Salmon Baked with Herbs and Caramelised Lemons

When I saw Gordon Ramsay make baked salmon with herbs and caramelised lemons, I had to make it pretty much immediately.  

Now, he cooked a whole salmon but obviously for two people this would have been a bit of a salmon overdose me thinks.  So instead I used a 400g piece of filleted salmon but skin on which I removed once it was cooked.

Salmon with herbs and caramelised lemons

I must say this was such an easy thing to make, I love cooking in foil or greaseproof paper, the smel when you open it is amazing.


Camembert Baked in the Box with Bruschetta

I first raved on about Camembert baked in it's box back in April 08 but since then I have quite got into serving it with Bruschetta - home made of course. Please see my updated baked Camembert post here.

Marks and Spencer included baked Camembert as one of the starter courses in their 'Valentine's Dine in for £20' offer this year.


Pancake Recipe for Pancake Day

As everyone probably knows, yesterday was Shrove Tuesday, which means Pancake Day!
Every food supermarket had displays of lemons, milk, flour and sugar!


Hot Berry and Apple Dessert with Mascarpone Brulee

Yesterday I invented a dessert - at least I think I did. We had Paul's mum and dad coming over for dinner and I couldn't decide what to make for dessert. I had bought come Bramley cooking apples and was going to make a simple apple pie. After much mumbling to myself I thought that apple pie, yummy as it is, is just too ordinary.

In my freezer I had half a packet of raspberries and half a packet of blueberries. After adding some sugar and heating them through there wasn't enough of them put together to make enough of anything. So, armed with my cooking apples I used two of them to bulk the rest of the fruits up!
I cut the cooking apples into chunks and added a little water and sugar and simmered in a saucepan, lid on, until tender.

Now I had enough fruit to fill four ramekins. Feeling pleased with myself, I had the idea of dolloping the top of each ramekin with some Mascarpone cheese. When it came to serving, I heated the ramekins in the oven just so the fruit got warmed through. Then after adding the Mascarpone, I sprinkled a good amount of sugar on top of each. Out then came my cooks blowtorch making the sugar caramelise into a brulee type topping.

I suppose you could put them under a hot grill but it wouldn't be as much fun as using a blowtorch! Served with ice cream - double yum on a plate!

For our starter I did fresh figs, dollop of goats cheese in the middle and warmed in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese just started to get on it's way to melting. Out came the blowtorch to give it a bit of colour. I had some Prosciutto (Parma ham) left over from the main course and with a few salad leaves drizzled with a mixture of equal amounts mixed together of balsamic vinegar and Extra Virgin olive oil.

Now, they won't be too pleased with me for this. But this is Paul's mum and dad, Anita and John.
For our main course, we had chicken. When I tell you what I stuffed the chicken with you will think nooooo - as it was 3 kinds of cheese and spinach!  Yes, that means every course had cheese in it!

I'll blog about the main course in another post. That's a total of 5 different cheeses in one 3 course meal - do I hold the world record?!

All in all it was a really good night, even if my menu was a bit 'experimental'!

How to Make Gremolata

I love, love, love Gremolata!  So, for that reason, Gremolata is what I'm raving on about today.


Gremolata is an Italian garnish or condiment which, in my opinion, is really at it's best when served with roast chicken. Spoon a huge dollop over hot roasted chicken and the smell is amazing. Just imagine, lemon and garlic along with parsley mixing with some of the pan juices from the chicken. A good chunk of bread is vital for dipping and moping!

The other good news is that it's really easy to make!

A good handful of flat leaved parsley - leaves picked and finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves - finely chopped
the zest of two lemons - finely chopped
Give the lot another good chop then mix together, seasoning with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now add a little extra virgin olive oil, give it a good squeeze of lemon juice......
Job done.
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

Ultimate Garlic and Parmesan Bread

This is proper garlic bread as it ought to be!
We've all seen those horrid ready made garlic baguettes in the supermarket. They also sell the same ones but call them 'cheese and garlic' baguettes.
 Have you ever stopped to look at just how much cheese they actually put in? 
I doubt there's more than two pinches and for that they charge an extra 50p!
Whatever, there really is no comparison to what you can make very simply at home. For the sake of five minutes preparation, you have a crispy loaf that oozes buttery garlic and gooey cheese.

The Meadow Inn at Ironbridge - A Review

I'm not telling anyone that it's my birthday on Monday. But seeing as it is, we went out for lunch yesterday at one of our favorite places to eat, The Meadow Inn at Ironbridge.

I must point out that since about October/November 08 The Meadow has had new owners. Since then, the already high standards have been upped and it is now a really lovely, friendly place where we could just sit, drink and eat, quite happily all day!
We arrived not too long after they'd opened for lunch, hence it was a bit quite, but not for long. We walked there, which normally doesn't take very long but because of the snow we've had we had to walk a long way round or we'd have slid on our bottoms all the way there!

The picture above is one of the bars - they have another one to the left.
Now, there is nothing that can be faulted with The Meadow Inn. The staff are really nice and friendly. It's very clean (the loos are spotless) and the food is excellent!
The Meadow is one of those places where you want to eat everything on their menu. They do smaller portions if that's what you want, or you can add just £2.50 for a larger sized meal. The small portions aren't that small either!

For starters I had the Char-grilled King Prawn skewers with a sweet chili relish - very nice indeed - I could quite happily had a whole plate of those!
As well as their main menu they have a blackboard which has a few more yummy dishes to choose from. So, from the blackboard, Paul had warm goats cheese with dressed leaves and walnuts.
For the main course, he had their double stack burger, which as you can see isn't small! I was cooked perfectly and the chunky chips were lovely and crisp, just as they should be.
I had to have steak, of course! The steak was cooked to absolute perfection - I always have steak medium rare.
They do a larger steak but this size (8oz) was just fine for me. I also had Bearnaise sauce, which was included in the price. Everywhere else you go, seems to want to charge £2 to £2.50 extra for sauce!
Now, another good thing about The Meadow Inn, is that their beef is minimum 28 day matured and is from Welsh border farms. It always bothers me that in some places you just don't know where they get their meat from.
Now, we didn't have dessert as we were FULL!
In my opinion The Meadow really does serve the best steaks and not just in Ironbridge! If you're ever in the area you must go there and see for yourself.
You wont be disappointed.

Leek and Potato Soup

There's nothing quite like a nice steaming bowl of soup in cold weather. Soup is so easy to make and a great way to use up any leftover veg lurking in the fridge.

Leek and Potato Soup

Print Recipe

To serve 4 you will need: 
3 leeks - washed and sliced into 1 inch chunks
3 medium potatoes - peeled and cubed into 3/4 of an inch pieces
1 medium onion - diced
50g butter
500ml chicken stock (has to be 'Knorr' says I as for some reason, 'Oxo' just is not the same for soup making)
250ml whole milk
salt and pepper to season

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. When the butter starts to foam, add the leeks, potatoes and onions. Keep the vegetables moving about until they are well coated with butter.
Add a little salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Now cover with a lid or some foil and let them cook over a gentle heat for about 15 minutes. You don't really want them to colour - just to cook through.
Meanwhile, put your kettle on to make the stock. When the vegetables are soft but not coloured add the stock and milk and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and nicely cooked through.

Have a taste to check for seasoning.
Now, let it cool a bit before you purée the soup in a blender or food processor. You may want to heat it up again in a clean saucepan, if you do then do so over a gentle heat taking care not to boil the soup.

Pour into bowls to serve. If you're going to be fancy like me, pour a little double cream into the middle of each bowl and top with a few snipped chives.

Chocolate Fondant Dessert

I came across a Gordon Ramsey recipe for Hot Chocolate Fondant. As I'd never made chocolate fondants before, I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out fine.

I've made these twice now and both times I baked them in a preheated (fan) oven for exactly 12 minutes and they turned out fine both times - something not too short of a miracle for me! Being no photographer, my picture doesn't do it justice, although you can see the center was still soft and oozed chocolate goo as it should do!

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