recipes for a healthy life

Tag: fish

Pan Fried Fish, Black Lentils and Coconut Sauce




I always go for a bit of heat in my food when the weather gets bad and so this week when Storm Barney battered us and I needed something warming and comforting this was a meal based on recipes I have cooked separately but never together. My oh My how well this worked, the spiced lentils were great with the fish and the sauce is a wonderful blend of hot sour spicy and sweet- perfect for a cold windy night. Packed full of health giving spices for a heart warming and great tasting dinner. This won’t take long to put together, get the lentils on and the sauce will take about 10 minutes to have ready and the fish even less.

Pan Fried Hake, Black Lentils and Coconut Sauce – Serves 2

Spiced Black Beluga Lentils
4 oz black Lentils -I soak them overnight
1 pt Chicken Stock
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Garam Masala

Cover the lentils with water, bring to the boil quickly then drain off this water.
Pour in the chicken stock and spices and bring to the boil, simmer gently until cooked.
These black lentils took about 20 minutes but varieties vary so check them as you don’t want a pot of mush
Keep the lentils warm or if you are making in advance, set aside to cool then cover.

Coconut Sauce
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp each of chopped and mashed ginger and garlic
1 small chopped chilli – deseeded if you dont want it too hot
1 tbsp tomato passata
1 400ml tin of cocomut milk
To finish – chopped fresh coriander and chopped spring onions

Add the oil to the pan over a medium hot heat
Add the ginger garlic and chili, then cook out for a few minutes
Add the turmeric and passata, again cook for another minute, add a splash of water if it is getting to dry
Add the coconut milk and stir to combine everything, bring the sauce the boil then reduce to gently simmer until it has
thickened. Then season with 1 tbso each of fish sauce, soy sauce and some palm sugar or brown sugar and the juice of a wedge of lime. Keep seasoning until you are happy with the sauce tasting sweet sour and hot. Meanwhile get the fish ready:-

Pan Fried Hake
2 fillets of hake skinned de-boned, dried with kitchen paper and seasoned
Heat 2 tbsp oil on a hot pan
Add the hake and cook over a medium high heat until golden brown
Add 1 tbsp butter to the pan, flip the fillets over and baste with the butter oil mix
When it is cooked, take out of the pan onto a piece of kitchen paper and keep warm
Reheat the lentils if you cooked them earlier
Add the coriander and spring onion to the coconut sauce then ladle into 2 bowls
Add the lentils into the centre of the bowl
Top with a piece of fish and sprinkle over some more fresh coriander and serve

Fish Pie and Chocolate Chestnut Puddings

Listening to the radio, I heard Ian Dempsey say that the average person consumes 6,000 calories on Christmas day between food and drink. These recipes are not going to do anything to bring that number down but in my defence we did have a long walk before we came home, sat by the fire after enjoying both these. Perfect food for a cold day  – you might need to start the new leaf pretty soon though! :-)


Self Saucing Chocolate Chestnut puddings
Makes 6 (too) big portions or 8 smaller ones
Oven at 170C
340gm brown sugar
140gm butter, softened
2 eggs
100gm sweetened chestnut purée
225gm gluten free self-raising flour
65gm cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
30ml dark rum
225ml milk
140gm good quality dark chocolate (61% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped

Beat 200gm of the brown sugar and butter until pale and creamy, add the eggs and chestnut purée and beat to combine.
Sift over flour, 50gm of the cocoa and baking powder, mix to combine, then stir in rum, milk, and chocolate. Divide among 8 lightly buttered ovenproof ramekins and set aside.
Combine remaining brown sugar and cocoa in a bowl, gradually add 300ml boiling water and stir until smooth and combined. Pour over the batter, dividing equally among ramekins,then bake until risen and a skewer withdraws clean about 15 minutes.

Fish Pie with Brown Butter Potato Topping
Serves 4
700g fish, e.g. smoked haddock, coley
625ml milk
½ onion
1 bay leaf
6 pepper corns
2 juniper berries
Pinch of saffron
100g butter
50g plain flour
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

900g freshly mashed potatoes with lots of butter, salt and pepper
50gm milk
1tbsp thyme finely chopped

Oven at 180C
Place the milk, onion, bay leaf, juniper berry, saffron and pepper corns in a large saucepan and bring to a very gentle boil.
Reduce to a low simmer, add the fish and cook gently for about 3 minutes.
Remove the fish from the pan, allow to cool a little and flake into bite-sized pieces being careful to remove the bones.
Sieve the cooking liquid and retain for the sauce.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour
Cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the time until golden brown and the flour is cooked out. Gradually stir in the fish cooking liquid, continue stirring until the mixture thickens and is smooth, season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for a few minutes.
Add the fish to the sauce to and taste for seasoning.
Add the fish mix to an oven proof dish and spread with the potatoes.
Melt the butter over a hot heat, remove the milk solids as it melts and cook until it is a nutty brown. Spoon over the potatoes, sprinkle over the thyme and season.
Tip into the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and heated through.

Pork Chops with Salsa Verde & Red Pepper Jelly

Pork Chops Background

posk chops

I have been Cableless for the last 3 weeks having done a big tidy up and in the process lost my cable to connect camera to computer. Another big tidy of the original tidy didn’t result in me finding it although I did get my head nice and clear. I think I have said how I love a good clean, it’s a more productive form of meditation… Yes weird I know, I think it’s a girl thing.

Anyway this recipe has been dying to get out, It was such a simple dish to put together, really quick to prepare and as a bonus the pork chops have been really good value lately.
I was out for dinner during the week and as a coincidence, someone mentioned that they bought Tuna steaks for dinner and told their kids it was pork chops to make them eat them. So while tuna is a a bit more higher end than pork it occurred to me that this recipe would work equally well with any kind of meaty fish.

Pork Chops with Red Pepper Salsa Verde
4 Pork chops
2 tbsp chargrilled Red Pepper Jelly (From Harty’s – I got from viking direct)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 small handful capers
6 anchovy fillets
2 large handfuls flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
8 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chop the garlic, capers, anchovies and herbs and put them into a bowl. Add the mustard and vinegar, then slowly stir in the olive oil. Whisk in the red pepper jelly then check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Marinade the pork chops in half the salsa verde for about 4 hours in the fridge.
Heat the oven to 180C
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan until good and hot.
Take the chops out of the salse verde, scrape off the excess and place the chops in the pan.
Cook on a high heat until one nice and brown, about 3 minutes. Flip over and place the pan into the oven and finish cooking which will be about 7 to 10 minutes depending on thickness.
Serve with some more Salsa Verde, green salad and your choice of potato.

Spiced Halibut

This is such a simple way to serve fish and any firm white fish will work equally well. Baking and basting the fish in melted butter adds a delicious richness to it and the heat from the Harissa is a perfect balance. I used Haddock and it stood up to the flavour very well. A simple supper dish which could be on the table in 30 minutes.

Spiced Halibut Photo4

Spiced Halibut
Serves 2
2 oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp harissa
juice of half a lemon
1 large halibut fillet, trimmed and boned and cut into 2 pieces

Oven at 180C

Melt the butter in small pan, stir in the harissa and lemon juice
Season the fish and place into an oven proof baking dish
Pour over the butter mix and place in the oven for about 20 mins depending on the thickness of your fish, basting it at intervals
Serve the fish topped with the butter juices and some green beans.

Lemon Sole and crabmeat fishcakes with whipped Avocado Dip

OO&L Lemon Sole & Crab Meat fish cakes

Once you have all the ingredients for this recipe, it couldn’t be easier – tip into a blender, mix, season and fry. It can be made ahead and the fish cakes re-heated so is perfect for a crowd. I like to make them fish cakes small – starter size or make really small and they will work as great canapes with drinks. Lots of fish work well in this recipe (Haddock, Cod, pollack) just make sure to remove the skin before you tip it into the blender.

Lemon Sole and Crab meat Fishcakes

2 spring onions finely chopped
1 red chilli de-seeded and julienned
Juice and zest of 1 lime
3 sole fillets, about 5 ounces each, skin removed and coarsely chopped
400gr fresh crab meat
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper
4 oz bread crumbs
2 tbsp rape seed oil

Place the fish, crab meat, spring onions, chilli, lime zest into a food processor and pulse to mix and break up all the lumps of fish.
Transfer to a large bowl, Stir in the salt, pepper, sweet chill sauce and 3/4’s of the bread crumbs.
Form into 8 small cakes. Press lightly into the rest of the bread crumbs to lightly coat and set aside in the fridge to chill.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the fish cakes.
Cook, until lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes each side until cooked through.
(These can be cooked ahead and reheated in the oven until ready to serve.).
Serve with whipped Avocado dip.

Whipped Avocado Dip
2 Avocados
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp creme fraiche

Blend everything
season and serve with the fish cakes


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