Samphire and Caerphilly Frittata

Frittata is derived from the Italian, "to fry". An egg dish enriched with vegetables and cheese, not dissimilar to a crustless flan. For paleo, the perfect alternative to flan, quiche or even pizza!

Debate continues in the paleosphere around the inclusion of dairy in the diet. I endorse the inclusion!

Caerphilly is a hard white cheese from Wales, the town of Caerphilly no less. Made from cow's milk and with a fat content of around 50%, this cheese has a pleasant sour tang and crumbly texture to perfectly complement the richness of many deep coloured and flavoured free range eggs.

Samphire is a fast-growing green vegetable that grows in proliferation between June and September along clifftops and grassy beach edges around the United Kingdom. Salty in flavour due to its proximity to the sea and with a satisfying crunch, samphire is packed full of good vitamins and a great source of iodine.

Let's put the dish together ...

Hand whisk half a dozen free range eggs gently so that there is still some texture in the mix - just beaten is perfect. Melt some butter in a skillet. Deep flavoured butters from whole milk are best for flavour. Pour in the eggs and move the mix about periodically to keep it from sticking.

Once the eggs have made a soft omelette, toss in the samphire. Season with some pepper - my preference is for just a little white pepper and maybe a touch of cayenne pepper for a little punch. Showering some green Tabasco over at this stage is great for where a good peppery zing is enjoyed. Finally, crumble over some Caerphilly cheese.

By this point, the base of the frittata will be crisp from frying in the skillet. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for a few minutes on a moderate heat, or give it a good blast under a hot grill.

Slide the frittata out onto a chopping board and cut into sections as you would a flan, quiche or pizza. Take a wedge onto each plate and accompany with a light leafy salad, small tomatoes, that kind of thing. Enjoy :)

Frittata is about imagination! Put in whatever it is that you enjoy - think about food that you enjoy that works well with another food you enjoy and put the two together. Frittata may be enjoyed at any time of day for any meal - there are no rules and you can happily make one without cheese if you do not include dairy in your diet.


Baked Cod and Eggs

Baking white fish in tomato sauce is a great way to enjoy a fuller flavour, adding in hot spices for a real punch of flavour. Topping with eggs simply crowns it and makes a great alternative to cheese.

Let's build the dish ...

Make up a tomato sauce in the frying pan by frying off some slices of chorizo, onion and garlic before pouring over a tin of peeled plum or chopped tomatoes. Simmer away until a most of the water has evaporated and you have a thicker sauce.

Make final adjustments to flavour with salt, pepper and chilli.

Lay a couple of cod fillets in an overproof dish. Any firm white fish can be substituted, but there is something so right about wild Atlantic cod.

Pour the tomato sauce over and bake in the oven at 180C for 20-30 minutes.

Just prior to serving, retrieve the dish from the over and make a couple of shallow wells in the tomato. Crack eggs into the wells and return to the oven, dropping the heat to 150C.

The eggs will cook in the heat, so keep an eye on the dish which will be ready to serve once the whites have cooked through.

Splash a little Tabasco over the yolks and serve out.


Smoked Salmon Fruit Salad

There's something distinctly fishy about this fruit salad!

Smoked salmon makes an unlikely plate friend with fruit, but please do give it a try - you will be very surprised. Sour and astringent fruit are best, although a small portion of sweeter fruit adds a dimension to the dish.

The effect is much like ceviche, but I would not advise doing this with raw salmon - smoked salmon has a sweet flavour which works perfectly with these sour fruits.

Let's put this together ...

Begin by segmenting a grapefruit - pink or red grapefruit is good for the vibrant colour, although straight up yellow graperfruit is fine. Retrieve the juice into a pouring vessel.

Peel and slice a kiwi fruit.

Thinly slice a few red grapes, again, red for the colour although green would be fine.

Put the dish together by laying out a base of kiwi fruit slices and then interlacing slices of smoked salmon with grapefruit.

Scatter a few grape slices over the top and a few small basil leaves.

Serve with the pouring juice on the side and maybe a blob of creme fraiche or soured cream.


Pan-fried Alaskan Salmon with Vegetables and a Cream Dill Sauce

Pan-fried Alaskan Salmon with Vegetables and a Cream Dill Sauce
Salmon and dill are perfect partners. Throw cream into the party and you have a perfect menage a trois!

First, prepare the vegetables ...

I'm going with mashed potato, carrots, asparagus and green beans.

Mashed potato takes about 20 minutes, so peel and boil your spuds. You can settle a steamer pan over and steam the carrots through for about 15 minutes, green beans for the last five minutes and the asparagus dropped in for the last couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, clean up a couple of fillets of salmon, skin on. I also added some bacon in, which I cooked under a low grill for about 20 minutes.

After the potatoes have been boiling for about 10 minutes, fry off your salmon, skin-side down in good butter. Turn over and lower the heat, allowing the fish to cook through in the gentle heat for the remainder of the cooking time. About 10 minutes.

Now, make up the sauce ...

Cream and fish stock, gently reduced. Dill in at the end.

Mash the potatoes with a good amount of butter and then form a good mound on a plate. Pour the sauce all around and lay the vegetables around. Fish on top of the mash, bacon in between.

Deep flavoured, comforting and colourful for a dark mid-winter night.