Sunday, December 29, 2019

662/1038 - Maggie's octopus salad

Last week I paid a visit to the Supreme Court, a requirement for a criminology assignment, and decided a quick trip to the Queen Victoria Market would make sense while I was in the city. My fish craving has not left me and so the seafood stall took the majority of my cash for prawns, flake, a slab of sushimi quality salmon and a couple of enormous octopus tentacles. 

In this weird little week between Christmas and New Year it was lovely to find a day to relax a bit and cook. It was almost the perfect day, until it wasn't. I have been a bit distracted lately and it was this lack of focus that almost spelled disaster for me today. Keen to retrieve a set of hand crafted bowls from the top of the cupboard, I climbed to the top of the step ladder and carefully removed the bowls. The next moment was surreal, with me somehow completely forgetting that I was on top of the ladder and simply turning to the side to step off. Bowls flew and I came crashing down, face and forearms first. Thankfully I only suffered a bit of a split and bump on my head where I smacked it on the floor and a very large, very sore purple index finger. My beautiful hand-made bowls did even better than me, without a mark to be seen. Small mercies, hey?

So clumsiness aside, it was a lot of fun working with the octopus. I left it to cook for a bit longer than I was supposed to but it didn't seem to do it any harm, with every piece lovely and soft and not rubbery at all. I had less octopus than the recipe actually required and so was able to use a mid-sized saucepan for the cook, with the tentacles swirling into a perfect spiral in the juices. I am kicking myself that I forgot to sprinkle some of my lovely chipotle dukkah over the top but it was still a really lovely salad and a beautiful way to eat one of my favourite things from the sea.

This recipe can only be found in the newest version of The Cook's Companion, and what a fabulous little addition it is. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

661/1038 - Herbed mustard sauce

I have been craving fish lately and am very much enjoying the fabulous sauces in The Cook's Companion. The best thing about them is that there is So. Much. Butter. This latest creation was full of lovely fresh herbs and is just as nice cold as it is warm. To make it even more fabulous, I used truffle mustard instead of dijon because everybody knows truffles make everything better. 

We ate asparagus the night before this and I couldn't work out why I was in so much pain. I searched asparagus on my trusty FODMAP app and couldn't believe I hadn't realised it was another one of my enemies, cleverly disguised in green. I was excited when I realised I could eat a small amount of asparagus...until I realised that the recommended portion size was half a spear. Seriously. Half. So obviously this plate arrangement was for blogging purposes only and shortly after this was taken I donated my second half spear to my asparagus loving son. On the upside, my oven baked half spear was lovely and didn't cause pain, so there's that. 

As usual, my home made chips were an enormous hit. I don't know why anybody would bother to deep fry potatoes when oven baked chips are seriously fabulous when done right. The trick, which is time consuming but worth it, is to dry every surface of every chip before they are oiled. And use lots of salt. Because what are potatoes without salt? 

Best fish and chips I have had in ages.