Salmon fillet with a zingy coconut and coriander crust and leeky mash



Salmon with a zingy coconut and coriander crust

Now that summer’s here, I’m always looking for fresh and inventive ways to tickle the old taste buds.  So, I came up with a delicious twist on a seasoned favourite.

I’ve noticed recently that in the cool-display near to the fresh fish counter at Spanish supermarket, Mercadona,  they now have what they call “Plancha de Salmon, sin espinas”  – larger pieces of salmon fillet (without bones), usually weighing around one kilo.  At €12.50 per kilo, it’s not only a saving of a few euros over the smaller pieces, but no fish bones to contend with either.  Result!

Salmon without bones, for sale in Mercadona

I cut the salmon into portions, sprinkled some lemon juice over them, and put them onto a plate in the microwave on a low setting for a few minutes, until they were well on the way to being ready.

In the meantime, after peeling some potatoes to make the mash, I put them on to boil and, in a separate pan, gently fried some leeks in butter – until they had just softened.

Home-grown red chilli peppers

For the zingy topping, I didn’t want to use breadcrumbs so I mixed together some grated coconut (coco rallado), finely chopped one of these lovely little chilli peppers I grew in the garden last summer (which has been in the freezer ever since), half a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, a dessertspoon of mayonnaise, freshly-chopped coriander (cilantro) straight from the herb garden, a twist of black pepper and enough milk to ease the mixture so it was spreadable.

All I had to do then was carefully transfer the salmon fillets onto a baking tray, spread the zingy topping mixture over the salmon and pop them under a medium grill.

Adding the leeks to the mashed potato

Whilst keeping an eye on the salmon, I mashed the potatoes and added a little milk and butter then gently stirred in the softened leeks.

After three or four minutes, the crust on the salmon was just starting to brown nicely, so it was time to serve the leeky mash into bowls and drape the salmon artistically on top! 

Salmon fillet with a zingy coconut and coriander crust

This crust topping will work equally well on any white fish or chicken.

Why not give it a try? Let me know how you get on, won’t you?



Easy Chocolate Fudge That Will Make You Drool

Chop the chocolate fudge into squares and ENJOY!

We went to a friend’s house on New Year’s Eve, rather than pay loads of money to eat out somewhere.  I supplied the bubbles and a starter, whilst she made the main course.  I also took this ridiculously easy-to-make chocolate fudge, which was a big hit.

It’s very simple to make and literally takes five minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

I cup chopped chocolate (I chopped up 1 x 150g bar of supermarket brand, milk chocolate – but use dark or white chocolate if you prefer)
170g tube of condensed milk
1/8 cup butter
1/8 cup peanut butter (if you don’t like peanut butter – make it 1/4 cup butter instead)

I also added a handful each of roughly chopped almonds and currants, but you can just as easily leave these out.

Here’s what you do:

Put the condensed milk, chopped chocolate, butter and peanut butter into a bowl and microwave at 800W for 2 minutes.

Take out, give it a good stir and put back into the microwave for a further 1 minute.

In the meantime, roughly chop the almonds and currants.

When the microwave pings, add the fruit and nuts to the mixture and give a final stir.

Line a plastic sandwich box (mine was 20 x 13 cms) with greaseproof paper and pour the thick mixture into it.  Spread out into the corners and allow to cool slightly before putting into the fridge for an hour to chill.

Cut up into squares and ENJOY!

What’s your favourite recipe that is quick and easy to make?

If you like this, you might also enjoy these other recipes:

Easy No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies

Patatas a lo pobre: Poor man´s potatoes

Fresh Figs Stuffed with Goat´s Cheese and wrapped in Smoked Bacon

Chickpea and chorizo soup with smoky paprika bread

Chickpea and chorizo soup

Well, we’ve arrived safely home in Spain after being Down Under for the past four months.  We’ve had an amazing time, but it’s always good to be back in your own bed, and with more possessions than you can fit into a suitcase, isn’t it?

Although it has just started raining as I write this post, the three days since we arrived home have been sunny and warm, but the evenings soon feel chilly once the sun has gone down.   So what better to warm us up than a bowl of hot soup, especially one full of Spanish flavours?


To make this delicious Chickpea and Chorizo soup, you will need the following ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 (340g) chorizo sausages (chopped coarsely)

1 large brown onion (diced)

1 medium red pepper (diced)

2 cloves garlic (crushed)

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 level teaspoon of dried mixed herbs (or use fresh if you have them)

750mls (3cups) chicken stock

400g jar of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

For the Smoky Paprika Bread, you will need:

1 level teaspoon smoked paprika

1 clove garlic (crushed)

50g butter (softened)

1 loaf of crusty bread (sliced thickly)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the chorizo.  Cook, stirring until slightly browned.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon  and set aside.

Add the diced onion, red pepper and garlic to the pan.  Cook, stirring until the onion has softened.  Add the undrained tomatoes and the chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chickpeas.

Remove two cups of soup and purée in a blender.  Return to pan along with the chorizo.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  (I like to add a few whole black peppercorns to the soup to give it an extra bite).

To make the Smoky Paprika Bread – combine smoked paprika, garlic and softened butter in a small bowl.  Spread half of the flavoured butter onto the bread slices and pop under the grill until browned.  Turn each slice over, spread the remaining butter and toast the second side until browned and crisp.

Serve the soup with Smokey Paprika Bread immediately.

Que approveche!


You might also enjoy:

Patatas a lo pobre: Poor man´s potatoes

Fresh Figs Stuffed with Goat´s Cheese and wrapped in Smoked Bacon

The heart of Cómpeta: El Paseo de las Tradiciones 

Andalucían sizzling hot spicy prawns

Gambas al pil-pil

Gambas pil-pil: There is nothing more typical in Andalucían cookery than spicy prawns served sizzling hot with crusty bread to mop up the juices – together with a glass of chilled white wine or manzanilla, of course!

This quick and easy dish uses three classic ingredients of Spanish cookery – shellfish, garlic and olive oil.   Why …. you’ll even hear sound effects as the sizzling prawns pop and splutter in the hot oil as you bring this time-honoured Andalucían dish to your table.

Maybe you’ve returned home from Andalucía and want to recreate memories of a perfect lunch under the shade of the trees in a quiet plaza. Or you dream of sitting on a sunny terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, watching the palm trees sway in the gentle breeze as the waiter serves your tapas.

Now, what could be more evocative than that?


Here´s what you need for each person:

  • 10-12 large peeled prawns (uncooked) per person for a starter, or 15-17 for a light main course (gambas)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (aceite de oliva)
  • A few stems of flat-leaf parsley (perejil)
  • 2 plump cloves of garlic (ajo)
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika spice, adjust according to taste.  Alternatively, if you can find it, use specially prepared pil-pil spice, sold at most Spanish street-markets on the spice stall. Most recipes omit this ingredient, but without it the dish lacks the classic colour and depth of flavour.
  • 1 small dried hot chilli pepper
  • Fresh, crusty bread or rolls
  1. Heat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Peel, clean and de-vein the prawns. Wash them in cold water and dry thoroughly.
  3. Chop the garlic into small slices.
  4. Finely chop the parsley reserving some for the garnish.
  5. Chop the dried chilli pepper, discarding the seeds if you prefer a less fiery flavour.
  6. When the oven comes to temperature put the olive oil into a small ovenproof dish (use one per person), and put in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until the oil starts to bubble.
  7. Remove the dish or dishes from the oven, stir in the paprika powder, peppers, garlic and most of the parsley.
  8. Add the prawns, ensuring they are well coated with the mix.
  9. Return to the oven for 4-5 minutes, until the oil is bubbling vigorously and the prawns have just turned pink. Don´t overcook them as they will become rubbery.
  • Garnish with remaining parsley, and serve immediately, still in the ovenproof dishes, while the oil is still bubbling.
  • Serve with a well-chilled white wine and fresh crusty white bread to mop up the spicy oil.