Tag: fish

Cod al Cartoccio with Ramp and Red Onion

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

My beloved ramp is back in season, ready to add its garlicky spiciness to fish, meat and vegetables, and to one of my favourites of course: fragrant ramp pesto!

I’ve been looking for it impatiently over the past few weeks and when I finally spotted the first bunch at my organic supermarket I had to call my boyfriend instantly, he’s almost more obsessed with these green spring leaves than I am. We changed our dinner plans from gnocchi with blue cheese sauce to spaghetti with pesto, and that was just the beginning of our re-awakened green passion! Cod al cartoccio on a bed of ramp and red onions was next on my list. It’s not only very delicious but also a very convenient match. I wrapped the fish in a parchment paper package with a little white wine, olive oil and lemon juice and cooked it in the oven for 15 minutes, all in all it took less than half an hour including the preparation! If you’re still looking for a light and easy family Easter lunch, think al cartoccio. It cooks the fish to perfection while you can create your desired aroma of herbs and vegetables, it tastes divine and looks beautiful on the table.

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

 

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

Cod al Cartoccio with Ramp and Red Onion

For 2 people you need

cod fillet, about 2 1/2cm / 1″ thick, 400g / 14 ounces
ramp, stalks cut off, a large bunch (about 50g / 1 3/4 ounces)
small red onion, cut in half and into thin slices, 1
white wine 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
olive oil 2 tablespoons plus more for the parchment paper
sea salt and pepper

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (fan-assisted oven).

Cut 2 large pieces of parchment paper, big enough to wrap the fish, lay them on top of each other and brush the top layer with olive oil. Lay the ramp leaves in the middle of the oiled parchment paper (leave 2 leaves out and put aside), place the cod on top and season with salt and pepper. Lay 1 ramp leaf on top of the fillet and arrange the onions around the fish. Whisk the wine, olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the fish. Close the parchment paper like a bonbon and fold the top twice. Place in a baking dish and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes, if you can separate the fish (gently) with a fork it’s done, if it needs a little longer close the parchment paper and put back into the oven (mind not to overcook it!). Chop the raw ramp leaf and sprinkle over the cooked fish, serve with fresh baguette and a glass of chilled white wine!

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

 

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

 

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

Brook Trout al Cartoccio with Artichokes and Olives

Arctic Char al Cartoccio with Artichokes and Olives

A special guest calls for a special meal! My partner’s mother Jenny came to visit us from Malta for a few days and, as always when we have a special guest, I got overly excited about planning our dinners and sightseeing trips days before she arrived. I love to have her here and it’s been a while since her last visit so there was a lot to pack into six days!

During one of our last phone calls she asked if we could make a Bavarian Beer Roasted Pork. It’s been years since I cooked it for her but she enjoyed it so much that she never forgot about our Bavarian night. Our first day together in Berlin was quite busy, I had to travel, my partner had a concert and we could only fit in a lunch. Inspired by all those wonderful Mediterranean seafood feasts we had at Jenny’s house in Msida this summer, I wanted to present a fish of the north, brook trout. I love its earthy taste, somewhere between trout and salmon, and its beautiful pink colour. It’s a member of the salmon family and lives in streams and brooks, although it’s called trout it’s actually a char. I prefer to cook sweet water fish al cartoccio wrapped in parchment pepper with spices, herbs and strong flavours like bacon or capers, like in my trout recipe. This method keeps the meat juicy and infuses it with all the delicate aromas it’s filled with and wrapped in. For my brook trout, I chose artichokes, parsley, olives and bay leaves which bring out the best in any kind of sweet water fish. Cooked for about half an hour in some white wine, it just needed a fresh, crunchy baguette to dip into the juices to make a delicious lunch for my beloved guest!

Arctic Char al Cartoccio with Artichokes and Olives

 

Arctic Char al Cartoccio with Artichokes and Olives

Brook Trout al Cartoccio with Artichokes and Olives

For 2 people you need

brook trout 1 (about 500g / 1 pound)
black olives 10
small preserved artichoke hearts (tinned), cut in half, 6
parsley, a small bunch garlic, quartered, 3 cloves
bay leaves 2
white wine 100ml / 3.5 ounces
olive oil
salt and pepper

Set the oven to 180°C / 355°F.

Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper, about 20cm / 8″ longer than the fish. Put them on top of each other and brush the top with olive oil. Lay the trout in the middle and season it with salt and pepper inside and out. Put 1 bay leaf and half of the parsley under the fish and the other bay leaf and the remaining parsley inside. Fold up the sides of the parchment paper, twisting the ends without closing it. Arrange the artichokes, garlic and olives around the fish and pour the wine over it. Close the top by folding it twice, put the cartoccio in a baking dish and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes.

The fish is done if you can lift the meat with a knife off the bone. Gently cut along the middle line on one side to check. If it needs a little longer fold the parchment paper to close it again and put it back into the oven for a few minutes. Enjoy with fresh baguette and a glass of white wine!

Arctic Char al Cartoccio with Artichokes and Olives

 

Arctic Char al Cartoccio with Artichokes and Olives

Salmon with a Green Pepper, Coriander and Fennel Crust

Salmon with Spice Crust

Last week’s visit to Reims and the delicious seafood I enjoyed during my short stay in France inspired me to cook fish again. I went to the market and spotted a nice fillet of salmon and my decision was made! It looked firm, nice in colour and it smelled fresh like the sea. I like salmon in combination with aromatic flavours, in January I wrote about my salmon with wintery spices baked in the oven, with bay leaf, juniper and cloves. I just restocked the jars of my spice box, my fennel and coriander empty within weeks, I’m often surprised how quickly! When I go to the market to buy spices I always take an extra few minutes to look around at what’s on offer. All the little bags and boxes filled with precious powders, berries, herbs from far away countries, so many different smells and colours, it’s a sensual journey to another world! I always buy more than there is on my list, this time a package of green peppercorns came home with me unexpectedly. Green pepper berries are picked before they are ripe, they have a strong spiciness like black pepper but very aromatic, a bit flowery.

My pick was a good choice as I wanted to pack a thick crust of coarse spices on my salmon again, this time it’s green pepper, coriander and fennel. Not a hint of spices, more of an attack, but the fish can handle that. Even more so, it was delicious. First, I thought I went a bit overboard with the spicy pepper but after the first bite I was happy I did. To prevent the crust from falling off I glazed the fish with an egg on the fleshy side, it didn’t effect the taste but kept the spices where they should be.

For 2 I had a 300g / 10.5 ounces fillet of salmon, brushed with 1 mixed egg (just on the fleshy side) and covered with a mixture of  green peppercorns, fennel seeds and coriander (1 tablespoon of each), crushed coarsely in a mortar, and some salt. I fried the fish in a large pan in olive oil, 5 minutes on each side on medium heat, the skin side first before I flipped it around and added some more oil, carefully so that the crust wouldn’t fall off. We just had  some slices of baguette and a salad on the side, my favourites with fish, apart from a glass of white wine.

Salmon with Spice Crust

 

Salmon with Spice Crust