Tag Archives: tarragon

Lemon and Tarragon-Crusted Sea Bass

 So simple and so very, very yummy! A lovely crispy ‘panko’ coating contrasts beautifully with the fresh, tangy lemon tarragon sauce but doesn’t detract from the natural flavours of this delicious fish. A great dish for a supper with family and friends! Simply delightful!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking sheet, lined with parchment paper/ Bake O Glide

4 sea bass fillets, skin on

40g butter

60g panko breadcrumbs

Zest of 1 lemon, grated finely

½ tablespoon tarragon, chopped

40g Parmesan, grated

Sea salt and black pepper

Lemon wedges, to serve

for the lemon tarragon sauce

200g full-fat crème fraîche

½ tablespoon tarragon, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of caster sugar

What to do…

Season the sea bass fillets well on both sides with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a small pan, then remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and tarragon so that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. Set aside.

On your baking sheet, sprinkle over half the breadcrumb mixture in 4 rows, roughly the same size as the 4 fish fillets. Lay each fillet, skin side down, on top of a row of breadcrumbs and press down firmly. Top each fillet with the remaining breadcrumbs, sprinkle with Parmesan and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes (or for up to 8 hours).

When you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven to 200°c / 400° / gas 6.

To make the sauce, chuck all the ingredients together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix together.

Cook the fish in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve each crispy-coated fillet on a warm plate with a dollop of the lovely sauce, a wedge of lemon and perhaps a little greenery and potatoes – absolutely delicious and delightfully easy!

What’s Panko all about…?

Panko breadcrumbs were a total revelation to me. I couldn’t believe that Mary was using pre-prepared breadcrumbs but these little lovelies can be set quite apart from your everyday breadcrumb!!! In short, panko is a type of flaky breadcrumb; it’s commonly used in Asian, particularly Japanese, cuisine, although it has become more popular in Western cooking. What sets it apart from standard breadcrumbs is its texture which is light, airy and delicate; all of which ensure that it crisps as it cooks. The texture of panko makes it especially wonderful for fried food because it absorbs less oil than breadcrumbs, keeping food more crisp and crunchy. I will be using it for all sorts from here on in – toppings, coatings and crusts are going to be panko all the way!

Tips…

The fish can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Likewise, the sauce can be made a couple of days in advance.

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy….

I’m loving these recipes from Mary’s Everyday cook book – they’re all really easy and fit nicely into a busy schedule – this one is no exception – enjoy!

Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Mustard Cream Sauce

In this dish, the humble chicken breast is smothered in a light but tangy velouté sauce, transforming the chicken into something that is absolutely delicious. I made loads of sauce (we do like our gravies and sauces in this house) so there was plenty to around and then, uncouth individuals that we are, there was sufficient left for us to dive into the jug and finish it off with a spoon. One very, very yummy supper dish.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 chicken stock pot (I use Knorr)

500ml boiling water from the kettle

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

4 plump chicken breasts or supremes

6 tablespoons white wine

Sea salt and black pepper

60g butter

4 tablespoons plain flour

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

2 egg yolks

200ml soured cream

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Paprika

What to do…

To make a chicken stock, pop the stockpot into a jug and top up with boiling water, using a balloon whisk to help it dissolve quickly. Set aside.

In a roomy saucepan, heat the oil and seal the breasts quickly on both sides – don’t allow to brown. Tip in the wine and 6 tablespoons of chicken stock. Pop on the pan lid, turn down the heat to low and poach gently for 20 minutes, until cooked.

Remove the breasts from the liquid, season, cover and set aside, keeping warm.

In a second jug, tip the cooking liquid and top it up with the stock to make up 500ml. Discard the remainder of the chicken stock. Give your saucepan a quick wipe out with kitchen paper.

To make your velouté sauce, melt the butter in the saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds without browning. Tip in the tarragon and quickly stir in to evenly incorporate. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the stock. Simmer, stirring until thickened.

In your stock jug, mix together the egg yolk, cream and mustard. Then gradually add to the sauce, stirring the whole time just for 2 minutes over a low heat. Taste, adjust the seasoning if you’d like to and then pour over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle over paprika to serve this quite simply delicious supper dish.

Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, New Creative Cuisine (thanks Helen)

How easy…

Simplicity itself and such a wonderful outcome

Poached Monkfish in Creamy Tarragon Sauce

So simple but absolutely delightful, this supper dish is lovely and tastes like it’s waaaaaay more complicated that it is. The creamy tarragon sauce is the perfect marriage with the monkfish – creamy but light and with the distinctive tarragon flavour that is the bittersweet mix of aniseed and vanilla; and then the slight acidy of lemon juice – just lovely –what can I say? Give it a go!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 kg monkfish, filleted

4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 fish stockpot (I use Knorr)

450ml boiling water from the kettle

150ml white wine

150ml double cream

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

A small handful of fresh tarragon, to garnish

What to do…

Slice the fish into big chunks (5-6cm) and place in the bottom of a large, heavy saucepan. Pour over the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a separate saucepan, pour your boiling water over the fish stockpot and, using a balloon whisk, dissolve to create a fish stock. Add the wine and bring the mixture to the boil before pouring it over the fish. Place the fish over a high heat and bring to the boil again. As soon as it begins boiling, remove from the heat, pop on a well-fitting lid and set aside to let the residual heat gently poach the monkfish for about 8 minutes, or until the monkfish has turned opaque.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a warmed serving dish, cover with foil and keep warm whilst you make the sauce.

Bring the poaching liquid to the boil and boil fiercely for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half, is thicker and syrupy. Gradually stir in the cream and then add the chopped tarragon. Pour the sauce over the fish, garnish with fresh tarragon and serve immediately. Simply very, very lovely.

Serving suggestion…

Boiled or parmentier potatoes and a green vegetable. I used tenderstem broccoli that had been steamed and then tossed in a little warmed olive oil, flavoured with chopped anchovies and garlic. Yummy!

Inspired by…

Josceline Dimbleby

How easy…

Easy, quick and way tastier than the ingredients might suggest

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Plaice with Mustard and Tarragon Sauce, Asparagus and Peas

This is a really lovely, delicate and light fish supper. The sauce is quite piquant and, when tasted on its own, really rather strong. But, take a forkful that includes a little fish, greenery and sauce and the combination is fabulous: the sauce is the perfect foil for the delicate fish – it just all works brilliantly. And – bonus – you can make the sauce ahead, leaving just a few minutes cooking of the fish and vegetables just before you want to eat. It’s on the ‘favourites’ list for me!

Serves 4

What you need…

500g asparagus, trimmed

100g frozen peas

1.5kg plaice, filleted and cut into portions

Splash rapeseed oil

1 baby gem lettuce, shredded

Small knob of butter

Sea salt and black pepper, for seasoning

Olive oil to drizzle

for the sauce

100ml water

½ fish stockpot (I use Knorr)

Splash rapeseed oil

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

4 tablespoons cider vinegar

100ml dry, still cider

2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

100ml double cream

4 teaspoons chopped tarragon, stalks reserved

2 teaspoons capers

What to do…

First, blanch the asparagus. Pop in a deep frying pan of boiling, salted water and simmer vigorously for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Dry the frying pan – you’ll be using it again later.

Remove the frozen peas from the freezer and tip them out onto a plate to start defrosting.

In a jug, create some fish stock by pouring in 100ml water from your kettle and dissolving the fish stockpot, using a small balloon whisk. Set aside.

Now to the sauce: heat a splash of rapeseed oil in a pan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cider vinegar and bring to the boil. Pour in the cider and fish stock and bubble furiously until the stock is reduced by half. Add the mustard, cream and tarragon stalks and simmer, reducing and thickening the sauce so that it coats the back of a spoon. Remove the tarragon stalks and discard. Stir in the capers and chopped tarragon. Set aside.

When you’re about ready to eat, preheat your grill to medium and either oil a baking tray or line it with Bake O Glide. Sprinkle salt all over the tray and lay your fish fillets on top, skin side up. Place under the grill and cook for 6 minutes, checking the last minute or two to avoid overcooking.

Meanwhile, put your sauce back on a very gentle heat, just to keep it warm.

Return to your frying pan and splash in the rapeseed oil. When hot, add the lettuce and wilt for 1 minute. Add the asparagus and peas with the knob of butter and warm through for a couple of minutes. Season to taste.

Remove the fish from the grill and leave to rest for a couple of minutes.

To serve, arrange the greenery on warmed plates and place the fish on top, skin side up. Drizzle with a little olive oil and then spoon the sauce around the fish. Don’t attack – it’s to be savoured but remember to get a little bit of everything on each forkful and enjoy the combined flavours – simply lovely!

Tips…

Instead of all that peeling and chopping, I buy Cooks’ Ingredients frozen chopped shallots and frozen chopped garlic from Waitrose – lovely and fresh and saves a lot of faffing about.

Inspired by…

Chef, Nathan Outlaw and my bro, who insisted that I couldn’t do this blog without this Nathan Outlaw book in my collection – good call, Martin!

How easy…

Really, really easy and a pleasure to make!

Chicken Supremes with Wild Mushrooms and Tarragon Sauce

A lovely supper dish this one, in which the sauce is the absolute star of the show. Having tasted it, I am sure that you could also use this sauce to accompany veal or pork as alternatives to the chicken that I have used here. Essentially, the creamy yet vibrant sauce adds a real zing to fairly plainly roasted or dry-fried meat. A real winner!

What you need…

1 x baking dish (mine is 26 x 18 x 7cms deep) lightly buttered

Good glug and then a splash of rapeseed oil

6 chicken supremes (breasts with the fillet and wing bone attached) with skin on

2 knobs butter

3 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

500ml water

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

200ml dry white wine

150ml double cream

250g wild or chestnut mushrooms

Handful tarragon sprigs, leaves picked

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Squeeze lemon juice

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 200°c / 400f / gas 6.

Heat your glug of oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and cook the chicken, skin-sides down, for 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and arrange snugly, skin-sides up, in your baking dish, cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. First of all, dissolve the chicken stockpot into a jug containing the 500ml boiling water (from the kettle) – a small balloon whisk is ideal for the job. Set aside.

In your frying pan, add a knob of butter to the remaining chicken juices and melt over a low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and white wine, turn up the heat to high and cook for 15 minutes, reducing the liquid and cooking off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In another pan, melt your second knob of butter with a splash of oil over a high heat. Tip in the mushrooms and cook over a high heat, stirring, until they are golden.

Return to your sauce and very gradually, stir in the cream. Then, chuck in the cooked mushrooms, tarragon, mustard and lemon juice. Mix together. Taste. Season. Taste. Put the pan back on a very low heat to keep warm, until you are ready to serve.

Pour the sauce all over the cooked chicken breasts and pop your casserole dish in the middle of the table and request that everyone ‘digs in’. Enjoy your delightful chicken supremes with wild mushrooms and tarragon sauce perhaps with a lovely glass of white burgundy – a very nice pairing indeed! Cheers!

Tips…

The sauce can be made in advance and kept chilled until needed. When you reheat it though, do so gently – overheat it and it will go thin (as experience has shown me).

Rather than using fresh garlic and shallots, I replace them with Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients frozen versions – a quick shake of roughly the right amount into the pan is so much easier than all that peeling and chopping!

Inspired by…

Delicious Magazine

How easy…

Very easy, especially as the sauce can be made in advance and the associated cooking pots, washed and put away.

 

 

Chicken Breasts and Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Tarragon and Paprika Sauce

One of my favourite supper dishes to share with family and friends, it’s easy to prepare, light and really flavoursome

Serves 4

What you need…

5-6 skinless chicken breasts

8 tablespoons lemon juice

2 rounded teaspoons paprika

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

Knob of butter

12-14 sun-dried tomatoes

300ml double cream

Salt

Chilli powder

Bunch of rocket leaves to garnish

What to do…

Put lemon juice, paprika, garlic and tarragon in a bowl, mix together.

Slice chicken and add to mixture. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes at least.

Melt butter in a large, deep frying pan/wok.

Add chicken mixture and cook gently for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, slice the sundried tomatoes in half.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from pan and set aside.

Bubble pan juices fiercely for two minutes, reducing slightly.

Remove from heat and slowly stir in the double cream.

Bring the mixture back to the boil and boil for 2-3 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.

Season with salt and chilli. Return chicken to pan and add in sundried tomatoes and warm through.

Serve chicken breasts and sun-dried tomatoes with tarragon and paprika sauce with rocket scattered over. It goes really well with some garlicky pasta on the side or garlic-fried green vegetables such as shredded cabbage and leek. Lovely!

Inspired by…

Josceline Dimbleby, The Almost Vegetarian Cookbook

How Easy…

One of the few main courses that I can produce whilst chatting to visiting friends – I normally have to focus completely on the cooking!