Salmon and Broccoli Bowl

I’ve said this before on a previous post, but I feel led to reiterate it.

I really love meat.

I also really love fish.

Well, not really love, but I do adore a good salmon (see also Cod, Hake and Catfish).

To be honest, I’ve never really experimented with other types of fish, so I have no idea whether I like them or not. (basically I could never be vegetarian/vegan in this life or the next. Disclaimer: I have nothing against them- do what makes you happy innit)

Anyway, due to the vicissitudes of life it had been a while since inspiration hit me kitchen-wise but recently I found myself craving the soft, flaky texture of a good Salmon fillet and after looking at the ingredients I had in my fridge, I knew exactly what to pair it with to satisfy the craving within.

Also, for some very weird reason, I like eating most of my food out of a bowl. My father says it’s the village girl in me, but I think it’s because I am incredibly lazy and hate the formality of eating from a flat plate and using proper cutlery. Ugh.

But I digress. On with the show!

IMG_1517

Ingredients used:

  • Salmon Fillets (I prefer going to a fishmonger than buying fish pre-packed)
  • Basmati Rice (2 cups)
  • Pak Choi (200g pack can be found in most big supermarkets)
  • Tenderstem Broccoli (250g pack)
  • Seasonings
    • Sesame oil – 2tbsp
    • Soy Sauce – 2tbsp
    • Chilli flakes
    • Chinese 5 spice
    • 2 cloves of Garlic (chopped into fine pieces)
    • Chopped Ginger
    • 1 or 2 Bird Eye Chillies (or regular thin chillies)
    • 1 stock cube (maggi/knorr)
    • 1 Lime
    • 1 knob of butter

Prep time – 10 mins

Method:

  1. In a bowl, place the salmon fillets and season with sesame oil, soy sauce, 1 clove of finely chopped garlic, half the amount of chopped ginger, stock cube, and a dash of chilli flakes and Chinese 5 spice.
  2. Leave the fish to marinate for 5 minutes.
  3. Before cooking, cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice of half a lime onto the fish.
  4. Wrap the individual fillets in foil to create foil parcels and cut the remaining lime half into slices and put on the fillets before closing the parcels.

The purpose of the parcels is to allow the salmon to cook in it’s own juices and to give you something to pour on the rice once ready.

Cooking time – 30 mins

Cooking:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (gas mark 5)
  2. Place the salmon on an oven tray and leave to bake for 15 minutes, checking intermittently.
  3. Wash the rice and put into a saucepan.
  4. Pour 3 cups of boiling water into the saucepan and bring to the boil.
  5. Once the rice starts to boil, lower the heat and cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
  6. Leave the rice to simmer for about 15 minutes then remove from heat and leave to steam in the saucepan for a further 2-3 minutes.
  7. While the rice is cooking, sauté the pak choi, broccoli and chopped up birds eye chillies in the knob of butter and season with the remaining ginger and garlic. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for aesthetics.
  8. Serve the rice with the salmon and sautéed vegetables in a bowl and enjoy!

 

Extra tip: don’t lick your fingers after throwing away the lime slices because baked lime tastes like sorrow.

Spicy Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas

Fun fact about me: I love meat. I really, really do.

I don’t think I’ve ever made a vegetarian meal in my life (at least willingly).

While I enjoy eating and cooking copious amounts of meat, I find that chicken is always at the bottom of the list of meats I make. It’s a little boring to me and prefer playing with red meats.

However, every once in a while a very silly craving for chicken will hit me and it won’t go away until I have done with it what my soul desires.

Thus we have this post.

I wanted chicken, I wanted Caribbean food and I wanted it immediately.

So I made it.

jerk chicken

Ingredients used:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Seasonings
    • Vegetable oil – 1tbsp
    • 3 cloves of garlic (chopped into fine pieces)
    • 2 stock cubes (maggi/knorr)
    • Crushed habanero chilli flakes or 2 scotch bonnets
    • Jerk seasoning (Dunns River is my favourite to use)
    • Thyme
    • Salt
  • 3 cups of rice (any type is fine- I only had basmati available)
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of coconut milk

Prep time – 15 mins

Method (chicken):

  1. This step is optional but I always wash all my meat in warm water with a splash of vinegar
  2. Put the chicken, vegetable oil, half the chopped garlic, stock cubes, chilli flakes/scotch bonnets and jerk seasoning into a mixing bowl and mix together until all the chicken is covered.
  3. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

Method (rice):

  1. Wash the rice by putting the rice in a bowl, submerging in warm water and stirring. Tilt the bowl to pour out the starchy water. Repeat this step until the water remains clear.
  2. Put the rice in a large saucepan.
  3. Pour the red kidney beans into the saucepan.
  4. Use a measuring cup to pour the coconut milk into the saucepan. (It’s usually about 2 cups). This step is important because you will subtract this number from the amount of water you put in the rice.
  5. Season with salt, thyme and the remaining garlic.

 

Cooking time for rice – 20 minutes

Cooking time for the chicken – 30 minutes

Cooking the chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees(gas mark 5)
  2. Place the chicken on a foil-lined oven tray skin side down and leave to bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn the chicken thighs so the skin is facing upwards and leave to cook for a further 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven once the juices run clear and the skin is nice and crispy.

Cooking the rice:

(For every cup of rice, use 1.5 cups of water to cook)

  1. Boil water in a kettle
  2. Add the boiling water to the rice (subtracting the number of cups that was used to add the coconut milk- so if 4.5 cups of water is needed to cook 3 cups of rice, and 2 cups of coconut milk was added to the rice, only 2.5 cups of water needs to be added to the rice).
    Who knew cooking required so much maths?
  3. Once the rice starts to boil, lower the heat and cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
  4. Leave the rice to simmer for about 15-18 minutes then remove for heat and leave to steam in the saucepan for a further 2-5 minutes..
  5. Use a fork to fluff the rice and mix the kidney beans throughout.
  6. Serve.

Extra tip: use the stock from the chicken as a sauce for the rice.