Saturday dinner: Smoked haddock, prawns, spinach, potatoes
Smoked haddock and prawn bake with sliced potato topping.
Slice some potatoes and an onion around 5mm thick, then simmer for 7 minutes in just enough milk to cover. Drain, reserving the milk.
Mix cornflour with enough water to form a thin paste, then add the milk along with a splash of vegetable stock concentrate, a splash of white wine, and a pinch of ground white pepper. Heat, stirring, until thickened into a white sauce.
Put the onions in the base of a baking dish, lay smoked haddock fillets on top, spread some defrosted-and-drained frozen spinach on top, put some still-frozen raw king prawns on top of this, pour over the white sauce, and put the sliced potatoes on top.
Bake at Gas Mark 6 for 45 minutes.
Wednesday dinner: Smoked mackerel, broccoli, parmesan, tomatoes potatoes
Smoked mackerel and broccoli gratin. Inspired by Nigel Slater’s recipe. Grease a baking dish, add smoked mackerel (skin removed, flesh broken into bits), blanched broccoli florets, and lots of chopped garlic that you have previously fried in butter. Pour over some white sauce, scatter over some breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over some grated parmesan. Bake in the oven at Gas 6 (180C) for 45 minutes until browned and bubbling.
I served this with tomato salad (tomatoes cut into chunks and dressed with a Japanese dressing from a jar) and some leftover boiled potatoes from earlier in the week.
(Incidentally, I used pre-made white sauce from a jar. I know several methods of making white sauce; I just happen to hate doing it. The stuff from the jar is absolutely fine.)
Thursday dinner: Mackerel, potatoes, carrots, aubergine
Smoked mackerel. Straight out of the packet.
Potato salad. New potatoes, steamed whole for 25 minutes, cut into chunks and mixed with sliced green olives, chopped capers, sliced leeks that had previously been sweated down in oil, and mayonnaise.
Chopped aubergine and tomato salad. Aubergine baked in the oven until skin blackened, peeled and finely chopped, then mixed with finely-chopped tomato, pomegranate molasses, and a bit of olive oil.
Saturday dinner: Tuna, celery, carrots, bread
A light dinner tonight since bob and I had dim sum for lunch.
Tuna salad. Mix drained tinned tuna with grated carrot and finely-chopped celery. Season with fish sauce and black pepper. Bind with mayonnaise. Serve in sandwiches or on toast.
Friday dinner: Salmon, red peppers, broccoli, potatoes, bread
Red pepper salad. Slice a red pepper thinly, dress with seasoned sushi vinegar.
Steamed tenderstem broccoli.
Cold boiled potatoes. Left over from earlier in the week.
Olive ciabatta. Bought from supermarket and warmed in the oven.
Tuesday dinner: Fish, eggs, greens, tomatoes, rice
Tuesday lunch: Eels, prunes, sweet potatoes
Eels Landaises. Cooked entirely in the cause of my guest post for the Vintage Cookbook Trials.
Served with some leftover boiled sweet potatoes that I had in the fridge.
Tuesday dinner: Sweetcorn, salmon, red peppers
Salmon en papillote with sundried tomato and anchovy tapenade. Pound sundried tomatoes, fresh garlic, capers, and anchovy fillets to a paste in a mortar (you could use an electric mini-chopper; I didn’t, because mine has died). Leave for an hour to let the garlic mellow a bit. Spread on top of skinless salmon fillets, wrap in a foil or baking parchment parcel, bake in oven until done (they won’t take very long).
Sweetcorn polenta with black olives. Cut the kernels from fresh corn cobs, put in a pan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add a spoonful of dairy-free spread (or butter, if you’re not cooking for a lactose-intolerant person) and a few cubes of fermented tofu. Blenderise it all up, then stir in some finely-chopped black olives. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, for at least 10 minutes (cook longer if you want to drive out more moisture and make it thicker). (This is a lactose-free adaptation of Yotam Ottolenghi’s sweetcorn polenta recipe.)
Red pepper salad. Deseed a red bell pepper and slice it thinly. No dressing; you don’t need it with the above dishes and it would clash with their flavours.
Tuesday dinner: Mackerel, cucumber, tomato, avocado, quinoa
Mackerel and cucumber salad. Simmer a mackerel fillet very very gently in Hugh F-W’s fish poaching liquid for 2-3 hours until it’s cooked and flavourful but still moist. Leave to cool, remove and discard the bones and skin, and pull the flesh into large flakes. Mix these flakes in a bowl with chopped cucumber, and dress with sushi vinegar.
Tomato and avocado salad. Peel and cube an avocado, and toss with freshly-squeezed lime juice. Add halved or quartered cherry tomatoes, season with celery salt, and toss again.
Quinoa with preserved lemons. Cook quinoa until done in vegetable stock, then drain, spread on a large plate, and leave to cool and dry. Mix in some chopped preserved lemons, some snipped garlic chives, and a few spoonfuls of liquid from the preserved lemon jar. Mix well and transfer to a bowl to serve.
(Spreading the quinoa on a plate before mixing in the other ingredients helps to stop it getting mushy.)
Saturday dinner: Mackerel, potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes
Grilled mackerel. Fillet, bought frozen, defrosted and patted dry, grilled on a piece of foil, skin-side down first then turned to crisp the skin. (Note that “grilled” in UK English means the heat comes from above.)
Mashed potatoes. Peeled, cubed potatoes, boiled until soft, mashed with Eastern European-style sour cream.
Caponata. Made with courgettes and cherry tomatoes instead of my usual aubergines and tinned tomatoes, hence more watery/saucy than usual. This came from the freezer too; it was a spare portion I froze a while ago.