Slow Cooked Red Cabbage with Chicken

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Seriously tasty and well worth the time and effort – a dish for a cold snap, full of wintery flavours and scents. And so adaptable to any meat really.

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil / 1 kg chicken – I used breasts skin on but legs or thighs would work / 1 large brown onion sliced / 2 cloves of garlic sliced / 1 red cabbage sliced / 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar / 1 tbsp dark brown sugar / 1 tsp all spice / Zest and juice of 1 orange / 300 ml chicken stock / 250 ml red wine / fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200c fan 180c
  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Add the onion and garlic. Cover with lid and cook gently for 10 minutes. Stir in the cabbage, balsamic vinegar, sugar and all spice. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Pour over the orange juice and zest, red wine and stock and bring to the boil. Cover with lid and transfer to the oven for 1 hour and ten minutes.
  4. After an hour pan fry the chicken skin side down til it is coloured.
  5. When red cabbage mixture is ready, remove from oven, take lid off and nestle your chicken pieces in the cabbage. Reduce oven to 180 c / 160c fan, then pop casserole back in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes til the chicken is golden and cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and scatter the parsley over the dish – serve with creamy mashed potatoes, or dauphinoise potatoes. Drizzle any spare juices over the potatoes. Fabulous!

Coconut Dream Chicken

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This dish is a take on the standard Thai chicken curry but for me, it packs more flavour and has a tropical touch. It is based on a recipe from the BBC Good Food magazine and I strongly recommend you to try it! Simple to cook though you need to get all your prep done carefully first so it is all ready to go!

SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

Oil of choice

8 skin on bone in chicken thighs

1 large onion roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves finely chopped

3 cm piece of ginger peeled and grated

1 1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin powder

3 green chillies halved deseeded and finely chopped

200 gm butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed

150 gm cauliflower florets broken up

225 gm Basmati rice

Bunch of coriander chopped

2 limes zested and juiced

400 ml coconut milk

400 ml chicken stock

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 200C / 180 c fan. Heat a good splash of oil in a shallow casserole or high sided pan that can go in the oven I use a stoneware one, see pic, which is ideal. Fry chicken thighs skin side down til well coloured then remove and put to one side. They will take on a deeper colour in the oven so do not fret. Fry the onion in the same pan til soft and coloured- add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin and chilli. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the cauliflower and squash. Add the rice, half the coriander, the lime zest and half the lime juice and a little seasoning. Put the chicken back in the pan on top skin side up this time! Add a little more black pepper to them.
  2. Heat the coconut milk and stock together gently til just about to boil then pour this around the chicken. Pop the pan uncovered into the oven for 40 minutes or until the liquid has been more or less absorbed and the rice is as you like it. Remove from the oven and add the remaining lime juice and coriander, mixing it in a little amongst the chicken. Serve and enjoy!

Harira (lamb, chickpeas and spinach soup)

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Made this the other day for supper and it is absolutley incredible! I got the recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi. He says in the intro ‘This is a variation on the traditional Moroccan harira soup, flavoured in the same way but without the extra carbs that are often added in the form of rice or pasta. Traditionally a meal for breaking the Ramadan fast, this hearty dish is perfect on a cold winter’s evening.’

I cannot tell you how flavoursome this dish is. It is best made the day before in my opinion – the flavours just develop even more incredibly. Please make this as soon as you can. Please!

INGREDIENTS – 

3 tbsp olive oil   500g cooked chickpeas
1 large onion, cut into 1cm dice
200g lamb neck fillet, cut into 1cm dice
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp caster sugar
1kg tinned chopped tomatoes
1.2 litres chicken stock or water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of saffron strands
100g baby spinach
4 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
salt and black pepper

 METHOD

Add olive oil to a large pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and fry til soft and clear. Increase the heat – add the lamb. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it is sealed and taken on some colour. 

Add the tomato purée and sugar and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, drained chickpeas, stock and some salt and pepper.

Bring the soup to the boil. Reduce heat  and simmer. Cook for 35 – 50 minutes til lamb is tender.

Squeeze the lemon juice into the soup. Season with ground cumin, ginger and saffron. 

Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if you wish.

When ready to serve, bring back to the boil. Wash and cut roughly the spinach and coriander and add to the soup just before you bring it to the table. Serve with lots of good bread! 

A Sea Bass and Giant Cous Cous Supper

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I created this recipe, like so many of us do, to use up some ingredients I had lingering in the fridge and store cupboard. But they had to go with the 2 sea bass filets I had just bought!

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Ingredients for 2 to 3

100 gm Giant Cous Cous – I use Merchant Gourmet brand

A little olive oil

1 tulip shallot diced

Half a red pepper thinly sliced

A bunch of flat leaf parsley

400 gm tinned tomatoes

1 red chilli deseeded and sliced thinly

2 sea bass fillets – or any white fish frankly!

A little water

Method

  1. Cook the cous cous as per the packet instructions – I pan fry them gently in a little olive oil for 5 minutes then add about 100 gm of water and let them simmer gently away for about 15 minutes. Then drain and put to one side.
  2. In a wok or large saute pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add the chopped shallot, red pepper and chilli. Fry gently til the onion softens and starts to turn a little golden.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir. Season to taste.Cook gently for around 20 minutes. til you have a nice velvety sauce.
  4. Now add the cous cous and stir. 
  5. In a separate frying pan cook the fish in a little olive oil – skin side down first for 2 minutes then gently turn and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and flake away the white meat from the skin and add to the sauce. Gently move it around and then add a handful of chopped parsley.

Simple, I know, but stunning and sexy as fish suppers go!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Salmon Salad

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A Fabulous Melange of Green leaves, Salmon and Giant Cous Cous!

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Simplicity itself! Arrange salad leaves of your choosing on a large platter. Pan fry 100 gm of giant cous cous in a little olive oil for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Then add 200 ml of cold water. Add  pinch of cumin seeds and a pinch of smoked paprika and simmer for about 20 minutes stirring often. You may need to top up the water a little if it starts to dry out. Once it is ready leave to one side to cool then spread over your salad leaves. Add a couple of hot smoked salmon fillets broken up. Then add a few dashes of balsamic vinegar and mix gently.

You could always use lentils if you cannot get hold of any giant cous cous.

A great summer light lunch!

 

 

Spicy Sea Bass on a Basmati and Quinoa Bed

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A Perfect Summer Supper or lunch for two!

INGREDIENTS – for two

2 Sea bass fillets 

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

125 gm quinoa

125 gms brown basmati rice

6 baby plum tomatoes

1 clove garlic chopped

A small bunch of basil and stalks

1 level tsp each of thyme,rosemary and oregano

Pinch or two of dried crushed red chilli -up to you how much heat you like!

Handful of grated parmesan

Rock salt and black pepper

A splash of olive oil and a tbsp of  balsamic vinegar

METHOD

In a small pan add the garlic, dried herbs, the basil stalks chopped and the crushed red chilli… and then the olive oil. Heat gently. Once it just starts to fizz a little, take off the heat, let it cool a little and add the tomatoes, tinned and fresh. Bring to a gentle simmer, add the balsamic vinegar, stir and leave with a lid on for about 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 160c. 

Then cook the quinoa and brown basmati rice as per the instructions. Drain and put to one side when cooked. (You might want to do this first before the sauce if the basmati takes a while.)

In a shallow oven proof dish, scatter some torn basil leaves

Pour over the sauce. Pop the fillets on top. Season the fish with a little rock salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the grated parmesan and a few more torn basil leaves. Cover loosely with a sheet of tin foil.

Then slide it into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Gently, with a fish slice, remove the sea bass fillets and pop on a warm plate.

Mix the quinoa and basmati rice into the sauce, then replace the fish, skin removed.

Serve and enjoy!

It’s a cracker and very, very tasty.

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon and Asparagus Kedgeree

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Spring meets India meets salmon…..meets my needs!

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A fab way to eat hot smoked salmon and asparagus with a cheeky hint of lime!

INGREDIENTS

Fine for 4 – or a good supper for 2 with a little for the next day!

  • 300g basmati rice
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp hot curry paste or curry powder will do (Madras)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 225g hot smoked salmon, cut into chunks or flaked
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 8 asparagus spears chopped in to 2 inch pieces – blanched in hot water for 5 minutes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp each chopped fresh coriander and flatleaf parsley

METHOD

  • Pop the rice into a large heavy-based saucepan, pour over 700ml pints water and sprinkle in a good shake of salt. Cover and bring to the boil, then remove the lid and allow all the water to be absorbed – this should take about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover again and allow to steam dry.
  • Melt half the butter with the oil in a large frying pan. Stir in the curry paste or powder and cook until you start to smell the wonderful aromas.
  • Now add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown
  • Once the rice is cooked add the curry and onion mixture  and quickly stir to make sure all the buttery juices are absorbed and the rice is heated through. Now mix in the salmon, eggs, asparagus and lime juice.
  • Stir gently, add the herbs along with cubes of the remaining butter and serve in warm bowls.

A truly tasty and satisfying dish for a Spring weekend.

 

PERFECT POLPETTINE!

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PORK, LEMON AND THYME POLPETTINE

As Nigel Slater describes them in his Kitchen Diaries 1 – ‘a meatball to beat them all!’

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This is one of my favourite supper dishes of the meat variety. Perfect served with noodles.

Please give these a go. You will be so glad you did!

INGREDIENTS

70gm white breadcrumbs

500 gm pork mince

A lemon

Parsley leaves – large handful

Several sprigs of fresh thyme

2 heaped tbsp of grated parmesan

A little flour

Optional – 5 anchovy fillets

Olive oil

40 gm butter

200 ml chicken stock

METHOD

Pop the mince and breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl. Grate the zest of the lemon into the mixture then halve the lemon and squeeze in all the juice. Add chopped parsley leaves and the thyme stripped from their sprigs. Now add the parmesan – and the anchovy fillets chopped – or of not a good grind of sea salt. Now add several good grinds of black pepper.

Using a dessert spoon make about 18 small balls of the mixture. Sprinkle the flour on a board and add each meatball to it as you make them. 

Roll them lightly in the flour. Add the oil to a wok – or large frying pan. Fry the balls on a medium heat for about 4 or 5 minutes, until crispy golden. 

Lower the heat and let them cook through for about another 8 minutes. Try not to move them now.

Then spoon off most of the fat and add the hot chicken stock. Leave to bubble for 2 or 3 minutes.

I now added some finely shredded raw vegetables – bits I had left over – a few bits of broccoli, a couple of cabbage leaves, half a carrot. Whatever you fancy! Or you could leave them out too! Tis up to you. 

I also now added my lightly cooked noodles to the dish and stirred round gently to soak up the flavours.

Thank you again to Nigel Slater for this fab recipe idea. Magnifico!

And a Happy Birthday to him for April 10th!

 

King prawn and chilli frittata

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This is a great take on the recipe I gave you on the 15th February. For this version – which I made for lunch today – and omg it was fabulous – I added 125 gm king prawns as the fish and 1 chopped red chilli along with 6 finely sliced shallots instead of the red onion. My herb of choice was coriander leaf this time. If you use these substitutes the rest of the recipe was the same. Just remember to use good eggs!

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Chicken with peppers

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Pollo con peperoni – chicken at its most supreme

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Supper last night and I was in the mood for chicken…and for pasta…and I had some cream left over and a red pepper…so it had to be this dish…simple and such a refreshing change.

INGREDIENTS

400gm chicken fillet cut into strips

1 large red pepper deseeded and cut into strips

100 ml olive oil

2 small red onions peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic peels and finely chopped

Teaspoon of dried red chillies

100 ml white wine

Salt and black pepper

8 cherry tomatoes quartered

Small bunch of flat leaf parsley finely chopped

150 ml soured cream – single would be fine too

METHOD

Heat half the oil in a large deep pan – a non stick wok with a lid would be dandy – or a stainless steel casserole pan. Add the onion and fry gently over a lowish heat for about 5 minutes until soft. Remove from pan into a bowl and put to one side.

Add the remaining oil – add the chicken – raise the heat to medium and brown the chicken for around 6-8 minutes.

Return the onion to the pan with the garlic and the dried chilli.

Pour in the wine and let it reduce by half. Add the red pepper slices.

Season with salt and black pepper. After 4 minutes stir in the tomatoes. 

Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for around 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Remove the lid and stir in the cream. Add the chopped parsley and after a minute or so – serve with pasta.

A colourful southern Italian dish with more flavours than you could imagine.

Enjoy!

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