The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Easy and deluxe prawn, spinach and gnocchi recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 5 comments

Easy and deluxe prawn, spinach and gnocchi recipe

  I adore prawns. Could eat them everyday. Two favourite recipes are Donagh’s Gambas al pil pil and Clare’s prawn gnocchi. Prawns are expensive but often there are great reductions to be found in the frozen food section of the supermarket. Yesterday I discovered through MySupermarket.com that Tesco Finest Canadian prawns were half price. Perfect. With a limitless budget I probably would have bought uncooked prawns for added flavour but the cooked prawns tasted fine. The beauty of Clare’s dish is that it can be assembled and cooked in 15...

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Simple nasturtium seed tartar sauce recipe. Seasonal food.

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Sauces Gravy Dressings | 1 comment

Simple nasturtium seed tartar sauce recipe. Seasonal food.

  I had a hankering for scampi yesterday and mid meal decided to run up a quick tartar sauce. We made quite a few small jars of pickled nasturtium seeds last Autumn. Fiddly to gather but well worth the effort as they pickle well and they taste like hot capers but with more of a satisfying crunch. Towards the end of the season the nasturtium seeds get much larger and hotter! Danny doesn’t like capers but he loves nasturtium seeds – pickled and raw. As speed was of the essence I just doled out a tablespoon of mayonnaise and added the...

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Haddock baked with lemon and Greek basil served with pickled nasturtium seed butter recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood | 4 comments

Haddock baked with lemon and Greek basil served with pickled nasturtium seed butter recipe

  “Do you remember we used to use Jamie Oliver’s method of cooking fish in aluminium parcels? Let’s do that for supper tonight.” We used to use this method a lot a few years ago. It’s simple and quick and the foil seals in the flavours. Danny had found some CFC haddock marked down to a third of the original price so he snapped it up. All afternoon I played mentally with combinations of flavours and eventually ran them past Danny as he lay on the swing seat enjoying the sun. “Haddock with black butter and pickled nasturtium...

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Quick gnocchi, broccoli and prawn recipe

Posted in Featured, Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 6 comments

Quick gnocchi, broccoli and prawn recipe

  “The best way to test whether spaghetti is done is to throw it against the TV screen. If it sticks it’s done.” Oliver was rather wild at that point and not finding a TV close to hand tossed a strand of spaghetti against the kitchen window. It stuck momentarily and then peeled off, worm like, dropping to the sill. I can’t remember what the spaghetti tasted like when it was finally served. All I can remember is that creamy worm hunched on the dark window pane. When it comes to gnocchi there’s no need for similar shenanigans. Just...

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Scallops, bacon and cod pie recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood | 5 comments

Scallops, bacon and cod pie recipe

  Danny and I took advantage of some cheap Ryan Air tickets several years ago and spent a long weekend in Paris. The tickets cost under £50 but the long weekend notched up a giddy £800. And most of this was spent on food. Even though the days were financially balmy we were shocked how expensive Paris could be. But we still savour the memories of those meals and the wonderful restaurants. Whether they were local bistros catering for a small coterie of French clientele in the know, or larger more formal establishments where food was...

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Delicious saffron spaghetti with a cream prawn and squid sauce recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Rice and Pasta | 4 comments

Delicious saffron spaghetti with a cream prawn and squid sauce recipe

  This is my all time favourite prawn recipe. Quick and easy to make and a deluxe treat. And there’s the rub. Prawns are expensive so whenever we see North Atlantic prawns on sale we grab them and bung them into the freezer. Where they wait in limbo to finally be teamed with squid and guzzled with glee. The saffron is pricey too. We get round this by adding saffron to our Christmas lists. Generally we get enough to see us through the next year. One day I plan to do a Magic Cochin and grow my own. Delicious saffron spaghetti with a cream...

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Fried fillets of plaice with a nasturtium and mustard seed cream sauce recipe

Posted in Fish and Seafood | 5 comments

Fried fillets of plaice with a nasturtium and mustard seed cream sauce recipe

  “Do you mind if I experiment with Duncan’s pickled nasturtium seeds to make a sauce for the fish tonight.” I had found some cut priced fillets of plaice on the Tesco CFC. “That’s fine as long as we’ve got some mayo.” What Danny didn’t know was that we’d finally run out of the mayo that Miles and Jocelyn bring back from France. And as I didn’t have time to rustle up some homemade mayonnaise, this had to be a good sauce. What I wanted was both taste and texture that would not overpower the delicate fillets of plaice. The...

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My twist on the Waitrose recipe for Moules Mariniere

Posted in Fish and Seafood | 5 comments

My twist on the Waitrose recipe for Moules Mariniere

  Having failed to persuade my partner to share my bag of rope mussels I was determined to make a really great sauce. So I looked at a couple of good foodie blogs for inspiration. Veronica at La Recette du Jour had a great recipe  but I didn’t have curry powder. Joanna at Joanna’s Food had a tempting recipe  but I was tired and didn’t want to do the maths (her recipe was for 5 kilos). In the end I looked at the cooking instructions on the label for Moules Mariniere. As Danny was getting restive and already grilling some burgers I...

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