Florence’s Food: Monkfish and Chorizo Skewers

Today’s guest post has been sent in by Lynsey and looks like the perfect summer dish for light eating or special enough for entertaining – I reckon these could even go on the BBQ. Thanks Lynsey and if you have anything you would like to contribute to help me while I am on maternity leave, click here to find out how you can get involved (scroll to the end of the post.)

Monkfish and Chorizo Skewers:
400g monkfish
200 g chorizo sausage
2 red peppers
1 tsp paprika
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
8 wooden skewers

  • Start off by trimming the monkfish – make sure to remove any skin and grey flesh, and cut into dice approx. 1 inch in size. Monkfish can be quite expensive / tricky to find at the supermarket, but this dish works equally well with chicken. Peel any skin from the chorizo, and cut into smaller dice. Chop the pepper into neat squares. Aim to have approx. 24 dice of each ingredient to make 8 skewers.
  • Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and parsley together, and season with salt and pepper. Add the monkfish, and toss thoroughly to coat with the dressing. Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinade, and let the flavours infuse into the fish.
  • Once marinaded, thread onto the skewers – alternating with the diced chorizo and pepper. Cook in a frying pan / under the grill / on the BBQ if the weather allows (!) for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the peppers are starting to blacken slightly. A good rule of thumb is 3 minutes and turn, repeating this about 4 times. I used a George Foreman for mine, as my grill decided to break as soon as I started preparing the fish…, so it really is a versatile dish.

Tabouleh Salad:
200g plain cous cous
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber
3 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped finely
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 handful of fresh mint, chopped finely
1 small red onion, chopped roughly
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season

While the fish is marinading, you can get started on the salad. Cook the cous cous according to packet instructions (usually equal parts boiling water to equal parts cous cous, cover and leave for 3-5 minutes), fluff up with a fork and stir through the olive oil. Place all the chopped vegetables and herbs in a large bowl, add the cous cous, season and mix together well. Serve alongside the skewers and enjoy!

Lynsey

Florence’s Food: Modern Potato Salad

I’ve been waiting to blog this recipe all summer. Unfortunately as the weather has been so unpredictable there just hasn’t been an opportune time to share, as it’s a recipe you’ll call on time and time again in warmer weather. Just this week however I was digging up the potatoes from the allotment and had lots of small ones so it reminded me to get it blogged in the lovely mild weather we’re having. It works as well for a BBQ – as we had it on this occasion (and perfectly with steak or Barbequed chicken,) as it does midweek and is ridiculously easy for delicious results. Plus it’s always one of those dishes that gets compliments. Who doesn’t need another one of those in their repertoire?!

Ingredients:
A bag of new potatoes (I used standard ones here and chopped them but new potatoes are a little prettier!)
A red onion
Capers (in a jar)
A jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
Balsamic vinegar
Your preferred Salad leaf – watercress or spinach is good but whatever you prefer will work.

  • First up, put your pan of new potatoes onto boil.
  • In the meantime, chop up your red onion however you prefer, diced or halved then sliced. Add it to a pan with a generous lug of the oil your tomatoes are in and start to sweat down the onion.
  • As the onion gets softer add a couple of tables spoons of sun-dried tomatoes, halved, and a couple of tablespoons of drained capers. Finish with a slug of balsamic vinegar to taste.
  • Keep this on a low heat and reduce it all to a soft caramelised combination of the ingredients then remove from the heat.

  • When your Potatoes are done, remove from the heat, drain and add to the pan with your reduction. (I did this at the table for the purposes of the photographs but it’s easier in a pan.)

  • You now have two choices. If you are ready to serve the dish, add your leaves whilst the potatoes and dressing are warm (but not hot,) and toss. The leaves will wilt slightly and you want to coat the potatoes and leaves with the oil and reduced onion, tomato and caper mix. If on the other hand you are not ready to serve, the whole thing is just as good cold, just toss it all together when you are ready.

Voila – the most delicious and easy dish and the modern way to do potato salad ;)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Friday Food: Asparagus and Gruyere tart

I am quite obsessive about cooking seasonally, particularly when entertaining. I hate eating stodgy winter food in summer, yet I lust after a crumble come Autumn. Of course, I’m also a fan of simple food and when we had friends over this week as a belated birthday dinner after work, the food needed to be easy. I chose this Asparagus and Gruyere tart as a starter that I have been meaning to make forever. You can find versions all over the internet but with 3 ingredients I don’t feel it really warrants a recipe.

  • Roll out a sheet of ready made pastry (there’s a time and a place for making your own pastry, this isn’t it.) Trim it to fit your baking tray. Use a knife to score a line about an inch away from the edge on all sides making it look like a frame and then score the interior too in a cross hatch pattern.
  • Bake according to the manufacturers instructions – usually about 20 minutes until risen and golden.

  • In the meantime grate your Gruyere, (I actually substituted for Emmental on this occasion, any sweet nutty swiss cheese will do.) When the pastry is done, squash the central area of pastry within your crust edge and fill the space with grated cheese.
  • Lay your asparagus on top of the cheese, packed in close to each other.
  • Return to the oven and bake for another 20 or so minutes until the asparagus is cooked and the cheese is golden.

One rectangle could serve 6 but we were greedy and shared it between 4. Enjoy! Love, Rebecca xo

Friday Food: 5 perfect summer recipes…

This morning I have not one but 5 recipes to offer you. It was time for me to head over to Reverie Magazine on Monday and offer my lifestyle expertise. This month with the fleeting warm weather, my mind was on outdoors summer entertaining so I decided to round up a whole menu of delicious ideas to solve all your summer entertaining problems. Some are my personal favourites and I found some fresh new ideas that fit the bill too.

Do head on over to Reverie and check it out!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS! A huge thank you to Mary and Kate for supporting our new venture, Dream. Find. Do. – You can read their fabulous post here! Thanks girls!