orange & almond cake with chocolate sorbet*
* For recipe click HERE.
spiced fish & couscous pot pies
Â When making individual pies I tend to prefer your more traditional version with pastry bases like the lambshank pies HERE. But pot pies make for a quicker and more waist-line friendly meal. They also remove the risk of soggy pastry bases so if you’re a newcomer to pie baking, a pot pie is an excellent place to start.
Â They are a great thing to serve when you’re enteraining as they’re generally best if prepared ahead and left in the fridge before giving a quick glaze with some egg and popping in the oven while you enjoy the company of your guests over a glass of sparkling or two and some easy nibbles. Just be sure that if you do outsource the timekeeping that you choose someone reliable..
Â 250g rough puff pastryÂ – recipe HERE.5T extra virgin olive oil
5 white onions, haled & finely sliced
2t fennel seeds
2 pinches saffron
1kg flathead fillets, chopped into bight sized chunks
1C white wine
1 1/2C chicken or fish stock
juice & zest 1 lemon
1 egg lightly beaten with 1T water
8 lemon cheeks
Â For the filling, heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan and cook onions covered over a medium low heat for approx 20 mins or until onion is very soft but not browned. Add spices and cook stirring for a couple of minutes. Add wine and allow to simmmer a little. Add stock and return to the boil. Stir through couscous and cover and remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temp and then fluff with a fork. Stir through fish and lemon juice and zest and season. Refrigerate until chilled.
Preheat oven to 220C. Divide fish mixture between 8 ramekins or other oven proof dishes. Roll out pastry into squares large enough to generously cover the top of the ramekins. Drape a square over each ramekin ans cut a small cross as a steam hole in the top. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins..
Â When you’re ready to cook, brush the top of each pie with a little beaten egg and pop in the oven.Â Bake 20-25mins or until dark golden brown and bubbling hot, remembering that with puff pastry it’s better to err on the side of over cooking rather than risking a disappointing soggy mess. Serve immmediately with lemon cheeks on the side and a salad passed separately.
Â shaved fennel, dill & baby spinach salad
serves 6 – 8
Â As I’ve shared previously on stonesoup, I’m a massive fan of shaved vegetable salads in general and shaved fennel in particular. If you have time this salad is even better if you let the fennel marinate in the dressing for a while before you toss with the leaves.
Â 2 baby fennel
small bunch dill, torn into little sprigs
8 handfuls baby spinach
2T lemon juice
2T white wine vinegar
6T extra virgin olive oil
Â Trim fennel then halve lengthwise and finely shave or slice lengthwise. Combine oil juice and vinegar in a large bowl and season well. Toss through fennel and allow to stand for 10 mins or up to an hour. When ready to serve toss through dill and spinach.