Wednesday 25 November 2020

Salmon, Scallops And Edamame On A Chickpea Purée

My original plan was to make a scallop and salmon dish, but I have to call it salmon and scallops now.  Who knew how hard it would be to buy some scallops?  Luckily, I grabbed the last packet of frozen ones, on the shell.  Hilariously, the checkout lady invited herself to dinner when she saw we were having seafood.  Mr P. and I used to think this particular lady was a grumpy old thing, but turns out she is hilarious!  Never judge a book by its cover, my friends.  As I said to Mr P.: 'She is just dry, wickedly dry.'

ready for serving (caramelised not burnt - honest)

This is a dish that you eat at room temperature rather than hot.  Almost like a salad.  You could throw some green leaves on your plate, if you wish.  You can toast and chop the nuts earlier in the day; you can make the purée and leave it till dinner time; chop the herbs and leave till ready to serve.  And the edamame can be boiled and shelled in the afternoon, too.  While this recipe may look like War and Peace, it's actually incredibly quick and easy to make!

Original recipe by Sherry's Pickings

Serves 3:


For the salmon:

460g./1 pound salmon fillets, skin-on

juice of 1 orange (mine had c. 80 mL/2.7 fl oz)

1 tbs mandarin agrumato oil, or plain EV olive oil

2 tsp shichimi togarashi

1/2 tsp gochugaru

2 tsp black sesame oil

1 tsp white sesame seeds

1 tsp black sesame seeds

sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Don't forget the scallops!  I had 6 of 'em, roe-less (but have as many as you want, my dears)

The edamame:

400g./14 oz packet of frozen edamame - you will end up with approx. 110g./4 oz of beans after shelling

2-3 tsp lemon agrumato oil or EV olive oil with a dash of lemon juice

sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Chickpea purée:

1 tin (400g./14 oz) chickpeas, drained

1-2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1-2 tbs olive oil

1/4 cup water

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For serving:

50g./1.8 oz macadamias, toasted and chopped 

a really biiiig handful of parsley, chopped

a small bundle of chives, chopped


Chop the fish into biggish chunks (5cm x 5cm/2 in x 2 in), and throw them into a large mixing bowl with the scallops

Add the orange juice, mandarin agrumato oil, shichimi togarashi, gochugaru, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt and pepper

Give it a biiiig stir so the fish is well coated, and put aside while you put together the other parts of this dish (I left mine for about an hour, 'cos I had to finish watching my fave tv show where Bob Ross paints his happy little trees)


Boil the edamame in salted water for about 5 minutes (as per the packet), let them cool, shell them, and put aside while you make the purée

The purée:

Drain the chickpeas (keep the pea water for vegan meringues)

Tip them into a small food processor; add the garlic, lemon zest, juice, olive oil, water, salt and pepper and ... blitz! till smooth (ish)

The fish:

Grab your non-stick grill plate/pan, and get it nice and hot on your stove top/burner/hob - whatever you call it

Now let (your) Mr P. do his thing: the salmon gets a few minutes per side on the very hot grill plate/pan.  Mr P. said to tell you that the fish needs to be grilled skin side first, and then on all sides.  And that the grill needs to be damn hot!

Take the fish out when it's how you like it (a wee bit rare for us); whack in the scallops for a minute or two on each side, then add them to the pile of salmon

Now add the oil, salt and pepper in with the edamame, and stir together

Grab a plate, help yourself to some salmon and scallops; then a goodly amount of the purée, and the edamame, and scatter the nutty herbs over your plate

For serving:

Chop the nuts and herbs, mix together well in a small bowl

Scatter this tasty mix over your heaped plate of fish


Use salmon without the skin if you wish

Lemon or lime juice is fine if you don't have an orange

Try a lemon agrumato/olive oil, or any citrus oil of your choice

Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice mix with seven ingredients

Gochugaru are Korean chilli flakes

Use ordinary sesame oil if you can't find the black one

(I forgot to marinate the scallops, so they were grilled with a bit of the marinade after the salmon was cooked)

I bought nuts which were already toasted, so I only had to chop them (throw them into a small, dry frypan for a few minutes tossing if you have raw ones)

stir the fish and the marinade together, and let it sit for a while

boil and shell the edamame

(Interesting fact about soybeans - i.e. edamame - there is/are only ever 1-3 beans in the pod.)  My drawing has 4 beans, but don't tell anyone...

zap the chickpeas into a purée

smooth and delicious purée

grill the fish

chop your nuts

mix the chopped nuts and herbs together

ready for serving

and for eating

artwork © Sherry's Pickings

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Grilled Bacon And Cheese Open Sandwiches (AKA Tartines)

This is one of Mr P.'s dishes.  He's the rice and pasta cook in the family, and also the grill (and grilled sandwich) man.  (And considering that he's disabled, he does a damn good job of it.)  I've mentioned before how he taught his young, female housemates to cook.  He was brought up well by his mum, who brought up six children pretty much on her own.  

I mean, he had a dad of course, but dads didn't often do much in the way of housework and cooking in those days:-)  Mr P.'s dad spent his weekends golfing and gliding in light planes.  Lucky fella!  I still shudder when I hear women say their husbands don't cook.  What the??!!  Shove a recipe book and a saucepan in their face, I say.  Or maybe just get them to heat up the grill for these tasty sandwiches, and leave them to it.  

grilled and gorgeous!

Serves 4:


1-2 tbs EV olive oil

250g. (8 oz) shortcut rindless bacon, cut into thick strips

1 red onion, sliced into half-moons (quoth Mr P.)

1/2 large red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into thinnish strips

1 zucchini, cut into strips

slices of thick sourdough or similar bread - we made 8 tartines

lotsa butter, to spread over the slices of bread

cheese slices, one for each open sandwich - Mr P. used vintage cheddar slices

parsley, roughly chopped - for serving - to scatter over the tartines


leaves of your choice:  I used a baby leaf mix

1 green apple, thinly sliced 

1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly

1 avocado, cut into chunks or slices - or some fetta chunks

a big handful of toasted pecans

a splash of EV olive oil or an agrumato oil - I used mandarin 

a splash of balsamic vinegar - I used cranberry balsamic

1 tbs lemon juice

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

a scattering of chopped parsley on top


Heat the olive oil in a large frypan, toss in the bacon and onion, and fry for about ten minutes till starting to caramelise

Tip the bacon and onion into a bowl, and put aside while you add the capsicum and zucchini to the frypan, and fry gently till golden

Toast the bread slices in your toaster, or the grill if you prefer

Butter your bread generously right up to the edges of each slice

Put a helping of the bacon and veg. mix onto each slice

Top each one with cheese, then under the grill it goes for several minutes till the cheese is melted and bubbling

Place all the salad ingredients into a medium bowl, and toss gently

Grab a slice or two or three of the beautifully-laden bread, and a bowlful of salad


Make these with mushroom slices instead of bacon for a vego. version; or try Mr P.'s suggestion of grilled halloumi

cut your veg into strips

and the bacon

cut the onion into half moons

and stir the bacon and onion now and then

buttering the toasted bread right to the corners:-)

frying up the veg.

under the grill they go with a slice of cheese

till they get all golden and melty

throw the salad ingredients into a bowl

grab a bowlful

ready for eating - by him

and by me:-)

                                                 © Sherry's Pickings

Monday 9 November 2020

Coconut Rice Pudding With A Spiced Rum Sauce

I know some folk may have bad memories of cold, lumpy rice pudding, (I used to love the stuff out of a tin!) and these days I usually bake a lemon-scented version in the oven.  But I saw this stove-top recipe in a food mag recently (not an expensive one), ripped it out, and stashed it in my recipe folder (I have six folders full of recipes!) for another day.  Well, that day came:-) 

Not lumpy, but smooth and sweet, and very moreish.  We ate it hot, we ate it room temp., we ate it cold.  Always good.  Brings to mind a time our family went to dinner at another family's place.  They served pink custard with bananas for dessert; a lumpy, tasteless, pale-pink concoction with chunks of banana.  Now for one, I was lactose-intolerant (though we didn't know it then), warm milk or warm custard makes me want to throw up, and for two, bananas are a gluey, fibrous nightmare to me.  Yes, you can imagine the aftermath, my friends.  Not a pretty sight!

sweet and spicy pudding

Serves 6-8:


For the syrup:

150 mL (8 fl oz) spiced rum 

100g. (3.5 oz) muscovado sugar 

100g. (3.5 oz) raisins or sultanas - I used sultanas

For the pudding:

50g. (1.8 oz) butter 

150g. (5.3 oz) short-grain pudding rice - I used arborio

150g. (5.3 oz) raw caster sugar 

2 x 400 mL (13.5 oz) cans of coconut milk - see notes below

300 mL (10 fl oz) thickened cream (or coconut cream)

1 tsp vanilla extract


The syrup:

Grab a large saucepan, and throw in the three syrup ingredients

Give it a stir, and heat gently on a low heat for five minutes, till the sugar is dissolved and you have plump little fruits

Put aside while you make the pudding

The pudding:

In goes the butter (same saucepan, no washing needed) on a medium heat

Melt the butter, then tip in the rice; give it a stir and toast till it just starts to go brown.  Don't worry if it's a little brown (mine was), as you just get a lovely caramelised flavour to the rice

Now you stir in the caster sugar, then add the milk, cream and vanilla

You bring it to a simmer, then cook on a looooow heat for forty minutes - you will need to stir it every five minutes or so; watch out in the last ten as it may start to stick to the pan

Add a wee bit more cream if it's looking too thick

To serve:  stir a third of the syrup into the pudding and serve with extra syrup over the top of the pudding

We had it room temp. and then cold the next day - equally good


I made the syrup in the afternoon, and let it sit at room temp. till we had the pudding - delicious!

I've done a bit of coconut milk research lately.  Hard to believe the difference in brands.  The one in a carton had only 7.5% coconut extract!  I was horrified; over 90% was water.  I checked out various tins: the % of coconut extract ranges from 53% to 89%!  So buy carefully, my friends.  You get what you pay for.  I was very lucky to come across an organic coconut cream that is 100% coconut.  Yay!  I used one can of milk and one of cream, to add richness as I had bought one of the watery cans by mistake:-)

gather your syrup ingredients

simmer for five minutes

toast the rice till starting to turn golden

simmer for forty minutes, with the occasional stir

till it looks like this

a bowl for me

and a bowl for Mr P.

    artwork © Sherry's Pickings 

(Yep, I know.  My Kraken looks like a turnip!)

Sunday 1 November 2020

In My Kitchen - November 2020

Someone said Christmas is only eight weeks away!  Who was that sadistic devil?:-)  Every year, I say 'no Christmas', and every year I lie.  Mm, let's put that on the backburner for now, and check out our latest kitchen gadgets, produce, cookbooks, foods, meals and so on.  Join in one and all.  Everybody welcome, as long as your post fits the theme.  We share all sorts of kitchen and garden produce things, with a few curveballs now and then.  In fact, let's make that a thing for IMK from now on - feel free to add one curveball each month!

and here's my curveball

Here is mini-Bob, my curveball of the month.  Made from old timber, and a vintage Japanese fishing float by Christian Newton.  He sits on my desk, watching me type.  Bob not Christian :-)  So adorable! 

In my kitchen:

and there is more salt!

Just what I need - more salt.  Ha ha ha.  I really don't, but I have a bit of an addiction to buying different sorts.  So yes, the salty tideline is getting higher in my veins...

I bought another book

I read about this book on another blogger's page - and I forget who it was.  So thank you, fellow blogger for putting me on to this one.  It may have been Marg from The Intrepid Reader.  I'm looking forward to reading it.

and I bought another tumbler

I need another tumbler like I need a hole in the head, but does that stop me?  This is by Susan Simonini, who moved a few years ago from sunny Queensland to coooldddd north western Tasmania.  Not my best photo; it's actually a lovely thing.  

I won ice cream in a tin at Eat Street market

What's that, you say?  How can ice cream be in a sealed drink can?  I hear you, my friends.  I have no idea how they do it.  Great ice cream though.  We won it 'cos our ticket into the (drive-by) market had a '9' on the end.  Weird huh???

I made chicken and lemon

I made this one again.  The recipe is from a freebie supermarket mag.  A whole lemon is thinly sliced and cooked up with the chicken thighs.  Soooo delish! I made it twice.

I bought spiced rum

I've always loved the books of John Wyndham, including The Kraken Wakes, so this bottle appealed to me enormously.  You will see this spiced rum in a post soon.

and yes, another spoon or two

The dark spoon is made from waste ebony, and the lighter scoop is coconut wood from old trees (I mean trees that have fallen down, or need culling).  I bought a few of these as gifts, but how could I not keep these two babies?

Miss B. sent me a tiny salt cellar

Our mate Miss B., the potter sent me this wee darling.  We haven't seen her since early this year due to Covid, but soon ...  Just gotta print me out a border pass! 

That's it from me for this month's IMK.  Hope to see your posts here by the 13th, my friends.

The link is open from the first to the thirteenth of the month.  Let me know if you need help with adding your post, or if you would like it added manually by me after the 13th. Here's how to join in:

1. Add via the Add Link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found on the sidebar of this page, under   the  Add your IMK link  OR:

2. Comment on this post, providing a link to your post so I can   add it manually to the list below OR:

3. Email me:, with your link or   any queries about the link process 

In My Kitchen:

A Little Lunch - blog by Kim B.

Happy Retirees Kitchen - by Pauline M.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter