family dinner

Thai-inspired salmon tray-bake

So tray bakes ...

Well, first ... I was at my sister's in Cornwall the last few days, walking on this beach ... 

Spending time with my family, laughing and playing, and also lots of time creating, writing and cooking.

It's very different cooking for a family than for one or two adults (usually) and it made a really lovely change.

I especially liked the simple and delicious tray bake we made last night - just putting chicken thighs into a dish with cherry tomatoes on the vine, a couple of chopped rashers of bacon,, a garlic clove, minced, and new potatoes - served with steamed tenderstem broccoli.


And all the way home, five hours on the train, I was half thinking, half brewing, what I could do for a Thai-inspired version of an easy one-pot tray-bake.

I had a friend coming for dinner tonight, so she was going to be my guinea pig!

I wasn't sure to be honest that it would work.

BUT we LOVED it!

And I'm SO utterly thrilled it was so good, and so simple too!

Current favourite easy dinner!


OK, what you need for two people:

Some new potatoes, however many you want to eat! (I think I allowed 5-6 each)

Approx 150 ml coconut milk (I had this cute 165ml tin so used that)

150 ml stock made with chicken or veg stock cube

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced (put half aside)

a small (maybe a thumb sized) piece of ginger, minced (put half aside)

zest and juice of one lime

I red birds eye chilli, finely chopped

2 fillets of salmon, boneless and remove the skin if you can

some green veg - I had broccoli, asparagus and a couple of sliced spring onions

coriander leaves, chopped, to serve - if liked


I used my trusty remoska to make this, but you can just use a glass/pyrex dish or roasting dish - and pre-heat the oven first to a medium heat.

Slice the potatoes quite thickly and arrange in a layer over the bottom of the remoska or dish.

Mix the coconut milk, stock, sesame oil,  1/2  the garlic and 1/2 the ginger and pour over the potatoes.

Then add the zest and juice of a lime, and the chopped red chilli.

Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake
Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake
Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake
Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake

Stir and cook for around 20 minutes. 

You will need to make a decision here as to the right time to add the fish and vegetables based on how cooked your potatoes are.

Mine needed 30 minutes cooking plus another ten for the fish and veg, but I think if you're using a pre-heated oven you'll only need 15-20 for the first part, so do check and use your own intuition (and knowledge of your own oven).

When the potatoes are 5-10 mins away from being done, add the salmon, the vegetables and then the remaining garlic and ginger.

Cook for another ten minutes of so until done.

Remove from heat and add a handful of chopped coriander leaves, if liked.

Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake
Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake

Serve either in the dish it's been cooked in, or if you're using a (kind ugly but the BEST) remoska like me, then serve in a bowl, maybe with extra lime wedges on the side.

We really loved this!

I hope you do too.



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Kerrie's tuna 'envelopes'

This is a lovely, simple and very tasty recipe shared by Kerrie Rycroft as part of my #ShareFoodStories project, where people are sharing a recipe that has meaning for them - and the reason they chose it.

This was chosen unanimously by Kerrie's children as a favourite of theirs. You can also use the idea of the puff pastry envelopes to hold any filling - ideal for using leftovers such as bolognaise sauce, chilli con carne, or chicken curry.

I made these tuna envelopes for brunch today - and really enjoyed them! 

Here's Kerrie's recipe.  

For four 'envelopes' you'll need (I made enough for two today):

2 tins of tuna (I used one)

1 tin of sweetcorn (I used a small one)

1/2 red onion finely chopped 

a big dollop of mayonnaise 

A sheet of puff pastry (I used half)

1 egg, beaten

 

Mix the tuna, sweetcorn, red onion and mayonnaise together in a bowl.

Unroll the sheet of puff pastry and cut into four squares (or 6-8 smaller squares - as I was using half the sheet mine were 'small squares').

Divide the tuna mix between the squares.

Rachel Redraw Kerrie's tuna envelopes
Rachel Redraw tuna envelopes

Fold the corners in so that they meet in the middle.  (I tried folding mine in two different ways).

Brush with beaten egg.

Cook for 20 minutes in an oven at around 200C (I used Gas 7).

Rachel Redlaw tuna envelopes
Rachel Redraw tuna envelopes

Kerrie says they usually serve them 'with mange tout and baby sweetcorn and a splodge of sweet chilli sauce to dip them in', but as mine were for brunch we had them with just a sliced tomato to add a little colour (plus realised I'd run out of sweet chilli sauce - so will be making more today).

 
Rachel Redlaw tuna envelopes
 

I really liked these - I think it's a great idea to add other fillings too. 

I made them again with a filling of feta cheese, fresh mint and parsley, black pepper, dried chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon - delicious!

Rachel Redlaw borek
Rachel Redlaw borek
Rachel Redlaw borek

And I can see a Tiniest Thai green chicken curry 'envelope' happening for dinner soon ...



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Thai-inspired meatballs + rice noodles

Some dishes are prettier than others and this isn't a very pretty one.

But it tastes MUCH better than it looks and it's really simple (as always) too - so do give it a try.

I made it with beef mince as that's what I had in the fridge, but pork and chicken would both be good and change it up a bit.

Also, I used lovely fresh rice noodles as I'd been to the Thai supermarket and these are my favourites, but dried rice noodles are good, or you could have the meatballs with rice, or even with pasta. All going to be good! Prepare your noodles or rice first so it's all ready to go.

So, for meatballs for one, I used: 

approx 100g mince

half a carrot, shredded and diced

a little piece of ginger, diced

1 birds eye red chilli, also diced

(If I'd had parsley, I'd have added a small handful of that too, finely chopped)

one little lime leaf that was in the salad drawer - I just removed the stalk and chopped the leaf into very fine slices and diced. If you don't have lime leaves, then I'd grate some lime zest in

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and then scrunch it all up to combine and shape into little meatballs.

Rachel Redlaw Thai meatballs
Rachel Redlaw Thai meatballs

Then prepare the sauce ingredients.  

You'll need:

1/2 cup boiling water with about 1/3 of a knorr stock cube (I used chicken)

another little piece of ginger, diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 birds eye red chilli, finely chopped (use just half if you don't want it too spicy of course)

2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal to look nice

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

 
Rachel Redlaw Thai meatballs
 

And then you just put a frying pan over a heat and either add a tablespoon of cooking oil or, if you're losing weight like me, 20 sprays of that 1-cal-per-spray cooking oil and put the meatballs in.

Keep turning until they're browned all over and if using the spray oil, you'll probably need to add a splash of water too. It takes a few minutes.

When browned, add the chopped ginger, garlic and chilli and fry for a few seconds, then tip in the stock.

Bring to a simmer and cook for around 5 minutes, then add the soy sauce, fish sauce and toasted sesame oil.

Rachel Redlaw Thai meatballs
Rachel Redlaw Thai meatballs

Cook for another minute or so, tasting to check you're happy with the balance of flavours, and that's it. 

Ready to serve!

Some parsley or coriander, chopped and scattered over, might have looked nice, but I didn't have any ...

Rachel Redlaw Thai meatballs
Rachel Redlaw Thai meatballs


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