Food By Origin
Have you had sea perch lately? I must admit we often fall into the trap of just buying the big 3 – tuna, salmon and cod, although salmon is a particular favourite around here. The ‘big 3’ are the most eaten fish of all, and a lot of people forget there are so many other wonderful choices. For example, sea perch is really flavourful. The filets are quite delicate and thin when compared to meatier fish like salmon or halibut, but they should hold together during cooking. The skin is edible and tastes nice so there’s no reason to remove it. Sea perch, or ocean perch, are small, so you will need several per person.
As for the chutney, this goes so well with the fish. You might take a look at the ingredients and think it would be better with turkey but I promise you it’s also great with the fish, and makes a nice change. Served with white rice or potatoes this is a fish recipe the family aren’t going to complain about! Chutney is popular in the UK and served with everything from a cheese sandwich to a salad lunch or even an Anglo-Indian curry recipe!
You will have some chutney left over, most likely, so just put it in the fridge in an airtight container and it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. Then you can add some to your next cheese sandwich or cold turkey salad perhaps. Start the chutney first because it needs time to cool down to room temperature, and then you can get on with the fish while the chutney cools. Also consider whether you want to have rice or potatoes with this. Oh, and try not to pick at the chutney too much. It smells and tastes really good and if you’re like me, you will want to grab a teaspoon and eat it (or ‘taste-test’ is, which is my excuse!) Continue reading
There are so many things you can do with potatoes, especially when making side dishes. Just ask my family what their favourite potato recipes are and you will get a whole host of replies. Fries! Mashed potatoes! Uh…how about more fries? Yes, there is no shortage of potato-related ideas luckily, but one thing I love to do with the humble potato is make colcannon, a typical Irish dish which pairs with just about everything. This is basically mashed potatoes with cabbage and cheese. It’s important to use a good cheese, and I’ve found the Kerrygold brand to be perfect here. In fact, I often add a little extra cheese to the mix.
Along with the cabbage and cheese, I add milk, salt, onion, butter and black pepper, and those are all the ingredients you’re going to need to get that Irish flavour just right. As for toppings, why not crumble some bacon on top or add some spring onions or chives for a splash of colour? Serve this with anything from sausages or pork chops to steak, chicken or even a hardy fish like cod or salmon. Yes, the bacon does complement the fish believe it or not!
Some people might want to try kale instead of the cabbage and that’s also fine (of course the Irish are more associated with their cabbage than their kale, these days you’ll find ‘anything goes’ so simply add your favourite green vegetable). Serve this instead of your usual plain mash, and see how everyone loves the cheese and bacon additions. In fact, this tastes so good I bet your kids won’t even notice you sneaked that cabbage in there! Try it and see. Continue reading
Chips as they are known in the UK or fries as they are known in the US are always good and they go with everything. Can you think of a meal that wouldn’t be better with a few fries on the side? No, nor can I! Think of Britain and what comes to mind – ah yes of course, fish and chips! That is probably the most famous British dish. But have you heard of chip butties? They are just as well-loved. A ‘butty’ is an English term for a sandwich on buttered bread. Chip butties originated in Liverpool and are typical in the north of the UK, but these days you’ll find them as a staple in pubs all over Britain.
Other names for the chip butty include chip sandwich, chip barm, chip cob, chip roll, chip batch, or even chip muffin, and ‘butty’ is a contraction of ‘bread and butter’ which are the two key ingredients. This used to be a working class lunch or dinner (bread and potatoes are very cheap) but these days it’s more of a snack. Even if you are somewhere they don’t sell chip butties, get some chips or fries, ask for some bread, and make your own!
Wander into a bar in the US and you will probably not have much luck ordering a chip butty, although Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh is famous for their sandwiches with fries (and will add fries to every sandwich unless you say not to) and Burger King made a version of the chip butty for a short while. The traditional way of enjoying a chip butty is to use soft white baps (buns) and toss the finished chips in plenty of salt. Then you can layer them in the buttered bread and add some ketchup or mayo on top, and maybe even a little malt vinegar (the dark kind not the light one) for that perfect British taste! Continue reading
This snack is made with bread, melted cheese and other ingredients, and it is served hot. Welsh rarebit, sometimes spelled Welsh rabbit, is similar to grilled cheese sandwiches, and in fact some recipes for it are much simpler than others! If I make this for the family I will use milk rather than beer but you can use either, along with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, butter, cheddar cheese, and fresh tomato. Start warming the oven up so it’s nice and hot when you’ve made the creamy cheese topping. Although you can put it under the grill (yes, that’s British for under the broiler!) it is perhaps easier just to bake it.
Some recipes will use béchamel sauce with some cheese added while others call for more cheese than liquid, along with flour, ale, or various other ingredients. Mustard usually features, and Worcestershire is also good because it adds a lot of flavour. You only need a few drops of it though. Everyone has their own favourite way of making this Welsh recipe, but it always makes great comfort food however you prepare it.
The Welsh have been toasted cheese on toast fans since the 16th century and it’s thought the dish’s original name was Welsh rabbit (not rarebit) because it was a joke that if the hunter in the family had failed to bring home a rabbit for the evening meal, grilled cheese would just have to do instead! Some people say the word ‘rabbit’ was used because the dish was introduced into Paris at the start of the 20th century and ‘rarebit’ was a confusing word. Actually it was usually referred to as ‘le Welsh’ in Paris, else people would be wondering where the rabbit was in the recipe! Continue reading
If you’re ever on holiday in Devon, in the southwest of England, you absolutely have to have a Devonshire cream tea! You get a pot of hot tea (English Breakfast, Earl Grey, whatever kind you want) along with freshly baked scones, jam (usually strawberry but sometimes raspberry and blackcurrant are also offered) and clotted cream. There is nothing else on Earth quite like authentic Devon scones, and for good reason too. These tasty, crumbly scones are not too sweet and not too savoury. They are topped with rich, thick clotted cream and then sweet strawberry jam. Hot tea goes perfectly with them.
Perhaps you’re reading this thinking ‘wait a minute, clotted cream is Cornish, isn’t it? What’s the difference between Devon cream tea and Cornish cream tea?’ Well if you ask someone from Devon or Cornwall they will have very strong opinions that their method is correct! However, the scones and tea are the same – it’s just about how they are prepared, either cream first and then jam, or jam first and then cream. It is much disputed there!
In Devon it’s cream first and then jam because the cream spreads easier on the scones than on the jam. In Cornwall it’s never, ever cream first – the cream goes on top! I suggest you make these scones and try both ways to see which you like best. Eat these scones the day you make them or freeze then thaw for a few hours and refresh them for 10 minutes in a warm oven. Continue reading
- Sea Perch with Apple-Cranberry Chutney May 28, 2016
- Creamy Colcannon with Irish Cheddar May 21, 2016
- Ultimate British Chip Butty May 9, 2016
- Tasty Welsh Rarebit Recipe May 1, 2016
- Authentic Devon Scones April 24, 2016
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