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Some of Robin’s recipes
Pescada (Hake) Dish
This was loosely based on the original inspiration of around 2003. Modified and improved JANUARY 15th. & 16th. 2009.
1. 600g of filleted hake, free of bones and especially the skin. Cut into bite sized pieces;
2. 4 shallots fine chopped;
3. 2 large, ripe tomatoes cut into small pieces;
4. 4 potatoes, peeled and large diced;
5. 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and large diced;
6. 1 small chili, fine chopped;
7. 500gm. Green beans, topped and tailed and sliced;
8. 2cm. of fresh ginger, very fine chopped;
9. 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and fine chopped;
10. 1 dessert spoon leaf coriander, fine chopped;
11. a sprinkling of ground cinnamon;
12. 200ml. double cream (or similar thick cooking cream);
13. butter and generous quantity of olive oil;
14. salt, ground pepper and lime zest.
In a wide, deep frying pan, bring butter and olive oil to high heat (nearly smoking). Toss in the fine chopped shallots and fry until transparent and almost browning. Follow by adding the tomatoes, the chilli, the ginger and cinnamon. Bring up the heat and cook further at simmering level. Add ground pepper, salt and half of the lime (or lemon) zest.
Boil the potatoes separately in water with a little salt until nearly cooked. Boil the sweet potatoes in the same water and conserve water for beans to be cooked last of all.
When ready, add the potatoes to the wide pan along with the garlic and remove from the heat and allow it to cool. This is a trick that I hit upon some years ago. To some extent it fakes the effect of leaving a stew for a day, allowing the flavours to infuse throughout all the contents, bringing about a more homogeneous set of flavours to the whole. Ideally; the main stew may be left overnight in a cool place or fridge.
After resting for a while, return to the heat and add the pieces of hake and some of the chopped leaf coriander. Bring to simmering heat, turning the contents gently in a manner which avoids breaking up the pieces of hake or the potatoes. Place a lid over the pan and continue to simmer for a few minutes until the fish is just cooked.
It is always important to avoid over cooking fish or cooking at too high a temperature because it causes toughening and hardening of the flesh, substantially reducing the pleasure of eating.
Stir in the double cream with care.
Finally; the green beans which were prepared earlier - chopped into short slices - using water as mentioned earlier, cook for 8 minutes until squeaky to the tooth then drained and added around the outside edge as a decorative topping to the main dish and covered again for a short while, for final cooking. Sprinkle the remaining coriander and zest over all and take to table in the pan for serving.
Alternatively: potatoes may be sautéed or the dish may be made without the potatoes and served with rice.
Pescada (Hake) with Seasonal Fruit
I like the idea and flavours achieved by accompanying meat or fish with something of a fruit like quality and several of my dishes are of this kind. I made this dish up some years ago and repeated it several times since with different fruit and other ingredients on each occasion and with some variations in the method.
On this cooking, I had to rely on my memory but I think that the result was fairly good, at least in the mood and enjoyment of the dish and its eating - and it included fruit.
1. 600g of filleted hake, free of bones and especially the skin. These may be cut into smaller pieces if desired;
2. 2 onions chopped;
3. 4 potatoes, peeled and large diced;
4. green beans, chopped;
5. a nearly ripe peach (or other seasonal fruit like guava, loquat), cut into cubes;
6. butter and generous quantity of olive oil;
7. 1 small, medium hot chili, fine chopped;
8. 1cm. of fresh ginger, very fine chopped;
9. salt and ground black pepper.
I first brought a wide pan with oil and butter to the flame and gently heated until butter was completely melted and had stopped sizzling. When the oils had nearly reached the point of smoking, I turned heat to full and added onions, tossed them occasionally until lightly browned and transparent.
I followed this by adding the peppers and continued in the same way. I added the chopped chili and the ginger and continued frying for a short while until the peppers began to soften. The peaches were added at this stage as also were salt and pepper. I removed the pan from the heat and allowed the contents to cool while I cooked the potatoes separately in water with some salt added.
The potatoes, not completely cooked were added to the wide pan and gently stirred in over a renewed medium heat in order to finalize the tenderizing of the potatoes with causing them to become crumbly.
The pieces of hake were added and cooking was continued with the lid covering the pan and with occasional, gentle turning of the fish and the potatoes to ensure even cooking and mixing.
The green beans which were prepared earlier - chopped into short slices - and put aside while water was made ready for them to be cooked as the last stage. Finally, these were cooked in boiling water for 8 minutes - until squeaky to the tooth - then drained and added around the outside edge as a decorative topping to the main dish and covered again for a short while, for final cooking.
Served from pan on table mat with large wooden spoon.
Simple Vegetable Soup
October 24th. 2012
Just a rushed cook-up nearly a cock-up! I picked some cabbage leaves form the top of my large, tall cabbage plants and took them home with the intention of making something simple but sustaining and warm on this late, rainy and cool October evening
1. Ten medium and small, green cabbage leaves; sliced fine, including short storks;
2. One onion, cut into slices, then cross-chopped;
3. Two medium sized carrots, chopped thumb-size;
4. Five medium sized potatoes, sliced as if for sautéing;
5. Two cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped;
6. Good twist of black pepper;
7. One chicken stock cube, fragmented to ensure dissolving;
8. Small quantity of salt;
9. One teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar;
In large saucepan introduce water to a depth which will over cover all ingredients and bring to boil. Add carrots and cabbage, salt and pepper and continue cooking at simmer level. Adds remaining ingredients after about fifteen minutes and continue cooking for more than half an hour.
(An alternative to serving with all vegetables remaining integral would be to liquidise.)
Prior to serving add vinegar and stir in.
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