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Sustainable Mackerel

Did you watch Hugh’s Fish Fight on Channel 4?

I watched it with my 12 year son and we found it both fascinating and disturbing. Surely all that waste can’t be acceptable?

He has signed up to the campaign,, and insisted that all five of us did so too!

Will the series change your fish buying habits? How do you feel about farmed salmon being coloured to supermarket specifications?

I think we will be eating a lot more mackerel in future and looking to buy organically farmed salmon where possible.

So we will be cooking this quick and easy Mackerel with Lime and Caper Sauce recipe this week – and I’ll ask my fishmonger to fillet the mackerel.

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Mackerel with lime and caper sauce and crushed potatoes

Delicious and nutritious ready in less than 30 minutes.

Preparation time 5 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
Calories per portion 609 Kcal
Fat per portion 45gof which saturated 18g
Serves 1

Small potatoes 4, scrubbed
Butter 25g (1oz)
Mackerel 1, filleted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lime 1, grated zest and juice
Capers 1 tbsp, drained and roughly chopped
Spring onions 2–3, trimmed, washed and sliced

1 Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil and add the small potatoes. Bring the water back to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook the potatoes for 15–18 minutes, or until they are tender.

2 Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Score the skin of the mackerel into a criss-cross pattern and season the flesh side of the fillets. Add the mackerel to the pan, skin-side down, and cook the fish for 2–3 minutes or until the skin starts to crisp, then turn the fillets over and cook for a further 1–2 minutes, or until the fish is cooked. Remove the fillets from the pan and add the lime zest and juice, capers and spring onions and cook over a low heat for 1–2 minutes. Season to taste.

3 Drain the potatoes well and then return them to the pan and use a spoon to crush them against the side of the pan until they split open.

4 Spoon the potatoes onto a serving plate and place the fish fillets on top. Pour over the lime and caper sauce, so that any juices will be absorbed into the potatoes, and serve immediately.

Shopper’s Tip
To save time preparing the recipe at home, ask the fishmonger to fillet the mackerel for you when you buy it.

Recipe taken from Clever Cooking for One or Two.

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New Year Resolutions

Did you make a New Year Resolution? Well, here we are in week two of 2011 and I am struggling already.

Not to keep my resolution, but to start it!

My resolution is to lose weight, get fit and eat healthily. Sound familiar?

The first problem is a house packed with chocolates, snacks and goodies left-over from Christmas – just too many temptations.

But I am starting today. All temptations will be banished to the back of the cupboards and only good healthy food will be bought. Hmmm… we’ll see how long that lasts!

Have you made a New Year Resolution? How’s it going? Do you have any tips to ensure success?

A good place to start is the Fit and Healthy feature in the new Dairy Diary.

Tonight I will prepare the fantastic Salmon and Ginger Fishcakes recipe from Good Food, Fast. Delicious, healthy and ready it just 30 minutes.

Win a Dairy Diary Address Book

Start 2011 afresh with a brand new Dairy Diary Address Book. With 12 tabbed sections for family and friends, a section for emergencies and services plus tradesmen’s business cards you can keep everything at your fingertips.

Enter now!

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Salmon and Ginger Fishcakes

Salmon and ginger fishcakes with sweet-and-sour salad – Thai inspired flavours without fuss.

Salmon and Ginger FishcakesTime 30 minutes
Calories per portion 281 Kcal
Fat per portion 14.9gof which saturated 2.6g
Serves 4

Red chilli 1, deseeded and finely chopped
Caster sugar 2 tsp
Thai fish sauce 1 tsp
Lime juice 1 tbsp
Rice vinegar 1 tbsp
Cucumber ½, halved and cut into long, thin strips
Yellow pepper 1 small, deseeded and cut into long, thin strips
Carrot 1 small, peeled and cut into thin strips
Cherry tomatoes 12, halved
Skinned salmon fillets 500g (1lb 2oz)
Root ginger 4cm (1¾oz) piece, peeled and very finely chopped
Spring onions 4, trimmed and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil 1 tsp
Coriander a bunch, stalks removed

1 For the salad, put the chilli, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and vinegar into a screw-top jar and shake well. Set aside. Toss the cucumber, pepper, carrot and tomatoes together in a bowl.

2 Chop the salmon until you have a coarse, mince-like mixture. Put into another bowl with the ginger and spring onions and season to taste. Mix together and divide into eight. Using slightly wet hands, shape into eight fishcakes.

3 Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the fishcakes for 1½ minutes on each side, until lightly golden and cooked.

4 Toss the dressing and coriander leaves through the salad. Divide between four plates and top each with two fishcakes.

Recipe taken from Good Food, Fast.


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Veggie Crisps

Perfect for munching while watching a great movie

Serves 8
Time 1 hour
Calories 417 per portion
Fat 30g of which 5.4g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Vegetable oil for deep frying
Sweet potatoes 3 large, peeled
Parsnips 4 large, peeled
Carrots 4 large, peeled
Soured cream 150ml (¼ pint)
Finely snipped chives 2 tbsp
Sea salt for sprinkling

1 Heat vegetable oil in a large pan or deep fat fryer.

2 Using a vegetable peeler, slice all vegetables very thinly. Pat vegetables dry on kitchen paper.

3 Fry vegetable slices, in batches, until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

4 Mix soured cream with chives. Sprinkle crisps with sea salt and serve with soured cream dip.

A Dairy Diary recipe.

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NEW! Good Food, Fast: Dairy Cookbook

When you have rushed in from work or have hungry people patrolling the kitchen, thinking of meals let alone cooking them can be difficult.

Giving you the inspiration to rustle up tasty meals that everyone will find irresistible, Good Food, Fast, our brand new cookbook, is packed with delicious, stress-free recipes that can be whipped up in just 30 minutes or less!

Good Food, FastWith 116 recipes that cleverly use store-cupboard staples as well as combinations of fresh and frozen ingredients, Good Food, Fast ensures you can create something tempting even under pressure. Great if unexpected guests have dropped in or your day has not quite gone to plan!

Nick Rowe, Executive Editor of the Good Food, Fast Dairy Cookbook said:
“At the end of a busy day there just isn’t time to spend hours following over-complicated recipes, and the added pressure of a hungry family can make it seem like a thankless task.  With Good Food, Fast we wanted to bring together a range of inspirational recipes that were full of flavour, healthy and overall really quick to make, to take the ‘everyday chore ’ element out of cooking and bring the taste and enjoyment back. By including soups through to desserts, Good Food, Fast shows that rustling up a speedy meal for family or friends doesn’t need to be run of the mill, and that you can create delicious, impressive results even if you only have half an hour or less to do so!”

The new Good Food, Fast Dairy Cookbook is priced at £9.99 (plus £2 P&P). To order a copy call 0845 0948 128, speak to your local milkman (he should have stocks available in September) or visit

Try this fabulous recipe, Lamb Burgers with Figs,  from the book for free!

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