Smoked Haddock Kedgeree

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree – Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too.

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So this is Method 2! It’s only taken me about 20 months to get round to writing it. If you’ve actually bothered to read Method 1 (with it’s fairly ropey photos), apologies for the wait. It honestly wasn’t intentional, I wasn’t purposely keeping you on the edge of your seat (because you were, weren’t you?). I have 2 different recipes for making kedgeree, however this 2nd way is actually how I tend to make it. It results in a wetter rice dish because the rice is cooked in stock (a bit like a risotto). It’s super simple though and on the table in about 45 minutes (probably less for other folk, but I have a tendency to get distracted so every single recipe I’ve ever made always takes far longer than the recommended timeframe).

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

What I would say though in Method 1’s favour, is that if you struggle to cook rice effectively every time, check it out purely for my guide to cooking basmati rice.  It’s my tried and tested method (found originally in an Indian recipe book). It consistently produces fluffy cooked rice – my lovely friend Sarah, who had apparently struggled making rice in the past (and she’s a really good cook) now swears by it.

This recipe for kedgeree comes from a book my Mum gave me many years ago:

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

Pure awesomeness in paper format right there. I think she’d had it a fair few years too.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

300-400g smoked haddock fillet
20g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
175g long grain rice
1 pint of veg or fish stock (use one stock cube)
salt to taste

Notes:

• This is a fairly substantial portion for 2 people, but the Husband likes his kedgeree, so we get through it. It does reheat really well though if you do find you have leftovers. You can also double it really easily (literally just double everything) if you need to.

• I tend to use long grain rice because it holds together better, but you can use basmati if you’d prefer.

1. Place the haddock in a pan (a deep frying pan is good here so you can cook it in one layer), cover with water, add the lid and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for around 8-10 minutes until cooked through (I had to use frozen fish so cooked it for about 12 minutes).

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

2. Once cooked, remove the fish from the water with a slotted spoon, and if necessary remove the skin.

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

3. Flake the fish in a bowl and set aside.

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

4. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, place the butter and oil over a medium heat and let the butter melt before adding the onion.

5. Cook until the onion is translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Then add the curry powder – I use mild or medium depending on whether I’m feeding the kids or not. Use whatever suits your taste. Cook for another minute.

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

6. Add the rice and thoroughly coat in the curry mixture.

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

7. Add all of the stock to the pan, stir and cover. Simmer until the rice is pretty much cooked and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir it a good few times throughout as it will want to stick to the bottom of the pan. If it looks like it’s starting to dry out a bit, add a splash of water and stir.

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

8. Once the rice is practically cooked (it will still have the merest of ‘bite’ left in it) remove it from the heat, stir through the flaked fish, pop the lid back on and leave it to rest for about 5 minutes.

9. Stir and serve.

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

This dish is also pretty healthy. When I’ve been following Slimming World it’s been a really easy dish to make work (remove the oil/butter and use spray oil). There is absolutely nothing complicated in it. Leaving the pan to rest at the end is important though. We love this dish in the HC house, especially the Husband. Hopefully an easy midweek supper to add to your repertoire 🙂

Happy cooking!

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree - Flakes of smoked haddock in flavourful curried rice, this traditional breakfast dish is perfect for lunch and dinner too. | thehecticcook.com

Quick & Easy Tuna Pasta Bake

Quick and Simple Tuna Pasta Bake – A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family.

I realise this isn’t my first recipe for Tuna Pasta Bake. If I’m going to be completely honest though, this version is just as good as my other recipe, Not Just Another Tuna Pasta Bake (I was breaking the mould with that title 😛 ) and is quicker to make. I do love the other version, the cheese sauce made separately adds a gorgeous cheesy creaminess to the dish. But this version is more my go-to. It ticks every box – quick, simple and everyone eats it. And I mean ‘everyone eats it’. We sit down as a family of 6 to this for dinner, and I get 6 clean plates back. Pretty much the Holy Grail of dinners.

Quick & Simple Tuna Pasta Bake - A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family | thehecticcook.com

But before we get to the nitty-gritty (i.e. the recipe) I need to over-share a bit. This happened today:

Quick & Simple Tuna Pasta Bake - A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family | thehecticcook.com

Yup, the girls started school!!! This may very well be the most exciting day of my (somewhat unexciting) life! I’m a tad happy about this.

Quick & Easy Tuna Pasta Bake

Ingredients (Serves 4 adults)

400-450g pasta
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp garlic paste (or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh basil (or 1 tsp of dried basil)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
3 tins of tuna chunks, drained
1 small tin of sweetcorn (or frozen sweetcorn)
100g soft (cream) cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated

Notes:

• I used 450g to serve 2 adults and 4 kids, but we eat a lot! Use what you think you’ll need.
• I add some chilli flakes as it adds an extra warmth to the dish, but it’ll be absolutely fine to skip this ingredient. 
• I love the frozen fresh basil you can buy from Waitrose (see pic below) and use it in practically every Italian dish. I’ve not found similar anywhere else. If you don’t have fresh basil, dried is fine, just ensure it’s in-date as out-of-date basil has no flavour at all.

1. Boil a large pan of salted water and get your pasta on to cook – different shapes cook at different rates, just check it (i.e. taste it) to find out when it’s done. Once it has cooked, before you drain it, add your sweetcorn in (this is really if you’re using frozen sweetcorn, to defrost it, but it’ll make no difference if you’re using tinned)

Quick & Simple Tuna Pasta Bake - A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family | thehecticcook.com

Drain the pasta and return to the pan.

2. Whilst the pasta is cooking, in a separate pan gently warm the oil and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes but be careful not to let it burn.

3. Add the tomatoes, salt, basil and chilli (if using), then the tuna. Stir and let cook gently for a few minutes. This isn’t cordon bleu cooking (and nothing is cooking from raw in the sauce), so timing is fairly flexible.

Quick & Simple Tuna Pasta Bake - A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family | thehecticcook.com

4. Add the soft cheese and slowly let it melt into the sauce whilst stirring. At this point, preheat your grill to medium.

Quick & Simple Tuna Pasta Bake - A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family | thehecticcook.com

5. Add your sauce to the cooked pasta (in the big pan is a good idea), mix it all together then pour the lot into a large dish. Top with cheese and pop under the preheated grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

Quick & Simple Tuna Pasta Bake - A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family | thehecticcook.com

Once you’ve removed this from the grill, serve it straight away. I’m sure it would reheat, but I’ve never had any left to test that theory.

Quick & Simple Tuna Pasta Bake - A really simple creamy tomato pasta dish that is quick to make and will be loved by the whole family | thehecticcook.com

This is apparently so tasty that Alice was eating it off the floor whilst uttering the words “…pasta on the floor is so yummy…’. Erm, ok. Lovely child. Seriously though, if you were paying me money for this recipe (which considering its simplicity is, let’s face it, unlikely) I’d be tempted to offer money back guarantees if your family doesn’t like it. So let me know either way 😀

Happy cooking!

If you like this recipe you might also like my Sausage Meatball Spaghetti and Cheats Tuna Pie.

Sausage Meatball Spaghetti - Super simple midweek dinner that the whole family will enjoy | thehecticcook.com Cheats Tuna Pie - a really simple dish that goes down well with the kids | thehecticcook.com

Cheats Tuna Pie

There are six members of my family, so I tend to cook one meal. Ok, sometimes two if the Husband and I are having an ‘adult’ meal once the kids have gone to bed – this sounds romantic, but usually consists of us eating our dinner on our laps whilst watching some cringe-worthy detective drama. We know how to live.

I’ll cook some meals and, to be honest, expect at least 1-2 of the kids not to eat it. Sometimes I achieve a full house and none of the kids like it (like my Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken, sob). But since missing a meal (or two, in some cases) is not going to hurt my (well padded) children, I refuse to give them something else, in the (possibly vain) hope that eventually they’ll eat everything I give them.

However. I will then cook meals that I am 100%, without a doubt, absolutely sure, the kids will eat. Without fail. And this tuna pie is one such meal.

This is simple cooking at its best. No, its not cooking from scratch – there’s a tin of condensed soup involved, shock, horror! But its quick, ridiculously simple, and my kids absolutely scoff it down. That gets a huge thumbs up in my book. As a result, I make this fairly often. Its one of my ‘go-to’ meals.

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Ingredients

1 tin of tuna, drained
1/2 tin of chicken condensed soup
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
sweetcorn, frozen or fresh
salt & pepper

1. In an ovenproof dish mix the tuna, soup and sweetcorn. Season if desired.

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Note: Because I only use half a tin of the soup for this dish, I tend to freeze the other half in a plastic container, ready to use the next time. It freezes great.

2. Meanwhile peel and cube the potatoes, chuck in a pan of salted water, and boil until soft. Drain, then mash with a little bit of butter and a splash of milk. Top the tuna mix with the mash.

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3. Pop this in a preheated oven, 180°C/350°/Gas 4, for about 25-30 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the tuna base is hot.

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And serve! Did I say this was simple, or did I say this was simple??

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This served my 4 kids (thus would serve 2 adults). Simply up the amount of potatoes, and use 2 tins of tuna plus the whole tin of soup to serve 2 adults and 2-4 children.

This dish is really versatile as well. Sometimes I top the potato with cheese. My mum used to top it with crushed crisps for a lovely crunch. Put whatever veg you would like into the tuna mix – peas are another favourite; carrot would be nice, but chop it small and precook slightly (in the microwave works well). You can use whatever flavour of soup you like too. Change it up each time for a bit of variety.

This isn’t cordon bleu cooking. But its easy. And it contains fish. So it must be good for you!

Happy cooking!

If you like this, you might also like some other ‘family friendly’ meals from my blog such as Quick & Easy Gammon Pasta Bake, Crispy Coated Chicken Nuggets, Traditional Scottish Stovies and Spaghetti Carbonara 🙂

Not Just Another Tuna Pasta Bake

I guess I’m pretty much what is considered a foodie. Or maybe foodaholic is a better word. I live for food. Eating food, cooking food, reading about food…etc. I haven’t read a novel in quite some time but, to the Husband’s amusement, I have read hundreds of food magazines and recipe books. I’ll take a recipe book to bed for some late-night reading. Who needs ’50 Shades’?

I bought the BBC GoodFood magazine the other day, but I was really disappointed. There were few recipes I’d actually bother trying, and I was pretty uninspired. This was a sad day. Their ideas for ‘easy midweek cooking’ included Ginger Miso Aubergine Noodles, and Artichoke & Olive Calzones. Is it just me?

When I’m looking for a recipe the first thing I look at is the list of ingredients. How many, and how ‘normal’? Could I whip it up from my store cupboard ingredients? That’s always a selling point. Then I look at the instructions. How long am I going to have to spend in the kitchen? A couple of times a week I’ll make something a bit more complicated, for the Husband and I, but generally I’m looking for fairly straightforward recipes that I can feed the kids (or at least alter to suit).

This is one such recipe. The original comes from Annabel Karmel, but I’ve simplified it and made it suit my family (no onion was harmed in the making of this dish).

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Ingredients

280g pasta
2 tins of tuna, drained
300ml passata
1 tsp frozen/dried basil
20g butter
20g plain flour
200ml milk
40g grated cheese, plus a little extra for the topping

1. Cook the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water until cooked to your liking.

2. Tip the tuna, passata and basil into a small pan and gently warm. Season to taste.

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For the cheese sauce:

3. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Once melted add the flour and mix to a paste.

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Let this cook for a couple of minutes (this cooks the flour and prevents your sauce from tasting floury), then gradually start adding the milk whilst whisking.

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Keep whisking to ensure there are no lumps, then stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce has thickened.

4. Add the cheese and stir until melted into the sauce. You can add a little white pepper to taste if you like.

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5. Once the pasta has cooked, strain it then return to the pan. Add to this the tuna and the cheese sauces. I added some frozen sweetcorn at this point to give some crunch. Pour into an ovenproof dish and top with some grated cheese.

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6. Pop this until a preheated grill until the cheese is melted and golden.

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In all honesty, this isn’t a ‘throw together in 5 minutes’ kind of meal. It does require the use of a fair few pots:

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But it is worth the extra bit of effort – and by effort, I’m talking a few more pans, and a cheese sauce, nothing complicated.

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This served one adult and four children, but with a bit more pasta would easily feed two adults and numerous children. If I were making this just for the kids, I’d halve the sauce quantities. As a guide I use 80g pasta for an adult, and 50g for a child – however, we have big appetites in my house, so use what you know suits you.

And as with any recipe, you can change it up, add ingredients that your family like, do whatever you fancy. I’ve made this into a tuna lasagne before, just layered the 2 sauces with some lasagne sheets. It’s a lovely dish that my lot wolf down – always a winner!

Happy cooking!

Smoked Haddock Chowder

I mostly have to do my grocery shopping online. Supermarkets do not, willingly, provide triple trolleys (there is such a contraption though!). And anyway, trailing 3×3 year olds around a supermarket sounds like a fate worse than death. I think I’d rather stick hot forks in my eyes. I’m eternally grateful to online shopping. I have no idea what I would have done over the last few years without it (what did folk do before it – seriously?!).

But it’s not perfect. Indeed, sometimes it’s far from it. Sometimes what you think you’re ordering, isn’t actually what you’re ordering. Quantities can go majorly wrong. I’ve got a friend who managed to order her whole shop twice (in the same order). And substitutions? I think the grocery packers get bored, and fill their time with trying to make the most ridiculous substitutions – like the customer who ordered condoms, and received KY jelly (not me I may add).

So when I ordered the fish for this recipe, I thought it was skinless. It looked skinless on the pitiful thumbnail sized picture they let you see. It wasn’t. So I had to cut the skin off. Which is a crap job. There really is no point to this story other than I’m having a whinge about having to de-skin a fish.

Anyway, onto the recipe. This is a lovely dish. It’s a soup, but it’s also so thick and warming and lovely, it’s a whole meal in itself.

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Ingredients

350-450g smoked haddock
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 an onion, chopped
20g butter
peas/sweetcorn/carrot, cubed
300ml fish or vegetable stock
100ml of white wine
300ml milk
75ml double cream
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp tumeric
salt & pepper

This served 3 adults – ok it didn’t, because the Husband went back for seconds – but if you wanted it to serve more, simply double/treble etc the amounts.

1. Melt the butter over a low heat in a large pan, then add the onions and let them soften gently until they’re turning translucent.

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2. Add the stock, wine, potatoes and herbs and bring to the boil.

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3. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked, then lightly mash them but still leaving a lot cubed.

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4. Add the fish, veg and milk, stir well, then leave to simmer for about 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

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Note – I was using up veg leftovers, so my carrot, peas and sweetcorn were already cooked and I added them at this stage. However, if you were using raw carrot, add it with the potato and cook until both are soft. Your veg choice here is completely up to you. I like the added colour of the carrots and peas, but you could just add sweetcorn if you wanted, or no veg at all. It’s completely up to you.

5. Add the cream and warm through, but do not boil (this can split the cream). Season well (taste it until you’re happy), and serve.

This is lovely served with fresh, crusty bread. Like I said, it’s a whole meal in itself, and there’s just something really warming about it.

Happy cooking!

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree (Method 1)

I’ve come across two methods for making kedgeree in my time – both are good, but give slightly different results. I actually tend to use ‘method 2’, which I will blog in time (nothing like a bit of suspense building huh?), but tonight I used ‘method 1’, which I would say is slightly easier, and gives a drier kedgeree result.

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Ingredients

400g smoked haddock
350g rice
3 tbsp curry paste
1 chopped onion
olive oil
frozen peas
2 eggs, hard boiled
salt & pepper

Briefly about the ingredients. I’m a Scottish lass. I grew up in a fishing town on the east coast. So fish was never hard to come by, and always lovely and fresh. However, we now live in Oxfordshire, about as far from the sea as you could get, and getting fresh fish is nigh on impossible. So I have to rely on the supermarkets, where it is usually pretty pricey and not necessarily that good quality (unless my Mum brings me some when she visits – she’s been known to carry it vacuum packed on ice packs down on the train. She’s a good Mum!). Hence why I’ve used frozen smoked haddock fillets here (they’re a bit cheaper, although truth be told the flavour just isn’t as good, so next time I’m buying fresh). So I would recommend fresh fish if you can. And it has to be smoked.

I used 350g rice – for the Husband, me and the 4 kiddiwinkles. This actually left a full adult portion, but as the Husband absolutely loves kedgeree, he’ll eat this for lunch tomorrow, and it keeps me in the good books. I used korma curry paste as I was making this for the kids, but a medium paste would give a bit more spice. You can also use curry powder if you’d prefer – you’d need about 2 tbsp.

So, onto the method.

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Firstly, cook your rice. I read how to cook rice perfectly in an Indian recipe book once, and it’s now my trusted method. It honestly gives you lovely fluffy rice every time, so bear with me. Soak the rice before you cook it, for as long as you can really, but at least about 15 minutes. This makes the cooking time really short. Drain, then add it to a pan of salted boiling water and let it bubble away. You’ve really got to stay on top of it. After a few minutes (literally just a few minutes, probably about 4), test it. You want it to be ‘almost cooked’, just with some bite left.

imageYou wouldn’t class it as cooked at this point, but that’s when you need to remove it from the heat, sieve it and pour it back into the pan. Pop a lid on and leave it. When you return to it after a few minutes it will have finished cooking and you can fluff it with a fork. Hopefully perfect rice!

In a large pan add your chopped onion to about a tablespoon of olive oil. Now I only used half an onion this time, because remember, my children ‘….don’t like onion…’. Still Henry managed to find onion at 20 yards and spent most of dinner time picking it out, one piece at a time.

Cook the onion until it’s soft and starting to brown. Undercooked onion does my head in.

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Add your curry paste or powder to this and let it cook for a few minutes. Whilst this is all going on, place your fish in a pan with water and bring to the boil.

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Simmer for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through, then drain and add to your onion/curry mix. Throw in the peas (if you like peas in your kedgeree) and give it a good mix before adding the rice and mixing through again. You can then add your boiled egg however you want it – or not in my case. Eugh!

Et voila! Kedgeree. This is how it looks in the HC house:

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I will add at this point that it went down with varying popularity with my children. One cleared her plate; one ate about half; one just pushed it about her plate a bit; and Henry ate a little bit around trying to pick out all the onion. With six mouths to feed I’m not about to cook separate meals, but also want us eating a varied menu (the Husband and I need something to look forward to!). So sometimes plates get cleared, and sometimes they don’t. But believe me – missing a meal is not really a problem for my children 😀

Happy cooking!

Poached Salmon in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

So firstly, wow! I was honestly not expecting the support my first post has received. You guys rock! Thank you! Slightly feeling the pressure now to deliver though, eek! But let’s crack on and see what happens huh?


My first recipe isn’t really an everyday meal. We were entertaining this evening – my brother and his wife are visiting from Sweden, so they were here for dinner. Hence why tonight’s meal we’d tend to class as ‘posh grub’. But I’ll be writing about what we’re really eating, so I’m going to start with this. And it’s such an easy, yet bloody tasty recipe, it’s not a bad  place to start.

Poached salmon in a creamy tomato sauce.
Poached salmon in a creamy tomato sauce.

Its funny, but I actually first found this recipe years ago when I was looking for a fish recipe to make for my sister-in-law Johanna (she’s a ‘kind of veggie’, as my Mum once famously told us, “It’s not for ethical reasons, she just doesn’t like the feel of meat in her mouth….”. Moving swiftly on…).

So here I was making it for her again. This is a good example of where I slightly change a recipe to fit the ingredients in my cupboard, and the time I have spare.

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Ingredients:

Poached Salmon

250ml white wine (obviously test first)

100ml white wine vinegar

400ml veg stock

1 tsp dried sage

4 salmon fillets

Tomato Sauce

2 garlic cloves, crushed/ 2 tsp frozen garlic

200ml double cream

30 cherry tomatoes, halved/ tin of cherry tomatoes

The original recipe calls for sage leaves, garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes. But I rarely buy fresh herbs to be honest, and find most can be substituted for dried. And I rarely buy real garlic now. I’m lazy, I’ll freely admit this, and the chopped frozen kind you can buy is way too handy. Lastly, either halve 30 cherry tomatoes or throw in a tin? No contest – I told you I’m lazy!

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Throw the poaching ingredients in a pan. I had to remove the skin from the salmon – finding skinless salmon fillets is not an easy task! By the time I came to poach it, I might have had a glass of wine, and was trying to hold a conversation, so I missed the part in the recipe where it says to simmer the liquid until reduced by half. It would seem it’s not necessarily important! Indeed, you could just poach the salmon in veg stock until cooked through and it would be fine – you wouldn’t get the slight tang of the wine/vinegar mix against the cream sauce, but it would still work. Poach the salmon for about 8 minutes, until it’s cooked through. Or until the rest of your meal is cooked, it really doesn’t matter if it gets a bit longer.

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For the sauce, throw all 3 ingredients into a pan and gently heat. That’s it! I served it with roasted veg. Don’t be put off by the cream sauce – the garlic and tomatoes make it totally lush. You don’t need much. With those ingredients I had some sauce left over.  Simple? Happy cooking.

Oh and the kids had fish fingers 😉