Smoked Salmon Tart

Hot Smoked Salmon Tart

This is a super easy tart recipe that can be on the table in about half an hour or so. It also makes use of hot smoked salmon – the type that you buy in a large chunk, not the fine slices. You could use any smoked fish, really. If you’re in the northern hemisphere smoked mackerel would work really well, particularly with the horseradish.

The original recipe comes from Woman and Home. It’s an English magazine (and one I confess I never read while I lived there) and the recipes usually look really good but are relatively little work.

When I made this tart I cheated and used some leftover (bought!) pastry that we had hanging around the fridge – you can probably tell from the photo that it was a combination of shortcrust and puff! Of course, you can make your own shortcrust, or perhaps even buy a ready made tart case. How much work you want to put in is your choice!

Remove the skin from the fish (if it’s still on) and flake the fish into the tart case. You want reasonably even sized pieces but don’t get too hung up about that. You definitely want an even covering of fish though!

For the filling, I used 1 egg yolk and 4 eggs, 1 generous tsp of horseradish and about 2 generous tbsp of cream. Whisk this all together and season with pepper (remember – no salt! Don’t add salt to uncooked eggs!). Gently pour over the fish and place the tart in an oven preheated to 170°C (fan, 190°C normal). Bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling is puffed, golden and firm to touch.

In summer, you could serve this tart at room temperature with a salad. However, as it’s decidedly not summer here, it was served on hot plates with steamed veggies.

Either way – perfect quick supper food!

Fish en Papillote


Generally when we buy fish we just pan fry it. And in many respects there’s nothing nicer than a piece of fresh fish, quickly fried off in a bit of butter.

However, aiming for something a bit different, while staying light, I decided to give fish en papillote (wrapped in paper, baked and effectively steamed in its own juices) a go. I had a flick through a few cookbooks but couldn’t really find anything in the way of recipes that was satisfactory so just had to make it up as I went along.

I had bought two rather massive fillets of mulloway. If you are going to cook fish en papillote you need to make sure you’ve chosen something meaty and firm fleshed. Whiting or garfish just aren’t going to cut it – if you have those to hand, fry them off in a bit of butter!

Take a large piece of tin foil and cover it with a similarly sized piece of baking paper. You can really put whatever you want in your parcel but the thing to remember is that the fish will cook quickly so if you use any of the harder vegetables you’ll need to make sure you cut them finely. You also don’t want to go overboard with your flavours.

In my case, I’d already decided I was heading for an Asian themed dish (mainly because there was some fresh coriander in the fridge that needed using). I started by finely slicing some onion and then very very finely slicing some carrot (I actually used the mandolin to create long thin strips which I then cut into fine threads). I placed the fish on the bed of carrot, topped with some finely chopped spring onion and finely sliced lemon (using the mandolin, again) and anointed with a dressing made of soy sauce, sesame oil and some grated ginger. The soy gives the finished fish some much needed colour!

You do need to wrap your parcels well – begin by folding up the paper parcel and then use the tin foil to create a good seal. You need to leave space for the steam which will be generated by cooking, but you don’t want it to escape!

Bake at 200°C for around 15-20 minutes. The timing here depends a lot on your fish – after 15 minutes I pulled ours out, checked the larger piece and returned them to the oven for another 5 minutes.

You can serve the fish in its parcel (we discarded the tin foil layer) or, if you’re feeling brave, you can plate it up and pour the sauce from the parcel over the fish. Top with chopped coriander. We had the spicy fried potatoes with this – perhaps a little bit of a cultural mish-mash, but effectively just fish and chips!

Mexican Baked Fish

mexican baked fish 1

Earlier in the week I bought a few too many Coorong mullet fillets and we weren’t able to eat them all in one go (er, strictly speaking, we weren’t able to fit them in the pan all in one go – I’m sure if we tried we’d have been able to eat them all up!).

Rather than just pan fry them again I wanted to do something a bit more warming and filling.  I’m not going to complain about Adelaide’s weather again (especially not as it was 22°C yesterday) but we did need something more substantial than just a bit of pan fried fish!

This Mexican baked fish recipe sounded perfect. It verges on being a store cupboard recipe and, when made with a thinner fish fillet, such as the mullet, is super speedy.

Quantities below are for two people – assuming one fillet of fish each.

Take your fish fillets and rub in some salt and lime juice. Set aside while you get yourself sorted.

If you are using thinner fillets, you can get away with doing this all in the one pan, on the stove top. If you’re using thicker fillets, preheat your oven to 200°C.

Heat some oil in the pan and fry the fish. Thinner fillets, you really want to cook the fish, thicker ones, just sear the fish’s skin side. Remove the fish from the pan.

In the now empty pan, cook a single sliced onion until translucent. Add a crushed clove of garlic (or more, if you fancy) and cook for another minute or two before adding 200g (half a tin) of crushed tomatoes. Stir and then add half a red capsicum, finely sliced, a generous splash of water, and the juice of at least half a lime. Add roughly chopped green olives, capers and chilli flakes to taste (I used about 10 olives, about 1 tbsp of capers and a generous sprinkling of chilli). Allow this to cook for 10 minutes or so and adjust seasoning. You want the sauce to thicken up a fair bit, so you may need to cook for a little longer to evaporate off any extra liquid and to intensify flavours.

When you’re happy with the sauce, return the fish to the pan and cover it with the sauce. Thin fillets – you are just heating through, but if you’re using thicker fillets, pop the pan in the oven to finish cooking the fish.

We served this with coriander and lime rice (yes, that’s plain rice with lime juice and chopped coriander stirred through it – as I was using left over rice, I also gave it a quick fry up … delicious!) and an extra wedge of lime.

The really important thing here is to not omit the lime juice. Really and truly. You can forget about the capers or the olives if they’re not your thing, or they’re not in the cupboard but you really CANNOT do without the lime. It lifts the dish and, I think, makes it feel Mexican.

To drink: a cold beer would work, as would a lime-like Clare Valley Riesling.