Thursday, 25 April 2013

Orange and harissa glazed mackerel

I know it's been ages since my last blog post. I have to admit, I am still all wrapped up in other things, and feel like I'm too busy to cook. Which obviously is an illusion, as I eat something every day, so I do cook something. But it's mostly my usual carrots-tomatoes-sweet peppers-salmon/chicken salad. And then I come home at night and eat the most incredible crap. I have been using my current life situation as an excuse to live such an unhealthy life, and I have put on tons of weight. But that has to change soon. I'm all out of excuses now. I have spent the last few months first worrying about finding a new job, then applying for jobs, then doing assessment exercises, and then going to interviews. And finally, this week I have signed a new contract and resigned from my current job. I still have a move possibly coming up, but other than that, it's back to routines for me. 

I don't have any new exciting recipes yet, although hopefully I will get around to cooking something really soon. To be honest, I do have a funny little concoction going in the slow cooker, but that is no culinary wonder, it's just a mix of stuff I have had hanging around in my kitchen and really needed to use up. Back in the good old days, when I was still motivated to cook and try new things, I made this orange glazed mackerel. I am in such a fish rut, all I eat is salmon. I really need to make this agan, it was rather good. The recipe is from BBC Good Food and I have modified it slightly. It's really quick and easy, and the orange and harissa gives it a great flavour of sweet and spicy.
Orange and harissa glazed mackerel (serves 2):
1 mackerel 
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp virgin coconut oil
1 small orange, juice and zest
1-2 tsp harissa paste
50 g pine nuts, toasted (if you can be bothered, I couldn't)
chopped corianer

Fillet the mackerel, and sprinkle with the paprika. Mix orange juice, zest and harissa paste in a small bowl. Heat a frying pan with the coconut oil, and add fish. Cook the fish for a few minutes on both sides. Add the glaze and let bubble until sticky. Sprinkle with pine nuts and coriander right before serving. 
The verdict:
I really liked this recipe, it was very different from what I would usually make. The flavours go really well together and the sweetness from the orange juice and zest compliment the harissa really well. I really like mackerel, but if you buy smoked mackerel it has so much added salt. Preparing your fish from scratch yourself will help you keep it much healthier, and although it seems like a lot of work to fillet the fish, it really isn't. Yes, it's a bit yucky, but it's totally worth it!

Card of the day:
Today the card of the day is a colourful birthday card for a friend. I used Tim Holtz distress embossing ink to randomly stamp two Hobbycraft Mini Clear Stamps (Daisy and Thistle) onto Hobbycraft ivory cardstock. I then heat embossed using Ranger Super Fine Detail clear embossing powder and cut the figure into five strips. I applied Tim Holtz distress inks wild honey, worn lipstick, dusty concord, broken china and peeled paint using a foam applicator for the background to bring out the stamped images. I attached it all onto black card stock and used two ribbons, a wider clear and a smaller white with silver borders for the detail and the bow. I attached it all onto Craft UK kraft cardstock and sprayed with a perfect pearl mist. Super easy and colourful card which was very easy to make. I will certainly use this technique in the future as well.

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