HOME COOKING using SIX MIX TRICKS

Fish Meuniere with Jersey royals & asparagus

Apr
26

This classic French fish dish is a great way to get more fish into your weekly diet and even the most reluctant fish eaters will wolf this down (as proven by my daughter who doesn’t do fish!). It’s so fresh and fragrant and served with some seasonal jersey royal potatoes and majestic asparagus spears, it is perfect for that first spring/summer supper in the garden.

It’s very easy to make using simple ingredients you’ll likely have to hand. 4 easy steps is all it takes, and as a bonus, it can be made in advance. It will happily sit waiting to be reheated, if the family are out doing activities. I made this and left it in the pan, while I went off to boot camp and my son was at football training. When we got back I simply turned on the heat to warm it through and it was delicious.

What you need

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp oil

150ml lemon juice (4 lemons)

150ml melted butter (4oz/half a pack)

6 cod fish fillets

salt & pepper

What to do

Put the flour on a plate and stir in plenty of salt and pepper then dip in the fish fillets in the seasoned flour until coated on both sides.

Heat the oil in a non stick pan, add the fish fillets and cook them for a few minutes on each side until a golden crust forms and it turns white right to the middle.

Melt the butter in a jug in the microwave (1 min), add the lemon juice, pour into the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken, spooning the sauce over the fish.

Stir in a handful of freshly chopped parsley.

Serve straight away or turn off the heat and leave in the pan until ready to reheat.

Serve the fish with halved Jersey royals boiled in their skins for 10 minutes until soft to a knifepoint and asparagus spears with the woody ends broken off and pan fried in a little oil until just golden. You won’t need to add any butter to the potatoes or asparagus, just spoon the yummy fish sauce over everything.

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs

x

 

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An Everyday Wholemeal Bread

Jan
26

I can’t tell you how much I love baking my own bread. I love the science behind it. I love the feel of the dough. I love the smell when it’s baking. But most of all I love the flavour of homemade bread.

It’s a whole different species than a ready sliced loaf. For most shop bought loaves, especially white ones, the bread is just a vehicle for the sandwich filling or the toast topper and offers hardly anything in the way of nutrients and goodness. Proper bread is proper food. It’s the main event. It’s nutritious. It’s delicious. And you can cut extra thick slices.

Making your own bread means preservative and additive free. Once I’d read Rose Prince’s book “the new english kitchen changing the way you shop, cook and eat”, in particular the chapter on the bread making industry (although the chapter on margarine is a real eye opener too), and how the humble loaf of bread is adulterated with additives to make it rise quicker, improvers to make it taste better, and preservatives to make it last on supermarket shelves longer… I was completely put off buying shop bread. Even now, I look on the label to make sure that any loaf I’m buying only contains what it should…. flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water…. Making your own also means your house smells like a bakers shop, you get excellent toast and have access to the most scrumptious breadcrumbs imaginable that you can use in your cooking. Real bread just goes harder.. and staler.. as the days go by… it doesn’t get green mould on it.

I think bread making has a bad reputation. Supposedly it takes so long to make that we’ve had to resort to breadmakers because otherwise you have to knead it for ages and then wait for it to rise for hours and hours before you can even bake it.

Real bread made with yeast does take time it’s true because the yeast needs time to work it’s magic but the good news is that you don’t have to stand there watching it. The yeast will happily get on doing what it does even if you’re sleeping or out at work or shopping or whatever else you need to do.

Once you realise that you don’t have to work around the bread, the bread can work around you… making your own delicious wholemeal bread everyday becomes a real possibility.

You’ll see in this recipe that I hardly spend any time kneading the bread, a few minutes is all, and I don’t even take it out of the bowl to save making a mess.  If you’ve had a stressful day, a good ole bashing session with the bread and copious amounts of flour is a great stress buster but if you’re strapped for time, you don’t have to. Kneading the dough stretches the gluten in the flour which is what makes the bread light and fluffy inside. If you knead only a little the bread will be denser (I like it this way), if you knead for longer the bread will be lighter. The choice is yours depending on whether you can be bothered, whether you have time and what type of bread you want to eat.

The yeast will make the bread rise within an hour in a warm room. But you can leave bread dough in the fridge overnight and it will still have risen by morning. Or you can leave it on the side all day in a cool room and it’ll be done by the time you get home. Or you can speed up the rising process by putting it in a low oven for 30 minutes first before baking it. The bread can work around you.

What you need:

1lb wholemeal/granary flour
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
300ml hand hot water
1 tbsp sugar/honey
1 tsp salt
1 sachet of dried yeast

What to do:

Put the flour in a large bowl.

Then add the sugar, salt and yeast.

The best way to make the water hand-hot (i.e you can stick your hand in comfortably) is to add 100ml boiling water from the kettle and top up to 300ml with water from the cold tap. Mix the oil and water together in a jug and stir into the flour mixture.

Stir it together until it starts to form a clump.

Put a little oil on your hand and knead it for a few minutes (or 10 minutes if stressed and need the relief), pushing and pulling, until it becomes smooth

Cover with clingfilm and leave for an hour or longer (as is convenient to you) until puffed up.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, line a tin with greaseproof paper and press the dough in.

Bake for 30 minutes until risen and golden.

Hope you like this recipe and that you feel inspired to bake some bread soon.

Let me know what you think via the comments and if you make it tag a photo #sixmixtricks on instagram

Love Livs

x

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Sugar Free Granola

Jan
23

The Mix = Scone

Here’s a seriously good recipe for a homemade granola to help kick start your new years resolutions. It’s super healthy loaded with oaty goodness and essential nutrients from fruit, nuts and seeds. It’s also sugar free using antioxidant-rich honey for natural sweetness. You can whip up a big batch to last you for ages if you are the type of person who likes to get ahead or you can just make a small amount so that you can vary it week by week to keep things interesting.

I love this recipe because it’s so versatile. The base remains the same but you can change the type of fruit, nuts and seeds you use depending on your tastes or what you have to hand. I like a dried berry fruit mix with cranberries and blueberries but if you prefer dried apricots or golden raisins, you can add those. I tend to use chopped almonds in mine but hazelnuts, peanuts or even mixed chopped nuts would be good too. I use rapeseed oil because it’s home grown, has the lowest saturated fat of any oil and is rich in vitamin E, omega 3 and omega 6. But if you want to use coconut oil which is all the rage at the moment, you can and it will add a lovely coconut flavour to the granola.

Store your granola in a kilner jar and eat it in a bowl with milk like museli (my favourite), in a glass with Greek yoghurt and fruit compote as a simple breakfast sundae or just grab handfuls  from the jar as a healthy snack during the day or night!

You will need:

8oz oats
2 tbsp coconut/rapeseed oil
150ml honey
4oz dried fruit
2oz chopped nuts
2oz mixed seeds.

To make it:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a small roasting tin with greaseproof paper.

Nothing fancy needed here – just fold and press the paper in the tin

Put everything together in a big bowl

First the oats

Then the seeds

Then the fruit

Then the nuts

Then the oil and honey. A good trick is to put the oil in the jug first, then add the honey and it won’t stick.

Stir it all together with a wooden spoon until it’s all combined and coated with the honey. Then,pour the mixture into the lined tin and press it down firmly using the spoon or your hand.


Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the tin from the oven, break up the granola using a spoon to reveal the soft underneath and return to the oven for another 10 minutes to crisp up.

Transfer the granola to a clean kilner jar and some snack pots.

It will seem like it’s a bit too soft going in but it magically turns crispier as it cools

And that’s all there is to it. Hope you like this recipe. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends.