One-Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausages

Featuring the classic condiments of Britain (English mustard and Worcestershire sauce), this chicken is as easy as it is delicious.

1 large onion, cut into eights
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. English mustard
1 tbs. dried sage
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
4 lbs. chicken pieces (skin on and bone in)
12 pork sausages
2 tbs. chopped fresh sage

In a resealable bag, combine the onion, olive oil, mustard, dried sage, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Season the chicken well and add to the bag. Schwelch everything together well and leave in the fridge for a few hours or up to two days.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Transfer the contents of the bag to a large roasting tin, placing the chicken skin-side up. Nestle in the sausages and sprinkle with the fresh sage. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning the sausages over half way through.

Serves 6

 

 

Ratatouille

Serve this lovely veg stew on it’s own for a meat-free main or as a side to roasted chicken, pork or beef.

6 tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and sliced
2 bell peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 eggplant, cut into large chunks
5 smallish or 3 large zucchini, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 14oz. tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. ground coriander
salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 tbs. chopped fresh basil or parsley

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Tip in the onions and cook gently until softened, but not browned. Add the peppers, eggplant and zucchini. Cover and cook for 40 minutes on low, stirring now and then. Add the garlic, tomatoes, coriander and seasoning. Continue to cook, uncovered for 30 minutes more, or until the veggies are tender, but not mushy. Stir in the basil or parsley to serve.

Sunday Night Chicken Soup

Any night chicken soup!

4 tbs. sake or sherry
3 tbs. mirin or dry white wine
1 tbs. soy sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes
2 boned, skinned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 nests of Asian egg noodles
1 bunch Asian vegetables (such as box choy) or 1 bag frozen Asian vegetable mix
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
3 cups chicken stock

Mix together the sake, mirin, soy sauce, garlic and chili flakes. Toss in the chicken and leave to marinate 1 hour, if you have time.

Heat a pot of water and cook the noodles according to the package directions adding the veg a few minutes before the end. Drain and set aside

Heat the oils in a small skillet and cook the chicken. Tip in the marinade and bubble until glossy.

Heat the stock. Arrange the chicken, noodles and veg in bowls, then ladle over the hot stock.

Serves 2

Coconut and Chili Salmon Kebabs

This is fresh and simple. Marinate the salmon the night before for an effortless supper.

2 small Thai green chilis, roughly chopped
6 scallions, roughly chopped
bunch fresh cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
1 tbs. Thai fish sauce
juice of 2 limes
1 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
pinch salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 lbs. salmon fillets, cut into large chunks

Put everything except the salmon in a food processor and blitz into a sauce. Transfer to a bowl and toss in the salmon. Cover and chill overnight or at least an hour.

Heat the grill. Thread the salmon chunks onto skewers (presoaked if using bamboo).

Grill for about 5 minutes per side, depending on how hot your grill is and how you like your salmon cooked. Slide off the skewers to serve.

Serves 10

Lemon Curd

Winter is the time that Meyers lemons are ripe and they make a spectacular curd!

2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup caster sugar
8 tbs. butter

Beat together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a jug. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over a low heat. Gradually pour in the egg mixture and add the lemon juice and zest. Stir constantly until the curd thickens.

Minnestrone in Minutes

Super simple, super fast and super good.

1 x 14oz. can cannellini beans, drained
3 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup tomato-based pasta sauce
4 oz. ditalini or other soup pasta
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Tip the beans into a saucepan with the stock and pasta sauce. Bring the pan to a boil and stir in the pasta, then cook according to the package directions. Stir in the Italian seasoning.

Once the pasta is tender, switch off the heat, remove the pan to a cool surface and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes. The pasta will swell and the flavors will improve.

Serves 2

 

Chicken Fricassee with Marsala, Chestnuts and Thyme

Lovely, homey and warming – this is pure comfort food.

3/4 cup Marsala
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
good grinding of nutmeg
good grinding of pepper
4 boned and skinned chicken thighs, cut into pieces
1 tbs. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
2 tsp. thyme leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup vacuum-packed chestnuts, crumbled
basmati rice, to serve

Heat the Marsala and porcini in a small saucepan. As soon as it comes to a bubble, switch off the heat and leave for at least 10 minutes. Drain through a sieve into a jug. Chop the mushrooms and set aside. Save the Marsala.

Tip the flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper into a freezer bag and add the chicken pieces. Shake to coat the chicken. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy saucepan and add the leeks. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft. Add the chicken with any flour from the bag and the choppedvmushrooms to the pan along with the thyme leaves and cook over a medium heat until the flour is no longer visible

Pour in the Marsala and at the stock followed by the chestnuts and bubble on low for about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is thickened. Serve over the rice and sprinkle with thyme leaves.

Serves 4

Linguini with Clams

Classic for a reason, this never fails to disappoint.

1/2 lb. linguini
1 garlic clove
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes
1/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 large can whole or chopped clams, drained
1-2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley, to serve
grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Cook the linguini according to the package directions. Keep out a cup of water, then drain.

Meanwhile, in a skillet that will fit the pasta later, cook the garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes, then stir in the chili flakes, the wine or vermouth and the clams. Bubble to heat the clams, then tip in the cooked pasta. Add enough pasta water to make a sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese to serve.

Serves 2

Beef Pizzaiola

All the wonderful flavors of Italy spooned gloriously atop a perfectly cooked steak.

1 large or 2 small rib-eye steaks
1 tbs. garlic flavored olive oil
4 anchovy fillets
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup pitted black olives
2 tbs. drained capers
2 tbs. dry red vermouth
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Bring the steaks out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking and season well. Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the steaks to your liking. Remove to a plate and tent with foil to rest.

Add the anchovies to the oil in the skillet and smouch them with a wooden spoon to dissolve them. Tip in the oregano, chili flakes, tomatoes, olives, capers and vermouth. Bubble to soften the tomatoes. Pour over the beef and scatter with the parsley to serve.

Serves 2

Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkies are the ultimate side dish for any roast. Oat milk works well to make them dairy free.

1 1/3 cup 2% milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
beef dripping or vegetable oil

Whisk together the milk, eggs and salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, then whisk in the flour.

Heat the oven to 425°F and place 1/4 tsp. dripping or oil in the bottom of 12 muffin tins. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes. Divide the batter between the hot muffin tin and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Swedish Salmon

This is really all about the sauce, which would be equally wonderful with chicken or duck.

4 salmon fillets
1 bunch fresh dill sprigs
4 scallions
1 tbs. kosher salt
1 tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
1 1/2 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. soft brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tbs. white wine vinegar

Lay the salmon in a small roasting tin. Add half of the dill, the scallions, salt, granulated sugar and peppers corns. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover the tin with foil and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for 20 minutes, by which time the salmon will be perfectly cooked and succulent. (Alternatively, bake the salmon for 15 minutes in the oven at 400°F.)

Stir together the mustard, brown sugar, sour cream and vinegar. Chop the remaining dill. Serve the salmon drizzled with the sauce and topped with the chopped dill.

Serves 4

 

 

Red Currant and Mint Lamb Chops

Reminiscent of a Cumberland Sauce, this version is quick and really rather glamorous.

1 tbs. garlic flavored olive oil
6 Frenched lamb chops, seasoned
juice of 3 clementines
1 tbs. re currant jelly (or black, in a pinch)
large dash Worcestershire sauce
large dash red wine or sherry vinegar
1 tbs. butter
chopped leaves from 5-6 stalks fresh mint (or 1/2 tsp. dried)

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet and cook the lamb for 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are and how you like them cooked. Remove to a large piece of foil and seal the foil tightly.

Tip the clementine juice, jelly, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar into the skillet and bubble to thicken a bit. Divide the chops between two plates and pour any juices left in the foil into the sauce along with the butter. Whisk well, then drizzle over the chops. Sprinkle with mint to serve.

Serves 2

 

Lemon Roast Chicken

What’s better for dinner than a perfectly aromatic roasted chicken?!

1 chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 tbs. sea salt
1 heaped tbs. butter
1 tsp. olive oil

Heat the oven to 425°F. Leave the chicken at room temperature for 1 hour, then place in a roasting tin. Put one lemon half in the cavity, sprinkle with sea salt, rub with butter and drizzle with olive oil.

Roasts for 1 1/2 hours. Let the chicken rest in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a carving board. Put the roasting tin over a medium heat and deglaze the pan with the juice from the remaining lemon half, letting the juices caramalize and thicken. Serve drizzled over the sliced chicken.

Serves 2 – 4

Cod Wrapped in Ham

So simple!! A perfect sauce to serve alongside would be a mixture of equal parts basil pesto and sour cream or plain yogurt.

6 cod fillets
6 tbs. butter, melted
12 slices prociutto

Heat the oven to 400°F. Place two slices of prosciutto on a work surface. Place a cod fillet in the middle. Season, brush with butter and wrap the prosciutto over. Place seam-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the top with more butter.

Repeat with the remaining code. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the procuitto in crisp.

Coffee Shortbread

A new twist on a classic – so yummy.

2 sticks plus 1 tbs. butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. instant espresso powder
20 walnut halves

Heat the oven to 325°F and line two baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Roll into 20 walnut-sized balls and arrange on the baking sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly, then top with a walnut half.

Put in the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Leave for 20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool on the baking sheet.

Petit Pois a la Francaise

Here is an easy side dish that complements almost anything.

3 scallions, or 2 shallots, sliced
3 tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic olive oil
1 baby gem lettuce, shredded
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Cook the scallions or shallots in the butter and olive oil until softened. Stir in the lettuce until wilted, then add the peas and stock. Cook at a robust simmer until everything is tender and the liquid has reduced.

Season and serve

Steak with Potato Wedges

Steak and potatoes for supper? Yes please!

2 rib eye steaks
1/2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. softened butter
2 medium russet potatoes
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 rsp. paprika

Stir together the parsley, Worcestershire sauce and butter. Form into a little log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Tip the oil, cayenne and paprika into a small roasting tin. Cut the potatoes into 8 wedges and toss in the oil. Season and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and roast a further 10 minutes.

Season the steaks well and cook to your liking. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 5 minuets. Serve them with a slice of butter on top and the potatoes on the side.

Serves 2

Chicken with Red Grapes and Marsala

I you can’t find chicken supremes, simply use bone-in breast or thighs. It’s really all about the lovely sauce.

4 tbs. Marsala
4 tbs. chicken stock
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. olive oil
2 chicken supremes
20 red grapes
1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves

Heat the oven to 400°F. Mix the Marsala, chicken stock and mustard in a little jug.

Heat the oil in a sturdy skillet or shallow casserole that will fit the chicken snuggly and will go in the oven. Season the chicken and cook, skin-side down for 5 minutes, or until golden. Turn the chicken over and add the Marsala mixture. Bring to a bubble, then drop in the grapes and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin crisp.

Transfer the chicken to two shallow bowls or dinner plates. Put the pan over a high heat and bubble for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauces has reduced and thickened. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Serves 2

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce

These zesty zeppelins are like Eastern Mediterranean meatballs and are served in warm pita breads with chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

For the kofta:

1 lb. ground lamb
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. white pepper
3 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbs. chopped fresh mint
2 tbs. olive oil

For the sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
1 tsp. dried mint

To serve:

chopped tomatoes
shredded iceberg lettuce
pita breads

To make the kofta, tip everything but the oil into a large bowl. Gently, but thoroughly mix together, then form into 10 oblong shapes. Place on a lined baking sheet and chill at least 30 minutes.

For the sauce, stir everything together and set aside.

When ready to cook, heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet and fry the kofta for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve with the sauce, tomatoes, lettuce and pita breads.

Spiced Almonds

There is something irresistibly moreish about these almonds. They are a combination of crunch and kick.

1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. honey
finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 1/2 cups almonds

Heat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl mix together the spices, oil, honey, lime zest and salt. Set aside.

Scatter the almonds on a lined baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Quickly tip the hot almonds into the bowl and stir briskly until the nuts are lightly and evenly coated. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt to taste. Transfer back to the baking sheet to cool. Store in an air-tight jar or tin.

Serves 4

 

Curly Edged Pasta with Lamb Ragu

If you can’t find curly edged pasta, simply use lasagna in this robust recipe.

1 1/2 tbs. garlic infused olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1/2 lb. ground lamb
1 x 14oz. tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp. red currant jelly
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 lb. mafaldine or parppadelle
grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Pour the oil into a heavy saucepan and add the shallots and mushrooms. Cook over a medium-low heat until they have softened. Stir in the mint and oregano. Tip in the lamb and brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomatoes, jelly, Worcestershire sauce and season. Partially cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions in salted, boiling water. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 2

Warm Potato Salad

Here is a wonderful, non-mayo version of potato salad.

4 lb. new potatoes
4 green onions, sliced
1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
8 slices bacon
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbs. whole grain mustard

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and tip in the potatoes. Cook for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cut into bite-sized pieces. Put them into a large bowl with the green onions.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Take the skillet off the heat and stir the vinegar and mustard into the remaining oil. Pour into the bowl and toss everything together gently. Season. Crumble over the bacon and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 10-12

Pork Steaks with Port and Figs

It’s remarkable that such an effortless recipe can taste so luxurious.

6 soft dried figs
2/3 cup port
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
4-6 thin boneless pork chops
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. olive oil

Tip the figs and port into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes to soften the figs and reduce the port. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and set aside.

Combine the flour, ginger, cumin, salt and allspice in a plastic bag. Add the pork and shake to coat. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet that will fit the pork snuggly. Cook the pork over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove to a heated plate. Tip in the port and figs and bubble until rich and syrupy.

Pour the sauce over the pork and serve.

Serves 2

Black Pudding Meatballs

Don’t be put off by the addition of black pudding in these beef-based meatballs. They are fantastic.

For the tomato sauce:

2 tbs. olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs. chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbs. tomato paste
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. sea salt flakes

For the meatballs:

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. black pudding
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbs. chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tbs. chopped fresh chives
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
2 tsp. sea salt flakes
very good grinding of black pepper
2 tbs. old-fashioned oats
2 eggs

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy pan with a lid. Cook the onions slowly until softened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, parsley and thyme, then tip in the tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Fill the tomato can 1/2 full with water, swish it around and add to the pan. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

For the meatballs, crumble the beef and black pudding into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and, using your hands, gently mix everything together. Roll out walnut-sized meatballs and set aside.

When ready to cook, drop the meatballs in the sauce in concentric circles. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer 15 minutes more. Check the sauce for seasoning and serve.

Serves 4-6

 

 

 

Mustard-Caper Sauce for Broccoli

Bored of simply steamed broccoli?  Here is a delicious solution.

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
6 tbs. butter
2 tbs. capers
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
juice of 1/2 lemon

Steam the broccoli until tender, then transfer to a serving bowl. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the capers, mustard and lemon juice. Drizzle over the broccoli to serve.

Serves 4

St. Tropez Chicken

Here is the smell and flavor of the south of France on a plate.

10 chicken pieces, skin-on and bone-in
juice of 1 lemon
`1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup rose wine
2 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
1 tbs. mixed herbs with lavender, such as Herbs de Provence

Put the chicken in a large plastic freezer bag. Add the lemon juice, honey, oil, wine, garlic and herbs. Squelch everything together well and chill overnight or up to two days.

Heat the oven to 325°F and tip the chicken into a roasting tin with the marinade, skin side up. Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours. Remove the foil and turn the heat up to 425°F. Cook for another 15 minutes to brown the skin. (Alternatively, grill over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through.)

Pour the juices from the roasting tin (of if grilling, the marinade from the plastic bag) into a small saucepan. Heat over a medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Serve with the chicken.

Serves 6

 

Barbecue Beef Mince

Serve this in warmed buns like a sloppy joe, in tortillas with shredded cheddar on in jacket potatoes.

1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
2 onions, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled
5 rashers bacon
2 tbs. vegetable oil
3 tbs. dark brown sugar
pinch ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 lb. ground beef
1 x 14oz. can chopped tomatoes
3 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
3 tbs. bourbon
2 tbs. tomato paste

Tip the celery, onions, carrots, garlic and bacon into a food processor and blitz to a nubbly paste. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and add the veg. Cook for 15-20 minutes over a low heat. Stir in 1 tbs. of the brown sugar, cloves and allspice. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Season well and tip in the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, bourbon, tomato paste and remaining 2 tbs. brown sugar. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, adding a bit more water is needed.

Serves 4

 

Pasta with Garlic Oil and Bacon

 

Simple perfection!

2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
1/2 lb. bacon lardons or pancetta
1/2 lb. pasta
shaved Parmesan, to serve

Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the bacon until crisp. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Boil a large pot of water and salt it well. Cook the pasta according to the packet directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain. Tip the pasta into the skillet and toss well, adding enough pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan to serve.

Serves 2

Meatballs with Couscous

The sauce is the star here – loaded with veggies and slightly sweet with dried apricots.

2 tbs. olive oil
2 red onions, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
4 carrots, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup snipped dried apricots
2 x 14oz. cans chopped tomatoes
4 cups couscous
2 dozen cooked meatballs
chopped, fresh parsley, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions, celery, carrots and garlic over a medium-low heat until softened and caramelized. Stir in the spices, apricots and tomatoes. Swish out a tomato can with water and add. Simmer for 1 hour, adding more water if the sauce gets too thick.

When ready to serve, drop the meatballs in the sauce and warm them up. Prepare the couscous per the package directions. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Serves 8-10

 

Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad

Yet another use for rotisserie chicken!

1 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
4 slices bacon
1/2 iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2 small avocados, scooped into chunks
3 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. seasoned rice vinegar
pepper to taste
splash more olive oil, if needed
1 tbs. chopped chives, to serve

Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to cool, then crumble. Do do throw out the oil in the pan.

Put the lettuce, chicken, avocado and bacon in a large bowl. Add the mustard and vinegar along with a good grinding of pepper to the skillet and whisk to combine. Pour over the salad and toss to dress. Drizzle in more olive oil, if needed. Sprinkle with the chives, to serve.

Serves 3-4

Basil Pesto

This classic, multi-use sauce can also be made with wild garlic or ramps when they are in season from March to June. Delish!

2 cups basil leaves, roughly chopped
4 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
7 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
sea salt to taste

Put the basil and Parmesan in a small food processor and blitz to grind. With the motor running, gradually pour in the olive oil until you have a smooth sauce. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste.

Serve over cooked and drained pasta.

Pantry Paella

This is a wonderful way to use up any pork leftovers.

pinch saffron threads
1/2 cup sherry
2 tbs. regular olive oil
3 scallions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups paella or risotto rice
2 cups chicken stock
8 oz. raw shrimp (defrosted if frozen)
1 cup squid tubes, sliced (defrost if frozen)
1 1/2 cups diced, cooked pork
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, to serve
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

Drop the saffron threads into a small saucepan and add the sherry. Place over a low heat and warm, not letting it come to a boil. Leave to cool.

Heat the oil in a large, wide pan and cook the scallions for a few minutes.  Stir in the garlic and the rice. Pour in the chicken stock and the saffron-infused sherry. Stir gently to mix, then leave to simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp, squid, pork and peas. Season well and continue to simmer until the shrimp and squid are cooked and the rice is tender.

Serve sprinkled with cilantro with lemon wedges on the side.

Serves 4

 

Bourbon-Glazed Ribs

A classic summer supper, with these tender ribs, it’s all about the sauce.

24 pork spare ribs or 2 racks baby back ribs
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
175ml bourbon
2 tbs. yellow American mustard
2 tbs. tomato ketchup
2 tbs. soy sauce

Cut the ribs into sections of 3-4 and place in a zip-lock bag. Tip in the remaining ingredients and squelch everything together well. Marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the ribs in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, turning half way through. (Or, grill over a medium heat for a total of 20 minutes, turning often.)

Tip the remaining marinade into a small pan and gently bubble to reduce. Cut the ribs into individual pieces and serve with the sauce.

 

 

Double Chocolate and Pumpkin Seed Cookies

The subtle crunch of pumpkin seeds in this delicious cookie makes all the difference.

5 tbs. butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanila extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch fine sea salt
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

Heat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Tip in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. Combine into a stiff dough, then fold in the chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.

Using a 1″ ice cream scoop, drop onto the baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Salmon Fish Cakes

If you fancy tartar sauce, by all means, serve it alongside these lovely fish cakes.

For the fish cakes:

1 1/2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 lb. canned salmon
1 tbs. melted butter (if the potatoes don’t already have any butter in them)
fat pinch cayenne pepper
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
salt and pepper

For the coating and cooking:

2 eggs
scant 1/2 cup matzo meal (or other bread crumb)
scant 4 tbs. butter
2 tbs. vegetable oil

In a large bowl, tip in all the ingredients for the fish cakes. Gently mix together with your hands, then form into 7 – 9 palm-sized patties. Place on a baking sheet and chill for at least 20 minutes.

When ready to cook, beat the eggs in a shallow, wide bowl and sprinkle the matzo meat into a large plate. One by one, dip the fish cakes into the beaten egg and then into the matzo meal. Return to the baking sheet.

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet and fry the fish cakes until the outside is golden and the inside is warmed through.

Serves 4

Apple Pork Chops with Sauerkraut Slaw

Acid is so important to how food tastes and here the tartness of sauerkraut complements the juicy pork chops perfectly.

1 1/2 cups sauerkraut
1 Gala apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tsp. caraway seeds
good grinding black pepper
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. chopped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 tbs. vegetable oil
2 pork chops
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
4 tbs. apple juice

Tip the sauerkraut into a colander and press out as much liquid as you can, then leave to drain for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the apple, caraway seeds, pepper, olive oil and dill. Set aside.

Season the pork and add the vegetable oil to a heavy skillet. Cook the pork for 5-6 minute per side over a medium-hot heat, or until cooked through. Or grill the chops to your liking. Remove and cover in foil. Add the cloves and apple juice to the skillet and bubble into a rich syrup. Serve drizzled over the pork with the sauerkraut on the side.

Conversely, you can grill the pork and reduce the cloves and apple juice in a small saucepan.

Serves 2

 

Beef and Beans with Pasta

What’s better than a comforting bowl of pasta? The fact that everything is cooked in one pot!

1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1 medium carrot
1 medium celery stalk
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 x 14oz. tin beans, drained – red kidney, cannellini, ect.
2 cups beef stock
1 x 14 oz. chopped tomatoes
2 tbs. ketchup
2 tbs. red wine (optional)
1 tbs. Italian herbs
1/2 tsp. chili flakes
1 2/3 cup macaroni
grated Parmesan, to serve

Put the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in a food processor and whiz to a chunky rubble. Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the veggies until soft, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until browned.

Add the beans, beef stock, tomatoes, ketchup, red wine (if using) herbs and chili flakes. Bring to a boil, then tip in the pasta. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, adding more stock if necessary. Season well with salt and pepper and serve with grated Parmesan scattered on top.

Jumbo Chili Sauce

This savory sauce is good with so many things, but it is especially delicious with roasted duck.

12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
3 red or green chilies, deseeded
1 garlic clove, peeled
zest and juice of lime
3 1/2 cups (lightly packed) cilantro leaves
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil

Tip the peppers, chilies, garlic, lime zest and juice, cilantro leaves and salt in a small food processor. Blitz, then pour in the oil with the motor running to make a thick sauce. The sauce can be keep chilled for up to a week.

 

Pronto Pig Feast

Here is a double quick, double pork supper!

2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
4 thin, streaky slices bacon
6 pork escallops (medallions cut from a pork tenderloin)
1/3 cup Marsala
1 tbs. butter
2 tbs. chopped fresh chives

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet and fry the bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside. Add the pork and cook for 4-5 minute on each side, depending on how thick they are. Remove and cover with foil. Tip the Marsala and butter into the skillet and bubble to reduce.

Pour the sauce over the pork, crumble the bacon on top and scatter with chives to serve.

Serves 2

Cod and Cannellini

Creamy cannelli beans and tender cod are perfect partners in this speedy and super supper.

3/4 lb. cod, regular or smoked
small sprig parsley, stalks removed and leaves chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. peppercorns
1 celery stalk, halved
1 2/3 cups water
1/3 cup white wine
2 x 14oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs. chopped chives, optional

Put the fish in a large skillet with the parsley stalks, bay leaves, peppercorns and celery. Pour in the water and wine and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with foil and simmer in the poaching liquid for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove to the foil and keep warm.

Keep about 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid, then drain off the rest. Add the beans to the skillet, warming them in 1/3 cup reserved liquid for about 3 minutes, adding more liquid  if necessary. Turn off the heat, add the oil and most of the chopped parsley, then lay in the fish. Stir everything together, breaking up the fish a little. Check the seasoning, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and chives, if using.

 

Mexican Chicken Salad with Black Bean Salsa

If you can’t find jicama for this wonderful salad, you can use sliced water chestnuts.

For the dressing:
1 ripe avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbs. lime juice
1 garlic clove. peeled
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
good grinding of black pepper

For the salad:
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 scallions, sliced
1 jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 cups torn romaine lettuce

For the salsa:
1 x 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1/3 cup diced green chilies
1 tbs. lime juice
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt

Begin by making the dressing. Tip all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and and mix until smooth. Check the seasoning and set aside.

Stir together the salsa ingredients and set aside.

Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and spoon over the dressing. Toss well. Spoon the salsa on the top and serve.

Serves 4-6

Swedish Salmon

This lovely and fresh sauce complements salmon any way it is prepared.


4 salmon fillets
3 tbs. Dijon mustard
2 tbs. light brown sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 tbs. white wine vinegar
3 tbs. chopped fresh dill

Cook the salmon to your liking by grilling, broiling, baking or pouching.

To make the sauce, stir together the mustard, sugar, sour cream, vinegar and most of the dill. Season with salt.

Serve the sauce spooned over the salmon and sprinkled with the remaining dill.

Criss-Cross Potatoes

Here is a fun and attractive way to serve potatoes.

4 baking potatoes
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. fine sea salt

Heat the oven to 425°F. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut a diamond pattern of grooves into the top of each side, slicing not more than 1/8″ or so.

Put the cut-side up potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender and golden.

Serves 4 – 8

Steak with Bagna Cauda Butter

Grilled steaks gets the star treatment with this savory, anchovy and garlic flavored butter.

10-12 steaks such as rib eye, fillet or New York Strip

For the butter:

1/4 cup anchovy fillets
14 tbs. unsalted butter, softened a little
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
freshly grated black pepper

To make the butter, place all the ingredients in a small food processor and whizz to blend. Spoon out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a log shape. Chill to set.

Season the steaks well and cook to your liking. Cut the butter into fat coins and place atop each steak.

Serves 10-12

Garlic and Parsley Hearthbreads

Somewhere between a herby focaccia and garlic nan, these easy breads are ideal for a beginning bread maker. Foolproof!

3 1/2 cup white bread flour
1 package rapid-rise yeast (1/4 oz.)
1 tbs. salt
1 1/3 – 1 1/2 cups warm water
5 tbs. olive oil
3 large of 4 small heads garlic
extra-virgin olive oil
bunch flat-leaf parsley

Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Stir the oil into the 1 1/3 cups of water and add to the bowl. Stir to combine into a soft, but firm dough, using more water if necessary. Knead until smooth and elastic on a lightly floured surface, 5-7 minutes. From into a ball.

Lightly oil a clean bowl. Put the dough into the bowl, then turn it over in the oil. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F. Cut the tops off the garlic cloves, making sure they remain whole. Place them in foil, drizzle with olive oil and scrunch up loosely. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until soft and golden. Remove and allow to cool a bit.

Place the parsley leaves in a small food processor. Scoop out the garlic and add. Season and whizz together. Add enough olive oil to make a paste. Set aside.

When the dough has risen, punch it down and leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Divide it in half and roll each half into a bulky oval. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a tea towel land leave to rise for 25 minutes. Heat the oven to 400°F.

Poke your fingers all over to make dimples in the dough. Brush with the garlic paste and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Chicken Fajitas

Delicious, Dazzlingly Easy and Do It Yourself!

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 tbs. garlic flavored olive oil
2 tbs. lime juice
2 tbs. vegetable oil
2 small onions, peeled and cut into thin half moons
3 bell peppers (orange, yellow and/or red), deseeded and cut into
strips
8 soft flour tortillas, warmed, to serve

Optional accompaniments:

grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream
corn kernels
avocado
iceberg lettuce, shredded
fresh cilantro
hot chili sauce

Over a shallow bowl, cut the chicken into strips with a pair of scissors. Toss in the oregano, cumin, salt, olive oil and lime juice. Leave to marinate.

Warm the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok and cook the onions over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Tip in the bell peppers and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until everything is softened.

Add the chicken with the marinade and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with warmed tortilla and the accompaniments of your choice.

Serves 4

Golden Sole with Tarted-Up Tarter Sauce

Here is a simple seafood supper with just the right amount of crunch and a piquant sauce for the side.

1 egg
dash garlic-infused olive oil
sprinkling of salt and good grinding of pepper
1 cup instant polenta
4 sole fillets
vegetable oil, for frying

For the Tarter Sauce:
scant 1/2 cup creme fraiche, sour cream or plain yogurt
2 tsp. baby capers, drained
1 dill pickle or 5 cornichons, chopped
3 rings jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt

Beat the egg with the olive oil, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Put the polenta in another shallow dish. Dip each fillet into the egg, then coat with the polenta. Place on a wire rack to dry a bit and repeat with the remaining fillets.

For the sauce, stir together all the ingredients.

Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the fish for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and crunchy on the outside. Serve with the tarter sauce.

Banana Muffins

You can use butterscotch chips, chocolate chips or white chocolate chips in these lovely, easy and moorish morsels.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (2-3 ripe bananas)
1 cup butterscotch, chocolate or white chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 400°F and line 12 muffin cases with paper liners.

Stir the eggs into the oil. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Gently fold in the oil and bananas, then the chips.

Divide between the muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Cheesy Chili

Serve this chili with cornbread and a tossed green salad.

2 chorizo sausages, cut into fat coins and halved
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbs. tomato paste
1 x 14oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water, to rinse out the tomato can
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 x 15oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
handful of cilantro, leaves chopped

Heat a heavy-based saucepan that comes with a lid and add the chorizo. Cook just long enough for the juices to start running, then stir in the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. When the beef has cooked, add the cocoa powder, oregano and tomato paste. Give it a good stir, then add the tomatoes, water, Worcestershire sauce and beans.

Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bubble until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Serve sprinkled with cilantro.

Serves 6