22 November 2010

Baked chermoula salmon with red pepper, lemon and mint couscous ( Xermoula de Salmó acompanyat de couscous amb pebrot vermell, llimona i un toc de menta)

Chermoula is a type of marinade used in some Mediterranean countries in North Africa. This recipe was published in "Delicious Magazine" and I got it through a friend from Denmark....Thank you Trine!
Just with small changes

What you need for 4 people

4 x 175 g pieces of skinned salmon fillet

For the chermoula:
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp harissa paste or 1/2 tsp minced red chilli
1 pinch of saffron strands
1 tbsp lemon juice
small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
small bunch of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

For the coucous:
2 red peppers
400 ml fresh chicken stock
275 g couscous
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
15 g butter
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon, plus juice of 1/2 lemon
2tbsp chopped fresh mint

Let´s start

Red peppers in the original recipe were done in the oven, like the escalivada. But I suggest doing it in a frying pan with oil, it is similar taste and less work. Up to you.

1. Preheat the oven to 230ºC
2. Put all the chermoula ingredients into a mini food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
3. Cut the red peppers and fry them in a frying pan with oil (be generous)
4. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Season the skinned side of each salmon fillet with salt and pepper and then spread with some of the chermoula. Place chermoula-side down on the baking tray, season once more and spread with the remainng chermoula.
5.Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake the fish in the oven for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to the boil in a medium pan. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Leave for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff up with a fork. Add the oil and butter and stir over a low heat until heated through. Then stir in the roasted red peppers, lemon zest and juice, shopped mint and plenty of seasoning. Add the red peppers previoulsy fried with some of its oil.
6.Remove the salmon from the oven and discard the foil. Spoon the couscous onto 4 warmed plates and place the salmon alongside. Spoon over the cooking juices from the baking tray and serve.

If you prefer, you can cover each portion of salmon individually with a foil (wrap them) in step 4-5, and you will not need the baking paper.

Enjoy! Bon Profit

06 November 2010

American Cupcakes (Magdalenes americanes)

I love the colors of these cupcakes!. The truth is that is nothing to do with Catalan culture, it is an American recipe, but I don´t know why, here it is kind of trendy to prepare it. It is something new here, and a lot of people  who like to bake like me, are trying it now. Everybody is baking cupcakes!
I went to a cooking course about it a couple of weeks ago, that was organised by Gadgets&Cuina (you can find the recipe in Catalan there). As always, I have adapted it by adding some small changes.

What you need for 6 cupcakes:

For the dough:

80 gr flour
2,5 gr baking powder
pinch of salt
100 gr sugar
50 gr butter
1 egg
60 ml milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
some chopped walnuts

For the topping:

80 gr butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
200 gr icing/confectioneurs sugar
1 teaspoon of milk
food colorant(s)
decoration (like springles, or chopped nuts..)

Let´s start for the dough

1. In a bowl, mix the sugar with the melted butter (20 seconds in the microwave). Whisk it well. Add the vanilla extract and the egg. Whisk it well (Mix 1)
2. In another bowl, mix the flour, the salt, and the baking powder. (Mix 2)
3. Then add half of the mix 2 into the mix 1 and whisk it well.  Add half of the amount of milk. Mix it. Then add the rest of the mix 2 into the mix 1 and remove. Then add the rest of the milk. Mix it again with an spatula.
4. Divide the mix into 6 cupcakes. Use a paper for cupcakes like in the pic and put it inside a mold for cupcakes.
5. Put it into a tray in the oven for about 22 minutes at 180ºC

Let´s continue with the topping:

While it is in the oven we can prepare the topping.
1. In a bowl, mix the melted butter with the vanilla extract with an spatula
2. Then add the icing sugar little by little. Mix it.
3. Add the milk.
4. If you need to add more icing sugar do it here.

If you want different colors in your cupcakes, divide this cream into different portions.
Add the food colorant needed. Just an small amount is needed. 
I did the pink one with a red one, just adding a little bit of colorant.

Let´s put it together

Once the muffins are done, let them cool down completely!
Then decorate the top of them with a piping bag.
Add the extra decoration (sprinkles, nuts...).
Put it in the fridge. 
Removed them from the fridge 15 minutes before eating them.

Enjoy/Bon Profit!