Sunday, 21 September 2008

Lemon sole, red onion and baked potatoes

Last night I made a new dish - pan fried lemon sole, red onion gratin and garlic and lemon baked potatoes. I was really in the mood for some fish - I wanted a light but tasty Sunday dinner that gave me some vitamins and was fairly healthy. I started a new job this week and it threw me out food wise and instead of taking in food I was indulging in a lot of M&S lunches so felt I needed to make up for that!

Onion Gratin (based on Jamie Oliver recipe)

Take four red onions, quarter them and then flake out the layers into an oven proof dish
Slice up four cloves garlic and add to onion along with some olive oil, a glass of white wine and some salt and pepper
Mix together, cover with tinfoil and put in the oven to roast until soft (approx 45 mins)
Take off foil and allow to roast until they start to caramlise
Then add four tablespoons of creme fraiche, a small cupful of gruyere cheese and a small cupful of parmesan
Roast until all golden and yummy looking (very techy terminology here!)

Lemony, garlicky baked potatoes

As many potatoes as people pricked with a fork and wrapped in foil
Bake in oven until cooked through (medium ones will take 50-60 mins)
Remove foil and bake until skin is nice and crisp
Take potatoes out the oven and allow to cool for about 10 mins
Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the insides into a bowl
Add some olive oil, a couple of finely chopped garlic cloves and the juice of half a lemon
Mix up then add milk as needed to make lovely silky mashed potatoe
Spoon mashed potatoe back into the skins
You now have two choices:

1. Leave the halves apart and top with sliced tomatoe and cheese and bake until golden on top
2. With the cheese in the red onion you may feel more cheese is too heavy. In which case press together the halves of potatoe to make 'whole' potatoes again and bake for another 10 minutes. If the halves won't stik together knit them with a coktail stick!

I did the 2nd option and they were really light, fluffy and zesty.

Lemon sole

Take as many fillets as there are people
In a dish give a quick salt and pepper to the fillets then dust with flour
Gently shake off any excess flour
Heat oil in a frying pan
Fry skin side down until the skin is crisping then flip over to cook for another 1-2 minutes or until cooked

Serve with glasses of the white wine you opened earlier and enjoy!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

The Doric Tavern

On Wednesday I had dinner with my friend Mac at The Doric Tavern on Market Street, Edinburgh. It is just across from one of the entrances to Waverly Station which was great for me as I was going back to Dundee - it's a good place to meet up if train travel is involved. The Doric serves traditional Scottish food in paired back surroundings that reflect the history of the building and with none of the usual kitsch tartan-shortbread trappings you often get in restaurants that deliver traditional Scottish food.

I had the Cullen Skink for starters and Mac had a pear and wlanut salad that looked very tasty. I had never had Cullen Skink before and was a bit worried at the idea of a soup based on fish and dairy. But it was light and the fish was chunky and not too overpowering. Next, Mac had haggis, neeps and tatties which were served in the old fashioned trimuvirate of scoops - albeit almond shaped ones. But sometimes old Skool is what you want and certainly Mac seemed quite happy with his choice. I had a goats cheese and beetroot salad which was lovely - just the right balance of cheese, beetroot and salad leaves. Of course, I had to balance the salad by ordering a side of chips - chunky wedges that were perfect to satisfy the craving for carbs I had. I am sure many diners who consider themselves sophisticates in the arena of food would balk at my behaviour but what is food if not something to enjoy?

So - a good meal and fabulous company made for an excellent evening!