Summer cooking

Last week was hot. So hot. So very, very hot.

For some reason I only planned half of the week’s meals based around the weather. For example, fish pie was on the menu! I didn’t want to switch the oven on so instead we had deconstructed fish pie. Or what I might call ‘summer fish pie’.

I boiled the potatoes and poached the fish pie mix in some fish stock as usual. But I mashed the potatoes with black pepper, parsley, a dash of milk and used olive oil instead of using butter because it felt more summery. We had a bit of cream in the fridge so I added a little bit to the fish pie mix, along with 3 tsp of red pesto! Instead of assembling the fish pie in a dish and popping it in the oven, I served the fish alongside the mash with some broad beans and spinach. It was yummy!

I’m the sort of person who goes through phases with food. So, for example, we are eating a lot of broad beans and red pesto at the moment because I have just fallen in love with the stuff! It’s also a seasonal thing: a couple of weeks ago I bought 7 mangoes for £1 from the market – yes, you read that right – which were already ripe so half were chopped up with some bananas and frozen to make instant ice cream.

Surprisingly I had never made stuffed peppers until last week. This was one of my definitely summery meals planned for last week. I was flicking through a recipe book for inspiration and there it was. Well, it was actually stuffed mushrooms which our son doesn’t like so I used peppers instead, which he loves. My version was peppers stuffed with couscous, tomatoes, spinach and topped with mozzarella, served with salad. A veggie classic, you might say! This is a great dish to make ahead and eat when it’s cooled down on a warm evening, grilling it just before serving for the mozzarella to melt but so that the oven isn’t on in the same room you’re eating in… unless you can eat outside.

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