Sea bream in ‘crazy water’

I can’t tell you why this dish is called sea bream in ‘crazy water’. Even when I tried to do a little digging via the internet, there were only articles that repeated the question surrounding the name. I can tell you, however, that this is a very good dish, with simple and clean (no crazy) flavours. Just good fresh fish, amped up a bit with garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and chilli. This dish has little to it, but you don’t need a dictionary’s worth of ingredients to make something good.

Serves 2-3, as a light dinner.

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Spicy gochujang glazed ribs

 

You gotta love ribs. Surely. Unless you don’t eat meat, in which case you’re excused, because this post is all about the ribs. This rib recipe uses what is probably my favourite method of all — a simple rub before going into the oven, covered, for a few hours at a low temperature, before we increase the temperature and add the spicy sauce which will get sticky and crispy where it catches. Sounds good right?

On top of that, we’re letting go of the classic BBQ flavours for a bit, and letting them take a back seat to let another ingredient shine – gochujang. A fermented chilli and soybean paste from Korea, its fiery savoury flavour is probably one of my favourite things at the moment (it makes for some addictive chicken wings too).

As for the actual cooking part, I’d really recommend a ceramic baking dish that’s large enough to accommodate the whole rack of ribs. If you don’t have one, I suggest lining a large roasting tray or baking tray with parchment paper, because the sauce will become bubbly and sticky under the grill and can make the clean-up process a bit of a pain. For the baking dish, I normally add hot water to loosen up the hardened bits before washing up. At least good ribs are worth it in my opinion! Read More

Rosewater and cardamom brownies

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I do love brownies. I may not be the biggest super fan of chocolate, but I will probably always say ‘yes’ to a good brownie. Especially the gooey-inside // flaky-outside variety. How could you say no to that?

Then there’s the addition of rosewater chocolate frosting (optional, but tasty) based on a recipe from the Kitchn, and chopped pistachios and rose petals for decoration (again, optional, but also tasty) which essentially makes these brownies into a rather fancy dessert .

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This brownie recipe comes from an adaptation of Iambaker’s recipe that mimics that of a boxed brownie mix (you can find the recipe here). It uses cocoa powder, rather than chocolate, but that doesn’t mean dry brownies. In fact, this is probably where oven temperatures and how long you bake the brownies have more impact on making dry brownies than the cocoa powder. Therefore, in this instance, it’s probably better (and tastier!) to be on the side of under-baking your brownies than over-baking brownies, because dry brownies are also sad brownies. Not even frosting can totally make up for sad brownies.

Makes 9 brownies.  Read More

Biscoff butter cake bars

I mean, that name alone should convince you, right? A delicious gooey cream-cheese cake made even better with Biscoff (yes, also known as *the* cookie butter spread). If you don’t know what butter cake bars are (or if you do, but you’ve never tried it), I strongly suggest you fix that. Like immediately.

This is purely me posting my own photographs, and trying to urge you to try this recipe by butterbaking.com, particularly if you already (as I do) love Biscoff spread. I’m not posting it here, since I can’t say I particularly change any aspect (except to add cinnamon into the gooey Biscoff layer, because apparently I don’t think life can be enjoyed without more cinnamon), so instead, you can find the original recipe by clicking this link.

Grilled bone marrow with anchovy & caper dressing

Do you ever see something in the store, where your thought process is basically ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with that/I don’t even know what that is, but I need to buy it’? I did know what bone marrow was, but bar roasting them to make stock, I never really had a clue what other use it might have. Yet I still always wanted to buy the packs of them that you see from time to time in certain supermarkets — besides, they’re always cheap, like a couple of pence for a few bones, so I always figured at the very least, I’d sit down and someday learn to make a proper stock without trying to remember to save a bunch for the freezer from roasts (which I never remember to do anyway….)

And then, a few years ago, my father chose steak at a pretty fancy restaurant we went to on the weekend. Nothing out the ordinary, except it came with a small grilled bone with marrow. I didn’t care about the steak, but asked to try the marrow. I remember thinking it was pleasant, but now having tried it, never really thought too much about it after that.

And then I read an article in some food magazine, half-reading and half-scanning, and I saw someone describing eating grilled bone marrow as ‘the poor man’s foie gras’. Poor man’s foie gras?! My interest in bone marrow had returned. Real foie gras has, at best, a dubious background, and I knew those bones selling for pennies in the supermarket…

So, I had to try it again; this time, cooking it at home. Or more correctly, grilling it. And then smothering it in anchovy-caper-parsley oil. Bones and anchovy? Just trust me on this one (and remember that anchovy butter and steak is a beautiful thing (and if you haven’t had that either, go try it and let go of the fact that it’s fish, please)).

Serves 2, as a snack.  Read More

Passion fruit & lime marinated tuna

The days are finally getting a little bit longer and brighter, and I’m loving it. It’s not that I don’t like autumn or winter (I love them!), but after December and if there’s a decided lack of snow, my interest tends to wane a little…it’s not even that I long for warmer temperatures, I just prefer to come home and not have it be so pitch black my brain thinks it may as well be the middle of the night!

This dish was created when we were having an abundance of gorgeous tuna — whether we went to the farm shop halls or the local supermarket’s fish counter, slabs of tuna steaks were waiting for us, and often at a much cheaper price than usual. So I mean, we had to buy it then, right…?

And as much as I love a grilled piece of tuna steak, there’s something so amazingly fresh about tuna that it sometimes seems a shame to do anything to it. It’s probably why my family and I love sashimi so much — when you have a piece of fish this good, why try and change anything about it?

So here we have it; a dish that’s a bit of a ceviche and a bit of sashimi combined together. The passion fruit part is a little fussy, but goes wonderfully with the tuna to cut through its richness. It’s pretty handy for serving at a party or gathering, since you can pre-slice the fish and arrange on a plate, and make the dressing, and keep both in the fridge before plating up just before serving.

Feeds 4 as a starter. Read More

Gochujang chicken wings with sesame quick pickled cucumbers

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Does my blog need yet another chicken wing recipe? Admittedly, the answer’s probably no, but here we are. These recipes are quick, easy and the results are delicious, and this one’s no exception–pop the into the oven, make the easy gochujang-based sauce whilst the wings cook, and then gobble them up. So what more could you ask for really?

These wings are somewhat spicy, sightly tangy, and we chose to serve them as they are with just a quick sesame cucumber pickle, to take the edge off that heat.

Feeds 2 for a quick & light lunch. Serve up with some rice if you want to bulk it up a bit. Read More