Well, Karl has had a nice relaxing birthday, though poor James had to have his Hib/Men C booster jab today, which didn't go down too well. It's been very cold today, co we've had the fire lit since this morning. Hubby and I have some crumpets stashed in the kitchen to toast in front of the fire this evening, now that the children are in bed.
The birthday dinner was a chunky fish stew, very mildly spiced, with some garlic bread to accompany it. I used coley to make it, but any firm white fish you want to use would be fine.
Chunky Fish Stew
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
400g can tomatoes
red pepper, deseeded and chopped
400g white fish, skinned and boned
fresh parsley and lemon wedges, to serve
Heat some oil in a large pan and gently fry the garlic and spices for a minute or so. Tip in the tomatoes and half a can of water, then bring to the boil. Add the pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, season to taster, then put the fish pieces into the pan. Cover it and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Scatter over some chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
This is a really good, quick way of doing garlic bread. Buy some of those long-life part-baked half baguettes or rolls and split them lenthways. Spread them with garlic butter and cook, on a baking sheet, at 180°c for 5-10 minutes or according to the instructions on the packet.
I make garlic butter with a 250g pack of butter and a whole head's-worth of garlic cloves (get organic garlic, if you can, the flavour is much stronger and better). Chop some parsley and a little thyme and mash it all together really well. This will keep in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze it. I daresay, though I haven't yet tried it (yet), that you could make your own, superior, version of frozen garlic bread ready for snacks and to go with quick pasta meals.