Everyone loves a cottage pie. This version uses already cooked meat – it’s perfect for left overs.
For the topping:
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 tbs. butter
1/4 cup milk
For the filling:
1 tbs. olive oil
few sprigs of parsley, minced
1 large shallot or small onion, minced
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 stalk celery, minced
1 small to medium carrot, peeled and minced
1 cup left over cooked meat, cubed
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup milk
2 tbs. heavy cream
1 tbs. butter
2 tbs. shredded cheddar (optional)
To make the topping, put the potatoes in a saucepan with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until soft enough to easily mash. Drain and mash with the butter and milk. Set aside.
For the filling, heat the oil in a heavy-based skillet and add the parsley, shallot, garlic, celery and carrot. Cook over a gentle heat until soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add the meat and a little more oil if necessary. Sprinkle over the flour, stir it for 2-3 minutes, then tip in the tomatoes and bubble over a low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and cream and season well.
Heat the oven to 350°F. Spoon the filling into a baking dish, top with the mash and sprinkle with the cheddar, if using. Bake for 15 minutes.
This recipe appears in Nigella’s Christmas book where it is titled “Seasonally Spiced Nuts”. They are so delicious, they should not be limited to the holidays.
4 cups mixed nuts of your choice
1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. celery salt
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. light brown sugar
3 sprigs rosemary, needles finely chopped
Maldon or other sea salt, to sprinkle
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. When hot, tip in the nuts along with the garam masala and celery salt. Push them about for 3-4 minutes to toast lightly. Add the olive oil, brown sugar and rosemary. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to coat all the nuts evenly. Tip onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
To make your own apple pie spice, stir together 1 tbs. cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg and 1 tsp. allspice.
3 tbs. oil
3 onions, halved sliced
6 rashers bacon, cut into lardons
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. apple pie spice
6 boneless pork loin chops
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3 cups sharp apple juice
Heat the oven to 325°F. Heat the oil in a heavy oven-proof pan and cook the onions over a medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove and add the bacon. Cook until crisp then remove.
Put the flour and apple pie spice in a plastic bag with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops and shake to coat. Shake off the excess and sear in the pan, adding more oil if needed. Remove the pork and add half the onions, bacon and apples to the pan, followed by half of the pork chops. Repeat. Pour in the apple juice. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours until the apples are tender.
Here is a fresh and delicious way to use tomatoes. Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste to amp up the color and flavor.
6 large, ripe tomatoes, about 1 1/2 lbs.
3 tbs. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cups cold water
1 tsp. kosher salt or 1/2 tsp. table salt
good grinding of black pepper
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
sour cream and chopped fresh parsley, to serve
Put the tomatoes in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic cloves. When they start to sizzle, remove them and discard. Tip in the onions and cook over a medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, or until softened.
Drain the tomatoes. Peel off the skins, roughly chops and remove the seeds. Add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes to softened. Pour in the cold water and add the salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
Puree with a stick blender, then tip in the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender. Ladle into bowl and serve with sour cream and parsley on top.
This dinner party-worthy recipe is a jot to make and the oven does all the work.
12 lamb chops
3 large, white skinned potatoes, skin left on and cubed into 1″ pieces
3 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
2 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
2 lemons, zested
handful fresh parsley and/or dill, chopped
Heat the oven to 400°F. Put the lamb into a large roasting tin, then tumble in the potatoes. Drizzle over the oil, scatter with the mint, red pepper flakes, salt and lemon zest.
Cook for 45 -55 minutes, or until the lamb is cooked and the potatoes tender. Served sprinkled with the parsley and/or dill.
You can also marinate the salmon in chunks, thread it on skewers and grill each kebab for 15 minutes.
2 small Thai green chilis, chopped, or 2 x 4oz. can green chilis
6 scallions, roughly chopped
small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tbs. Thai fish sauce
juice of 2 limes
1 2/3 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk (14 oz.)
1 tsp. sugar
2 lbs. salmon fillets, skinned
Put the chilis, scallions and cilantro in a food processor and blitz to finely chop. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, coconut milk and sugar. Blend into a paste.
Put the salmon in a freezer bag and pour in the sauce. Chill and leave for at least 1 hour. Grill for 5-6 minutes per side, or to your liking.
Meanwhile, put any extra sauce in a small saucepan and bubble for 5 minutes to thicken. Serve spooned over the salmon.
Serves 8 – 10
Not just for salmon, this piquant sauce would be delicious on most any seafood.
2 1/2 cups sushi rice
1 lb. piece of skinless salmon fillet
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 red or green chilis, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbs. minced ginger root 1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbs. sake (Japanese rice wine)
2 tbs. mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
2 tbs. lime juice
Cook the rice following the package directions.
Sear the salmon in a flat griddle or skillet for 4-5 minute on one side, then 1-2 minutes on the other side, depending on how you like your salmon cooked. Remove to a large piece of foil, wrap and set aside.
Mix the remaining ingredients together. Scoop some rice into a bowl, top with chunks to the salmon and spoon over the sauce.
Peanut butter replaces tahini in this wonderful version of the classic chickpea-based dip.
2 x 15oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, peeled
3-5 tbs. olive oil, plus more to drizzle
1/3 cup regular peanut butter
3 tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/3 – 1/2 cup Green yogurt
Place the chickpeas, garlic clove, 3 tbs. of oil, peanut butter, lemon juice, salt, cumin and 1/3 cup yogurt in a food processor. Blitz to a nubbly puree. Add more oil and yogurt if the mixture is not creamy enough. Check the seasoning, spoon into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil to serve.
This winter warmer is undeniably cozy.
2 -3 chorizos
2 green onions, trimmed and sliced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1x 425g tin black beans, drained
1 large tomato, chopped
150ml chicken stock
juice of 1 lime
chopped cilantro, to serve
Cut the chorizo into 1/4″ coins. Cook the chorizo in a saucepan for about 5 minutes, or until they give up their pink oils. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the white part of the green onions along with the cumin. Stir together for a few minutes, then tip in the black beans, tomato and stock. Simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes, stir in the chorizo, then ladle into two bowls. Give each a good squirt of lime and scatter over the reserved green onions and the cilantro.
The oven does all the work for you here. Feel free to swap in other types of seafood – scallops, chunks of salmon and mussels would be lovely as well.
1 1/2 lbs. white-skinned potatoes (about 3 baking potatoes)
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 small red onions
1/4 cup regular olive oil
12 small clams in their shell, soak in cold water and discard any that are opened
6-8 baby squid, tubes cut into rings
1 1/4 lb. raw large shrimp
3 tbs. dry white wine or vermouth
chopped fresh parsley, to serve
Heat the oven to 425°F. Cut the potatoes, without peeling, into thick slices and each slice into quarters. Tip into a large roasting tin with the garlic. Quarter the onions and the lemon and add to the pan, then toss everything with 2 tbs. oil. Roast for 1 hour.
Arrange the seafood on top of the veg and splash with 1 tbs. of the oil and the wine or vermouth. Season well and roast for 15 further. Discard any clams that have not opened. Drizzle with the remaining oil and serve sprinkled with parsley.