Monthly Archives: September 2011

To wet the appetite…


We do a lot of cooking in the Ward/Hardy household and a couple of months my boy bought Jamie Oliver’s Thirty Minute Meals Recipe Book. I absolutely adore cooking and if I had enough patience I’d totally want to be a chef, but I’m impatient so that wouldn’t work. I thought I’d made a couple of people jealous by uploading some pictures of some of the things I’ve been cooking and experimenting with.

This was my latest creation. The Stockbridge Market reopened this weekend and will reappear every Sunday. It’s basically a mini farmers market selling meat, fish, cheese, bread and other little fun things. You are always bound to get a good deal or find something unusual at these markets. I picked up some fresh sea bass fillets and samphire from the fishmongers. Samphire, in case you didn’t know is the green asparagus looking thing in my photo. It grows in marshes and in the sea and is crunchy and delicious.

So I made pan-fried sea bass, creamed lentils and steamed samphire. The puy lentils were boiled off for 30 minutes with chicken stock, cream and seasoning was added. The sea bass was pan-fried so that the skin was crispy and the fillet was crumbly, moist and soft. The samphire was steamed to keep the crunch and I added fresh thyme and a dollop of butter. I served it with fresh bread bought from the market and a glass of white wine.

The result, a gorgeously inspiring and creative dish that I am very proud of!

Me and the boy had a few too many drinks a couple of Fridays ago and were pathetically hungover the next day. I decided the only way to defeat the hang was to cook a big steak and drink some more beer! I got a 21 day matured sirloin steak and cooked it medium rare with homemade peppercorn sauce, chips and asparagus. You know what, it worked. Hangover gone.

This was a “what can I cook with things in the cupboard” day. Homemade hummus, pitta bread and ‘magic’ couscous (couscous with whatever was in the vegetable draw and mackerel).

It was pretty good!

This was part of a Jamie Oliver 30 minutes meal recipe I cooked. The ‘rainbow salad’ consisted of beetroot, courgette, carrot and cress. I served it with a basil, anchovy and caper dressing. It was incredible, so fresh and juicy!

This was from the same meal as the rainbow salad. Grilled king prawns in the shell with roasted lime, garlic, coriander and fennel seeds. We both burn out hands trying to get the prawns out of their shells because we couldn’t wait for them to cool down, they were worth it though.

He hum, this is what quickly happens to food in our house. If you want any of the recipes for any of the above meals let me know! I’d be happy to share the wisdom. My meals could be completely mental tasting (the boy could be lying to me about them being “nice”!)