Winter continues its icy grip. The bitter wind cuts like a knife. There is still snow on the ground, continued flurries falling from the sky. Yet our hearts and minds tell us spring should now be in full swing, we’d had a godamn heatwave by this time last year! So when it comes to that all-important topic of food, we are still looking for something warm and comforting yet with hints of sunshine on the horizon… this is where this recipe comes in and ticks all the boxes.
This is a recipe I found on BBC Good Food quite a while ago and it has become a firm favourite of ours. I don’t know whether this is particularly authentically “Sicilian” or not, but it sure tastes good!
The chilli flakes bring a lovely warmth while the zesty lemon and parsely pick it up to make it zippy and moreish, a perfect warming cold-weather dish which evokes hints of sunshine and the Mediterranean!
To make this for two people, you will need;
- Around 250g of sustainable white fish. I use different fish depending on what I can get, pollack is a good option
- 50g couscous
- 1 medium/large white onion
- 2 decent stalks of celery
- Tin of plum tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Small glass of white wine
- Large pinch of chilli flakes
- 400ml veg stock
- The juice and zest of half a lemon
- A decent handful of fresh parsely
Heat some olive oil in a large pan and add the crushed garlic, chopped onion and celery and chilli flakes. Season with some salt and pepper and cook for around 10 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them up a little in the pan. Pour in the stock and wine, bring to the boil and cook for a few more minutes before adding the couscous. Turn down low to a simmer before adding the fish, flaking it into big chunks. Cover and leave for 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Serve with the lemon juice and zest and chopped parsley on top.
I love the combination of the rich tomatoyness of this dish combined with the warming chilli and zesty lemon, it’s very comforting and flavoursome! And is great with a large glass of the white stuff!!
As some of you may know, I’m off for a wee jaunt around Portugal next week, and beginning to get really rather excited. Sunshine. Food. Culture. Sunshine. Wine. Food. Sunshine.Food. Exploring. Architecture. Sunshine.Food. Oh yes!
I keep daydreaming about sitting outside a local restaurant in Lisbon, at a street side table, feeling the lovely warmth of the evening sun caress my shoulders as I watch the passers by and make up stories about their comings and goings, while awaiting the arrival of a lovely crisp refreshing glass of vino and some simple but delicious freshly caught fish and potatoes.
So feeling inspired last Sunday for a simple yet flavoursome fish meal, we treated ourselves to two sea bass from the fishmonger. I stuffed them with lemon and cooked them in olive oil and more lemon and some dill along with some delicious yellowy flavoursome potatoes, red and white onions, garlic and carrots. I was quite pleased with my sudden inspiration half way through cooking and tossed in some almonds for the last 5 minutes, this added a nice crunch and another flavour, it was really tasty!!
This was, of course, served with a crisp glass of white wine. Unfortunately it wasn’t enjoyed outside in the sun however, instead we sat in our dining room and watched the rain pour down the window as if someone was stood on our roof chucking buckets of water over, while listening to the wind howl…. here’s to one week to Portugal!!
BBC Good Food is one of my favourite sources of recipe ideas for quick and healthy mid-week meals. I like to cook after work as it helps me wind down and switch off but am usually pretty hungry so want something tasty and fresh that I can make quickly! This website has so many great recipes and has been the source of many of my tried and trusted favourites. This was a new one I tried last week.
- sliced chicken breast
- groundnut oil
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- tender stem broccoli
- yellow pepper (this was my addition to bulk up the veg count. You could add whatever other veg you fancied really, mushrooms would be good too I think)
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 1 heaped tsp cornflour
- 1 or 2 tbsp honey (depending on taste)
- the zest of half a lemon and juice of a whole lemon
- large handful of unsalted cashew nuts
Heat your oil in a wok and fry the sliced chicken until golden. Remove and set aside. Add the crushed garlic, broccoli (I parboiled mine just a little first) and yellow pepper and stir fry until tender.
Meanwhile, mix your stock, cornflour and honey then pour into the pan and simmer until thickening. Add the previously cooked chicken as well as the lemon zest and juice. Throw in a good hanful of cashew nuts then serve. We had ours with noodles. Slurp!
Et voilà! A healthy, quick and tasty mid-week meal! Even the other half enjoyed this and he’s not really a broccoli fan!