Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Fresh Fish and Stuffed Pumpkin

Oh my goodness, it's Wednesday which means today is the day I fly to Seattle! So much to do, so little time. I am picking my oldest little girl up early from Montessori so that we can spend a little extra family time together before getting on the plane.

Feeling a bit anxious about leaving my little family and heading overseas - they will be absolutely fine and have a blast hanging out with their Daddy for a week, but I'm going to miss them SO much! No doubt they will be in heaven as my husband will play hide and seek for hours on end, their dinners will most likely consist of sausages and chips and a few frozen veges for good measure, and they will be able to wrap him around their gorgeous little fingers!

The last couple of nights we have had a couple of good meals so thought I'd share the joy. Hubby went fishing on Monday and got a pretty good haul considering the wintery conditions...a couple of snapper, a john dory and a gurnard. I have to admit to having my doubts that he would catch anything - had a backup meal plan ready!

The haul

In my very humble opinion, when fish is that fresh the best thing to do is simply pan fry it in a little butter (coconut oil) and garlic. I generally do use a little butter even though we are dairy free as I find that the odd bit of butter in small quantities is absolutely fine for us, and also really gives a yummy flavour to the fish! Feel free to use coconut oil though - it would still be delicious. 

I served the fish with potato and celeriac chips, green salad and steamed vegetables. Kept it simple and let the fish be the champion.

Fresh green salad (lettuce, radish, avocado and cherry tomato)

 Crispy celeriac and potato chips

Simple but tasty

This recipe really doesn't need a recipe as such - it's one of those ones that's pretty self explanatory and also is best when adapted to suit your tastes, but here is a guideline. I fried the fish in a couple of cloves of garlic and about 1 tbsp butter, plus seasoning (s&p)

For the chips, I cut a celeriac and a potato into thick chips then popped them in boiling water for about 5 minutes. I then coated them in about 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tsp garam masala and salt and pepper. spread out on an oven tray and bake for around 30 minutes until crispy (on about 180-200C). Serve with steamed veges and salad of your choice.

Last nights dinner was a little different. I was at the supermarket the other day and saw these cute little baby pumpkins called Gem Squash. I thought they looked like fun and decided that they would be perfect for stuffing. We ended up with lamb stuffed baby pumpkins topped with the leftovers of the kumara bravas from the other night (see previous post for recipe). 

 Cute little pumpkins with top-hats

 Seeds scooped, ready for stuffing

Stuffed and topped with mash ready to finish in the oven

Kumara Topped, Lamb Stuffed Pumpkin Top-hats


2 x gem squash
300g lamb mince
2 loves garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp coconut oil
1 large kumara (or 1 cup leftover kumara bravas)


1. Heat oven to 200C. Place pumpkins on a baking tray and bake for around 30 minutes. They will look quite dark, and some juices may ooze out
2. If you are using fresh kumara (as opposed to leftovers) cut into chunks and boil for 15 minutes until soft. Mash with a little coconut oil, salt and pepper. If you are using the leftover bravas, reheat in a small pan and then mash
3. In a frying pan heat the oil and add the chopped garlic. Cook for 30 seconds or so. Add the mince and cook until browned. Add the grated carrot and tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper. 
4. When pumpkins are cooked, cut off the tops an inch or so from the top. Scoop out the seeds, leaving the pumpkin flesh intact. Reserve 'hats'
5. Fill pumpkin with mince mixture and top with mashed kumara.
6. Put back into the oven and bake for around 10 minutes until browned. Remove from oven and place hats back on top. 
7. Serve with vegetables of your choice

Have a fantastic week everyone - I'll be back for more recipes in 7 days...