Highlights - April 2013

Goan Fish Curry [Without the Fish Fraud]

Quick, easy and very tasty South Asian curry.
Belly Pork Stir Fry [Redux]

More curry - East Asian.
Andouillette Sausage

Not actually the worst thing I've ever eaten, but not far off ...


Pork & Mushroom Carbonara

Pork & Mushroom Carbonara
What do you do when you have too many mushrooms, some sausages that need eating, a few spears of asparagus that are sorely wilting and a block of pecorino that really should be opened and eaten?

Easy! Carbonara!

Carbonara is an Italian pasta sauce based on eggs, cream and parmesan. I abhor parmesan, but, curiously, really like pecorino, a Sardinian sheep cheese.

Fattier, unpasteurized and fermented dairy represent the better end of the scale for ancestral eaters. If you simply do not "do" dairy in any form, this dish is not really going to work, but sausages and mushrooms fried up together with some good paleo fat will taste just as delicious.

As paleo eaters, we're also not bound by rules, so there is no reason why carbonara has to be put with anything that resembled pasta. No need to make courgette linguine, or such like, although that would be very nice, too.

I began by slicing some mushrooms and gently cooking them in a skillet with a generous amount of goose fat.

Meanwhile, I oven-cooked some 100% pork sausages.

I also made up the carbonara, which was three egg yolks (for two people), about 200ml of cream and sufficient grated cheese to make that into a thick paste. Ratios, weights and measurements are not too important - just make up an eggs, creamy, cheesy paste. You can hand-blend it for an extra fine carbonara if you like.

So, our sausages are about cooked, our mushrooms softening well and we've got the sauce ready.

Let's do some veggies ...

I had shredded cabbage and sliced carrots, both steamed, and some potato croutons, fried off in goose fat. You can tell, I like goose fat - if you have trouble sourcing this, just use your favourite paleo fat. An animal fat would be better than coconut here, for the flavour.

I also steamed the asparagus, ready to add to the carbonara.


Plate up the veggies and turn your attention to the skillet.

Slice up your sausages and add to the mushrooms along with the asparagus, sliced. Raise the heat and stir in the carbonara ... the cheese will melt and you'll have a deep inviting creamy mushroom, sausage and asparagus mess to spoon into that bed of vegetables.


Wild Garlic Soup

Wild Garlic Soup
Wild garlic! Spring has sprung!

Wild garlic emerges in woodland and sheltered areas, and for a couple of months you can pick this natural bounty, shredding a few leaves and folding into dishes for a heady garlic aroma. Make the most of it - it is a short season.

There are a number of species of wild garlic: Allium Tricoccum, or Ramp, in North America and Allium Ursinum, or Ramsons, across Europe and Asia are a couple of the more prolific species.

Do be aware, that in certain areas of the world, wild garlic is endangered! Allium Tricoccum is a protected species under Quebec legislation and are considered a species of "special concern" for conservation in Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

I collected a good handful of Allium Ursinum, a name related to bears (ursus) who, apparently, go wild for this stuff! I take care to pluck the leaves, leaving the presently young bulb underground. Once they have matured a little, I'll pull up some bulbs.

Just ready, these new, young leaves are now mature enough to have a good flavour but have not yet flowered, so remain quite sweet. What better way to celebrate the coming of this wonderful plant than with a simple soup?

Making up a soup is simple ...

The base for all good soups is onion and garlic, softened in butter. To this, I also added celery.

Once softened, I added some water, bouillon, celery salt and black pepper. Stir in.

Cube up some potato and drop that in, raising the temperature to a good boil until the potato is softened.

Blend ... roughly.

Amounts? I'm cooking for two here and used maybe eight large leaves of garlic, a couple of long stalks of celery, a small onion and half a potato that might be large enough to bake.

Serve out into wide-brimmed bowls and garnish with some superfluous leaf: parsley, in my case.


Beef Gulyás [Redux]

Beef Gulyás
You're seeing a theme here, right?

Yes, I'm re-doing all manner of old recipes ... just to see how they play through and what improvements can be made. I don't "do" recipes, but my rambling method still appears comprehensible ... just ...

With a bargain parcel of braising beef, £1.78 for something like a pound of meat I couldn't pass it up. Lovely cut, firm, striped with fat ... I could just see all that fat slow melting out and thickening up any stew.

What better than Gulyás? Goulash, Anglicised.

First, a little history ...

Goulash, or Gulyás, is a Hungarian meat stew seasoned with paprika.

Bográcsgulyás is a thick stew made by cattle herders and stockmen, the Bográc being the large metal cooking cauldron that the Gulyás is cooked in.

Favouring fattier cuts of meat where the collagen turns into gelatin while cooking, goulash is not thickened with any kind of roux.

Earlier in the day, I defrosted some beef stock I had in the freezer - this was the cooking juices from a piece of brisket.

Into an ovenproof dish, I added chopped onion, garlic, black pepper, coriander, paprika, lots of paprika, some smoked paprika, smoked sea salt and the beef, chopped into inch square pieces. Yes, all raw, no pre-cooking, no sealing ... all the flavour wants to permeate into the meat as it slowly cooks through the day.

Pour over the stock until the whole stew is covered.

Lid on and into the over set to 125C for a few hours. I say a few hours, I think I had four or five hours before taking the lid off and raising the heat, adding in a couple of final ingredients for the last hour of cooking and reducing.

For that last hour, temperature raised to 175C, I added some chopped green pepper (capsicum) and a good squirt of tomato purée.

After that final hour, serve out ...

Rather than serving over greens, I mounded some vegetables into the middle: carrots and sautéed potatoes. Garnish with parsley.


Belly Pork Stir Fry [Redux]

Belly Pork Stir Fry
Simply, a repeat of last time, but it's been a while and I really fancied eating it again.

Very simple to do with no complex processes, the meat can be prepared the day before and chilled overnight or done on the same day - belly pork does take some cooking, so factor that in mind.

I cooked the belly pork the day before. Simply place into the oven on a wire rack over a tray, oven set to 180C (350F?) for a couple of hours. Turn the oven off and leave it in there for another couple of hours before committing to the fridge. This will firm up the meat overnight, consolidate the fat and make it easier to slice when you come to cook the dish.

Of course, if you want to cook and fry the same day just pre-cook the meat for a couple of hours at 180C (350F?) and let it rest for at least an hour.

So, it's been a fun day at work and now I want a quick dinner before enjoying the evening ...

Before tending to the meat, make up a salad to go alongside.

Take a cucumber, cut in quarters longways and core it. Cut these strips into smaller sections about an inch and a half long. Splash some vinegar over - rice wine vinegar is the obvious choice, but cider vinegar or white wine vinegar will do just fine.

Slice some spring onions on a really sharp angle to create horse ears. Add these to the marinading cucumber and fold through regularly.

Make up your chilli sauce ...

I went with a straight-up chilli paste, no dubious ingredients, a little tomato purée and let out with sherry and lemon juice, soured with a little rice wine vinegar, sweetened with just a touch of mirin and salted with some fish sauce.

More flavours - minced garlic, fresh ginger, white pepper and ... a good splash of Worcestershire Sauce. Make up your chilli sauce however you like and according to your own principles when it comes to alcohol, sweetener and condiments.

Assemble the remaining ingredients for the stir fry ...

Shred up a red pepper, an onion and any other vegetables you want to include.

To wo[r]k ...

Get your pan smoking hot and drop the belly pork in. Toss a few times to release some fat and then throw in the shredded onions. Cook through well, colouring up and collecting any further fat that renders out.

Toss in the shredded red pepper and combine.

Pour in the chilli sauce, cook through and reduce.

Plate up with the stir fry on one side and a good handful of the marinated cucumber on the other. Sprinkle some mixed seeds over the pork.

What makes every dish better? An egg ... I placed a boiled egg alongside.

Eat, enjoy!

BBQ Brisket ... of sorts ...

Brisket with chilli jam glaze
Ever wondered what to do with that marmalade you have left over from your pre-paleo days?

Perhaps you are given choice deli preserves by well-meaning family members?

I abhor the idea of wasting food and while this is most certainly not something even the remotest stretch of the imagination could call paleo-ish, it's a decent way of using up these lingering neolithic artefacts.

While I could make up some Bread 2.0 and enjoy this as a sweet treat, I could also ...

BBQ Glaze

I had a jar of Orkney Chilli Jam. Actually, it's more like marmalade, but the ingredients read pretty good: orange, lemon, lime, chilli, sugar.

Scraped into a bowl, I added Worcestershire Sauce. Coconut aminos would do well, perhaps just fish sauce? I like Worcestershire Sauce and I don't apologise for the odd ingredient here or there that might or might not be primal - it's a condiment. Relax.

Now, I want to pack it out with spicy, smokey flavours: smoked sea salt, ground coriander, white pepper, black pepper, garlic, ginger, paprika.

Truth be told, I just opened the spice cupboard and pretty much loaded everything in! Go on, sprinkle some cocoa powder in there, too ... and some herbs: dried oregano.

Beauty! Now do something useful with it and spread it over some meat ...

Brisket with chilli jam glaze

I had brisket. This would work well over belly pork, chicken drumsticks and thighs, bison, buffalo, pretty much anything you can roast. I don't think lamb would work out too well, but perhaps a leg or shoulder, Moroccan-style?

Get your Ramsay on!

Dish. Cover with foil. Tight. Oven. Low. Four or five hours ... actually eight for us and it had dried out. When I checked it at four hours it was pretty much perfect. Fuck!

Rest, slice and serve with whatever you fancy ... vegetables, naturally.


Sea Bass, Samphire and Ponch Maip

Sea Bass, Samphire and Ponch Maip
Samphire? I've used this quite a bit recently, so any one of the recent posts will give you the low-down on this gorgeous sea vegetable. Think tiny, salty asparagus.

Ponch Maip? It's mashed swede and carrot, a Welsh thing. Lots of butter mashed in and traditionally topped with onion bits, I just had to.

Sea Bass? Yeah, you know ... the fish.

Pretty simple to put together ...

First, gut, scale, fillet and bone your fish.

You might notice orange segments in the picture? Segment an orange. Orange goes so well with sea bass.

Boil your roots and once just softened, place a steamer over with the samphire. If you don't have samphire, any green will do - asparagus, spinach, watercress, kale, whatever you have. Steam for a couple of minutes.

Crush the roots with a fork, mashing in loads of butter!

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and fry off your sea bass fillets.

Plate up ...

I did stripes of ponch maip and samphire, making an orange/green base over which I sprinkled some onion bits and chopped chives.

Fish over the top, garnished with dill and orange segments pushed in wherever.

Some cockles, whelks, winkles or clams in and amongst the samphire would really elevate this simple dish. Perhaps next time ...


Andouillette Sausage

Andouillette Sausage with Fries
... a pal of mine has been abroad again.

He always brings me back something interesting from the local cuisine, previously I've been handed such delights as smoked reindeer heart and sheep brain "jam", but this time he's been to France and came back with a sausage.

Andouillette Sausage.

ANDOUILLETTE! Not Andouille.

The difference?

Wiki: "Andouillette sausage is very different from the American andouille sausage, which is largely a mild to spicy garlic-flavored sausage. It is closer to French andouille, but is never smoked. Tripe, which is the stomach lining of a cow, is sometimes an ingredient in the filler of an andouillette, but it is not the casing or the key to its manufacture.

True andouillette will be an oblong tube. If made with the small intestine, it is a plump sausage generally about 25 mm in diameter but often it is much larger, possibly 7-10 cm in diameter, and stronger in scent when the colon is used.

There are a number of French versions of andouille produced that generally provide a spicy, smoky, rich, earthy flavor, which may also have a slightly sweet taste.

Andouille sausages are commonly found in many countries. By contrast, true andouillette is rarely seen outside France. All have a strong, distinctive odor related to their intestinal origins and components. Although sometimes repellant to the uninitiated, this aspect of andouillette is prized by its devotees."

So, sausages of pig intestine, perhaps stomach, perhaps colon. Yummy!

What should I serve it with? My gut instinct (get it) is onion boosted sauerkraut with lots of black pepper. Alas, Google is poisoned with "Andouille Sausage" for inspiration, Andouillette being almost impossible to find.

I decided to keep it simple, just cooked, with onion, sauerkraut and mustard, and frites.

After eating, I won't say never again ... but I will say, not for a long time will not be too long a time.

First impressions ...

The smell. Yes, like a pissoir, a public toilet. That Pungent bowel scent which is not altogether off-putting, but certainly not enticing. That is part of the character of the sausage and so I'm going to go with it.

Let's slice bit off and give it a go ...

Andouillette Sausage

Not too bad. Initially, Fatty, pungent ... definitely pungent. I thought it might be better cooked, but in retrospect, I think I preferred it cold.

Andouillette Sausage

I caramelised an onion and met it with a good helping of sauerkraut and mustard; English, naturally, not that 'orrible French stuff. The sausage is bad enough - let's give it some class!

I fried off the sausage and then put nice rings on it in the grill pan.

Succumbing to French ways and served it with a small portion of fries: potato fries cooked in goose fat. Yes, potatoes, as paleo eaters we are getting the idea that potatoes might not be a bad thing every so often, and fried in goose fat, proper French, that.

Let's eat ...

I got through the first one, skin and all. The second one, I simply cut open and ate the insides ... almost finished it, too, leaving maybe a teaspoon of innards and the skin.

Andouillette Sausage

It does take over all your senses - I can smell that smell with everything, taste that taste with everything, but it's again, not absolutely revolting; more a reminder (and not a gentle one, neither) of what I've just eaten. Apparently this will stay with me for the day.

It's not up there with Hákarl (Icelandic putrified shark), but it's not far behind. I could eat it again, quite happily, but much less next time and as a little taste in a much larger dish, perhaps cold ... with an egg salad.

I guess I've earned my AAAAA badge ... Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentique, roughly: Amicable Association of Admirers of Authentic Andouillette.

Until next time, I'll be happy to admire from afar ...


Salmon & Sweet Potato Soup

Salmon & Sweet Potato Soup
An entrée of Salmon & Sweet Potato Soup.

First, the salmon ...

I used leftovers from the night before, chilled in the fridge. If I was cooking salmon on the same day, I would simply poach it prior to making the soup and use the liquor in the soup.

Poaching is simply a case of immersing the fish into water or bouillon (a vegetable stock of onion, carrot and celery, and so so, which you can buy powdered) for about 15 minutes tops. The fish can then be set aside.

The soup ...

We're going to use:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potato
  • Parsnip
  • Chicken Stock

The ratios really don't matter - if you are cooking for one or two, use a small onion or half an onion; for more, use a large onion. Likewise, the roots. If you make too much, you've got leftovers for another day. Keep in the fridge until you want to re-heat.

Soften a chopped onion in butter for a few minutes on a medium heat.

Optionally, add in some spices here. Roots like this enjoy warming spices, so ground cumin, ground coriander, perhaps fenugreek, asafoetida, perhaps even ginger. Your choice. I didn't, although I did sprinkle some cumin over on mine once served since my Mrs abhors the flavour.

Meanwhile, peel and cube your roots, adding to the onions once softened.

Peel and mince a clove or two of garlic and add to the pan.

Pour over chicken stock (or the poaching bouillon).

Boil until the roots are softened and then whizz it all up with a hand blender.

Pour out into a bowl, placing a small handful of flaked salmon into the middle, garnish with herbs (dill, in my case) and some salt (Icelandic ash salt since I love the dark contrast).


Medallion of Salmon over Cauliflower Steak

Medallion of Salmon over Cauliflower Steak
Here's a slightly different way of cooking loin of salmon which gives a much larger piece of fish to cook, resulting in soft, delicate salmon, deep with residual flavour.

First, get your oven warmed up to 220C (450F?). We'll be placing the salmon into the oven to fully cook at the end and it needs to be hot.

Next, prepare the vegetables ...

Cauliflower steaks are quite simply thick slices of cauliflower. Take your cauli and chop is straight through the middle. Take a slice about an inch either side of that middle line, trimming off the greens for later, but importantly, retaining the full structure. Par boil and then set aside ... we'll colour it up and cook it through later.

Other vegetables: asparagus, carrot, radish and spring onion. Simply boil some thin carrot slices and a few spears of asparagus. Slice some radish and spring onion. Set aside ... we'll finish it all off later. You've got it! Any veggies you like, just pre-cook them all for warming through later.

Good, so we've par-boiled and pre-cooked pretty much the whole dish, so the rest should be relatively hassle-free.

Let's look at the salmon ...

I started with a loin of salmon; a piece little over six inches long and maybe five inches wide, thick at one side, thin at the other. This is for two people.

Slice the loin in half from the thick side to the thin side so that you have two smaller pieces. Slice each half in half again so you have four portions.

Now, put two pieces together like a yin yang and secure with string tied around. You can be firm with the string, but no too tight or it will tear through the thin side.

Medallion of Salmon


Take two skillets, butter in each (I'll leave the amount up to you ... but more is most certainly welcome) and gently fry off the cauliflower steaks. You don't want the heat too high, just gently warm it through and it will take on some colour in the process. This will take about 5 minutes each side. Turn after 5, naturally.

In another skillet or frying pan, add some of your favourite paleo frying fat (goose fat, for me) and sear the top and bottom of the salmon medallion. Don't worry about the sides - we'll let the heat of the oven do that.

Go with a couple of minutes on each side, nice and high to get a good colour on the faces. Transfer to the oven for another 5-6 minutes, by which time the cauli should have cooked through.

In yet another pan, add a splash of water (or even white wine) and just warm the veggies through. I said "a splash" ... just a little liquid will do fine and should all evaporate in the process. Retrieve the now hot vegetables.

Finally, same pan, drop in a some butter with a squeeze of lemon juice and some capers. Warm through and allow a little colour to come into the butter. Brown, not burned!

Have faith! So long as you pre-warmed the oven, the salmon will be fine. It will be cooked all around and the middle just soft and perfect.

Plate up ...

Cauli steak down first, asparagus over, other veggies around the side, salmon on top of the asparagus and spoon the butter sauce all over, garnishing with dill. An alternative to the brown butter could be Hollandaise and chives would work better than dill in that scenario.

Tenderstem Broccoli with St Agur

Tenderstem Broccoli with St Agur
Similar to Purple Sprouting Broccoli in Dolcelatte, a dish I love doing when that broccoli is first in season, this paleo+ entrée is so simple and so tasty ...

In my fridge, I have a packet of St Agur cheese. From the Auvergne region of central France, this cow milk cheese is finer than Roquefort and creamier than the better known Blue D'Auvergne, a cheese with an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée grant.

Yes, any creamy blue cheese will do ... please please please don't get caught up in recipe fever. Use what you have; Adopt, Adapt & Improve.

Simply cut the cheese into pieces and place in a pan over a low heat to melt. If your cheese is more crumbly than creamy, just add in a little cream to help it along.

Steam your broccoli, pour the cheese onto a plate and layer the broccoli over. Grind some freshly milled black pepper over and you're done.

The cheese brings a pungency, almost akin to anchovy and caper to the playground, the broccoli punching through with its strong fist of iron.

C'est si bon, non?


Smoked Mackerel Starter

Smoked Mackerel Starter
Centred around some smoked salmon that needed eating up and partnered with boiled egg and pickled beetroot, some greens and some really nice cottage cheese, or serek wiejski, that I found in a Polish food store, this little starter was more thrown together than purposefully constructed.

The cottage cheese is worth a mention. Rather than the usual texture, this was more like little pearls of curd in a much looser liquid. I think it is perhaps made from cream, rather than milk as the liquid was most definitely very creamy.

So, just a little inspiration for folks wanting a light and simple starter to a good meal or a neat way of using up a few things hanging around in the fridge.

Have fun ...


Warming Lamb Stew

WARNING: Chick Peas Ahead!

Why? Well, the ethnicity of the cuisine does call for them and it's worth an experiment every now and again.

... or, I don't know. I just did.

Aside from the chick peas, this is a perfectly good paleo Lamb Stew, so let's enjoy it for what it is.

Get a load of lamb pieces, on and off the bone, into the oven in a large lidded dish with chopped onion, garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, sea salt, topped off with water and a couple of bay leaves. Set the oven to low (say, 125C) and leave it in there all day.

The slow-cooking will give you really tender lamb as well as breaking down all the sinews and releasing the marrow from the bones. The onions will have almost completely disappeared while the garlic and the spices will have matured giving a really heady stew. That, in itself, is a perfectly good meal.

Maybe an hour from when you want to eat, add in some shredded savoy cabbage, cubed sweet potato, soaked chick peas and a couple of shredded chillies.

Serve out into wide-brimmed bowls and garnish with fresh coriander.

Warming, deep and sumptuous.

In hindsight, I would have preferred to have left the chick peas out. They really didn't add anything to what was otherwise a perfectly paleo stew.


Wind ... 'nuff said.

Quick Kedgeree

Who's for breakfast?

We're having Kedgeree. It's a perfectly Perfect Health Diet dish.

From Wiki: "Kedgeree is thought to have originated with an Indian rice-and-bean or rice-and-lentil dish Khichri (or Pongal), traced back to 1340 or earlier. It is widely believed that the dish was brought to the United Kingdom by returning British colonials who had enjoyed it in India and introduced it to the UK as a breakfast dish in Victorian times, part of the then fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine."

Kedgeree is made with smoked haddock, but really ... any fish will do. This is a leftover dish and I happened to have both smoked and unsmoked haddock. Use what you have - canned fish will do fine.

Suppose you have some leftover rice from the night before ... just fry it off with some chopped onion in your favourite fat (I went with coconut oil here), adding in turmeric, cayenne pepper, possibly cumin and coriander, maybe fenugreek and asafoetida, certainly chillies, some peas or chopped green beans and whatever seafood you have.

Made up from scratch, simply boil some white rice in fish stock.

Serve with a boiled egg alongside.

Breakfast sorted!

Time to get out there and enjoy the day ...

Ha! Check this out: Cambridge Fried Rice ... linked by Paul Jaminet in conversation on G+


Goan Fish Curry [Without the Fish Fraud]

Goan Fish Curry
Tonight, we had a really delicious Goan-style fish curry.

The impetus came from a couple of fillets of River Cobbler that I procured from our local supermarket.

This is topical ...

Hot on the hooves of the horse meat in beef scandal that we've had here in Europe, there have been stories circulating around fish fraud. Shock! Horror! Your Red Snapper might not be a Red Snapper ... it might be a Line Snapper.

Well whoopeefuckindoo! That's like saying your Aberdeen Angus might not be an Aberdeen Angus but a Black Angus.

It does go deeper, though ...

Farmed East Asian fish are being passed off as Atlantic fish varieties. River Cobbler is one such breed, often passed off as wild Atlantic breeds, especially here in the UK in our 'Chippies', where Haddock and Cod rule.

In conversation with our man at the PHD, he pointed me towards this article. So, while this dish is, in spirit, every bit according to The Perfect Health Diet, it is unashamedly from the dark side: The Imperfect Health Diet.

These River Cobbler fillets were Vietnamese ... the very fish being passed off here as wild Atlantic breeds, but I bought them for the knock down price of £1.59 for two good fillets which, I guess, would be twice that if they were labelled Haddock. Having eaten them, I now know the difference.

In order to know your enemy, first you must court your enemy.

So, armed and dangerous with some East Asian farmed fish, to work ...

I'm going to make a Goan-style curry, so we need a paste, a couple of tomatoes and a can of coconut milk and the fillets sliced up into decent sized chunks.

First, draw an X into the bottom of a couple of tomatoes and immerse them in boiling water. The water will release the skin.

While that's doing, make up the paste (for two people): an onion, a couple (or three) cloves of garlic, couple if mil of fresh ginger, couple of chillies, teaspoon of cumin, teaspoon of ground coriander, tablespoon of turmeric, halt teaspoon of fenugreek, half tablespoon of asafoetida, half tablepoon of black pepper, pinch of sea salt, splash of fish sauce ... blend.

Pour out into a skillet wetted up with coconut oil and fry off with the tomatoes, now skinned and smashed up.

Pour in a can of coconut milk.

Drop in the fish, simmer on a low boil to reduce slightly while you cook some rice.

Pure paleo folks can do whatever it is they do: cauliflower rice would be really good; shredded greens, lovely; steamed roots, as nice. Paleoplussers and Perfect Health Dieters can carry on ...

While the rice is cooking, add some freshly chopped coriander leaf and stalk into the curry along with some black mustard seeds. Not too much of either.

Serve out with a ramekin of rice upturned in the bowl, spooning the curry all around and garnishing with some fresh coriander leaf over the curry and a squeeze of lime over the rice.

River Cobbler

That's right ... a ramekin of rice, not a plateful, bowlful or an amount that would leave you bloated, uncomfortable and with elevated blood sugar, but a little, enough for the meal and enough to eat, enjoy and be replenished with glucose, glycogen or whatever you fellows more versed in biochemistry call it. I call it being replete. I call it not overdoing it.

Rice is an accompaniment to a dish, not the dish itself.


Griddled Tuna & Samphire

Griddled Tuna & Samphire
Cruising through Tesco at lunchtime I found some samphire.

Now, what? Fish ... and found a gorgeous looking pair of tuna pieces. Perfect!

Sometimes known as glasswort or sea asparagus, samphire, a corruption of Saint Peter the patron Saint of Fishermen, is a vegetable that grows in the marshes along seaside river estuaries.

Beginning their growth season in the autumn and continuing through the winter until the start of the warm season*, whether sautéed, steamed or blanched, samphire is perfectly seasonal and such a treat for eating with simple seafood.

Nutritionally, samphire is packed with goodness - strong in iodine and in vitamins A, C, B2 and B15, amino acids and minerals, such as iron, calcium and particularly magnesium. Tuna, a predatory fish, lean, good protein, selenium and vitamins B6 and B12.

Worried about the mercury content of top feeders? Don't be ...
Is eating fish safe? A lot safer than not eating fish!

So, I have my fish and my samphire ... it just needs bulking up a little and we've got a meal.

Butternut squash filled in the gap. Peeled, cubed and roasted in goose fat (or your favourite paleo fat) for about 30 minutes. The tuna and the samphire take no time at all to cook, so once the squash is cooked enough, griddle on ... griddle the tuna, and steam through the samphire just a little to warm but retain all that gorgeous crunch. Raw would be perfectly good, just trim off any thicker bits that might be too woody.

Put together and garnish with chilli and coriander leaves.

Tuna Steak

* What a lovely winter we're having this spring! We're still at sub-zeros overnight and low single figures during the day and it was snowing again this evening. Joy.