Reidbury's Kitchen

Food thoughts, recipes and billowing smoke from a home cook's kitchen in London


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Smoked Haddock with Spinach and Poached Egg

Smoked Haddock with Spinach and Poached Egg, The Fast Diet Recipe Book

Smoked Haddock with Spinach and Poached Egg, The Fast Diet Recipe Book

When my boyfriend was little he used to love what he called ‘yellow fish’ – smoked haddock. So when I was looking for a suitable 5:2 starve day recipe my eye was immediately drawn to Smoked Haddock with Spinach and Poached Egg in The Fast Diet Recipe Book (buy the book here). It’s all classic flavours, very comforting and super quick to make. And it’s very low calorie too – bonus!

Not much else to say – other than, good luck on poaching eggs. Unless I use my silicone poaching pods, I cannot poach an egg. There, I’ve said it.

KB rating 7/10. PR rating 7/10.

Calorie count: 211 per person

Smoked Haddock with Spinach and Poached Egg (serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 75g skinless smoked haddock fillet, undyed
  • 240ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp half-fat creme fraiche
  • Half a spring onion, finely chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon

Method:

Wilt the spinach leaves in a little salted boiling water and drain well. Stir in a pinch of nutmeg and season.

Poach the fish for 10 minutes in milk (or microwave for 3 minutes in a covered dish). Meanwhile poach the egg.

Serve the fish and spinach topped with egg and creme fraiche mixed with spring onion and a squeeze of lemon.

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An Embarrassing Confession

Katie's Nemesis

Katie’s Nemesis

Well, in terms of food in the Reidbury Kitchen, it’s been a pretty boring week. PR has been struck down by flu and I’ve been uninspired to cook anything for myself. Instead I’ve just wanted simple, tasty food – and what is more simple than Boiled Eggs and Soldiers? But I’ve realised something which has greatly upset me. I can’t boil an egg. I’ve tried – THREE TIMES. Each time, I get excited as I get my soldier and go for the first dip, expecting the soft, oozy yolk to blend perfectly with my marmite soldiers. And each time, it’s like trying to dip toast into concrete. You could throw these eggs at the wall and they’d just bounce right off. To rub real salt into the wound though, if I ever want a hardboiled egg, it’s under-cooked. So I can only state, that for a food blogger, I can’t cook an egg. Awkward.

I actually blame Delia on the soft-boiled egg front. I always remember my Mum adding eggs to a pan of cold water and bringing it up to the boil. So I googled this, and Delia does indeed say to add your eggs to a small pan of cold water, with water about quarter of an inch above the eggs. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 mins for a soft boiled egg. This is an outright lie. I’ve tried this multiple times now and even cooking for 2 mins the eggs still are overcooked. I’ve now lost confidence, but the next time I broach boiled eggs I am going for the tried-and-allegedly-tested version of adding eggs to already boiling water.

But for now, I can highly recommend hard-boiled egg sandwiches on marmite toast. I’ve become all too familiar with them…

Image reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiled_egg


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A Great Start To The Day – Turkish-Style Eggs

Turkish-Style Eggs, Delicious Magazine February 2013I’m not really a breakfast person – I tend to be pretty useless for a good 90 minutes after waking up (some would argue longer), and food is the last thing on my mind. But then I also think there’s nothing nicer than a Brunch, particularly one on a Saturday morning involving a cup of coffee, something with eggs involved and ‘Saturday Kitchen’ on the telly. I saw this Turkish-Style Eggs recipe in last month’s Delicious Magazine (Feb 2013) and it’s wonderful. So much so I’ve also had it for dinner. It’s extremely quick to cook and the flavours always seem to hit the spot. There’s not many things that I always have in the fridge – I’m not really that organised. But chorizo lasts for ages and it’s one of my Reidbury Kitchen staples – I use it a lot with pasta, but since trying this recipe it’s more often earmarked for this dish!

KB rating 9/10. PR rating 8/10

Turkish-Style Eggs (Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • Half a small onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • Chorizo, chopped (the recipe doesn’t specify quantity but I used about 2 uncooked chorizo. I’ve also used half a cooked chorizo ring too and it worked fine, but you need less cooking time than the uncooked version)
  • 225g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh thyme, chopped
  • Fried breadcrumbs (optional, but recommended!)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning

Method

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan, then gently fry the onion and chilli.

Add the chopped chorizo and fry until crisp.

Add the chopped tomatoes, season and add the chopped parsley and thyme.

Make 4 hollows in the mixture and crack 1 egg into each.

Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until the egg whites have set.

Serve scattered with fried breadcrumbs, if using.

Grab a cup of coffee, bagsy the sofa and start your day off right!


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Surf and Turf…And A Cake

A few recipes to include today, given my lack of blog updates for a while! First up, two steak dishes to compare.

The first steak recipe we cooked was Steak with Chimichurri from Olive Magazine, June 2011 (p.3 of the BBQ section). It’s a pretty straightforward recipe that works as well on a griddle pan as it would on a BBQ. Cook the steak for 2 minutes a side on a searing hot pan (with just a little olive oil rubbed over) and serve with the Chimichurri which incudes paprika, cumin, garlic, red onion, red wine vinegar and some coriander. All emulsified with olive oil. I did enjoy this dish but felt the chimichurri was a little powdery due to the cumin and paprika. I’d be interested in researching other chimichurri recipes to see if I can improve on this a little. But the sauce works really well with the steak and I served with home made wedges. KB rating 8/10. PR rating 8/10

Steak with Chimichurri. Olive Magazine, June 2011

The next steak recipe was the simply titled Spicy Fillet Steaks from Delicious Magazine, September 2011 (p.88). I don’t often eat fillet steak, preferring the flavour of rump, but decided to stick to the recipe and pushed the boat out on fillets! Again, the steak is cooked simply on a searing hot griddle pan (2 mins a side) and then left to rest for 10 minutes. During this 10 mins you create the sauce by using the same pan as you cooked the steaks and adding garlic, fennel seeds, sun-dried tomato paste and chilli. To turn these flavours into a sauce you add some balsamic vinegar, red wine and beef stock and allow to reduce. By this time your steaks have rested and you can add in their juices to the sauce. The recipe suggests serving with rocket – I’m still not keen on this, so I went for the old faithful. Yep, home made potato wedges! (Worth noting there was a gap of a couple of weeks between cooking these two recipes!). Somehow that sauce is greater than the sum of its parts – very fiery and rich and works amazingly well with the steak. I can see why fillet works well here as you get the texture of the cut, but the sauce packs in the flavour that is often lacking with fillet steak. Amazing, and one for the repertoire. KB rating 9/10. PR rating 9/10

Spicy Fillet Steaks. Delicious Magazine, September 2011

Up next was a recipe that Paul cooked for us, Spicy Chorizo Potatoes with Fried Eggs from the p.32 of the ‘£5 Supper for Two’ supplement with Olive Magazine, September 2011. The recipe only had 7 ingredients but it worked really well. Simply cook some potatoes in boiling water and drain, then fry in oil until golden. Remove from pan and add some onion and green chilli, before adding chorizo and paprika. Once cooked, add the potatoes back into the pan and serve with a fried egg on top. Great comfort food, stuff you’d often have in your fridge and very tasty. Nom nom nom. KB rating 8.5/10. PR rating 8/10.

Spicy Chorizo Potatoes with Fried Eggs, Olive Magazine Supplement, September 2011

Another recipe Paul cooked recently was Linguine with Garlic, Prawns & Spinach from Gino D’Acampo’s ‘The Italian Diet’ (p. 104). A nice pasta supper with fresh flavours (lemon, parsley and cherry tomatoes) in addition to the ingredients in the recipe title. Very enjoyable but I found it strange that the recipe only used the zest from the lemon and no juice – think I’d add a bit of juice next time and increase the amount of spinach to give this recipe a bit more oomph! The prawns, however, were really juicy and full of flavour and were definitely the highlight. KB rating 7/10. PR rating 7/10.

Linguine with Garlic, Prawns and Spinach. Gino d'Acampo, 'The Italian Diet'

I cooked another recipe from Gino D’Acampo’s ‘The Italian Diet’ book recently too – Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce (p.150). You can’t beat butter, lemon and chicken as a flavour combination (my own roast chicken uses lots of butter and lemon – surprise, surprise, it’s Nigella who inspired me!) and it works really nicely in this recipe. Unfortunately I had a slight issue when making this dish – the first stage is to coat thin pieces of chicken in seasoned flour and fry in a pan before removing and keeping warm. You then proceed to make the sauce in the same pan by deglazing with some lemon juice and stock, and adding parsely and butter to create a creamy texture. However, the floured chicken was catching on the pan so there was a slightly burnt layer over the pan that, when I deglazed, made the sauce really, really bitter and burnt tasting. I tried to sieve but to no avail! So I effectively had to make a sauce from scratch which meant the chickeny bits from the pan that add so much flavour were lost. Boo! I’ll make this again but with a more careful eye! KB rating 7/10. PR rating 7.5/10

Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce. Gino d'Acampo, 'The Italian Diet'

Given I’ve been feeling unwell over the last week I decided to cook two things with a view to making me feel better! So first up was a simple soup – Summer Veg-Box Soup from Olive Magazine, June 2011 (p.44). Dead easy to make – fry spring onions and courgettes in oil (I upgraded to garlic oil to add further flavour). Add some orzo pasta before adding frozen peas, frozen broad beans and veg stock and allow the whole thing to bubble away. I got a bit carried away with adding extra orzo, so it turned out being less liquidy than it should, but that’s what I was after anyway. Serve in a mug with warm bread and I instantly started to feel better. Yum. KB rating 8/10.

Summer Veg-Box Soup. Olive Magazine, June 2011

And finally, what else can cheer you up when you’re feeling grotty? Tea and cake. It’s a winner, so I decided to make a Victoria Sponge from 101 Teatime Treats (p.10). I hadn’t made one before, but now I am the proud owner of 2 cake tins I felt it was time. I had a slight worry when the oven started to smell like scrambled eggs, but turns out I was being paranoid and the end result was very good indeed given it was my first attempt. Buttercream and strawberry jam, with a mug of tea, completed the treat. KB rating 8/10. PR rating 8.5/10

Victoria Sponge. 101 Teatime Treats