Friday, 7 January 2011

Petra and Petals

If Love is ever sustaining, which I believe it is, where best to find it? Definitely not locked away for special occasions, no Sirree! It is here with us now, every step of the way, right here, right now, feel the beat in your heart? That’s as good a place to start as any, and with every breath you take the possibility to feel love grows! Like the most beautiful of seasons, soon to come, my favourite being lustrous spring.

Now past and present are all around us. Big Ben chimed a new year not less than a week ago; our resolutions will us to make this a healthier and fuller one. All the while we move into 2011 with hopes and dreams that we may not have realised yet - these may soon be unravelled and discovered, and what joy there is in discovery. In discovery we find truth, and through friendship we learn grace. When I think of grace, a few friends spring to mind very quickly, and I’ve written this post for one in particular, who sadly died in December. It’s for a beautiful young woman named Petra, she gave the world much more than she knew, and I was fortunate to know her. Her grace and generosity of spirit are an inspiration and it is without doubt that another Angel lights our night sky, twinkling.   

A poem for Petra

Where floating flora is falling free,
In the river of life there you may see,
A radiant Angel of lavender hue,
A girl with a smile, the friend we once knew.

Most beautiful flowers seem never to know,
How much love they bring, wherever they go.
Now gently serene,  your memory we will never tire,
You were ceaselessly enchanting, like an acrobat on a wire.

And what happens when their petals fall and float?
They flutter and dance towards the most silent note.
What then, for their brightness once in bloom?
A world without colour, is surely one of gloom?

We share our memories to bring thoughts that heal,
Through our tender goodbyes, we surrender, we feel.
When I see beautiful flowers, it is of you I will think,
Your heart was so generous, the brightest pink.

A rose amongst Xanthe Pom Pom's

I hope everyone is feeling rested and restored, and ready for some lovely warming recipes. For me January is a month of cleansing, with gorgeous spices sprinkled over silky scallops, sumptuous celeriac and firm white sea-bass, that is as fresh as the frost falling – all these juxtaposed to December’s traditional chestnuts, hearty game, pleasing pates and dense fruitcakes, make January a lighter, though spicier month for sure.

The first recipe I'd like to share with you in 2011 was a favourite of Petra’s, who though no-longer with us, leaves a lasting and heart warming legacy. It is fresh, beautiful and vibrant, cook with love for your dearest of friends and cherish today, it is with close family and friends that everything is best.
Often our favourite flavours reveal much about our characters. Is it any wonder our appetites remain ever changing? Much like our relationships, when we add the right balance of ingredients magical things happen.
Sea bass Petra's way is deliciously light, and after the prep work of making the sauce, you're good to go, it's a matter of minutes before a delicious delight - it makes for a perfect fish supper for friends as you'll be able to relax and forget about cooking, before quickly pan-frying the sea-bass. When buying sea bass, choose wild if possible, making sure that it’s line or net caught, as with all fish avoid the treachery of trawling. Lets protect fish from extinction - now is a good time to enjoy this sea gem, though not between March to June as they are spawning, it's important we adhere to this in order to protect  declining stocks and support our eco-systems.

Special tip – Be a conscious shopper. Petra gave me a bright yellow bag that wraps into a tiny bundle. I carry it with me in my handbag, ready for shopping, we can all make a difference if we make the simplest of changes, say goodbye to carrier bags and hello to Mother Nature!

Sea bass in many ways are the fashionistas of the Oceans, their skins are snake like in appearance, shimmering with a pale iridescent sea green tint, the French refer to them as 'the wolf of the sea' and as the Queens favourite fish, this truly classic fish is oceaniliciously, deliciously lovely, Petra's way. Be sure to kindly ask your fishmonger to scale and gut the sea bass, give an extra wink and smile before asking him to remove the gills as well. This is lovely served with lightly steamed mange tout, drizzled with sesame oil, brown rice and a sprinkling of salt. Oh, and if you don't have a good non-stick pan, now's a good time to invest in one, the difference it will make to your cooking is gastronomic.

Sea bass Petra’s Way

sea bass, 4 fillets
extra virgin olive oil, 50 ml
limes, 3 juiced and zested
water, 50ml
Thai fish sauce, 2 tsp
Pineapple, 100g cubed
Passion fruit 2, pulp removed
Ripe mango, 1 stoned and roughly chopped                                                                                                                                                            
Garlic cloves, 4 bashed
Red chili, 3 deseeded (temper this to suit your taste buds - the sweetness of the fruit balance the heat of the chili)
Coriander leaves, one small bunch
Mint, 2 sprigs, leaves only
SPRINKLE salt over the skin side of the sea bass fillets and leave to one side. This will give you a lovely crispy skin, that tastes delicious!
MIX all the remaining ingredients in a blender and blitz for a minute or so, until silky smooth.
PAN – FRY the fillets for five minutes skin side down.
TURN fish over and cook for five minutes on the other side.
HEAT sauce in a pan for a few minutes until gently bubbling.
TRANSFER fillets onto your favourite plates.
SERVE with sauce, best shared with a dear fiend. Whoever is lucky enough will truly appreciate this; expect good conversation, as sea bass is a good source of omega 3.


  1. This looks delicious.I came across your site from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this sea bass widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about recipes for sea bass,Thanks!

  2. Hi Alisa,

    It's great to hear from you, your website looks lovely. I have added the sea bass widget and would love you to include my blog in your list. Thank you!
    Look forward to sharing recipes.


  3. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,


  4. Bonjour Vincent,

    Thank you for your comment. Your lovely widget is now in place and I look forward to being on;-) I'm a huge fan of French cuisine so will be using your site too.

    Looking forward to sharing recipes!


  5. looks delicious, thanks for sharing :)

  6. Likewise! I will be making French Toast this weekend;-)


  7. Lovely blog Sinead! Beautiful poem! Sorry to hear bad news of your loss. Big Kisses and hugs!! Love u loads ang xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. Lovely Angie, thank you. She's up there with Ed and the Angels, in peace.

    Thank you for always being such a good friend. Please let me know how the mozzarella went, I'd love to see a picture? Huge hug,



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