Friday, July 23, 2021

Bridget Jones’ Pan Fried Salmon with Pinenut Salsa


"Bridget, this baby situation threw me initially. We squashed an entire relationship into one night and skipped straight to the starting a family phase. We never even had a real second date, but just so you know I would have taken you to Ottolenghi’s, an amazing place in Notting Hill. You would have had the grilled salmon and pine nut salsa. It’s unbelievable AND healthy." Jack in Bridget Jones' s Baby

In the movie, Bridget Jones' Baby, Jack tells Bridget that he would have taken her to Ottolenghi's restaurant for their second date, and that she would have ordered the grilled salmon and pine nut salsa.  That dish did not exist  on Ottolenghi's menu, but to fill the gap, Ottolenghi developed a recipe for this dish for his cookbook, Ottolenghi Simple.

I have Ottolenghi Simple, and I am also a Bridget Jones fan, so I had to make this salmon dish for myself.  And I am glad that I did.  It is tasty, with a mix of sweet (from currants) and savoury flavours.

If you fancy bringing a little movie magic into your life by making this dish, you will need:

100g currants
4 salmon fillets, skin on
100ml olive oil
4 celery sticks cut into 1 cm dice
30g pine nuts, roughly chopped
40g capers + 2 tablespoons of their brine
40g large green olives cut into 1cm dice
a pinch of saffron mixed with a tablespoon of hot water
20g parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper

Cover the currants with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the salmon with 2 teaspooons olive oil, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Put 75ml olive oil into a large frying pan over high heat.  Add the celery and pine nuts and fry for 4-5 minutes.  Once the nuts have browned, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the capers, the brine, the saffron in its water, the olives and a pinch of salt.  Drain the currants, then add them, the parsley, the lemon juice and lemon zest to the mixture.  Stir through, then set aside.

Put a tablespoon of olive oil into a fry pan, and once hot, add the salmon, skin side down, and fry for 3 minutes or until the skin is crisp.  Flip the salmon and cook for another 2-4 minutes, dpeending on how you like your salmon.  Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Place each of the salmon filets onto a plate, and spoon over the salsa.


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

TWD - Caramel-Sugar Pufflets

 This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Caramel-Sugar Pufflets. 

These yeasted dough biscuits are made from the same dough as last fortnight’s savoury biscuits, but instead of being blended with seeds and spices, the dough is blended with sugar. I used cardamom pistachio sugar from Gewurzhaus, because I could.

These biscuits were ok, but not as good as the savoury ones.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Lemon and poppy seed meringue cheesecake

My mum has sent me some very nice recipes out of her local paper recently.  One that particularly caught my eye was for a lemon and poppy seed meringue cheesecake, by Phoebe Wood.  

Unfortunately, my circumstances mean that it was not realistic to make the whole cheesecake.  Instead, I quartered the recipe, and made two 6" tart versions.  They are not as visually stunning as the whole cheesecake, but they tasted great.

The cheesecake is comprised of a pastry base, with a lemon curd and poppy seed flavoured filling, and topped with sour cream and meringue.  The meringue was also meant to contain poppy seeds, but I forgot. 

I think the mini tarts are cute:

 To make this cheesecake (full recipe), you will need:


1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
75g butter, chopped


150g sugar
350g cream cheese, at room temperature and cut into cubes
350g ricotta 
200g lemon curd (I used this Donna Hay recipe to make some)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
180g white chocolate, melted and cooled
200g sour cream (I used Greek yoghurt)


3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 22cm springform pan

To make the pastry, put the flour and sugar into a food processor and blitz to combine.  Add the butter, and blitz until crumbs form.  Add 2 tablespoons or so of cold water, a little at a time, until the dough just comes together.    Press the pastry into the base of the prepared springform pan.  Put a few prick marks in the pastry with the tines of a fork. Line the pastry with a piece of alfoil, shiny side down, and cover with baking beans or rice.   Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the baking beans and foil, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until the pastry is golden.  Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.

Reduce the heat of the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Slowly beat in the sugar, then beat in the ricotta and lemon curd until smooth.    Beat in 2 eggs and the poppy seeds until combined, then pour the mixture over the cooled pastry base.  Bake for 1 hour or until just set with a slight wobble in the centre.

Whisk the melted chocolate, sour cream and remaining egg together in a bowl until smooth.  Pour it over the top of the baked cheesecake, and bake the cheesecake for a further 10 minutes.  Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake inside and the door slightly ajar, until the cheesecake cools completely. 

Remove the cooled cheesecake form the oven and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

For the meringue, put the eggwhites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just simmering water, whisking by hand until the sugar dissolves.  Remove the bowl from the heat, and beat with a handmixer until the meringue is thick, glossy and completely cooled.  Whisk in the poppy seeds, then transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a 7cm plain nozzle and pipe in a spiral over the top of the cheesecake, piping form the centre outwards.

Using a kitchen blowtorch, brown the top of the meringue.  Serve immediately or chill the cheesecake in the fridge until needed.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

TWD - Sour Cream Everything Seed Knots

 This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Sour  Cream Everything Seed Knots. The sour cream refers to the pastry, the everything seed refers to the seed mixture blended through the dough, and the knot refers to the shape of these yeasted dough biscuits.

I subbed Greek yoghurt for sour cream in the pastry, and onion flakes for dukkah in the seed mix. I enjoyed these biscuits - they are a really tasty snack.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.