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Salmon Tartare with Sweet & Sour Cucumber

I used to really dislike salmon. I know, right? Weird. Its the worlds most loved and common fish isn’t it! Well I wasn’t that keen! (Apart from smoked salmon – always loved that!) Over the last couple of years though, something has changed. The more I dare myself to try it, the more I seem to like it, to the point now that I will actively seek it out on menus and at home. I still prefer it in other ways to purely fried/roasted/poached so am always trying to do something different with it. In my current phase of adoring sushi, sashimi and curing things I thought I would try a salmon tartare.

I guess people might be scared of eating ‘raw’ fish, but in fact the lemon juice in the recipe ‘cooks’ the salmon in a way, so as long as your fish is fresh and good quality there shouldn’t be any cause for concern! More traditional tartares would use parsley as the herb, but I prefer chives. paring this with some slightly acidic pickled cucumber just adds a bit of crisp clean flavour that cuts through the salmon too.

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Serves 2 as a lunch or light dinner

Ingredients

For the salmon:

  • 2 boneless salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives – finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • twist black pepper

For the cucumber:

  • half a cucumber
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped and a few extra to dress the plate.
  • 1 tbsp rock salt

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Method

  1. Firstly prepare the cucumber – peel and cut lengthways, then scoop out the seeds. Slice thinly in vertical slices on a mandolin or with a peeler.
  2. Layer the cucumber in a colander and cover with the salt. Leave for 1-2 hours. (this draws out some of the water in the cucumber)
  3. After the 1-2 hours – prepare the tartare mix. Put the lemon juice, oil, chopped capers, shallot and chives in a bowl and mix, adding a little pepper to taste.
  4. Prepare the salmon. Cut into about 5mm dice and place into the same bowl with the other tartare ingredients. Mix well and place in the fridge.

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  1. Rinse the cucumber well and pat dry. Place in a bowl with the rest of the pickle ingredients and mix well. Place in the fridge alongside the salmon and leave both for about 30 minutes.
  • To serve, use a cookie cutter as a mould to build the tartare, then remove. Top with a few curls of the sweet and sour cucumber.

Happy eating :)

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Foodies Festival Round Up

Last weekend we visited the Foodies Festival at Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham. Luckily Lee & I were fortunate enough to both have the Friday afternoon off work so we headed down hoping to avoid the crowds that the weekend would bring.

Over the course of the afternoon we sampled lots of treats from the vendors, making a fair few purchases too, ate very well courtesy of some of the traders, watched some lovely demos from the fabulous Chefs line up and rested on the grass drinking in the atmosphere as well as some local tipples!

Here is my Foodies Festival experience through the eyes of my trusty Nikon.

What we ate:

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A Rooster Wrap

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A loaded Hot Dog

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Fish Tacos

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A KickFlip Burger

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What we drank:

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Prosecco

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Two Towers Ale

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And lots of other places our stomachs wouldn’t let us try!

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Soaking up the atmosphere:

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Wandering around the festival producers:

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Fuffle

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Mrs Mills Cakes

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Wonky Kitchen Fudge

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Pips Hot sauce

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Urban Herbs

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Warner Edwards Gin

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Tan Rosie

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Merangz

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Spoilt Pig

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The Spanish Hamper

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The Little Round Cake Co

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And finally our little haul:

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Did you go to Foodies Festival? I’d love to know what you thought, what you ate a bought! Let me know in the comments!

Roz :)

Disclosure: We received free tickets to the event as part of their blogging team. 

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Review: Oscar’s Bistro Revisited

I love heading over to Leamington Spa for the day. It has a perfect mix of independent shops, cafés and restaurants as well as well as a lovely park to wander around and some culture, such as the Royal Pump Rooms. On our most recent visit we combined it with an invite to dine at Oscars Bistro, which is right in the town centre. We’re no stranger to Oscars, a lovely french style bistro as we visited it about a year ago and adored it, so we were keen to go back for hearty lunch in between hitting the shops.

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photo courtesy of oscars bistro

Like previously, we were welcomed warmly and throughout the meal the staff couldn’t do enough for you. The place seemed full of regulars, who knew the staff by name and the staff the same in return, which sings it praises very highly indeed in my book.

I love the interior of the restaurant, its almost like being welcomed into the home of a French friend – cosy, warm and full of traditional french bits and pieces; from the artwork on the walls to the crate of lavender in the ladies loos.

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photo courtesy of oscars bistro

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We started with a glass of champagne (why not!) and then Lee followed this with a glass of merlot from the extensive list of French wines which were reasonably priced to suit most budgets.

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Whilst looking through their lunch menu, priced at £12.50, £16.50 and £19.50 for 1,2, or 3 courses respectively we munched on some traditional french baguette. Not the most exciting of breads but when served warm and crusty you can’t get much more satisfying.

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For starters we chose the Chicken Liver Pate with Melba Toast and the Asparagus Salad with Radishes, Quails Eggs and Chervil. Lee said of his salad, which included white and green asparagus, that it showed off the ingredients to a high level. You could taste each ingredient individually without anything overpowering them or each other. A lovely spring dish in his opinion. I also really liked my paté; the texture and flavour was very good and it had been well seasoned. We both really appreiciated the freshness of ingredients and the dishes both sang with ‘homemade’. 

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For my main course I chose the Roasted Cod Fillet with Tomato, Mash and a Shellfish Bisque. My cod was perfectly cooked with a beautiful salty crispy skin. The mash was silly and smooth, and again generously seasoned and the bisque had a great depth of flavour without being too heavy. Lee went for a Beef Bourguignon with Creamed Mash. Not exactly a light lunch dish, but he loved it! The meat fell apart, so much so that he didn’t even pick up his knife throughout. Again, seasoning was perfect and the rich deep flavours were shining through.

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Other options included Cumin encrusted Aubergine Steak or Moules Marinieres, the latter of which smelled divine and was flying out the kitchen.

We didn’t really need a pud, but were drawn in by the sound of the Vanilla Panacotta with Rhubarb Compote, which we shared. The panacotta had that lovely telltale wobble, and tasted delicious. The compote was a nice flavour but with some minor faults; we felt it could have been a bit less runny and was a tiny bit too sharp.

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The food at Oscar’s is unashamedly traditional and an ‘authentic reflection’ of simple French dishes. Go expecting hearty rustic bistro style dishes, fantastic flavours and friendly service and I doubt you will be disappointed.

And as a little added incentive Oscars is offering a free glass of French house wine to accompany their meal with the daytime menu this May and June!

Disclosure: On this occasion, the food & drink was complimentary, but if you’re in any doubt that the opinions are honest check out our first review of the place in which we also rave about the food!