Tuesday, 12 August 2008

smoked mackerel with beetroot salad

it's still raining in glasgow, but that hasn't deterred us from bringing some colour into our lives. there's something about that brilliant fuschia of roasted beetroot that makes me humm. maybe it's the russian roots or maybe it's because it reminds me of manic panic hair colour from the 70s.

this is the kind of meal you can whip up in minutes (provided the beetroot have already been roasted).

Smoked Mackerel with Beetroot Salad
serves 2

3 smoked mackerel fillets
2 medium to large beetroots
spring onions
cherry tomatoes
handful fresh coriander leaves

for the dressing:
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp walnut oil
1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste with salt

  1. First roast the beetroot. Preheat the oven to 200C. Wash the beetroot, and trim the ends. Wrap each beetroot tightly in foil and put into the preheated oven. Roast from 50-75 minutes until you can easily pierce the beetroot with a paring knife. Let the beetroot cool while you prepare the dressing.

  2. Put the mashed garlic in a small bowl or jug with the balsamic vinegar. Whisk together. Slowly add the walnut oil while whisking until it's emulsified. Add sugar, pepper and salt to taste. NOTE: at this point i also put on some basmati rice to have along with the fish and salad.

  3. When the beets are cool peel and cut into smallish chunks (about the same size as cherry tomato halves). Add chopped spring onion, halved cherry tomatoes and roughly chopped coriander leaves. Pour over the dressing and combine everything thoroughly.

  4. Heat your grill to high and grill the mackerel fillets for about 3-4 minutes each side.

  5. Serve the mackerel and beetroot salad alonside some steamed rice and enjoy!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Originally uploaded by silamuta
so on a rainy glasgow last friday mel and i booked a table at cafezique. its a place that ive been wanting to go for a little while. its only been open for a few months. the space where its at was formerly occupied by its bigger sister of delizique who has moved up the street a bit. despite the rain that evening the place inside feels bright and welcoming. we were attended to quickly, shown our table, given menus and ordered drinks. bam! the menu looked gooooood. ooh ooh mussels oooh crabcakes and both were on as starters. no worries i was able to order a bigger main crabcake. hoorah!!! mel ordered a green salad that was divine for a starter and sirloin steak for main. she ordered it blue/rare. it came rare but she still liked it. its soo comfortable in cafezique. simple lines, minimal but just enough and quirky touches like the old school blackboard that hosts the menu. the bar is well stocked and wine choice good. great. perfect evening. it reminded us of eating in new york. and thats saying something for a rainy day in glasgow!!!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

dinner with lorna and italian for beginners

Yesterday was a lazy day. Kels and I spent the afternoon in the garden talking about our plans and other musings. We also built a ping pong (i call it ping kong) table of sorts and played a couple of sets.

As the afternoon progressed, so did thoughts of dinner. We kept alternating between barbecue chicken (it was sunny out) and just using what we already have. We decided to go with the latter, and chose Sweet Potato Curry. I found the recipe on the blog Gastronomy Domine that i really enjoy reading. Given that it was a vegetarian dish we thought we'd invite our friend lorna over to share it with us.

For dessert I wanted to keep to the really easy theme so decided to make Eton Mess. Ainsley Harriot has a version of it in his book ainsley harriott's all new meals in minutes that uses crushed maltesers. Don't ask me why, but those maltesers make all the difference! Turned out we made a quick run to the store anyways to get the eton mess ingredients, and to get a 'sticky' as kelsie is now calling sweet dessert wine. We actually didn't have to get the meringue nests because Lorna brought some home made ones over -- way better of course, than store bought meringues.

Not sure if i've mentioned this before, but we're going to be taking a beginner italian course this autumn with our friend lorna. To get us psyched for the course we watched a dvd of the film Italian for Beginners. Lorna and Kels were quite right in pointing out that the film really isn't about Italian lessons, but hey ho, it was in the title, and i enjoyed it.

Eton mess with maddie malteasers
[from Ainsley Harriott's All New Meals in Minutes]
Serves 4

300 ml double cream
50g caster sugar, plus extra, if the berries are tart
250 g fresh raspberries
2 meringue nests, about 75g
40g packet Maltesers

  1. Whisk the cream with 1 tablespoon of hte sugar in the bowl, using a balloon whisk or an electric beater, until soft peaks form. Be careful if you're using electric beaters, as this will happen really fast.

  2. Place the reaspberries in a separate bowl with the remaining sugar and, using a fork, lightly crush -- you may need to add some extra sugar if the raspberries are particularly tart or if you have a very sweet tooth.

  3. Lightly crush the meringues and the maltesers. Don't overmix here, but gently fold the raspberries into the cream wtihthe crushed meringue and Malteseres, until you get a rippled effect. Spoon the mixture into serving glasses. Serve immediately.