scoop half of the sardine mixture into the hollow of each avocado. Serve over dressed salad greens if desired.

A great no-cook pud idea

I don’t get any marks for great photography for this picture, except to show you the container of booze with the raisins plumping up as you read this!
My favorite recipe book, “Cook Simple” by Diana Henry, has this idea in it and it’s brilliant.
There are so many uses for these raisins, in baked apples, poured over ice cream, heated or kept cold,  in bread puddings, in trifles ……
Put either “Chilean Flame” raisins ( in Los Angeles, they are just called “Flame”) or good Moscatel raisins into a tall sealed jar, leaving enough room for the fruit to expand as it plumps up.
Pour over enough booze (it should be something sweet like Madeira or Marsala) to cover the fruit completely, put the lid on tightly and leave to plump up.
In a day or so, top up with more booze if the fruit is starting to come over the level of the liquid.
These are delicious served with vanilla ice cream, or big dollops of Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche. Scatter the serving with toasted hazelnuts, pine nuts or almonds.

Overnight blueberry french toast

This is well worth doing and make sure you start the night before. It’s worth it!
From the blogger, “One Perfect Bite” and adapted from a Patricia Wells recipe

Serves 8 to 10


1 (1lb) loaf day-old blueberry streusel bread, cut into1 inch cubes, or make up the Betty Crocker or Marie Callender’s blueberry muffin mix the day before.
1 8oz package cream cheese, cut into half inch cubes
1-1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, divided use
12 extra large eggs,organic preferably
2 cups light cream or half and half (cream is best!)
1/3 cup maple syrup


1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup blueberries
1 tbsp butter


Grease a 9x13x2 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
Cover the bottom of the baking dish with half of the cubed bread.
Dot the cubes of bread with small evenly placed pieces of the cream cheese.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of blueberries.
Cover with remaining bread cubes.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, add the half and half/cream and maple syrup and mix well.
Pour over the bread mixture.
Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the reserved 1/4 cup of blueberries.
Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from the fridge 30 mins before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 30 to 50 minutes or until puffy and golden brown before baking and the center is set.

To make the syrup;

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add water and bring to the boil over medium heat.
Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in the blueberries; reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the berries have burst.
Stir in the butter.  Serve over the French toast.

Makes 1-3/4 cups sauce

Cut casserole into desired portions. Transfer to plates for serving. Lightly drizzle each serving with about 1 tbsp of the sauce. Pass remaining sauce at the table


Oliver’s favorite salad of mine

This is my younger son Oliver’s favorite salad of mine and he is now recreating it in his own apartment having visited his local Sunday farmers market for the fresh ingredients. Not bad for 21 years old!
I have no measurements for this salad, only ingredients and recommendations…

Put into an attractive dish,
Cherry or heirloom tomatoes, depending on what are the sweetest tomatoes, cut in half or into large chunks
Sliced red onion
Fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks, (the one that comes in water)
Lots of good fresh basil, ripped, not cut, as it will bruise
Avocado, peeled and cut into chunks, (put this in at the end, as it can  brown)
Lots of good crusty Ciabatta or country french bread for all those amazing juices

Make a dressing of good quality balsamic vinegar, good extra virgin olive oil, a good amount of crushed fresh garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix well, then tip over the salad and toss very gently, so as not to break up the avocado.

Serve and dunk that bread into those juices!!

Lime Coconut Truffles

In this recipe for lime-coconut truffles, a white chocolate truffle base is infused with fresh lime zest and juice, then rolled in sweet coconut for a refreshing tropical candy. Like many truffle recipes, this recipe requires several extended periods of chilling, so be sure to plan ahead. Yield: about 12 one-inch truffles.
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp cream
zest of one lime
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
1.25 cup (9 ounces) chopped white chocolate (or chips)
pinch salt
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup shredded coconut
1. Combine the cream and the lime zest in a small saucepan over medium heat, and heat until it starts to simmer and bubble around the edges. Immediately remove from the heat and cover the pan with a lid, allowing the cream to infuse for 20 minutes.
2. While the cream is steeping, combine the chopped white chocolate (or white chocolate chips), the salt, and the diced butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate and butter for 45 seconds, to begin to melt the chocolate and butter. Set aside.
3. After the 20 minutes is up, return the cream to the heat and reheat it, stirring occasionally, until it once again reaches a simmer. Remove the simmering cream from the heat, and stir in the fresh lime juice.
4. Place a wire mesh strainer over the bowl of chocolate and butter, and pour the hot cream through the strainer over the chocolate. Press down on the lime zest in the strainer with a spoon to extract all of the remaining juice.
5. Gently whisk the cream and chocolate together, stirring until the mixture is smooth and all of the chocolate has melted. Cover the surface of the chocolate with cling wrap and refrigerate the candy until firm enough to roll, 4 hours or overnight.
6. While the candy is chilling, prepare the coconut by chopping it finely by hand or in a food processor. It is much easier to roll truffles in coconut that has been finely chopped, and the texture is more palatable as well.
7. Once the chocolate has set sufficiently, use a teaspoon to scoop a ball from the chocolate and roll it between your hands until it is round. Roll the truffle in the chopped coconut until it is completely covered. Repeat with the remaining chocolate and coconut.
8. These truffles should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, they should last for a week. For optimal taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving.