Summer is Here

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As sit here enjoying the last days of my summer holiday before I head back to work. I thought why not do some preserving, I had gifted Rhubarb and Vanilla Bean Compote to family for Christmas and was thinking I better do some savory stuff instead. I absolutely love chutney’s and relishes they can just finish a simple dish of perfectly!

This chunky smokey sweet chutney is great for using up any over ripe tomatoes. Hints of basil and fresh oregano team heavenly with smokey deep flavour from the peppers.

Green Pepper and Tomato Chutney

Ingredients

500g green peppers, core, seeded and sliced thinly
1 brown onion, diced
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, rough chop
400g diced tomatoes
2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 fresh basil leaves, rough chop
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 cup malt vinegar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch chilli flakes (more if you like spice)
1/8 tsp liquid smoke*

Method:

  1. In a heavy based large pot heat oil over medium heat add peppers and onion. Cook out for 15 minutes.
  2. Once sweated add all following ingredients , bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 1-1/2 hours until reduced and thick. Stir often to prevent chutney from burning.
  3. Pour into a sterile jar, seal.

Yeild: 500/800g chutney

*Liquid Smoke can be found at gourmet food store or online. This is not essential but adds a beautiful smokey flavour for the chutney.

Homemade Cinnamon Coconut Crunch Muesli

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Here’s a great base recipe for homemade muesli what i mean by base recipe is you could add any chopped dried fruit you wanted I just didn’t have any in my cupboard at the time. Some of my favorites are apricots, cranberries, sultanas and blueberries.

You can use this muesli for much more than just breakfast! It can be the crunch layer in a layered yoghurt dessert added to raw muffin mix for a crumble topping and many more!

This is my new go to muesli recipe! Im sitting here at 2 in the afternoon with a big bowl and it is so tastey and crunchy, with a combination of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, finished with cinnamon and maple syrup.

Homemade Cinnamon Coconut Crunch Muesli

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 8 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 250 gm butter, melted

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees.
  2. In large bowl combine all ingredients, mix well, pour into a lined baking tray and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown not to dark as it will taste burnt.
  3. You want to stir it every 5-10 minutes to evenly bake the museli.
  4. Remove from oven , cool and store in an air-tight container.

Makes: 10-15 serves muesli

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Icing Sugar Pavlova

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With an abundance of eggs coming from our girls everyday I really needed to use them up. I got the idea in my head that Pavlova was on the cards. I was so excited I had not made a pav since Christmas. Sadly my sugar jar was empty! I nearly cried! Only type of sugar I had was icing sugar or confectioners sugar so it was either going to work or fail drastically. Here’s how the icing sugar pav turned out.

The Icing Sugar Pavlova

With a crisp and crunchy outer shell and a marshmallow center topped with vanilla cream and slightly tart boysenberries this pav went down a treat.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp boiling water

Boysenberry Compote

  • 1 cup frozen boysenberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • Whipped cream to serve

Method:

  1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, add the first 5 ingredients and whisk for 12 minutes until glossy, light and hard peaks are reached, see picture below.
  3. Line baking tray with baking paper and, scrap out egg mix trying to keep it all in the center piled up this makes it easier to shape into a circle.
  4. Using a rubber scraper or pallet knife move it side to side pushing the meringue out evenly in a circle shape, to shape the sides drag your pallet knife up from base to top, like in the picture below.
  5. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 minutes then drop 100 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. In medium size pot add boysenberries, water and icing sugar, bring to the boil and then simmer until thicken slightly.
  7. Turn oven off and leave meringue to cool inside, once cooler open the oven door slightly. Allow to cool and set aside.
  8. Once cool top with whipped cream and boysenberry compote.

Slices: 8-10

Add first 5 ingredients, whisk for 6 minutes add boiling water and continue to whisk for further 6 minutes.

Add first 5 ingredients, whisk for 6 minutes add boiling water and continue to whisk for further 6 minutes.

Meringue should be glossy, light, fluffy and hold stiff peaks.

Meringue should be glossy, light, fluffy and hold stiff peaks.

Place heaped meringue onto lined baking tray and shape.

Place heaped meringue onto lined baking tray and shape.

Using pallet knife draw if from the base to the top to add a nice design and structure to the pav.

Using pallet knife draw if from the base to the top to add a nice design and structure to the pav.

Ready for the oven, bake at 200 degrees for 2 minutes then drop to 100 degress for a further 1 /12 hours.

Ready for the oven, bake at 200 degrees for 2 minutes then drop to 100 degrees for a further 1 /12 hours.

My finished pavlova has a few cracks on the top but i can hide that with cream all and all not bad.

My finished pavlova has a few cracks on the top but i can hide that with cream all and all not bad.

Side view slight crack but I like that you know its home made perfect in-perfection.

Side view slight crack but I like that you know its home made perfect in-perfection.

Top with whipped cream and boysenberry compote.

Top with whipped cream and boysenberry compote.

Crisp outside and marsh marsh-mellow center the perfect homemade meringue.

Crisp outside and marsh marshmallow center the perfect homemade meringue.

Cinnamon Pear Upside Down Cake

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I must admit it has been along time since I’ve done a post on here. Life gets away with you sometimes. Anyway back to food! With having 3 days of which is very rear I cleaned the kitchen and set to creating something new for you all. Here is a great recipe to use up left over pears. I got a bag of 8 pears for $1.34 I absolutely love getting bargins!

Cinnamon Pear Upside Down Cake

Lightly spiced caramelized pears baked into a vanilla cake perfect served warm with a spoonful of plain yogurt or fresh cream.

 

Ingredients

6 pears peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 lemon zest and juice
3 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup melted butter
3 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 cup white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp white vinegar
Coconut vanilla glaze
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup long thread coconut
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
To serve:
Dusting of icing sugar and yogurt or cream

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degress.
  2. Line spring form cake tin with baking paper on the sides and base.
  3. Peel, core and thinly slice pears add to bowl with brown sugar, lemon zest and juice and cinnamon. Stir and pour into the bottom of the lined cake tin.
  4. In stand mixer whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Whisk in melted butter, vanilla and vinegar.
  5. Sift flour, baking soda into egg mix and fold through, pour ontop of the pears and bake for 35-40 minutes until tested with a knife come out clean.
  6. Mix together icing sugar, vanilla, coconut and boiling water, stir until thin icing has formed, drizzle over the cake. Dust with icing sugar.
  7. Serve warm with yogurt or cream.

Slices: 10-12

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Sunday Comfort

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With snow on the forecast and and the fire going I thought nothing better than a roast, however this time I wanted to change it up a little and try a pot roast pork.
One of the local supermarkets was selling pork shoulder for a bargain $6.99 a kg how could I not partake in that bargain!!

The Italian Herb Blend by Equagold was a perfect rub for this pork shoulder! Notes of fennel and oregano went perfectly with pork and lemon brussel sprouts, it added a good sharp tasty note to this comforting dish.

Italian Rubbed Pot Roast Pork Shoulder with braised agria potatoes,red onion and a side of garlic lemon brussel sprouts

Ingredients:

Pot Roast Pork
1-1.5kg pork shoulder
3 tbsp Equagold Italian Blend
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cracked pepper
2 large agria potatoes, washed
1 1/2 red onion, cut into large wedges
2 garlic cloves, rough chop
2 cups vegetable stock

Garlic Lemon Brussel Sprouts
8 brussel sprouts, cut into quarters
1/8 cup water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp butter
1/2 lemon zest and juice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degress.
  2. In small bowl combine oil, salt, pepper and Italian herb seasoning, stir to combine, pour over the pork shoulder and massage in. (you could marinate overnight if you had time for extra flavour)
  3. Heat medium size fry pan, add 1 tsp oil and red onion, season and add to the bottom of casserole dish that has  a lid or you can use tin foil.
  4. Cut Agria Potatoes into Large wedges with skin on, brown slightly and add to casserole dish.
  5. Brown pork roast both sides around 3 minutes, sear in all the flavour and juices, add to the potatoes with chopped garlic and vegetable stock.
  6. Place on the lid or tin foil and bake for 2 hours.
  7. Remove pork from oven, take the fat of and shred the pork, spoon over juices from the casserole dish about 1/2 cup. (keep some juices to spoon over your finished dish.)
  8. Heat medium frypan over medium to high heat, add 1 tsp oil and brussel sprouts , brown slightly and add water. Simmer for 2 minutes, add butter,lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper. Finish with parsley.
  9. Place potatoes on your plate followed by onions, brussel sprouts and topped with the star Italian shredded pot roast pork, spoon over some casserole juices and serve!

Serves:1-4 ( 1 potato per person)

Cut onion into large wedges.

Cut onion into large wedges.

Combine oil, salt, pepper and Equagold's Italian Blend Seasoning.

Combine oil, salt, pepper and Equagold’s Italian Blend Seasoning.

Rub over pork and massage in for a minute.

Rub over pork and massage in for a minute.

Cut potatoes into large wedges. Leaving the skin on holds them together during the braise.

Cut potatoes into large wedges. Leaving the skin on holds them together during the braise.

Brown onion followed by potatoes.

Brown onion followed by potatoes.

Brown pork both sides add to casserole dish. Deglaze frypan with vegetable stock and add to casserole dish, place on lid and cook for 2 hours.

Brown pork both sides add to casserole dish. Deglaze frypan with vegetable stock and add to casserole dish, place on lid and cook for 2 hours.

Shred pork shoulder.

Shred pork shoulder.

Cut brussel sprouts into quarters.

Cut brussel sprouts into quarters.

Heat medium fry pan over medium to high heat, add 1 tso oil lightly brown sprouts, add water and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Heat medium fry pan over medium to high heat, add 1 tso oil lightly brown sprouts, add water and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, garlic, lemon zest, juice and butter.

Add salt, pepper, garlic, lemon zest, juice and butter.

Serve potatoes topped with onions, brussel sprouts then the star shredded pot roast pork, spoon over casserole juices and serve.

Serve potatoes topped with onions, brussel sprouts then the star shredded pot roast pork, spoon over casserole juices and serve.

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Sinful Chocolate Boysenberry Cheesecake

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Sinful Chocolate Boysenberry Cheesecake

I received a goodie parcel from Equagold a few days ago and as today is my day off a “Saturday to most”. So I decided that it was time to hit the kitchen and get the creative hat on. I was thinking cheesecake however I didn’t want to make the classic biscuit crumb so i opted for my moist chocolate velvet cake.

The end result is bloody delicious if I may say so myself. WOW sums up my reaction when my fork hit the chocolate boysenberry cheesecake!!! Words basically cannot describe this dessert it was basically like being in heaven! Creamy velvet chocolate cheesecake with a moist velvet cake finished with slightly sweet boysenberry gel! No need to buy chocolate and melt it into this cheesecake, Ive used Equagolds Premium Dutch Cocoa Powder it is just divine, you cant tell that its cocoa not melted chocolate.

Equagold is creating outstanding products if you would like to get your hands on Equagolds Dutch Cocoa Powder I have used in this recipe please click this link : Equagold Online Store

If you want to impress someone or treat yourself this is the recipe for you!!

Ingredients:
Velvet Cake Base
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 Equagold Premium Dutch Cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
250ml water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp white vinegar
Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
250gm cream cheese, room temp
2 heaped tbsp Equagold Premium Dutch Cocoa, sifted
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp Equagold vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp gelatine
1 tbsp boiling water
Boysenberry Gel
1 1/2 cup frozen boysenberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp gelatine
1 tbsp boiling water

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
2. In large mixing bowl sift all dry ingredients for the velvet cake, once sifted whisk the dry ingredients to aerate and evenly mix together.
3. In a separate bowl combine all liquids for the velvet cake, pour into the center of the dry ingredients and mix through to combine. (Do not over mix)
4. Pour into a lined spring form cake tin and bake for 25-30minutes until when tested with a skewer it comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and turn put onto a cooling rack, once cold using a bread or serrated knife cut the top of the cake off. *see the picture
6. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer attach the whisk attachment, in the mixing bowl combine, cream cheese, sifted icing sugar and cocoa and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth.
7. Scrap down the sides and be sure to get the bottom of the bowl, add cream and whisk to combine.
8. in a small bowl sprinkle gelatine over boiling water and microwave for 15 seconds, stir well and whisk into cheesecake filling.
9. Using the same cake tin as you baked the cake, reline and this time line the sides, a little cooking spray before you put the baking paper around will make it stay in place.
10. Place the trimmed cake base in the bottom of the lined cake tin, followed by the cheesecake filling. Smooth over and place in the fridge.
11. Now onto the final stage, take a small saucepan combine boysenberry’s, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved around 4 minutes, add squeeze of lemon. Bloom the gelatine the same as for the cheesecake filling step and add to the boysenberry mix.
12. Allow to cool and pour over the cheesecake filling, place in fridge for 1-2 hours. 13. Serve with whipped cream or yoghurt.

Serves:8-12

Sift all dry ingredients for the velvet cake.

Sift all dry ingredients for the velvet cake.

Whisk together wet cake ingredients and add to dry.

Whisk together wet cake ingredients and add to dry.

Stir to combine and pour into a lined medium sized spring form cake tin.

Stir to combine and pour into a lined medium sized spring form cake tin.

Bake at 180 degrees for 25-30minutes.

Bake at 180 degrees for 25-30minutes.

Once cooked and cooled, remove the lump over the cake to make it flat. ( you can eat the off cuts :)

Once cooked and cooled, remove the lump over the cake to make it flat. ( you can eat the off cuts 🙂

Leveled cake.

Leveled cake.

Whisk in 1/2 cup cream, scrape down the sides.

Whisk in 1/2 cup cream, scrape down the sides.

In stand mixer bowl combine cream cheese, sifted icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

In stand mixer bowl combine cream cheese, sifted icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

Add dissolved gelatin mixture, mix well to combine.

Add dissolved gelatin mixture, mix well to combine.

Line cake tin bottom and sides.

Line cake tin bottom and sides.

Add trimmed cake followed by cheesecake filling.

Add trimmed cake followed by cheesecake filling.

Smooth over and refrigerate.

Smooth over and refrigerate.

Combine 1 1/2 cup boysenberries in medium pot with sugar and water. Simmer for 4 minutes add gelatine mixture, cool.

Combine 1 1/2 cup boysenberries in medium pot with sugar and water. Simmer for 4 minutes add gelatine mixture, cool.

Pour over cheesecake filling and refrigerate for 1-2 hours if possible over night.

Pour over cheesecake filling and refrigerate for 1-2 hours if possible over night.

Remove baking paper. Using a hot knife cut a medium size wedge.

Remove baking paper. Using a hot knife cut a medium size wedge.

Serve with whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar and cocoa.

Serve with whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar and cocoa.

Enjoy

Enjoy

Bubble and Squeak Quiche Bites

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My partner has just started studying and I wanted to make some wee snacks for him to take. We had a roast yesterday and there is heaps of roast vegetables and steamed cabbage left over. Cabbage and roast veges ,that’s a perfect combo for bubble and squeak then I thought why not make individual quiche bites. So here is the end result , I hope you enjoy! you can make the filling what ever you like.

Bubble and Squeak Quiche Bites

Ingredients:

1 cup left over roast root vegetables, small dice (I used swede, potato, pumpkin)

1 cup steamed sliced cabbage

6 eggs, beaten

200gm shaved ham, rough chop

1 clove garlic, finely diced

Pinch salt and pepper

1/4c grated cheese

6x muffin cases

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Line 6 hole texas muffin tin with muffin cases.
  3. In large bowl combine all ingredients apart from the cheese, stir well to combine.
  4. Fill each muffin case with about 1/4 cup mixture, any left over divide evenly between the cases.
  5. Top with cheese and bake for 16-17 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Do not over cook as they will go soggy.

Makes : 6 medium individual quiches

3 Ingredient Bacon and Egg Bites

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We had a decent amount of snow hit Dunedin on Sunday/Monday this week. I was stuck and home with the day off. I was playing around in the kitchen on this cold day and created this simple easy recipe for bacon and egg bites. The base recipe is 3 ingredients but you can add whatever topping to them. I made some with cherry tomatoes, some with mushrooms and then just some plain ones.

You could add chopped chives, cheese, onion, vegetables what ever you like, they are a great lunch box filler for the kids or even your own for an afternoon tea snack!

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1/2 cup bacon, chunky chop

2x puff pastry sheets

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Grease a 6 hole muffin tin with cooking spray. (mine was between a normal size and a texas muffin tin)
  3. Cut both pastry sheets into 4 even squares. You will have two spare, or if you have a larger muffin tray just use them up.. (these can be refrigerated or frozen and used at a later date)
  4. Place a pre-cut pastry square in each of the greased muffin holes, gently tuck pastry hole into make a rustic looking tart shell.
  5. Crack one egg in each pastry shell followed by handful of bacon pieces, salt and pepper and bake for 20-25mintues until golden brown.

Makes 6

As i said above you can add flavours to the base filling for a tasty fast snack!!

Rustic Autumn Chicken Cassoulet

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Verging the end of the working week I found myself with a Friday off which is very rare working in hospitality. As the leaves are now beautiful oranges and reds and begin to fall I thought why not make a rustic autumn dish that is perfect for the winter months too.

This one is pretty easy brown everything off add to casserole dish with lid, whack it into the oven for hour and 20 minutes and she’s ready to be eaten. Served mine up with some rustic Southland swede and potato mash. Must say the partner loved it and i even added olives to the top for him. If you don’t like olives or the kids don’t you can leave them, out.

Rich tomato base with bursts of coriander, succulent chicken that falls apart, naturally sweet carrot and earthy notes from the mushrooms and chickpeas.

Rustic Autumn Chicken Cassoulet

Ingredients:

6 chicken drumsticks

1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp canola oil
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into ovals *see the picture
1 cup mushrooms, chunky chop
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine* can be substituted with stock
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh coriander, rough chop
8-10 black olives, pitted
salt and pepper

Fresh coriander to serve

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
2. heat a heavy based frypan, add oil and brown onions, carrot and garlic add to the bottom of the cassoulet or baking dish. Sprinkle half the chickpeas.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, brown in the same fry pan, add to the top of the vegetables and chickpeas.
4. Pour red wine,tomatoes, brown sugar, bay leaf and coriander into the fry pan and deglaze, add to the top of the chicken with remaining chickpeas and mushrooms.
5. Place the lid on and bake for 1 hour remove the lid top with olives and bake for further 20 minutes.
6. Serve on mash or rice with a side of your favorite green vegetables.

Serves: 3-6

If you don’t have a casserole dish with a lid a deep oven dish with tin foils works just as good!

Slice Carrots on an angle to achieve the oval shape.

Slice Carrots on an angle to achieve the oval shape.

Brown onion, carrot and garlic, tip into bottom of the casserole dish.

Brown onion, carrot and garlic, tip into bottom of the casserole dish.

Top with browned chicken.

Top with browned chicken.

Add red wine, tomatoes, brown sugar, coriander and bayleaf to your frypan and deglaze.

Add red wine, tomatoes, brown sugar, coriander and bayleaf to your frypan and deglaze.

Top browned chicken with remaining chickpeas and mushrooms.

Top browned chicken with remaining chickpeas and mushrooms.

Top with the reduced tomatoes and wine. Cover and bake for 1 hour with lid on.

Top with the reduced tomatoes and wine. Cover and bake for 1 hour with lid on.

Remove lid top with olives and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Remove lid top with olives and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Remove from oven top with fresh coriander and enjoy.

Remove from oven top with fresh coriander and enjoy.

Serve on generous mound of mashed Southland swede and potato.

Serve on generous mound of mashed Southland swede and potato.

Creamy Cockle and Monk Fish Pasta

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With an overcast morning on Saturday we decided to head to the beach and even better it was low tide. I love living by the seaside the fresh salt air is great for days off from work. Here is a tasty fresh pasta I made using our foraged cockles and some monk fish from the store.

Bursts of fresh tarragon, lemon and garlic pair perfectly with the cockles and fish, folded through freshly made pasta and baby spinach. This was the perfect tea for my seafood lover.

Creamy Cockle and Monk Fish Pasta

Ingredients:

15-20 cockles

300gm monk fish, cut into strips

¼ cup seasoned flour

1 tbsp butter

2 tsp oil

½ onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

½ lemon juice and zest

1 1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon

¼ cup white wine or fish stock

¾ cup water

150ml cream

250gm cooked pasta, I used homemade fettuccine but you can use any store brought pasta

1 cup baby spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat a large fry pan over a medium to high heat, add butter and 1 tsp oil.
  2. Coat fish in seasoned flour and brown in pan, remove and set aside.
  3. Deglaze frypan and set aside, heat fry pan over medium heat and add remaining oil.
  4. Sauté onion and garlic followed by lemon zest and tarragon, add cockles, water and deglazed pan juices, place a lid over or upside down fry pan and cook until cockles are all open. (around 4-5 minutes)
  5. If you get a cockle that doesn’t open discard them.
  6. Add cream and reduce for 1 minute, add cooked pasta and fish to the fry pan cook for a further 1 minute until the cream is thickened into a nice sauce, add baby spinach and fold through.
  7. Check the seasoning and serve.

Serves: 1-2

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