Tag Archives: Heather Christo

Drinks for a Summer Saturday

Cricket is paradise in the summer sun.

Summer is upon us, in some parts of the world it’s Father’s Day this Sunday, and in England we’re playing summer sports; cricket, tennis, and gardening.  OK, the English love gardening.  However English Gentlemen mostly like sitting in the garden sipping something cool while we watch our Good Lady doing all the hard work.  So, some summery drinks…

I really like the look and sound of this strawberry summer water from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is.  And, if you liked, instead of using fresh or sparkling water you could chose a very light white wine instead.  (In passing Jessica says she’s only ever been to a spa once in her life!!!!  Come on guy, pay for her to go to a cool spa!!!)

Strawberry Summer Water

The ever-artistic Heather Christ has these apricot gin and tonics.  Heather says they are perfect for summer sipping, and I for one believe her.

Apricot Gin and Tonics

For some unknown reason, we English drink Pimms in summer ~ never did like the stuff myself.  However, Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has an interesting take on Pimms with her strawberry melon elderflower Pimms cup.  Looks very nice indeed.

Strawberry Melon Elderflower Pimm’s Cup

This watermelon, fresh herbs, & sotol cocktail from Todd at Honestly Yum sounds very cooling.  I suppose that if you’re all out of sotol you could get by with tequila instead.

Watermelon Fresh Herbs & Sotol Cocktail

Todd & Diane, the White On Rice Couple, have this great post about a great drink; the watermelon margarita.  Want to know how to make the perfect watermelon margarita?  Then just click on the link.

‘Inside a Watermelon’ Margaritas

Finally for now, from the lovely Averie Sunshine, I bring you grilled pineapple strawberry lemonade sangria.  I ask you, what’s not to like?

Grilled Pineapple Strawberry Lemonade Sangria

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

a recipe book for you

 

Food on Friday ~ Barbecue

A barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.

It’s officially summer, (well according to most people), and that’s a time to cook food out of doors.  Barbecues, are more an excuse to have a social gathering than a way of cooking food, especially in America.  Menus and recipes should perhaps be chosen with that in mind.

You know what?  I’m terrible at barbecues.

Something traditionally American for an American barbecue; sticky bourbon ribs.  Except this time it’s from English girl Amanda Wren-Greenwood living in France, and her blog Chez la Rêve Français.  This is a 2 hour recipe, but I’m certain the results will be worth it.

Sticky Bourbon Ribs

Now, from another English girl Petra, and her blog Food Eat Love, we have; a perfect day for a smoking barbecue.  You know what?  All my attempts at a barbecue smoke too much….

A Perfect Day for a Smoking Barbecue

at Cooking Up The Pantry gives us a dish that will take some time, but it’s traditionally English and will wow! your guests; barbecued leg of lamb with lots of garlic and rosemary.  I love rosemary ~ the herb I mean.

Barbecued Leg of Lamb with Lots of Garlic and Rosemary

Here’s something we probably wouldn’t have at a barbecue in England; braised bbq beef sandwich.  This is from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes and it simply looks delicious.

Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich

I know that you like collections, so here’s a great collection from Country Living; 50+ grilling recipes for an epic summer cookout.  This collection includes this very interesting coffee and brown sugar coated skirt steak.  Hmmmmm.

Coffee and Brown Sugar Coated Skirt Steak

One of the ‘must haves’ at any barbecue is some great salads. Chungah at Damn Delicious has this light and delicious looking shrimp cobb salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette.  Shrimp, bacon bits, and avocado…  what’s not to like.

Shrimp Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Heather Christo always makes a great looking salads and appetisers.  For those of you who like collections she has 10 of the best amazing healthy huge salads, including this seared tuna with chilli and mango cilantro ginger vinaigrette.  Fabulous.

Seared Tuna with Chilli and Mango Cilantro Vinaigrette

And for something to drink at your BBQ, I give you the 10 best lip-smackingly food margarita recipes.  (Is lip-smakingly even a word?)

~

there are also some great barbecue salads

in last week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Food on Friday ~ Salads

Early Summer Salad Days

The sky is bright blue, the breeze is warm, and the sea is as calm as it gets.  Even here in England it’s warm enough to be thinking salads for lunch and dinner, rather than something hot, filling, and comforting.

For the busy independent lady there are a lot of upsides to making a salad for dinner; it’s a healthy option, salads are usually quick and easy, and you can have some for dinner and take some to work for lunch the following day(s).  The major downside is that you may have to go to the store more often to stock up on really fresh ingredients ~ however, if you learn to shop fast and efficiently, (like a cool guy goes to the store), than that’s not such a big issue.

These dishes are mostly vegetarian, vegan, and maybe gluten-free.

Talking about sunshine; from Averie Cooks California girl Averie Sunshine has this pink and purple potato salad. This looks so ‘pretty’, and isn’t is so much nicer to have a visually attractive dish?  A really good potato salad is such a versatile dish, and this one looks so much better than an average, run-of-the-mill potato salad.

Pink and Purple Potato Salad

Averie also has a pina colada fruit salad for us for dessert.  Personally, if I was making this I’d eschew the idea on using n0n-alcoholic pina colada mix and splash in some booze.

Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Next, from Cookie and Kate, (Cookie is the dog), we have this quinoa broccoli slaw with honey-mustard dressing.  This is vegetarian, but I have no idea if quinoa or almonds are gluten-free.  I think this dish would be great alongside Averie Sunshine’s pink and purple potato salad.

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing

I know you guys love recipe collections, and this week we have a collection from Cookie and Kate, 20 epic salad recipes ~ including this cool Thai mango salad with peanut dressing.

Thai Mango Salad with Peanut Dressing

From English girl Petra at Food Eat Love we have this most excellent and truly amazing Tasmanian olive leaf tea jelly tricolore salad.  This recipe isn’t vegan because we use mozzarella cheese, but I guess you could substitute that for a vegan cheese.

Tasmanian Olive Leaf Tea Jelly Tricolore Salad

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has spring green tossed with beets, avocado, tomato, blood oranges to give us roasted beet salad with blood orange balsamic vinaigrette.

Roasted Beet Salad with Blood Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

From Jessica Merchant at how sweet it is, we have this dead easy and very tasty marinated mozzarella melon salad.  Remember, if you want to make a vegan dish there are plenty of vegan ‘cheeses’ to choose from.

Marinated Mozzarella melon Salad

Finally for this week, from Heather Christo, how about this gorgeous nectarine panzella salad.  You can make this in less than a half-hour, it’s vegan and gluten free.  What’s not to like.

Nectarine Panzella Salad

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Thank you to all the great cooks featured

in this week’s Food on Friday.

jack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Frittata

Real Men don’t eat quiche.

Not all frittata are called frittata, sometimes they’re called a quiche, and in this part of the world they may be called a ham and egg pie.  The thing is a good frittata is an extremely versatile dish.  One can make it for lunch, or a light dinner, and then have it for breakfast, lunch at work, or dinner with a salad the following day.

This is an interesting, quick, and easy recipe from Averie at Averie Cooks ~ kale and tomato frittata.  You can make this in 10 minutes, or if you’re like my friend in Southern California ~ a half-hour.

Kale and Tomato Frittata

This is a fabulous recipe from Heather Christo ~ frittata with shitiake mushrooms and goat’s cheese.  Some say they’re not a fan of goat’s cheese, without ever actually having tried it.  Trust me, this is a great combination.

Frittata with Shitiake Mushrooms and Goat’s Cheese

Heather has another fabulous-looking frittata, which was first featured in the Eggs post of Food on Friday ~ chive and brie frittata.

Chive and Brie Frittata

From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is we have a spiralized sweet potato, kale, and bacon quiche, which looks a fabulous dish.  This recipe may also be better than a normal frittata to take to work for lunch because of the pasty base.

Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale, and Bacon Quiche

From Amanda Wren-Grimwood at Chez Le Rêve Français we have this wonderful seasonal vegetable frittata ~ and I think that’s brave for an English Lady living in France!

Seasonal Vegetable Frittata

I know that my friend in Southern California like butternut squash, (don’t ask me why), so just to please her I have found this recipe from English Lady Petra at Food Eat Love ~ butternut squash frittata.  I guess I could make it for my friend in SoCal…

Butternut Squash Frittata

In this part of England the nearest thing we usually get to a frittata, or a quiche for that matter, is a ham and egg pie, (sometimes and egg and bacon pie).  Savoury pie isn’t something I’ve often seen in my travels around the USA, but you guys should really try this old-fashioned egg and bacon pie.  What a great recipe for a picnic, or as something to take to the office for lunch.

Old Fashioned Egg and Bacon Pie

Finally for this week’s Food on Friday we have another one of those recipe compilations.  This one from All Recipes UK has 62 different frittata for you, including this dead easy onion frittata from Maria Antoniette.

Onion Frittata

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I’m afraid my friend Marmaduke

only likes his eggs soft boiled.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Brunch

Brunch ~ because Mimosas go with Bacon.

Brunch ~ I was pretty certain that the word is an Americanism, until I looked up the etymology and found ‘Brunch’ first appeared in England in the late 19th Century.  However, I think brunch is a great idea, and I have a date for brunch aboard the Queen Mary at Long Beach.  You know what?  A meal taken in the later part of the morning, combining both breakfast and lunch, gives one a long afternoon in which to do lots of fun stuff before taking that lazy pre-dinner nap.

Strictly speaking, some of these recipes can be served for breakfast, a snack, lunch, or dinner, but I think all of them would be great at a classy brunch with a close friend.

First for this week, fresh from Cookie + Kate, we have 14 spring brunch recipes, including this arugula and cremini quiche with gluten-free almond meal crust.

Arugula and Cremini Quiche with Gluten-Free Almond Crust

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has found these fabulous Belgian Waffles with Mango Blueberry Compote, courtesy of the sweet and adventurous Rebecca at Sugar and Soul.

Belgian Waffles with Mango Blueberry Compote

Andrea also has this collection from May 2016; 10 Brunch Recipes Perfect for Mother’s Day ~  including this utterly fabulous roasted garlic asparagus and bacon eggs Benedict with basil avocado cream sauce.  How delightfully decadent.

Roasted Garlic Asparagus and Bacon Eggs Benedict with Basil Avocado Cream Sauce

Lovely Wine Country girl Averie Sunshine has her 15 Favourite Breakfast and Brunch recipes, which includes this sweet potato and mozzarella egg skillet, yummy comfort food ready in 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato and Mozzarella Egg Skillet

Jessica Merchant at how sweet it is also thinks it’s time for brunch with this strawberry citrus Easter punch ~ and then there are these toasted sesame sriracha devilled eggs.  I love devilled eggs, and devilled kidneys if it come to that.

Toasted Sesame Sriracha Devilled Eggs

You can’t have too many egg recipes for a really lavish brunch, and this is a fabulous suggestion from Cooking Up The Pantry; baked eggs in potato skins with chilli.  This gluten and dairy free recipe will make a fabulous snack too.

Baked Eggs in Potato Skins with Chilli

Here’s something delicious looking from Heather Christo; Meyer Lemon Coconut Scones, which are vegan and gluten free.  In a half hour or so you could have this perfect addition to your Easter brunch….

Meyer Lemon Coconut Scones

If you like recipe collections, then you are going to love this; 75 Easy & Delicious Brunch Recipes along with 40 Recipes for the Best-Ever Mother’s Day Brunch, both from Country Living Magazine.  These grab and go spinach and ham bakes are in both collections ~ but you can’t have too much of a good thing.

Grab and Go Spinach and Ham Bakes

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a great big thank you to all the super cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Food on Friday ~ interesting side dishes

You like your potatoes more interesting?

If you’re unlucky side dishes can be really boring, even when the rest of the meal is fabulous.  None of these sides are anything less than interesting, and some of them are good enough to make a tasty snack all on their own.  So, what’s not to like?

I love the look of this recipe from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; crispy oregano smashed potatoes with feta and lemon ~ wow!  Such a fabulous side dish that you could just eat this as a super-filling snack, (and oregano is such a great herb).

Crispy Oregano Smashed Potatoes with Feta and Lemon

Chungah at Damn Delicious gives us these great slow cooker cheesy scalloped potatoes ~ she says this crockpot dish is so damn easy.  Well, it does look so damn good for something that only takes 20 minutes to prepare, and then can be left to cook while you’re doing something else ~ like going to work.  It would be a great accompaniment to Chungah’s bacon scallops too.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Another potato dish, this time from Amanda at Chez Le Réve Français; cheese and onion potato cakes.  This very, very easy 20 minute dish would make a tasty supper as well as a much more interesting side dish than ordinary mashed potatoes.

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes

Something different from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower; cheesy cauliflower mash.  Allegedly this tastes like mac and cheese but has the texture of mashed potatoes.  Weird but nice.  Looks good for a 20 minute dish that would be an interesting side, snack, or something to take to work the following day.

Cheesy Cauliflower Mash

Do you want something spectacular made with potatoes?  Then what about these Tahini whipped potatoes with cilantro chili sauce from Heather Christo?  I bet these are some spicy potatoes.  I’d like to choose Heather’s Peking cranberry lacquered turkey to go with this.

Tahini Whipped Potatoes with Cilantro Chili Sauce

This is a spectacular dish for a romantic dinner for two.  From the lovely Alina at Passion Cook we have salad tulips, (aka devilled cherry tomatoes).  Pretty, or what?

Salad Tulips, (aka Devilled Cherry Tomatoes)

If you like green beans, then you will love these loaded skillet toasted green beans from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It is.  Allegedly, these are the most unboring green beans you can get.  Not bad for a 30 minute dish.  Would go well with Jessica’s unboring bourbon fig + gorgonzola stuffed pork tenderloin.

Loaded Skillet Toasted Green Beans

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thanks ever so to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday

all of these dishes be nice at a Champagne Sunday Brunch, say in Long Beach

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Easy Dinners

Life is so endlessly delicious.

I have a friend, (really… I do have a friend), who tells me that she doesn’t have time to cook and eat properly.  You know what?  Everybody has enough time in the day to cook a great evening meal, made with fresh and healthy ingredients, without spending hours in the kitchen.  Or maybe my friend is just crap at time management.

There are some rules / guidelines / suggestions for not spending hours and hours preparing your regular evening meal, and rule # one is, only use one pan.  If you can’t see the sense in that then go and sit in a darkened room for a couple of hours.

There are three basic variations on the one pan rule, the wok, the crockpot and the sheet pan.

From Chungah at Damn delicious we have sheet pan garlic butter tilapia.  This is a 30 minute recipe, and you can substitute any white fish for the tilapia.  Personally I like deep, cold water fish; cod, haddock, halibut…  and I’d add lots of fresh herbs, like basil and parsley.

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Tilapia

Next, from the lovely Averie Sunshine we have sheet pan chili lime chicken and peppers.  This is another dead easy 30 minute dish, which you could start preparing the night before if you want to give the chicken longer to marinade.

Sheet Pan Chili Lime Chicken and Peppers

OK, so this dish is pushing the 30 minute rule by 15 minutes, but you can get ready-prepared quinoa.  Anyhow, like everything from Heather Christo this vegan roasted vegetable quinoa salad looks fabulous, and it’s also vegan and gluten free.

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Now, from Serious Eats we have 21 stir fry recipes to prove that your wok is your best friend.  I like the look of this best Chinese orange chicken, brought to us hot and fresh from The Food Lab.

Best Chinese Orange Chicken

If you want something even more exotic than Chinese orange chicken, then the cute Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found for us this Chicken Biryani as prepared by Sheryl Julian.

Chicken Biryani

And yet another wok dish, this time from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, asparagus and shiitaki mushroom stir fry.  This is a simple and very quick vegan and gluten free dinner after a busy working day. Now and again I might add shrimp to this…

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Finally for this week, from Country Living magazine, we have 40+ easy slow cooker recipes for busy nights.  This collection includes a fantastic red-eye brisket stew from Marian Cooper Cairns, you can put this in your crockpot in the morning and it will be ready to eat when you get home from work.

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If that’s not enough, then how about 201 quick and easy weeknight meals to get you to the weekend?

a great big thank you to all the cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Shellfish

Europe’s the mayonnaise, but America supplies the lobster.

There are shellfish, and then there are scary shellfish.  Shrimp are really easy to cook ~ it’s pretty much impossible for a reasonable cook to make a mess of a shrimp recipe, but after that maybe things get a little more difficult.  This week we have a mixture of easy shrimp dishes and some other shellfish, which you may think are scary, but aren’t really.

For our first dish for this week, from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français, we have these seared scallops on peas with chorizo.  This is really an easy dish to make, and would be a brilliant light dinner or impressive starter.  As it happens, I like scallops.

Seared Scallops on Peas with Chorizo

Here’s an interesting, gluten-free dish from Heather Christo.  Paleo Beet Pesto with Spicy Herb Shrimp.  This easy 25 minute recipe ticks so many boxes for me, including; Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Beets ~ beets are another of those superfoods…  Anyhow, I also like shrimp.

Paleo Beet Pesto with Spicy Herb Shrimp

Andrea at Cooking With A Wallflower has this super quick and easy recipe for Spicy Garlic Soy Shrimp, I’ve made this dish several times, and I love it.  Serve with rice, noodles, or salad.

Spicy Garlic Soy Shrimp

Another shrimp dish, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious.  This is a cool 5 ingredient dinner, Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp.  I really like the look of this 25 minute dish.  But then I really like all Cungah’s sheet pan recipes.

Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp

Well, I’m certain my friend in Orange County will love this dish from Anne at Tasting Everything; bright and healthy coconut soup with rice noodles and mussels.  On the other hand, I can’t see my friend making this for herself, so maybe I’ll cook it for her the next time I visit SoCal.  Personally, mussels aren’t my favourite shellfish, but this is a great recipe.

Bright and Healthy Coconut Soup with Rice Noodles and Mussels

This is a completely fabulous recipe from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes; Cioppino, a San Francisco Fisherman’s fish and shellfish stew.  You need the freshest possible crab, shrimp, clams / mussels, and a good white fish, but it makes a brilliant dish.  I love it.

Cioppino

And, finally for this week ~ Lobster.  And we have a collection of 35 Lobster Recipes from Great British Chefs.  This collection includes this classic Grilled Lobster from Bryan Webb.  Just how impressive do you want to be?

Grilled Lobster

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Many, many thanks to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Comfort Food

Ultimately, food is the most satisfying form of comfort.

Even though spring has arrived in more southerly parts of the world, it’s still cold and wintry here in Northern England.  Trust me, there’s still a need for comfort food here in the colder parts of the world.

First for you this week, from Joanne at No Plate Like Home is a great English staple ~ shepherds pie.  Usually made with ground beef, but sometimes with ground lamb, this 45 minute dish is a fantastic midweek dinner.

Shepherds Pie

And next, from English Foodie abroad at Chez le Rêve Français, we have another savoury pie, this time a  chicken and leek pie.  This looks a fabulous dish, which should take you around an hour to make.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Now for something easier and quicker from Chungah at Damn Delicious, there’s this great sheet pan steak and fries.  I really like dishes we can make in just one pan.

Sheet Pan Steak and Fries

Soup is also a wonderful winter comfort food, and from Canadian girl Heather at the flourishing foodie I can offer you this cauliflower, leek, and carrot soup.  Would be great with some crusty bread and fresh butter.

Cauliflower Leek and Carrot Soup

Something that isn’t a savoury pie, but kind of ticks all the pie boxes.  From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, there’s this great looking Irishman’s beef brisket burrito.  I’m not usually a fan of burritos, but I really like the look of this dish.

Irishman’s Beef Brisket Burrito

Another Irish Beef dish, this time Irish Beef Stew from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes.  You know what?  In England we really like Irish Beef, but St. Patrick’s Day does nothing for most of us ~ maybe the English history with Ireland is just too long and chequered ~ and likely to more so as Brexit plays out..

Irish Beef Stew

Finally for this week, from Heather Christo, some real late-night comfort food.  This rich, but vegan and gluten free brown sugar spiced banana rum cake.  So, what’s not to like?

Brown Sugar Spiced Banana Rum Cake

A big thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Fish

all men are equal before fish

It’s possible to make some very boring, and even quite nasty meals with fish ~ stargazy pie for one ~ but there are some great recipes out there ~ just don’t make it over-complicated.  For this week’s Food on Friday we have some fantastic fish dishes from some fabulous cooks.  There will be no pieces of salmon among these recipes ~ sometimes salmon is just a cop out, and sometimes farmed salmon isn’t so healthy.

Since most fish dishes cook really quickly, a nice piece of fish makes a great midweek dinner as well as something special for when you have more time.  Choose your fresh fish with care.

Fist up this week; crispy miso cod from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français.  This is an easy dish, but you have to give the fish long enough in the marinade to let it really absorb the flavours ~ it’s worth it.  If you’ve never cooked with miso before, give yourself a treat, buy a jar, try a miso recipe, I hope you’ll love it.

crunchy-miso-cod-6

Crispy Miso Cod

Cod is such a great fish ~ cod and chips is a great English dish ~ that I make no excuse for more dishes featuring this white fish.  Here we have roast cod and cherry tomatoes from Heather Christo.  If you haven’t tried it before, fish and tomato is a magical combination.

roast-cod

Roast Cod and Cherry Tomatoes

From Petra at Food Eat Love we have a very quick, very easy, and very interesting dish; quick cured,pan fried cod with sauce verte.   Really, this is a 20 minute recipe you could serve as a starter or a light meal.  I love the colours in this dish.

07feb_codsalad

Quick Cured, Pan Fried Cod with Sauce Verte

As a change from cod, we have another white fish, sea bass.  This recipe for crisp skillet sea bass with pistachio butter is from Jessica Merchant, at How Sweet It Is, and it should take you about 40 minute from start to plate ~ looks fabulous.  And for good measure, from BBC Good Food, here’s another 27 sea bass recipes.  You know what?  Unless you’re a fisherman, and have caught the bass yourself, I wouldn’t necessarily choose sea bass over cod.

skillet-sea-bass-i-howsweeteats-com-6

Crisp Skillet Sea Bass with Pistachio Butter

For those of you in California we have another really colourful sea bass recipe, this time from Averie Sunshine; orange glazed Chilean sea bass with dill, cucumber, and orange champagne relish.  Trust me ~ there’s no champagne in this, and if you have cider vinegar you’ll do just fine.

seabass-9

 Orange Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Dill, Cucumber, and Champagne Relish

Finally for this week we have a recipe collection from The Huffington Post Canada; 23 cod recipes you’ll want to cook tonight….  Among the great dishes is this simple black cod, black radish, and turmeric, which I’d serve with rice and a side salad.  It’s a simple dish from a simple guy at Six Course Dinner ~ and trust me, the fish isn’t actually black.

black-cod

Black Cod, Black Radish and Turmeric

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P1030584many thanks to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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