M and I have been choked with work at a wrong time, really, because it was the Bank holiday weekend! What could have been a short holiday in Malta, Basque, anywhere, turned into a three-day snow-in at home, without the snow.
So taking breaks between fervent (well, not really, more like forced) reading, we schemed, plotted, and conspired our meals to make the weekend a bit more interesting. Food is the best medicine, so we say.
Aside from a BBQ (again!) we had on Sunday on our little balcony, we did the unthinkable on Saturday night. We realised my husband’s lifelong dream of making our very own fish and chips.
After doing some revision, M and I drove out to a fishmonger in Wood Green and bought a huge cod fillet (enough to serve 3 people!), and squid. We picked up more ingredients from Sainsbury’s and went home in a hurry to assemble our dinner.
Whilst M made the batter for the fish, I put together the ingredients for the tartare sauce and it was done in 15 minutes. Note to everyone, this is the only time that a hard-boiled egg will see the light of day in my kitchen. It is the secret ingredient to the perfect tartare sauce and we don’t want the soft, gooey yolk to thin the sauce!
When M was done with the batter, he went on to make my favourite salad, tomatoes with mozzarella, basil, capers and a good lug of olive oil. As always, he does a good job in making it pretty and drool-worthy!
Very quickly, I made a spiced batter for the calamari and fried the rings in sunflower oil.
Then, I scrambled out of the kitchen and made way for M to wield his cooking prowess magic abracadabra on frying the perfect fillet of fish. And I’m proud to say that the man delivered.
The cod fillet was still incredibly moist, just about cooked and the batter was perfectly crispy and light, much to my surprise! M told me that the secret ingredient to his batter was ice-cold soda water and that’s all I know, my husband’s actually keeping secrets from me!! Nah, I’m just kidding, M doesn’t use any sort of recipe for anything he cooks, thanks to his intuition for cooking everything perfectly every time he steps into the kitchen. I’m much ashamed as a wife.
We didn’t have a bottle of white, so we opened a bottle of red and had a leisurely dinner at home. Everything tasted great, and it was the perfect antidote to work stress.
After dinner, we were too fat and lazy to continue reading, so we watched TV till we fell asleep. It was the perfect way to end a Saturday.
Here are some recipes:
7 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp chopped capers
2 tsp chopped gherkins
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
squeeze of lemon
Simply mix all ingredients together in a bowl. If you want it to be a little more tart, just add more capers, gherkins or lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Chill it in the fridge and keep away from naughty fingers until calamari and fish and chips are ready.
1 and 1/2 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp semolina
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
Coat washed and thoroughly dried calamari rings in this mixture, and fry in hot oil till golden brown. I’m sorry I haven’t measured the weight of squid I bought, so you might have to make the batter in batches to coat however much squid you have. Dunk calamari, slid-off batter chunks, everything into tartare sauce. The world will seem better.
Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad
The juiciest, sweetest tomatoes you can get
Handful of basil leaves
Salt and pepper
Slice tomatoes and mozzarella. Layer mozzarella with basil leaves and tomato slice. Repeat till you’re happy with the quantity. Sprinkle capers over the salad, season with salt and pepper and to finish off, drizzle some olive oil over the salad. Stab chunks of it with a fork and try not to overeat.