Kitchen Notes: Building flavour and a warm salad

Rosemary

I think of flavours in terms of tones, going from earthy and sweet to sour and light, and various grades in between. And I like my food to have a range of tones of flavours, be multidimensional. I know it may seem strange to talk of food in such terms, but somehow it makes sense. A garnish of certain fresh herbs on a meaty stew or curry.  A squeeze of lemon or lime or a drizzle of brightly-flavoured extra virgin oil on pasta or salad lift that dish to more interesting heights. I also often use fresh chillies to give that uplift. I mix raw and cooked, grains and brightly flavoured vegetables, add the afore mentioned flourishes in order to achieve these tastes. They rock my boat, they just do it for me.

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Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets with coriander

If you don’t have curry leaves, you can use fresh coriander in Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets.  The other day, I  I made the fish cakes with coriander, instead of curry leaves, and lemon instead of lime juice. I also add about a tbsp of desiccated coconut. It worked great!

Sri Lankan fish cutlets

Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets (the recipe)

Here is the recipe for Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets that I promised earlier.

I love these delicious fish cakes, or fish cutlets. This is the best way to use the humble tinned tuna, I promise! Serve them as snacks, or perhaps in sandwiches. I had them with thin slices of raw red onion, and it worked just great, though I must admit I usually really don’t like raw onion.

UPDATE 22 May 2010: I made the fish cakes with coriander, instead of curry leaves, and lemon instead of lime juice. I also add about a tbsp of dessicated coconut. It worked great!

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Sri Lankan Fish Cutlets

 

SOURCE:  Jasmine

PREPARATION TIME: about 15 min

COOKING TIME: 30 min

CUISINE: Sri Lankan

SERVES: 3 – 4 (makes about 14 – 15 6 cm wide fishcakes) 

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium potatoes, cubed

2 tins of tuna

½ medium red onion, chopped finely

2 – 3 green chillies, chopped finely, deseeded if you wish

A few springs of curry leaves, shredded (I used 4, but I like curry leaves a lot)

½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground (or coarsely ground cumin and black pepper mixture)

½ tsp or more Sri Lankan chili powder

2 tbsp breadcrumbs, plus extra for coating

Lime juice to taste (start with ½ lime, and add more if you want)

Salt

2 medium eggs, beaten (or one large, with a little bit of water stirred in)

Oil for deep frying

  

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METHOD:

1.      Boil the potatoes until soft. When they’re done, drain the potatoes and leave to cool in the sieve. You want the water from the potatoes to evaporate, so do leave them for long enough.

2.      In the meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients except for the salt and lime juice, and mix them in a bowl. When the potatoes have cooled down, mash them and add to the mixture in the bowl. Add the lime juice and salt to taste.

3.      Time to shape the cutlets! Take about a golf-ball sized amount of mixture and roll it into a ball. Next, flatten the ball, dip into the egg, and then into bread crumbs. Do all the cutlets in this way.

4.      Pour oil into a deep pan, or a wok (which is what I used, and what Jasmine uses), and put on medium high. You’ll need enough oil for deep frying, a few centimeters, I’d say. The oil is hot enough when it sizzles when you insert a wooden spoon inside.

5.      Fry the cutlets for a few min on each side, until they’re heated through and the coating is cooked. Enjoy!

 

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More Sri Lankan Food at Maninas:

 The aroma of curry leaves: Sri Lankan cooking (Introduction)

Sri Lankan spices (including recipes for Sri Lankan garam masala, curry powder and more!)

Varar – Sri Lankan cabbage and leek with coconut (V)

Sri Lankan coconut dhal (V)

Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry (V)

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      This is my entry for this week’s WHB, hosted by Susan from

      The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Tuna with a Twist

Yet another spontaneous post! This is my version of the old favourite – tuna & mayo sandwich! Delicious! Yes, I know that tuna sandwiches are normally not very exciting, but I simply loved this version with fresh basil and lemon juice, that I had to share it with you! So simple, and yet so wonderful! My other motive: making a note of it, in case my memory fails me, which happens often these days…

Pille from nami-nami, one of my favourite bloggers, is hosting this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, a fantastic event started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. I’m sending this entry over to Pille, with a photo of my beautiful basil (see below). Basil was recently voted the most popular herb of the 2nd year of Weekend Herb Blogging! Click here for round-up of this event!

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Basil

Tuna & Mayo Sandwich with Basil, Lemon and Black Pepper

 

SOURCE: momentary inspiration, own recipe

PREPARATION TIME: 2 min

COOKING TIME:  0 min

SERVES: 1 – 2

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices of wholemeal bread, or any other that you fancy

1 tin of tuna

2 tsp mayonnaise, 3 if you dare (or add a little yogurt)

a few leaves of basil

a squirt of lemon juice

black pepper

METHOD:

  • Mix tuna and mayonnaise in a bowl.
  • Divide the mixture between two slices of bread.
  • Sprinkle the bread and tuna mixture with fresh basil leaves, freshly ground black pepper and squirt some lemon over it. That’s that!

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