Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée

Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com

I love scallops! I just cannot resist them – whenever I see them on a menu I’m like, ‘Right, done and dusted I know what I’m having!’ Am I the only one? I just love the taste, the texture, they’re pretty, I love everything! I’m always a little bit nervous about cooking them at home, as I’m so worried I’m going to over cook them! You just have to keep a close eye on them, because they really don’t take that long at all. Initially this recipe was supposed to be scallops with just a pea purée, but I couldn’t find any fresh peas and didn’t want to use all frozen. So instead I made the main ingredient fennel and added a few frozen peas. It’s really delicious and quick to make. This would be a great starter if you’re having people over for dinner – it’s pretty impressive but secretly very simple!

Serves 2 people

What you need:

- 2 bulbs of fennel
– 2 handfuls of frozen peas (or fresh, even better!)
– Thyme
– 4 fresh mint leaves
– 1 small clove of garlic
– Olive oil
– Butter
– Balsamic vinegar
– Scallops (I used 4 per person)
– Seasoning

How you do it:

1. Slice the end off the fennel and remove the outer leaves, then chop into smallish squares.

2. In a sauce pan on a low heat, add some olive oil, a bit of butter and then add the fennel, thyme and seasoning.

3. Give it a stir around and add some minced garlic. Put a lid on the saucepan and leave it to soften.

4. Add the frozen peas, mint leaves and a splash of water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan and leave to cook for 5 minutes. You want all the water to have evaporated and the fennel to be soft.

5. Once that’s done, you need to blend the mixture. Ideally with a hand held blender (or food processor) or if you have neither I’m sure a potato masher will suffice! Then leave it in the saucepan with a lid on whilst you do the scallops.

6. Drizzle a little olive oil over then scallops and rub in with some seasoning. Pour some olive oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat and add the scallops. They’ll take about 4 minutes, 2 minutes either side. Before you put them in prick the roe (this is to stop them popping!)

7. Just before they’re done, add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

8. Spoon your fennel purée onto your plate and place the scallops on top. Enjoy… it’s seriously good!

Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com

Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com

Be careful when you add the balsamic. Things can get smoooookin’!

Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com Scallops with Fennel and Pea Purée @ www.corianderandcumin.com

Foodie Finds

I like to have routines, don’t you? So, I’ve decided that every Sunday I’ll have a break from recipes and share with you my… Foodie Finds! (I know, I know, it’s not a very imaginative title, but it is the weekend, and we don’t want to challenge ourselves too much, do we?!) One of my favourite hobbies, which I’m sure is the same with many of you guys, is that I LOVE to browse/get lost in the world of food blogs, food websites and foodie articles. I bookmark the pages that I find interesting, the ones that resonate with me somehow, or some recipes that I just really want to try out myself at home so I can eat them!

On another note, I hope you liked my posts from this week and if you haven’t had a chance to have a look, here you go! There was a White Bean and Tuna Salad which is perfect for a simple lunch and is fresh, healthy and filling. Check out my awesome wholewheat, seeded bloomer loaf! I’m so proud of it! And I literally demolished it! Every Wednesday I’m going posting a bread recipe as a part of the Need to Knead series, so make sure you check it out! And then on Friday I posted another healthy, fish recipe with a yummy avocado salsa (sooo delicious!) and everyone’s fav, quinoa! (can’t get enough of that stuff).

Right, onto the good stuff. This is what I found interesting this week!

- This article from the Guardian – I just love how food can be taken so seriously and this Italian politican is campaigning to ‘Save the tiramisu’! On some level I agree that the recipes to classic dishes should honored when people are cooking them, but then great things can also come from experimenting and adding new ingredients. I love tiramisu, it’s one of those dishes that if it’s in the fridge I have to keep going back for more! I roughly follow the Delia Smith recipe in her Delia’s Winter Collection book, but I’ve always made it in summer, so it feels like a summery recipe to me. This article has inspired me to get my tiramisu on… so watch this space! mmmmmm mascarpone!

- According to The Independent, éclairs are the next big thing! And that is totally OK with me! It’s inspired me to bake them from scratch at home. Which will be interesting as I’ve never made choux pastry (I’ve heard it notoriously hard!)… but that won’t stop me! oooh no,I love a challenge! (…although probably won’t be saying that as I’m making it!) After reading this article, I came across the oh sooo delicious recipe from Finger, Fork & Knife, for Dark Chocolate + Peanut Caramel ‘SNICKERS’ Éclairs I SERIOUSLY need to try those babies! Although preferably when there are lots of people around so I don’t eat them all (you need to know now that I have no self control when I have baked goods in front of me!). However, I also found today a more healthy recipe on from the magazine Zest. They mix some of the cream filling with yoghurt (they use low-fat, but I would prefer just to use normal yoghurt, it would still cut the cals) and I’m sure this would satisfy any éclair cravings.

- I’ve read a few recipes on home-made croissants and pain au chocolat’s… a serious labour of love but something I really want to try! Having lived in France for a long time (and being here right now) I feel I should have attempted this by now! I particularly like these recipes by Top With Cinnamon and Milk and Honey. I’m going to try them within the next few weeks… watch this space!

- Last but not least, I just read this recipe by Rachel Khoo – roast chicken with lavender! How interesting! It really stuck out for me as my mum has a zillion lavender bushes in the garden so it would be great to use some home-grown lavender buds to cook with!

That’s it for this week! Would be absolutely fab to hear what your thoughts, did you find this interesting or boooring? What did you guys find interesting this week I’d absolutely love to hear!! Also, I just got Twitter y’all! Make sure you follow me for insightful thoughts (ha).

Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa

Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com

I love simple meals like this – full of fresh flavours and super quick to cook. It’s also really healthy but still delicious – always a plus in my book! I’m really trying to watch what I eat at the moment (although sometimes I just have to stuff my face with crisps… my kryptonite!). I’m trying to lose some weight but I’m also  be more conscious about what type of food I’m actually putting in my body. I love food so much, and it’s honestly one of my greatest pleasures, so I could never go on a diet where I just cut out everything and eat green leaves all day, every day! So I’ve been trying to think of meals which are full of healthy vitamins and nutrients, lots of flavour and will fill me up. I think this recipe really does the trick. It’s also a very flexible meal, use which ever fish you like or you can get hold of. I think it’s best with a firm white fish, but try it out with others if you like. I’m in France at the moment and we used perche de Nil which I think is Nile perch in English, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across it in an English supermarket. Next time I cook this recipe I’d quite like to use tuna or swordfish.

Serves 2 people

What you need:

- 2 fillets of any firm, white fish
– Fresh ginger
– Avocado
– Cherry tomatoes
– Spring onion
– Red onion
– Coriander
– Lime
– Lemon
– Olive Oil
– Salt & pepper
– Quinoa

Here’s how to do it:

1. Rub the fish in olive oil, garlic and ginger and leave to sit whilst you prepare your avocado salsa.

2. Put your quinoa on to cook – it takes roughly 10-15 minutes.

3. Prepare your avocado and cut it in medium sized chunks, roughly 1.5cm and put in your bowl with lots of lime juice and gently stir it around.

4. Add halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions (you can quickly blanche them in hot water if you don’t like the strong taste of raw onion), thinly sliced spring onion, and lots of coriander. Add seasoning and some olive oil and stir it all around.

5. Griddle your fish (or pan fry) with olive oil, cooking times depends on which type of fish you get but be careful you don’t over cook it.

6. If you would like a simple ‘sauce’ to go with it, I quickly made one with some lemon juice, olive oil, ginger and seasoning.

7. Serve with the fish with the salsa, quinoa and fresh coriander…enjoy!

Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com Griddled White Fish with Avocado Salsa and Quinoa @ www.corianderandcumin.com

The Need to Knead Series: Learning to Bake Bread – Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer

One of the main reasons for starting this blog was to have something that I enjoy, which I can work on and develop and feel proud of. I graduated last year from university and have been looking for a job since January – after a while, when you’re still jobless, it can get a teensie bit depressing! So Coriander and Cumin was created to be my space where I can share my love of cooking, recipes and develop my skills in the kitchen. This blog will focus on recipes, some my own and some that I’ve discovered else where. But I also want to set myself little challenges to excite me, improve my skills and my knowledge on different areas of cooking.

I’ve recently become really interested in baking bread! I just find it fun and fascinating, combining the ingredients, kneading, watching the dough grow (how exciting?!). I was recently given Paul Hollywood’s book for my birthday on baking bread. I was so excited and book marked lots of recipes, but I still haven’t gotten round to actually baking anything! So, I’m using this as an opportunity to learn the art of baking bread. With The Need to Knead series, I’m going to try to bake a bread recipe once and week and share the highs and lows with you! I’ll be starting off with the more simple recipes and aiming higher as I learn the ways of the dough!

The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com

So this is my first week, and I chose to cook the most simple bread recipe out there, the bloomer. I already baked one of these years ago, but this time I decided to do a wholewheat bloomer just to have a bit more taste and substance than a simple white one. I’m at my mum’s house in France at the moment and in the supermarket I found a wholewheat bread flour with seeds already in it, which I thought would make a nice addition. You can obviously just add seeds to your mix if it’s not already included.

This recipe is from Paul Hollywood’s ‘Bread’ recipe book – I just substituted the strong white bread flour for wholewheat bread flour with seeds.

Makes 1 loaf

What you need:

- 500g wholewheat flour (you can add seeds, such as sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, whatever takes your fancy)
– 10g salt
– 7g sachet of dried yeast
– 40ml of olive oil, plus extra for surfaces
– 320ml of cool water

How to do it:

1. Put the flour in a large bowl, on one side add the salt and on the other side add the yeast. It’s important the salt and yeast don’t touch as it can ‘kill’ the yeast.

2. Pour in the olive oil and 240ml of the cool water. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and mix it all together!

3. Once the mixture starts to come together, add more water bit by bit, you might not need it all. Just enough for you to get a soft, sticky dough – make sure you don’t add too much water though you don’t want the dough to be soggy!

4. Pour some olive oil on a clean work surface – Paul Hollywood says that he prefers to use oil instead of flour to stop the dough sticking as it keeps the dough soft and doesn’t skew the balance between flour and water.

5. Knead the dough for roughly 10-15 minutes. A wholewheat dough needs slightly longer kneading than white flour, and if you’re a beginner (which I am!) you should knead longer – I did it for about 20min! It’s a good arm work out, trust me! You’ve kneaded it enough when the dough becomes soft and stretchy.

6. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave it for about 2 – 2+1/2 hours, until it’s tripled in size (wholewheat flour can take longer to rise than white).

The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com

Look at it grow!!

7. Once it’s risen, place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and now it’s time to ‘knock back’ the dough. This is basically when you push out the air from the dough to tighten it – this gives your loaf an even texture. To do this, fold the dough over its self several times, and then push out the air with your knuckles and the heel of your hands. Do this for about 5 minutes until your dough is smooth. You’ll really notice how it’s much more elastic and easier to handle than the first time round.

8. Now you need to shape it into a bloomer shape. Flatten your dough into a rectangle and then fold the both longest sides into the middle. Flip the loaf over, and tuck the ends in underneath to make an oval shape (more or less!) Gently roll the loaf from side to side and mould it slightly to create the bloomer shape.

The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com.gif

9. You have to now leave the loaf to rise again, this is called proving. This lets the dough develop more flavour and a lighter texture. Place your loaf on some baking paper and then on the baking tray that you’re going to use. Paul says to then put it in a large, clean plastic bag. I didn’t really have one I could use, so I just covered it with clingfilm – did the trick. Leave it to prove until its doubled in size – this will take roughly an hour or so. You know when it’s ready if you poke it gently with your finger and it springs back into shape.

10. Don’t forget to put your oven onto 220 degrees (fan oven) whilst your dough is proving and put in a roasting tin at the bottom (will explain why below!).

11. When your dough is ready, sprinkle the top with a little bit of water and dust with some flour. Always being very gentle – you don’t want to knock out the air you’ve spent so long waiting for! With a sharp knife, slice 4 slashes across the top of the loaf – this will make the loaf ‘bloom’!

12. Before putting the loaf in the oven, pour 1 litre of water into the roasting tray. Why? This creates steam, which will give your loaf a nice crispy crust and make it nice and shiny!

13. Put your baking tray with the loaf on in the oven on the middle shelf and it needs to bake for about 25 minutes. After that, turn the oven down to 200 degrees and bake for 10-15min (so 35-40 mins in total cooking time).

14. You want you loaf to have a good, deep color to it before you take it out. To double check it’s cooked, get a tea towel, take out your loaf and give the bottom a good tap, if it sounds hollow then it’s ready! If not, put in back for a bit longer.

15. Leave the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack. And then… enjoy! …. (although I couldn’t wait for it to cool down, and sliced a bit off straight away!)

Verdict: I have to say I’m really happy with my loaf! I find it so fascinating how you just need a few basic ingredients and you can create something really incredible and tasty! I just love watching the dough grow and develop. I can’t wait for my next bread backing adventure next week! My loaf was ready at around 4.30 in the afternoon, which coincided nicely with tea-time! I had my first bit with some bread and honey which was delicious! Nothing more satisfying than eating a loaf of bread which you have spent the day lovingly-slaving over! How would you eat your loaf?

The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com The Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.comThe Need to Knead - Wholewheat, Seeded Bloomer @ www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com

White Bean and Tuna Salad

White bean and tuna salad - www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com

This recipe is perfect for a healthy, quick to make, simple lunch. There’s nothing complicated to it, and I LOVE it! I just really, really like white beans (cannellini beans) so much! They taste amazing, don’t you think? And you know, they’re really good and healthy for you and all that. You can make this in advance so it’s ready for when you want it – I was eating it for 3 days for lunch! You can have it on it’s own, or with other goodies. I had it with a simple green salad with tomatoes (because they’re sooo good at the moment) and some roasted, marinated red peppers (which I’ll do a recipe for later).

For 2 people

What you need:

- 1 jar/can of white beans (cannellini beans)
– 1 can of tuna (line caught preferably)
– Half a red onion, thinly sliced
– Vinaigrette
– Fresh parsley
– Seasoning

Here’s how you do it:

1. Drain the beans and rinse under water, pat them dry and put them in a bowl.

2. Drain the tuna and break it into flakey chunks, and add to the beans.

3. Thinly slice the red onion. If you’re not too keen on the taste of raw onion you can quickly blanch them in hot water to make them not so ‘oniony’ – that’s what I do. I’m not a huge raw onion fan, but with red onion it’s slightly different and it does go really well in this salad.

4. Roughly chop the parsley and add it to the bowl, season well and pour over some vinaigrette.. et voila… enjoy!

White bean and tuna salad - www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com White bean and tuna salad - www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com White bean and tuna salad - www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com White bean and tuna salad - www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com

Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice

Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is (one of) the most delicious aubergine recipes out there (I absolutely love aubergine so I can’t say one recipe is the best!). I wish that I had thought of this ingenious and different way to prepare aubergine but it was in fact good old  Jamie Oliver, from his 2002 book ‘Jamie’s Kitchen’. There are so many different elements to this vegetable dish which just makes it heavenly. By steaming the aubergine it gives it a lovely, silky soft texture which melts in your mouth. The dressing really takes the dish to a whole other level. It’s punchy, spicey, slightly sweet, salty and full of fresh flavours. Just writing about it is making me hungry for it all over again! I chose to serve it with a seared salmon fillet, lightly seasoned with some soy sauce, some basmati rice on the side and lots of coriander. It’s also delicious to have the left overs (if there are any!) cold the next day. I know the idea of steamed aubergine doesn’t immediately ignite the taste buds, but I hope this recipe might sway you!

Serves 2

What you’ll need:

- 1 Aubergine
– 2 salmon fillets
– 3/4 of a mug of basmati rice
– Coriander
– Olive oil

For the dressing:
– 1 teaspoon of sugar
– 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
– 2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce
– Zest and juice of half a lemon
– 2 spring onions – sliced
– 1 fresh red chili – chopped finely
– 1 large handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander
– 1 handful of roughly chopped fresh basil
– 1 handful of roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
– Salt & pepper

How you do it:

1. Start by making the dressing, simply mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Cook the rice – measure out roughly 3/4 of a mug of basmati rice, (rinse in cold water if you want to get rid of starch) and add to your sauce pan. Then add double quantity of boiling water to the pan (2 x 3/4 mug of water). Make sure it’s simmering, not boiling and put the lid on.

3. Chop the green end off the aubergine and slice the body in half length ways, place in a steamer skin side down. I  don’t use a fancy steamer, just a pan with a sieve and lid will do – just add some boiling water into the pan. It will take about 8-10 mins. To check if they’re done just prick them with a fork and feel if they’re soft all the way through.

4. When the aubergine is done, take them out, leave to cool for a few minutes if you can and chop them into roughly 3 cm cubes then add to the sauce.

5. Get your frying pan up to heat, it needs to be fairly hot, add a good amount of olive oil. Pepper the salmon fillets and rub in some soy sauce and then pan fry for about 6 minutes until they’re done – put the fillets in skin side down first so you get lovely crispy skin.

6. Serve the salmon with the aubergine and rice and lots of fresh coriander. Enjoy!

Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com Asian Seared Salmon with Steamed Aubergine and Rice - corianderandcumin.wordpress.com

Linguine with Mussels and Tomato Sauce

Mussel Pasta

This is a great simple, seafood pasta recipe which you can use as a base and then add your own little alterations to it. For instance it would be really nice if you added some squid and prawns. This recipe is just with mussels, and is so simple to make and full of flavour. A great recipe for a dinner party with friends.

For 2 people

What you need:

- 1 shallot
– 2 garlic cloves
– 450g mussels (in the shell)
– 4-6 fresh plum tomatoes
– Fresh or dried chili (optional)
– Fresh thyme
– Splash of rosé or white wine

How you do it:
1.Place the mussels in a bowl of cold water

2. Finely chop the shallot and mince the garlic cloves

3. Fry the shallot and garlic in some olive oil on a very low heat to soften them

4. Chop the tomatoes – ideally you would skin them, but it is fine if you don’t – and add them to the pan with the shallot and garlic

5. Season with chili if you want

6. As the sauce starts to cook down, add a splash or rosé or white wine.

7. Add some fresh thyme and a pinch of sugar if necessary. Leave to cook for 20 minutes, until it starts to become more ‘saucey’

8. Check the mussels, if any are floating discard them.

9. Clean the mussels by scrubbing the shells and removing the ‘beards’ by pulling at them with a knife

10. Put the mussels in a pan and add some white or rosé wine. Put the lid on to get the heat up and shake the pan a few times.

11. Once they have opened, after 5-10 minutes depending on quantity and size, drain them but reserve some of the liquid.

12. Take some of the mussels out of the shell and keep some in – it’s up to you how many you do, just depends on how many shells you want on your plate.

13. Taste the tomato sauce and add some of the mussel cooking liquid then add the mussels to the sauce

14. Add fresh, chopped parsley and serve with linguine

Tomato sauce Mussels mussels2 Mussel Pasta4 Mussel Pasta Mussel pasta2 Mussel Pasta3