Low-carb fish pie

Greetings! Yes I am still alive and still eating LCHF. It has been almost a year and a half (not sure where the time has gone) and my chronic migraines are a distant memory, thanks to this wonderful diet of…real food.

Followers of my blog will know that I have a shaky truce with fish. As well as cooking it in a sh!t-tonne of butter and mixing it with all manner of things to mask the flavour, I can now add fish pie to the list of Roxy-friendly fish meals. It will never be as stodgy and firm as a regular fish pie…so it’s definitely a winner! I added a couple of carrots to the mash just to mix it up a bit, but feel free to leave these out for even lower carbage.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the fish:
300 ml double cream
300 ml whole milk
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 salmon fillets (approx. 220 g)
1 smoked haddock fillet (approx. 230 g) – make sure it’s not the dyed stuff
150 g raw peeled king prawns

For the sauce:
30 g butter
1 leek, finely sliced
1 tsp xanthan gum
100 g cheddar cheese, grated
large bunch parsley, roughly chopped
100 g watercress, roughly chopped

For the mash topping:
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp milk
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

First, poach the fish. Place the onion, garlic, peppercorns, milk, cream and salt in a large frying pan and bring to a simmer. Add the salmon and haddock fillets and poach for 5 minutes until the fish is cooked and flakey. Remove the fish and set to one side to cool. Strain the poaching liquid into a bowl.

Once the fish is cool enough to handle, flake it into an oven dish (I made two smaller pies for an easy meal the next day), removing the skin and any pesky bones. Scatter the prawns over the fish and add the poached onion.

Meanwhile, boil the carrots in a pan for 5 minutes then add the cauliflower and cook until soft. Strain and set to one side until you’re ready to make the mash. To do this, add the egg yolks, cream and milk to the carrots and cauliflower, and blend with a stick blender until smooth.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the leeks until soft. Add the poaching liquid and the xanthan gum and stir until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the cheese and stir until melted.

Next, add the parsley and watercress and mix well. Season to taste. Take off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature (this will make the pie assemblage easier).

To assemble the pie pour the cooled sauce over the fish and spread the mash over the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the mash has crustified and you can see the sauce bubbling up trying to escape.

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Sugar-free* chocolate pots

Sometimes you just need a little treat. These little chocolate pots certainly fulfill the brief, and at a mere 7 g of carbs per pot, they can certainly be incorporated into a low-carb regimen.

(*My pedantic husband has pointed out that these are not, in fact, sugar-free. So, in the spirit of correctness, let the record show that bananas and chocolate do contain sugar.)

Mixture fills approx. 7 x 60 ml espresso cups

Ingredients:
250 ml double cream
1 small banana
40 g (about 1 heaped tbsp) crunchy almond butter
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp salt
100 g dark chocolate (I used 85%, but by all means go higher!),
100 g unsalted butter, cubed

Chop up the banana and mash well with a fork. Place the cream, banana, almond butter, vanilla and salt in a pan and heat gently, stirring frequently, until you start to see tiny bubbles forming.

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Take the pan off the heat and add the chocolate and the butter. Stir well until the chocolate and butter have melted and everything is mixed together. You shouldn’t need to heat the mixture again to melt everything, just be patient and keep stirring! Have a taste of the mixture and add more salt if the chocolate flavour doesn’t “pop” enough. At this point you can blend the mixture so that it is completely smooth, but I like the added texture of the occasional bit of crunchy almond. Divide the mixture into espresso cups or small ramekins (but bear in mind the finished product will be very rich, so only a small amount is needed per serving).

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Place the cups in the fridge until the chocolate has set. This should only take a couple of hours, but you can prepare them in advance and leave them in the fridge for a couple of days (if they last that long). They take on a lovely fudge-like texture after 24+ hours in the fridge, yum. Enjoy!

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Sugar-free grain-free fruit crumble

I seem to be cooking far more frequently than I’m posting, and as a result I have a bit of a back-log of recipes! Thankfully, I have been taking notes, so I don’t have to try to remember what I did from the hundreds of pictures of food I seem to have amassed. So, here’s a pudding from the archives for you. I know this isn’t a very summery dessert, but it is currently winter elsewhere, so this is one for my Southern-hemisphere followers!

Ingredients:
2 nectarines, sliced
2 small bananas, sliced
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp baharat spice mix (or use 1/2 tsp nutmeg & 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
Pinch of salt
50 g butter, cubed

For the crumble topping
50 g coconut flour
25 g almond flour
40 g butter
40 g pecans, crushed
Pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan).

Place the fruit into an oven-proof dish, sprinkle over the spices, vanilla and salt, and mix. Place the cubed butter around the fruit.

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Now prepare the crumble topping. Mix the flours and together in a bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, and mix in the pecans. Spread the crumble over the fruit.

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Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until the crumble is golden. Serve with lashings of double cream!

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LCHF Blueberry panna cotta

This is such an easy dessert to make – the hardest part is waiting for them to set – and there’s no need for sugar. However, if you want to make them sweeter you can just add a couple of tablespoons of sugar or some sweetener to the cream mixture.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
140 ml can coconut cream
300 ml double cream
100 g blueberries
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 vanilla pod
4 leaves of gelatine

Cut up and soak the gelatine leaves in 2 tbsp cold water for 5 – 10 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, place all of the other ingredients into a pan over a medium-low heat and bring to the boil. Blend the cream mixture with a stick blender, or in a liquidiser, until smooth. Whilst the mixture is still warm, add the gelatine and stir/blend until it is fully dissolved.

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Pour the mixture into four ramekins, or panna cotta moulds, and leave in the fridge to set. Mine were set after 2 hours, but it could take longer. To serve, turn out the panna cottas onto plates and garnish with some mint leaves (you may need to heat the outside of the moulds to free them – just use some hot water for this). If you’re pressed for time you could just set the mixture in glasses or bowls and serve the panna cottas without turning them out.

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No-sugar-no-grain banana & pecan cream tartlets

Well I can’t believe it has taken me this long to realise how sweet bananas actually are (thanks for awakening the taste buds, LCHF). Certainly, no sugar is required for this satisfying pud!

Makes two 12cm tartlets

Ingredients:
1 quantity coconut flour pastry
2 small bananas (about 150 g), sliced
30 g pecans
50 g butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
100 g double cream whipped with 1/4 tsp vanilla powder

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Roll out the pastry in between two sheets of cling film and line the tart cases. I had a little left over so I made some little biscuits as well. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cases are lightly golden.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and add the sliced bananas, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fry for a few minutes, until the bananas are golden and the pecans are toasted. Set to one side and allow to cool to room temperature.

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Divide the banana mixture between the two tartlets, top with the whipped cream, and decorate with a couple of pecan halves.

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