Salmon Patties with Vegetable Tempura and Mixed Salad

Sunday as usual is the day for cooking. Starting off the day with my husband cooking for brunch, he made us crabmeat and egg on toast, which tasted very good. Why not stay with seafood for dinner! I always wanted to make this fish cake, so let’s do it today.

Thinking between salmon or tuna, I finally stick with salmon for tonight’s dinner. I bought two cans of good quality salmon, 150 grams for each can, should be good enough to make around 6-8 patties, of course depends on how big are the patties. Getting also the rest of the ingredients ready, mixed salad, potatoes, carrots, eggs, flours, parsley, cucumber or zucchini, then we can start cooking.

First of all, we should work on the potatoes and carrots for the patties. Boil a pot of hot water, and put the potatoes cubes and carrot cubes inside the pot, season with a pinch of salt. Boil them until they are done, separate them from water and let them cool down. Meanwhile, we can work on the other stuff, like chop the potatoes, carrot and cucumber or zucchini into strips, then place them in a large bowl and mix them together. Buy this Japanese tempura powder (deep fry), and mix them with water until you reach certain consistency. Some of them need to add egg and some do not, please see the package for instruction. When the cooked potatoes and carrots are finally cool down, smash them with the masher, then we can work on the salmon patties. Grab a large bowl for mixing or you can use a food processor to mix, but I do prefer to do it manually, as I do prefer a bit of texture instead of too refine. Place the salmon chucks inside the bowl, break them up by using a fork. Then, add the finely chopped parsley, and now add the mashed potatoes and carrots into the bowl, then add egg, flour, some lemon zest into the bowl, and season it with some black pepper. You really need to to see how much flour and how many eggs to add, and work out your optimum amount and portion. Make sure the patties are not too soft and too watery, make sure you add enough flour to have the right consistency. Mix them well and here you go to work on the patties, use your hand to make them nicely into a round patties around 1cm thick. Sit them on a tray with some flour for the time being, and now work on the vegetables.

Pour some tempura flour into the chopped vegetable mix, and mix them with the flour, let each single piece stick with that. Now, heat up the pan with a good amount of olive oil, grab a bunch of vegetable strips and further dip them into the tempura flour, then place them into the pan for deep fry, or pan fry could work. Fry them on both side until they turn golden brown or the way you like. Repeat this until you finish with all vegetable strips. Then, you can start to fry the salmon patties, try not to rush and keep turning them, otherwise you will mess them up by keep flipping. When everything is done, serve the salmon patties and the vegetable tempura with the salad. The dressing I did with some mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and white vinegar, this work for the entire dish, not just for the salad. I guess next time I will try to grill the patties in the oven and see what will be the difference, I found the patties a bit too soft and I will try to perfect them next time, but the taste was good, at least….

Herb Crusted Red Snapper with Angel Hair

Tonight I want to cook something with fish, I found a recipe from Gordon Ramsay by cooking the fish with the herb crusted that looks good, maybe I should give it a try.

Do grocery at the supermarket, I can find some red snappers that are looking quite good. So, I decided to cook that with the herb crusted. What is good to go with the fish? I am thinking maybe angel hair pasta. Of course, you can have that with some fresh salad or even rice.

First of all, I am going to work on the herb crust. Put some breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, red chili, a touch of lemon juice, pinch of salt and some olive oil into the food processor and mix them. That’s it, leave them aside until we need them. Remember to pre-heat the oven under 180C for grilling the fish later on. I am getting the source ready before cooking the fish, heat up the pan with a good amount of olive oil, put some garlic, red chili and the minced shallot, then put the pancetta, fry them until they start to turn gold. Add the cherry tomatoes, and a touch of salt, not too much. Now, add some white wine, let them cook a bit, add some chopped basil when it’s almost done. Now, pan fry the fish with butter, garlic and some ginger, season them with some salt and pepper. When they are almost done, place them on the tray and place some cooked pancetta and cherry tomatoes on top of them. And then, top them up with the herb crush, like fully covered. Place them inside the oven and grill for 15 minutes. When it’s 5 minutes left for the grill fish, start to boil the angel hair pasta which takes around 3 minutes to cook only. Heat up the source once again when the pasta is done, stir them well with the source and get ready to serve.

I don’t know what and where went wrong, but something taste bitter from the dish. I guess it’s the lemon seeds that smashed and mixed in the herb crust. Not sure, but this dish definitely needs some improvement. Life is about learning from the mistake, next time I will do it better!

 

 

Easter Saturday dinner – Grilled Herring with Orange, Fennel and Arugula Salad

One of our couple friend got too many herring by mistake and they are off for Easter holiday, so they gave us five herrings. So I have to cook something with the herrings during this Easter holiday.

That’s what I came up with, grilled herring with orange, fennel and arugula salad.

Let’s get the herring clean and get the filet out from the whole fish. Chop the head and tail off, then cut the fish open and get all the inner parts out, then cut from the bone and slide the filet off. Well, actually there are still a lot of bones, it is so tough to clean up all the tiny little bones. Pre-heat the oven and meantime can get the salad ready.

Cut the fennel bulb into thin slices, place them into a big salad bowl. Then, cut half of a red onion into thin slices, place them into the bowl as well. Then, remove the skin from two oranges, and then cut them into regular slices. Lastly, put arugula into the salad bowl, mix everything well together. Now, get the dressing ready, this dressing can be used for both the salad and the fish. The dressing will be with olive oil, mustard, honey, a bit of salt and lemon juice.

When the oven is ready, switch to 210C and place all herring filet in a tray, no need to season with salt because the herring is quite salty. Just season with pepper and olive oil. Grill them in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are done. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, and garnish them with chopped basil and parsley. Serve the fish together with the salad and some bread.

Fish Fillet and King Prawn with Potato & Lettuce Salad

My husband told me the other day, we eat far less salad. That’s true, I eat a good amount of vegetable everyday, but more in a Chinese way. Those typical boiled, steamed or fried vegetables. But when I cook a Western dinner, I seldom consider a salad dish, maybe too focusing on the main dish, and forget about the side dish. So, for tonight I am thinking about a salad to start with, and see what to go best with the salad.

My husband always loves cucumber salad with sour sauce or dressing, I saw this potato salad with yogurt and dill sauce at one of the cooking show. Thinking to do the same kind of sauce with a cucumber salad. What is the best to go with this salad? Instead of salmon, let’s see what kind of fish I can get at the supermarket. Eventually, I’ve got the catfish fillet and a prawn for each of us, should be good enough to go with the salad.

Let’s get the salad prepared, so that I can get it chilled in the fringe for a while to keep it cooler before serving. I would like to have a little bit of potatoes in the salad, but not a lot, as I would like to keep the cucumber as the major ingredients. I started with cooking the potatoes into boiling water, part of it for the salad, part of it for our doggies for their usual Sunday dinner with salmon. When the potatoes are done, let them sit aside and reduce the heat. On the other hand, let’s get the rest of the salad prepared. Chop half of an onion in really thin slices, chop cucumber into thin slides, and some romaine lettuce. Put all of them into a big salad bowl, mix them well together and put the bowl into the fringe. You can add the potatoes back in when they are not hot any more.  Let the salad chill until it’s time to serve. You can also get the salad dressing ready, and chill it in the fringe as well. Open the Greek yogurt and pour them into a bowl, season with some salt and pepper, add white vinegar and then mix them well together. As I don’t like too sour, I prefer to add some honey so balance out the taste a bit. It’s up to you to add honey or not. The key of this source is dill, finely chop a handful of dill, and mix them with the sauce. Let the salad dressing sit in the fringe, you can decide to serve the salad with the dressing already add in, or serve it separately. I tend to serve it separately, because we do have a different preference on the amount of dressing that we like to add into our salad.

Time to prepare the fish and prawn. Add a bit of corn flour on the fish for both side in the beginning, to make sure we will keep it nicer together when frying them. Season both the fish and prawn with salt, pepper, ground coriander, paprika and parsley on both side. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the fish and prawn and add a bit of garlic and red chili for the flavour. Make sure one side is already done before flipping the fish, and watch out the prawn because the cooking time should be a lot faster than the fish. When one side of the prawn turned red, just flip it and remove them from the pan when both side turned red. After flipping the fish, add some chopped tomatoes and spring onion on top of the fish. Serve the fish when it’s done, together with the prawn as a seafood plate and have the salad on the side.

 

CNY’s Eve dinner, good to go for fish – Salmon and Scallop with Avocado Dips


Tonight is Chinese New Year’s Eve, I am thinking to cook a salmon dinner for the two of us. For the 團年飯 (Tuen Lin Fan), dinner for the whole family to get together, it’s an important dinner  during the year. Traditionally, we need to make sure we are having certain dishes for dinner, such as fish, shrimp and meat. Fish (魚 pronounce as yu), that represent good fortune and money, shrimp (蝦 pronounce as ha), that represent a lot of laughter and happiness. So, I guess for just the two of us, salmon is a good choice.

I would say, this dish is all about the avocado dip. That is not like guacamole, because that will be too strong for salmon, the trick for this one is with Greek yogurt. So, this dish is salmon and scallop with zucchini and cauliflower, served with avocado dip.

To get everything prepared before starting to cook. Cut the cauliflower in pieces and steam them until almost done, I will finish them later pan fry with butter and seasoning. Cut the zucchini in slices. Cut two avocados in half, and smash them into a large bowl. Then, add minced garlic, some Greek yogurt and a bit of lemon juice into it, and mix them well together. Season it with the amount of salt and pepper that you like. Now, heat the oven in 190C, place a foil and then salmon on the tray, season the salmon will salt and pepper, a bit of lemon juice and put some dill directly on the salmon. Drizzle some olive oil on the salmon and the tray, and put it in the oven and grill for 15 minutes. Turn the salmon upside down when it’s half way done, that helps to cook it more evenly. Sometimes I do prefer to grill the salmon with fully wrap of foil, in order to keep it moist. But today, I guess it’s fine to grill it just like that.

When the salmon is in the oven, we can get the grill pan to fry the zucchini with olive oil. On the other hand, we can heat up another pan with butter, and fry the cauliflower, and season them with salt and pepper. Then, we heat the pan with butter, and fry the scallops. Please remember, do not overcook them, otherwise they will become too dry and chewy. Don’t forget to turn your salmon once in the middle. When the salmon is done, take them out and serve it with the scallop, some zucchini and cauliflower, of course with the avocado dip. The avocado dip tastes better if you have chance to let it chill in the fringe a little bit.

Just to make the entire family happy, I’ve also made some salmon with potatoes for our two doggies. Salmon is always good for dogs, this is actually what our vet asked is to feed one of our dog when she was having allergy. Good for skin and joint as well.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Kung Hei Fat Choy! 恭喜發財!年年有餘!

Creamy Smoked Salmon Penne Pasta

Cold and rainy night again! What should we eat? Maybe something that can make you feel warm, creamy or cheesy…… Let’s do a creamy pasta, creamy smoked salmon penne pasta.

This dish is creamy and you will feel satisfy after the meal!

I love to add pine nuts for the pasta, love the taste and the consistency.  First of all, before doing anything else, just fry the pine nuts with a pan with a bit of olive oil. You really have to watch it, because it might burnt all of a sudden, as you would not want your pasta with black pine nuts. So, that is ready and you will need that at the end, so better get it done in the beginning without spending time to cook it at the end. Some people just cook it together with the pasta, but I love to fry them a bit to get them taste even better!

To cook the pasta sauce is quick, so you can almost cook the sauce and boil the water for the pasta at the same time. Boil a big pot of hot water for the pasta, on the other hand, get a sauce pan ready. Put some butter in the pan when it’s hot, place some chopped garlic and fry them until golden brown, you can also add some finely chopped onion if you like. Then, add the crème fraîche as you like, around 200 ml, add parmesan cheese or you can add any kind of goat cheese as well, depends on what do you like. Add a touch of  freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of white wine if you like. Cook until the sauce starts to become thick, season it with salt and pepper, then add the salmon. Do not add the salmon too early, as it’s already cooked, no need to extra cook them. At the same time, the penne or any selection of pasta you like, should be ready. The trick to cook the pasta is no tricks! Just pour a tea spoon of salt in the hot water and cook the pasta, duration refer to the cooking time on the package, and keep it with high heat, the result should be always good!

Mix the pasta into the sauce, you can always save some hot water from the pasta, in case you need them if the sauce becomes too dry. Finally, put the pine nuts and chopped parsley and mix them well together, then served them with a touch of black pepper.

Crème fraîche does taste different than a regular creme, but if you cannot find it, can still use the regular creme to cook the sauce. But, it tastes more creamy for sure with the crème fraîche.