Chicken in a Pot with Lemon and Orzo

Here is happiness in a pot!

1 chicken (approx. 4 lbs.)
3 fat cloves garlic, peeled
2 medium carrots
2 medium leeks
1 tbs. olive oil
2 lemons
2 tsp. dried tarragon or thyme
2 tsp. sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes
6 1/3 liters cold water
1 cup orzo
6 tbs. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
fresh grated Parmesan, to serve

If time permits, allow the chicken to sit on a cutting board for abut 40 minutes before cooking, then season well. Peel the carrots and cut them into 3 lengths, then into batons. Cut the leeks into 2″ rounds. Heat the oven to 350°F .Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch Oven and add the chicken, breast-side down. Brown over a high heat for 3-5 minutes then turn breast-side up.

Take the pan off the heat and grate the garlic and lemon zest around the chicken. Add the tarragon or thyme and give it all a stir in the oil. Scatter in the vegetables, followed by the salt and chili flakes then squeeze in the juice from the lemons.

Pour in the cold water and bring to a boil. Clamp on a lid and transfer to the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Take the pot out of the oven and sprinkle in the orzo, pushing it under the liquid and give everything a stir. Cook for another 15 minutes, by which time the orzo should be plump and tender.

Let the pot stand uncovered for 15 minutes, then stir in 4 tbs. of the parsley. Using 2 forks, gently pull the chicken away from the bones and discard them. Stir everything again and ladle into warm bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and the Parmesan.

Serves 4-6

Pasta with Anchovy Sauce

Called Bigoli con Salsa in Italian, this savory sauce is perfect with any type of pasta, but works especially well with long, robust pasta such as bucatini.

2 large onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
12 anchovy fillets in olive oil, finely chopped
1 tbs. butter
tiniest pinch ground cloves
1 tbs. water
1/2 cup whole milk
1 lb. bigoli, bucatini, perciatelli or linguini
1 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook over a low heat for abut 10 minutes, or until you have a golden mush. Add the brown sugar and let the mixture cook another minute. Add the anchovies and stir until they begin to melt, then stir in the butter and cloves followed by the water. Gradually add the milk. When it has all come together, remove the pan from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in an abundant amount of salted water according to the package directions. Remove 1/2 cup of the water and drain.

Tip the pasta into the sauce and add enough of the reserved water to make a sauce. Sprinkle in most of the parsley, then spoon into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

Serves 8

Pink Picante Shrimp

If you don’t have pink peppercorns or can’t find them, simply use white one.

1 tbs. pink peppercorns, plus more to crush to decorate
1 tbs. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cardamom seeds, or seeds from 8 pods
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 egg whites
1 1/2 lb. raw, peeled and cleaned shrimp
2 tbs. vegetable oil

Crush the peppercorns, salt, cardamom seeds and paprika in a mortar and pestle until you have a nubbly mixture. Or you can grind them in a spice grinder.

Hand-whisk the egg whites until they are foamy, but not stiff. Dip the shrimp in the egg whites, then toss them with the peppercorn mixture.

Heat the oil a large pan and stir-fry the shrimp for 5-7 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove to a dish and sprinkle with more crushed peppercorns to serve.

 

Serves 6-8

Split Pea Soup and Frankfurter Soup

You can use either green or yellow split peas in this hearty and warming soup.

1 onion
1 carrot
1 stick celery
1 clove garlic
2-3 tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. ground mace
2 1/4 cups split peas
5-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
8 hot dogs

Peel the onion, carrot and garlic, then cut into rough chunks along with the celery. Put everything in a food processor and blitz to finely chop.

Pour the oil into a large saucepan and add the veggies. Cook them for 5-10 minutes, or until soft but not colored. Stir in the mace. Tip in the split peas and stir in the oil for a few minutes before adding 5 cups of the stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour. Add more stock if the soup seems too thick.

Cook the frankfurters on a griddle, cut them into pieces and add to the soup.

Serves 6

Chocolate Chip Chili

Who knew that chocolate does a wonderful job at enhancing chili?!! This feeds a crowd, but can easily be cut in half or a third. The oven does all the work for you making it ideal for entertaining.

3 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fresh red chili, deseeded and minced
4 tbs. vegetable oil
seeds from 3 cardamom pods
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. dried chili flakes
10 chorizo sauasges, sliced
3 lbs. cubed beef
4 tbs. tomato paste
4 tbs. tomato ketchup
4 x 400g cans red kidney beans
3 x 400g chopped tomatoes
4 tbs. dark chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 300°F.

In an oven-proof casserole that has a lid, cook the onions, garlic and fresh chili in the oil until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cardamom pods, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chili flakes for 1 minute. Add the chorizo and cook until their oils run, then stir in the beef.

Add the tomato paste, ketchup, beans and chopped tomatoes. Swirl out a tomato can with water and add to the pot. Bring to a boil and stir in the chocolate chips. Clamp on the lid and bake for 3 hours. Check along the way and add more water if needed.

Serves 12

Cranberry and Soy Glazed Cocktail Sausages

These savory morsels are just the ticket for your holiday drinks party or any other time of year.

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
4 tbs. cranberry sauce
5 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. dark brown sugar
juice of 1 clementine/satsuma
juice of 1 lime
50 cocktail sausages

Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir together the chili sauce, cranberry sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, clementine juice and lime juice in a roasting tin. Add the sausages and toss well.

Roast for 20-30 minutes, turning once, until the sausages and burnished and sticky.

Lamb with Rosemary and Port

This effortless supper for 2 is a jot to make and delicious to eat.

1 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp.Worcestershire sauce
2 lamb steaks
1 tbs. butter
1 sprig rosemary, needles finely chopped
1 fat garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup port

Mix together the olive oil and Worcestershire sauce, then brush the mixture over both sides of the lamb. Season well.

Heat a heavy skillet over a medium heat and cook the steaks for 3 minutes per side, or to your liking. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

Add the butter to the pan and when it has melted, stir in the rosemary and garlic for a minute. Pour in the port and bubble into a sauce. Transfer the steaks to serving plates, add any juices that may have accumulated from them to the pan, then pour the sauce over the steaks to serve.

Serves 2

 

Irish Oaten Rolls

When you fancy fast, fuss-free and fabulous rolls for supper, here is your new go-to recipe!

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oats, plus a little more for sprinkling
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup Guinness or other stout
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey

Heat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

In a jug, combine the Guinness, buttermilk, oil and honey. Pour into the dry ingredients and combine. The mixture will seem runny at first, but it will soon thicken and get mouse-like.

Using a spoon or a 2″ ice cream scoop, drop 12 rounds onto the baking sheet. Dust each with some oats and bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

Italian Roast Chicken with Bell Peppers and Olives

 

This is an adaptation of the original recipe which calls for roasting a whole chicken, then cutting it up to serve. By using chicken thighs, the cooking time is reduce to half.

6-8 chicken thighs
3 leeks, trimmed and cut into 3″ logs, then halved lengthwise
3 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, deseeded and cut into strips lengthwise
2/3 cup pitted olives
1/4 cup olive oil
4 rosemary sprigs

Heat the oven to 400°F. Tip the leeks, peppers and olives into a roasting tin. Toss in the olive oil and roast for 10 minute.

Nestle in chicken amount the veg, season everything well, add the rosemary sprigs and roast 30 minute more, or until the veg are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

Emergency Brownies

Brownies anytime are a treat, but when you need them FAST, here is your recipe!

4 tbs. butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbs. golden syrup or maple syrup
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
3 tbs. cocoa
1/4 tsp. sea salt flakes
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks

Heat the oven to 325°F. Put the butter, sugar and golden or maple syrup in a saucepan and warm gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.

Fork together the flour, cocoa and salt, then beat into the saucepan. Whisk the egg with the vanilla, then stir into the pan. Finally fold in the walnuts and chocolate.

Spread the batter into a 5 x 7″ aluminum pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are coming away but the center is still a little soft.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool 20-30 minute before eating.

Serves 2

Spicy Sausage Patties with Lettuce Wraps

These meaty morsels are bursting with flavor and are perfect served wrapped in crisply cold lettuce leaves.

1 lb. good-quality pork sausage meat
1 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 green chili, deseeded and chopped
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
2 scallions, finely sliced
2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbs. vegetable oil
iceberg lettuce and/or pita breads, to serve

In a large bowl, mix together the sausage, ginger, chilis, garlic, lemon zest, scallions and cilantro. Form into small, flat patties.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the patties for about 3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove them to a warm plate and serve with lettuce and pita bread.

Makes 16 patties

 

Linguini with Chili, Crab and Watercress


This quick and satisfying pasta dish is full of goodness and flavor.


2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 scant tbs. Maldon or other sea salt
1 large red chili
2 lbs. undressed crab meat
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 lb. linguini
handful fresh parsley, chopped
handful watercress leaves, roughly torn

Put a large pot of water on to boil.

With a pestle and mortar pulverize the garlic with the salt to make a smooth paste. Add the chili and crush again. Tip in the crab meat and olive oil, then mix gently.

Salt the pasta water and cook the pasta according to the package directions. drain and tip into a large bowl. Add the crab mixture, parsley and watercress. Toss and serve.

Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course.

 

Pork with Prunes, Olives and Capers

 

Reminiscent of the classic Chicken Marbella, but using pork, this wonderful recipe requires and overnight marinade, so plan ahead and enjoy.

1 pork shoulder, diced for a stew
1 1/2 cups dry white wine or vermouth
3/4 cup pitted prunes
scant 1/2 cup pitted olives
1 tbs. capers
4 tbs. dried oregano
2 1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes
good grinding of black pepper
1 cup chicken stock

Put the pork in a large freezer bag and add the wine, prunes, olives, capers and their juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and squish everything together well. Chill overnight, then take out of the fridge 1 1/2 hours before cooking.

Heat the oven to 325°F. Tip the pork and marinade into a heavy-based casserole that comes with a lid. Add the stock, cover and cook for 2 hours. Check half way through and if there seems to be too much liquid, remove the cover and continue cooking.

 

 

The Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts

Keep these on hand for drinks parties and everyday nibbling.

2 1/4 cups mixed raw nuts
2 tbs. coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. Maldon or other sea salt
1 tbs. butter, melted

Heat the oven to 350°F and spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Transfer to a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Serve warm or keep in an airtight container.

Risotto Bolognaise

Arborio rice is simmered until tender in a lovely meat and tomato sauce in this delicious risotto.

1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and halved
1 celery stalk, halved
1 clove garlic, peeled
handful fresh parsley
6 rashers bacon
4 anchovy fillets
3 tbs. butter, plus 1 tbs. extra
1/2 tsp. regular olive oil
8 oz. ground beef
1/2 cup Marsala
1 x 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tbs. tomato paste
2 tbs. whole milk
2 quarts veal or beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups risotto rice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve

Heat the oven to 300°F. Put the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bacon and anchovies into a food processor and whiz to a fine mash.

Heat 3 tbs. of   butter with the oil in a deep Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Tip the contents of the food processor in and cook 5 minutes to soften. Add the meat and brown, breaking it up as you go with a wooden spoon. Add the Marsala, tomatoes, tomato paste, milk, 2 cups of stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, clamp on the lid and bake for 1 hour.

Once the sauce is out of the oven, fish out the bay leaves, then put on a low burner . Heat the remaining stock. Stir the rice into the sauce. Stir in a ladleful of stock until it is absorbed. Repeat this process until the rice is tender. It should take 18-20 minutes.

Stir in the cheese and serve with a little more sprinkled on top.

Serves 6-8

Easy Salmon and Posh Mushy Peas

This is a marvelous way to eat salmon. The saltiness from the bacon pairs wonderfully with the simply prepared salmon and the tender mushy peas.

2 rashers bacon
2 salmon fillets
1 small clove garlic
2 cups frozen peas
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. sour cream or creme fraiche

Put the kettle on to boil. Using scissors, snip the bacon into a skillet and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Season the salmon and add to the skillet. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, or to your likeness.

In the meantime, put the peas and garlic clove (unpeeled) into a jug and pour over boiling water. Leave for 3-4 minutes, then drain, peel the garlic clove and place the peas and garlic clove in a blender. Whizz until chunky, then stir in the butter, sour cream or creme fraiche and season. Serve alongside the salmon.

Serves 2

Chicken Schnitzel with Bacon and White Wine

Bacon makes anything better and here it is sprinkled over chicken in a quick white wine pan sauce.

1 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
4 strips bacon
4 chicken escallops or large tenders
1/3 cup white wine

Put the oil in a skillet with the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp, then remove and wrap if foil.

Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. You want a high heat so the chicken catches in places. Remove to a serving plate and quickly crumble the bacon on top. Pour the wine into the skillet and let it bubble up, then pour over the chicken and bacon

Serves 4

Lamb Steaks with Anchovies and Thyme

This lovely sauce would also be wonderful with boneless, skinless chicken cooked in the same manner.

1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
2 lamb steaks
4 anchovy fillets
leaves from a few thyme sprigs
1/4 cup rose or sweet vermouth

Warm the oil in a heavy skillet. Season the lamb and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or to your liking. Remove to a foil-line cutting board and wrap it.

Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the anchovy fillets until they begin to melt into the oil. Put the skillet back on the heat and add most of the thyme and the vermouth. Bubble to thicken slightly. Place the lamb steaks on a plate and add any of their juices to the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the lamb and serve sprinkled with the remaining thyme.

Serves 2

Chocol-Oat Cookies

Oats and chocolate go so well together and this easy biscuit is proof.

7 tbs. butter, softened
scant 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
3 tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Heat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugars, then stir in the vanilla and egg. Add the flour, oats and cocoa powder and combine well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll into 1″ balls and place on the baking sheets with space between. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until flattened. Leave on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Squid Salad with Lime, Cilantro, Mint and Mizuna

Mizuna is a peppery Japanese salad leaf which can be substituted for arugula. This salad is fresh, light and absolutely delicious!

For the dressing:

1 bunch fresh cilantro or mint, or a combination of both
1 garlic clove, peeled
1-2 tbs. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 green finger or jalapeño chili, seeded (optional)
1 lime
6 tbs. peanut oil

For the salad:

7 oz. mizuna or arugula leaves
1 small red onion
18 oz. (cleansed weight) baby squid
2-3 tbs. peanut oil, for cooking

Tear the salad leaves away from their stalks and place in a small food processor. Tip in the garlic, fish sauce, sugar and chili. Peel the lime and add the peeling, then process to a paste. Drizzle the oil into the funnel to emulsify. Scrape into a bowl to use later.

Arrange the salad leaves in a bowl or large plate. Peel the onion, cut it in half, then slice it into very thin half moons. Scatter these over the leaves.

Slice the squid into rings, leaving the tentacles whole. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook for a few minutes. Season and scatter over the leaves. Drizzle with the dressing to serve.

Serves 6

 

Chicken with Tomatoes and Peppers

Here is a comforting and satisfying stew that is done in under 30 minutes.

1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tbs. Marsala
1 x 14 oz. can chopped tomtoes
1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes
1 x 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
cooked orzo, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and cook the shallots over a medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken with the dried oregano and turn them about in the pan. Add the Marsala and allow it to bubble for a minute, then tip in the tomatoes. Fill the tomato can half full with water, swill it around, then add to the pan with the salt. Continue to cook, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thicken.

Snip the peppers into the pan and stir until they are warm. Serve over orzo.

Serves 3-4

Seared Salmon with Singapore Noodles

This a lovely way to prepare salmon. The curry powder rub is delicious!

For the salmon:

2 tsp. mild curry powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. table salt
4 salmon fillets
1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil

For the Noodles:

8 oz. vermicelli rice noodles
1/2 cup dried shrimp
1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine
1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
2 cups finely sliced napa cabbage
1 cup baby corn, cut into thin rounds
2 scallions, sliced
2 tsp. mild curry powder
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tbs. soy sauce
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

For the salmon, mix the curry powder, sugar and salt on a small plate and dip the top of the salmon into it to coat. Set aside.

To make the noodles, put them in a large bowl and poor over boiling water. Leave to set for 4-5 minutes, then drain. Soak the dried shrimp in the wine.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and add the cabbage, corn and scallions. Cook for a few minutes, then tip in the wine and dried shrimp, curry powder, ginger, stock, soy and bean sprouts. Toss in the noodles and bubble a few minutes to thicken.

Heat a grill or griddle pan to medium-high and cook the salmon for 4-5 minutes per side, or to your liking.

Serve the salmon over the noodles and sprinkled with cilantro. 

Serves 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti with Marmite

Simple and sublime! 

12 oz. spaghetti or linguini
3 tbs. butter
1 tsp. Marmite
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reverse 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain.

When the pasta is nearly done, melt the butter and Marmite in a small saucepan with 1 tbs. of the pasta cooking water. Toss with the drained pasta and add more of the reserved water to amalgamate if nessecary.

Serve with the cheese sprinkled on top.

Serves 4 – 6

Forgotten Cookies

Affectionately called “Merookies” by Nigella, these delights are a cross between a meringue and a cookie.

2 egg whites
pinch of fine sea salt
1/3 cup plus 2 tbs. caster sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. apple cider or white vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the egg whites and salt together until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a bit at a time until the mixture is thick and gleaming. Fold in the corn starch, vinegar and cardamom, then fold in the chocolate chips and most of the pistachios.

With a spoon, drop mounded blobs onto the baking sheet about   1 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios. Put in the oven, immediately turn if off and leave the cookies to cool overnight.

Makes 12 – 14

Coconut Crab Cakes

The addition of shredded coconut is brilliant here. Not only does it add it’s subtle flavor but it keeps the crab cakes incredibly moist.

1 cup lump crab meat
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
3 tbs. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbs. diced jalapeno peppers, fresh or from a jar
1 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar, plus more to drizzle
vegetable, for frying

Stir together the crab, flour, coconut, jalapeños, cilantro and 2 tsp. vinegar. Pat it down into a compact layer in the bottom of the bowl, cover and chill for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a non-stick, flattish pan or griddle. Press the mixture into a 1 1/2″ ice cream scoop and drop onto the pan or griddle. Cook on both sides until golden and everything is heated through. Repeat to use all the mixture. You can keep them warm in a 225°F oven.

Serve drizzled with more rice wine vinegar.

Serves 6

 

Chocolate, Tahini and Banana Bread

Tahini adds a sophisticated huskiness and a lovely velvety texture to this complex and delicious quick bread.

2 medium, very ripe bananas
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup tahini
1 egg
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 tbs. soft brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
generous 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Beat the bananas to mash, then add the oil and tahini. Add the egg, sugars and vanilla extract. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into the banana mixture, then fold in the chocolate chips. Spread in the prepared pan and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then wrap the bread in parchment, then foil and leave for a day before slicing.

Spatchcock Chicken with Miso and Sesame Seeds

The marinade infused the chicken overnight with a deep and musky saltiness that is balanced with a faint sweetness from the miso.

1 tbs. vegetable oil
2 tsp. sesame oil
4 tsp. sweet white miso
1 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
1 chicken, spatchcocked (approx. 3 lbs.)
2 tsp. sesame seeds

Mix the vegetable oil, 1 tsp. of sesame oil, miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.

Put the chicken into a large freezer bag and pour in the marinade. Squidge it about so that everything is coated and leave in the fridge overnight.

An hour before you want to roast the chicken, take it out of fridge and transfer the chicken and the marinade to a large roasting tin, sitting the chicken breast-side up. Leave to come to room temperature.

Heat the oven to 400°F, cover the tin with foil and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, baste with the pan juices, then drizzle the remaining sesame oil over the top and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Roast, uncovered for another 20 minutes. Let the chicken sit for 10 minute before carving into pieces to serve.

Serves 4-6

 

Salmon with Greens and Shitake Mushrooms

This is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen. The salmon can be grilled on the barbecue is the weather is dry.

2 skinned, salmon fillets
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tbs. vegetable oil
generous 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced or halved
1 3/4 cups roughly chopped bok choy, white stems and green leaves separted
3 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
pepper to taste

Cook the salmon fillets in a good, non-stick pan or griddle until done to your liking. Remove to warmed plates and set aside.

In a heavy-based pan, fry the garlic in the vegetable oil for a few seconds, then stir in the mushrooms and bok choy stems. Cover for 5 minutes or so, then add the bok choy leaves, the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Leave to bubble until the vegetables are tender.

Pile the mushrooms and boo choy next to the salmon and serve.

Serves 2

Sweet and Salty Peanut Cookies

To quote Nigella, “If greed alone were the spur and measure, these would be my favorite cookies”. That seems like a good enough recommendation for me!!

1/3 cup light brown sugar, plus more for dipping later
scant 1/2 cup butter, plus a little more for melting
scant 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tbs. self-rising flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs. or 4 1/2 oz. salted peanuts

Heat the oven to 375°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, shortening, egg and vanilla. Mix together well, then stir in the flour and then the peanuts. Drop the dough in rounded teaspoons onto the baking sheets about 2″ apart. Brush the bottom of a glass with melted butter, then dip in some brown sugar and gently flatten the dough.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, by which time they should be cooked through. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 30

Pork Chops with Fennel Seeds and Allspice

Fragrant with savory spices, these pork chops are a jot to make and a joy to eat.

2 pork chops, not too lean
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. celery salt
punch ground cloves
freshly ground pepper
2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
5 tbs. Marsala

Cut the rind and most of the fat off the pork chops. Mix the flour, fennel seeds, allspice, celery salt, cloves and a good grinding of pepper on a dinner plate. Dredge the pork chops in the mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet that the chops will fit snugly in and cook the pork chops for 5 minutes on each side. Tip in the Marsala and cook the pork chops for 5 more minutes. Remove to heated plates and bubble the sauce until thickened. Pour it over the chops and serve.

Serves 2

Gingery-Hot Duck Salad

This sublime salad is a perfect recipe for duck. The citrus and ginger dressing is just right.

1 duck breast or leg and thigh
2 tbs. fish sauce
juice of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small red chili, deseeded and finely chopped or 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated
few drops of sesame oil
2 green onions, sliced
handful greens such as spinach, arugula, watercress, etc.

Stir together the fish sauce, orange juice, lemon juice, chili, ginger and sesame oil. Set aside.

Grill or saute the duck, fat side down, if not removed, for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave to rest on a cutting board for a few minutes, then slice into slices or pieces.

Pour any pan juices into the dressing. Arrange the greens on a plate, sprinkle with green onions, place duck on top and drizzle the dressing over.

Serves 2

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

These will be your new favorite potatoes – guaranteed!!!

1 lb. baby new potatoes
3 tbs. olive oil
2 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes

Steam the potatoes until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Tip the oil into a small roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Tip the potatoes onto a plate and crush them with a fork. Add to the tin and cook for 20 minutes. Turn them over and cook a further 10 minutes. Remove to a serving bowl or plate and drizzle with the vinegar and sprinkle with the salt.

 

Custard

So many desserts and better served with custard. No offense to Byrd’s, but freshly made is so much better!

1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, slit down the length
2 1/4 cups light cream
5 large egg yolks
1 tbs. sugar

Fill the sink with cold water. You will need this too cool the custard once cooked, or to plunge the custard in if it starts to split.

If you are using a vanilla bean, put it in a pan with the cream and heat until nearly boing. Take off the heat, cover and leave to steep for 20 minutes.

If not using a vanilla bean, pour the extract and cream in a pan over the heat. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together. When the cream is warm, slowly pour it over the egg mixture, beating all the while. Pour everything into the rinsed-out and dried pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the custard has thickened, about 10 minutes.

Plunge into the sink of cold water for a minute or two to cool. You can eat it right away or make it in advance, keep it chilled and warm it over a pan of simmering water.

Serves 4

 

 

Garlic and Parsley Flatbreads

These are something between garlic nan and herby focaccia: dimpled, doughy and headily pungent.

3 1/2 cups white bread flour
2 1/4 tsp. rapid-rise yeast
1 tbs. salt
1 1/3 – 1 2/3 cups warm water
5 tbs. olive oil, plus more for pouring over the garlic and drizzling
3 heads of garlic
bunch of flat-leaf parsley
sea salt, for sprinkling

Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Pour in 1 1/3 cups warm water and the oil and mix to form a soft, but firm dough, adding more water if needed. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Oil a bowl and place the dough inside, turning once. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to double in size, about an hour.

While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 375°F. Cut off the tops of the garlic heads and place in a small, foil-lined baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season and pull up the foil to form a parcel. Roast until soft and golden, about 45 minutes. Unwrap the foil and leave to cool.

When the dough has doubled, punch it down and leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Divide in half and form each into a chunky oval. Place each on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 30 minutes, or until puffy.

Meanwhile, squeeze the garlic out of the bulbs into a small food processor. Add the parley leaves, then pour in enough olive oil to make a paste. Set aside.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Poke your fingers all over the tops of the breads to dimple them, then spread the garlic paste over the tops.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the breads are golden and the garlic paste is a darker brown. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Slice and serve.

One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

This is the most brilliant ice cream ever! The addition of coffee liqueur insures that the mixture will not freeze completely, leaving you with a soft, instant-serve scoop of wonderment.

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbs. instant espresso powder
2 tbs. espresso liqueur
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Put the sweetened condensed milk in a bowl and stir in the espresso powder and liqueur. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it reaches soft peaks. Fold the cream into the condensed milk mixture, then pour into an air-tight freezable container. Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

Asparagus, Radish and New Potato Salad

This simple but sensational salad is dressed with a thick buttermilk vinaigrette. Nigella calls it, “a paean to Springtime”.

For the salad:
zest of 1/2 lemon
small bunch fresh mint
1 lb. baby new potatoes
1 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes or 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt flakes
3 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 1/2 cups halved radishes
4 cups peas shoots, watercress or other salad green, to serve

For the dressing:
1/4 cup buttermillk
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. chopped fresh mint
2 tbs. chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp. sea salt or a pinch fine sea salt
grinding of black papper

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Steam the potatoes with the lemon zest and 2 sprigs of mint for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the mint.

Put the asparagus in a small roasting tin and toss with the salt and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes (6-8 minutes if they are skinny). Tumble the potatoes into the roasting tin, add the fresh tarragon and radishes.

Meanwhile, whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Toss with the asparagus and potatoes. Arrange the greens in a bowl or on a plate, then mound the salad on top to serve.

Serves 6-8

Fruit Tea Loaf

The loaf is easy to make and is perfect with a cuppa or toasted and spread with butter for breakfast.

1 cup hot black tea
2 1/4 cups mixed dried fruit
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch cloves
1 egg

Stir together the tea, dried fruit and brown sugar in a large bowl. Cover and leave to macerate overnight.

Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease a standard loaf tin and line it with a strip of parchment paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cloves together, then stir into the fruit mixture. Add the egg, then scrape into the tin. Bake for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

Lemon Rice

This delicious and citrus-spiked rice is served with toasted black mustard seeds on top for a wonderful contrast and crunch.

1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup plus 2 tbs. basmati rice
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. dried mint
juice and zest of 1 lemon
approx. 2 1/4 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
1 tbs. black mustard seeds

Chose a saucepan with a close-fitting lid. Heat the oil gently before adding the rice. Stir to get a good coating, then add the turmeric and mint. Stir in the lemon juice, water and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce to low, clamp on the lid and simmer for about 15 minutes. The water should be absorbed and the rice tender. Add more water if needed.

Remove the lid, drape a tea towel over the top, replace the lid and leave to sit off the heat for about 30 minutes.

While the rice is sitting, fry the mustard seeds in a small frying pan for a few minutes to toast. Serve the rice sprinkled with the seeds and the lemon zest.

Serves 4-6

Lamb with Rosemary and Port

These quick and and savory lamb steaks have a lovely pan sauce and are tender and flavorful.

1 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp.Worcestershire sauce
2 boneless lamb leg steaks
1 tbs. butter
1 sprig rosemary, needles chopped
1 fat clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup ruby port

Mix together the olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl, then smear it over the lamb with a pastry brush.

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet and cook the steaks for 3-4 minute per side, depending on thickness. Wrap them in foil and leave to rest.

Add the butter to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Add the rosemary and garlic, then tip in the port and bubble until thickened.

Place the steaks on warmed plates and top with the sauce.

Serves 2

Pilaf for a Curry Banquet

Fragrant and festive, this rice will go with any curry entree. The best thing is that it will keep warm for up to an hour after it cooks, so no last-minute stress!

1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tbs. vegetable oil
2 cloves
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. nigella seeds
2 1/2 cups basmati rice
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Cook the onions over a medium-low heat in the oil in a deep saucepan that has a lid along with the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and nigella seeds. When the onion is slightly brown and softened, after about 10 minutes, stir in the rice.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the lid, cover the pot with a clean dish towel and clamp the lid back on. Leave it for at least 10 minutes, or up to an hour. Fork the rice through when you are ready to serve and sprinkle the almonds on the top.

Serves 8-10

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pots

If you like a gooey chocolate chip cookies, then you will be ever so thankful for this recipe. Using ramekins gives just the right goo-to-crust ratio. Nigella recommends serving them with cream or creme fraîche.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
8 tbs. soft butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs. light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanila extract or paste
1 extra large egg
3/4 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly butter 6 x 3 1/2″ ramekins. Mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Using an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter with the sugar until you have a creamy mixture. Add the vanilla and egg, then fold in the flour mixture and the chocolate chips. Divide between the ramekins and smooth the tops using an off-set spatula.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes. They will be quite gooey inside and golden brown on the top and around the edges. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Tarragon Chicken

This fast version of the French classic Polet A L’estragon will remind you of proper, old-fashioned comfort cooking.

2 tsp. garlic flavored olive oil
2 fat or 4 skinny scallions, sliced
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
1/3 cup white wine or vermouth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet or Dutch oven that has a lid and in which the chicken will fit snugly. Add the scallions and dried tarragon and stir for a minute. Season the chicken and place in the pan, curved side down. Cook for 5 minutes, watching that the scallions don’t burn – if they begin to, scrape them up and place them on the chicken.

Turn the chicken over and add the wine or vermouth. Let it bubble a bit, then put on the lid, turn the heat down and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the pan. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil, then stir in the cream and bubble into a sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with fresh tarragon to serve.

Serves 2

Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu

The secret in this lovely ragu is red currant jelly. It brings out the natural sweetness of the lamb.

1 1/2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
4 green onions, sliced
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
250g ground lamb
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbs. red currant jelly
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
250g pappardelle
fresh mint to serve, optional

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and cook the onions for a minute or two, then stir in the mint, oregano and chili flakes. Add the lamb and brown it whilst breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomatoes, red currant jelly, Worcestershire sauce and a good bit of seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes to thicken.

Cook the pappardelle in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions. Drain and toss with the ragu.

Serves 2

Japanese Shrimp

Here is a wonderful, fast and simple supper for two. Using frozen shrimp is the key.

2 tbs. water
2 tbs. sake
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbs. lime juice
1/2 tsp. wasabi powder or 1 tsp. wasabi paste
2 tsp. garlic flavored olive oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. frozen, raw, shell-off large shrimp
2-3 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In a small jug, stir together the water, sake, salt, lime juice and wasabi.

Heat a wok or skillet and add the olive oil and green onions. Stir fry for a minute or so, then tip in the frozen shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes until they start to turn pink and loose their frozen glaze.

Add the liquid from the jug and bubble everything together for 2-3 minute to make a sauce.

Serve sprinkled with cilantro.

Serves 2

Turkey Escallops with Mushrooms and Chives

If you need to get supper on the table in 15 minutes, look no further. The key here is to not overcook the turkey.

2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
3 1/2 cups chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 small bunch chives, snipped
4 turkey escallops
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth

Pour the oil into a large skillet and add the mushrooms. Cook over a medium heat until they soften, adding half the chives midway through. Using a slotted spoon, remove while leaving the pan juices.

Season the escallops well and add to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the wine or vermouth. Allow to bubble for another 2-3 minutes, then transfer to two warmed plates. Tip the mushroom back into the skillet to warm up and spoon them over the turkey. Scatter over the remaining chives.

Serves 2

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes

The grated zest of an orange is what makes this marvelous chicken sing.

2 tbs. regular olive oil
12 chicken thighs (bone-in and skin-on)
1 3/4 lbs. chorizo sausage, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
1 1/4 lbs. baby white potatoes, halved
2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tsp. dried oregano
grated zest of 1 orange

Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the oil in a shallow roasting pan and add the chicken, turning to coat and ending up skin-side up. Season well. Nestle in the chorizo and the potatoes, then sprinkle over the onions, oregano and orange zest.

Cook for 1 hours, basting after 30 minutes with the pan juices. If there is not a lot of pan juice, tip in a bit of sherry to de-glaze the pan.

Serves 6

Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce

The title says it all: homey, comforting, easy and fabulous.

1 chicken, spatchcocked or cut into peices
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 fat garlic cloves, grated
2 tbs. softened butter
75ml dry white vermouth or wine (or 75ml chicken stock)

For the sauce:
300ml heavy cream
4 fat garlic cloves, grated
good grinding of black pepper
sea salt flakes, to taste
3 tbs. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tbs. finely chopped chives

Start by making the sauce so that the garlic can infuse the cream. Combine the cream and garlic in a saucepan with the pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce and bubble for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Put the chicken or chicken pieces in a roasting tin skin-side down. Sprinkle with half of the salt and all of the grated garlic. Rub in gently then leave to sit for 30 minuets.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Turn the chicken over, sprinkle with the remaining salt and pour the vermouth in the bottom of the tin. Roast for approx. 45 minutes until the juices run clear and the skin is golden. Transfer the chicken to either a carving board or heated platter to rest. Add the pan juices to the cream sauce.

While the chicken is resting, bring the sauce back to a boil and add most of the herbs, simmer gently for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it and stirring it regularly. Taste and add salt to taste. (If the sauce fails to thicken, combine 1 tbs. soft butter with 1 tbs. flour and stir into the sauce.) Transfer to a warm jug.

Cut the chicken into pieces if spatchcocked and place on a heated platter. Top with some of the sauce and the remaining herbs.

Serves 6

African Drumsticks

The secret ingredient in this dandy little recipe is apricot jam for flavor and sweetness. The drumsticks can also be grilled, basted the with marinade as you go.

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp. English mustard
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbs. apricot jam
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 chicken drumsticks

1 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil

Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, ginger, jam and onion in a bowl and mix well. Toss in the chicken making sure everything gets a good coating. (Leave in the fridge overnight for more flavor.)

Brush the oil over the bottom of a roasting tin that the chicken will fit snugly in. Arrange the chicken in a single layer and tip over the marinade. Cook for 45 minute to 1 hour, basting once or twice.

Serves 4

The combination of ingredients for the marinade is fabulous. Serve with chutney, if you happen to have any about.

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tsp. English mustard

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tbs. apricot jam

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

8 chicken drumsticks

1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil

Heat the oven to 400°F. Mix the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, ginger, jam and onion in a shallow dish. Dunk the drumsticks in this marinade to coat them all over. (It can be left overnight in the fridge.) Put them snuggly in a small roasting tin or baking dish and pour over any marinade.

Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting once or twice. The deeper the dish or tin, the longer the chicken will take to color and cook through.

Serves 4-6