Monthly Archives: September 2012

Quick fish and tofu croquettes

A quick and healthy recipe for the week-end? This is for when you are not feeling up to much and looking at the left-overs in the fridge without much inspiration… Been there? Me too… But a nice easy little dish would cheer you up, and this is it.

This will make a dozen croquettes.

Ingredients list:

  • Firm tofu, 200g
  • Flaked cooked fish (salmon, cod, trout…), 200g
  • Basil leaves, 5
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Worcester sauce, 1 dash

This is a nice dish to use up left overs of any fish you have been enjoying that week. I make it with trout when it is in season and my other half has stuffed the freezer full of his catch! I might bake a trout with almonds and then use the flesh to make this the next day.

Blend the trout fillets with the tofu and seasoning in a food processor.

Add the eggs and mix. You will have a mix like a dough or a bit firmer.

Then shape some egg-sized balls in oiled hands and roll them in rice flour before frying them in a bit of sunflower oil. Turn them around to have it nicely brown all around.

Enjoy with a side salad.

Cookies for fit-birds, with seeds and spices!

Seeds are not just for birds (as my eldest keeps complaining…), they are also a very good healing food and can be used very successfully in baking. To breads, cookies or even fruit cakes, they give a deliciously healthy dimension.

These seeds cookies are adapted from the recipes of a lovely Jersey restaurant “The Jersey Pottery”; taken from the book Handmade and homemade, recipes from Jersey by Jersey pottery. I made my version gluten-free and I added xantham gum for extra binding but you can use normal wheat flour if you prefer.

A gluten-free cookie

  • Plain flour or Doves farm’s Gluten and wheat free flour blend, 230g
  • Xantham gum, 1 tsp (if using Gluten free flour)
  • Baking powder, 1 tsp
  • All spice, 2 tsp
  • Butter, 160g
  • Rolled oats or oatmeal, 80g
  • egg, 1
  • Brown sugar, 90g
  • Almond slivers, 60g
  • Pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp
  • Sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp
  • Linseeds, 1 tsp
  • Pine nuts, 1 Tbsp
  • Poppy seeds, 1 tsp

This mix makes about 15 biscuits.

I used pumpkin butter instead of pumpkin seeds because I had ran out and I swapped part of the sesame seeds for japanese black sesame seeds because I like the dark speckles in these biscuits. I also used gluten-free flour but you don’t have too. If you do though, add a spoonful of Xantham gum and that worked really well to bind the mix. The texture was dense but flaky and had a nice crumbly feel in the mouth, a little bit like a spanish ‘polverone’ which I found intensely pleasurable. The taste is nutty and subtle – not too sweet. They would go very well with ‘grown-up’ teas such as a smoky Lapsang Souchong or the neroli flavoured Earl Grey sold by The East India Company.

First sift the flours and spices together.

Combine the butter, sugar and egg to make a paste.

Then bring all the ingredients together to produce a cookie dough.

Dust the worktop with flour and roll the dough until you get a nice thick log.

Wrap it in cling film and let it harden in the fridge for a few hours.

Warm your oven and cut the log in thick disks, then lay them out onto a grease-proof sheet. You can also freeze part of it for later…

Bake at 170° for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bottom bit gets  slightly brown. These biscuits hold quite well through baking so you don’t need to space them out too much as they will keep their shape. You can even use a cookie stamp to personalise them!

Nutrition notes:

Straight into the cookie jar…

Linseeds or flaxseeds are a good source of vitamin B6, iron and Thiamin. Thiamin (or vitamin B1) is essential for your nervous system.

Pine nuts, like all other seeds and nuts, bring you a lot of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and help look after your skin, eyes and joints. They are also great at regulating moods and at helping children concentrate.

Tarte fine à l’ Abricot corse et Au Miel du maquis

 

Palombaggia beach in Corsica

A crispy, crusty tart, scented with honey infused in the Corsican “maquis”: colorful above all else. I love anything orange; the colour of the sun, the stones and the heat itself. An earthy and grounded colour: “la terre est bleue comme une orange”, says the poet.
Ingredients list:
  • All butter puff pastry
  • 6 to 8 apricots
  • Semolina 2tbsp
  • Honey 4 tbsp
  • Pine nuts, a handful
Preheat the oven to 180.
Roll the pastry to a thin crust. Lay the pastry onto a flat oven tray and make a square shape, taking time to just roll the edge and seal them with a fork.
Shake the semolina all over the surface. This will absorb the excess juices – sometime you won’t need any, sometime more; depending on the fruit!
Cut up the apricots in quarters and place them skin down onto the pastry.
Drizzle your honey on top of the fruit and decorate with pine nuts.
Put in the oven for a good 45 minutes until crispy and make sure the heat is stronger at the bottom of the oven so the pastry dries and gives a dry puff crunch under the bite.
This very simple tart, like all very simple dishes,  deserves the very best ingredients : tasty, supple apricots and the best honey.  Something a bit wild and resinous like a mountain honey… A bit of holiday magic then gets conjured up in your plate.
A beach fringed with water so clear you could keep your eyes open to observe the fish was the setting of a delicious cousins picnic. No photo of the tart as it was eaten too fast but here are more pine scented and sea sprayed photos…

A precious sand-lily still in bloom after the bake-off…