Radicchio, Chestnut and Blue Cheese Salad with a Citrus, Grain Mustard and Honey Dressing

This wonderful wintery salad is made of bitter leaves and salty cheese tossed with a fantastic dressing. If you are not partial to chestnuts, substitute in toasted walnuts. Serve it with a simple roast chicken and supper is sorted.

For the dressing:

2 tsp. lime juice
2 tsp. orange juice
1 tsp. grain mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tbs. olive oil
a drop of sesame oil
sea salt flakes

For the salad:

1 large or 2 small radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chestnut pieces
1/2 cup fridge-cold blue cheese, crumbled

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well to mix, or whisk together in a bowl or jug.

Put the torn radicchio in to a large bowl. Pour over the dressing, then toss patiently and well. Add the chestnuts and most of the blue cheese and toss again gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and serve.

Serves 4-6

Bulgar Wheat with Flaked Almonds and Nigella Seed

Nigella often says that if one has an ingredient with the same name, it would be rude not to use it! Here, Nigella seeds pair beautifully with bulgar wheat and it is ideal served with Salmon Scallops with Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette.

1 tbs. olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. Nigella seeds
2 cups bulgar wheat
750 ml cold water
2 tsp. sea salt flakes
2/3 cup flaked almonds, toasted in a dry skillet
small bunch parsley, chopped

Heat the oil in a heavy pot that has a tight-fitting lid. Stir in the lemon zest, thyme, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and Nigella seeds. Stir for 30 seconds, then add the bulgar wheat. Pour in the water and add the salt. Bring to a boil, then clamp on the lid, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. By this time the water should be absorbed and the grains soft.

Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean tea towel, replace the lid and leave for 10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the bulgar wheat and tip into a bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice, almonds and parsley.

Chicken Barley

This thick, creamy potage is somewhere between a soup and a stew and absolutely delicious.

3 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into chunky batons
3 medium parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into chunky batons
3/4 cup pearl barley
6 bone-in, skin-off chicken thighs
5 cups chicken stock
2 tsp. English mustard
chopped parsley, to serve

Tip the veggies into a large pot the comes with a lid. Add the barley and the chicken. Pour the stock into a jug and stir in the mustard, then pour into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring it now and then. If it looks dry, add a little boiling water.

After the hour, remove from the heat and remove the chicken thighs. Using two forks, pull the meat off the bones and return it to the pot. Serve in heated bowls topped with chopped parsley.

Serves 4-6

Garlicy Roast Potatoes with Oregano and Feta

Inspired by chips served in Melbourne, these splendid spuds will delight you.

2 1/2 lb. potatoes, unpeeled and cut unto 1″ cubes
4 tbs. regular olive oil
6 fat cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled to give 1 cup loosely packed

Heat the oven to 425°F. Tumble the potatoes into a shallow roasting tin, large enough for the potatoes to sit in one layer. Toss in the oil, garlic and oregano. Roast for 50-60 minutes until golden, crisp and cooked through.

Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with most of the feta, then sprinkle the remaining feta on top. If you have any fresh oregano, sprinkle it on top.

Serves 4-6

Dirty Lemon Martini

Considering the situation, we have renamed these “Quarentinis. “We are advised by Nigella to, “sip elegantly or knock back as needed.”!

2 shots gin or vodka
1/2 shot white vermouth
1 tsp. juice from a jar of preserved lemons

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the three ingredients. Shake, then pour into a martini glass to serve.

Serves 1

Parmesan French Toast

While obviously a contender for Sunday brunch, this savory take on French toast is wonderful any time. Serve it with soups, stews or a simple roast chicken.

Parmesan French Toast

1 egg
3 tbs. finely grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbs. whole milk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 slices sourdough bread, not too thickly cut
1 tbs. butter
1/2 tbs. olive oil

Whisk together the egg, Parmesan, milk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and paprika in a shallow dish that will fit the bread snugly.

Add the bread and let it sit for 2 minutes per side to soak up the liquid and soften slightly.

Warm the butter and oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Once the butter is beginning to bubble, add the bread. Cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Transfer to a plate and serve.

 

Turkish Eggs

Poached eggs atop garlicy yogurt and drizzled with a peppery butter sauce……YUM!

200g plain Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes or alternative
2 eggs, fridge-cold
2 tsp. lemon juice
chopped fresh dill
bread, to toast and serve

Fill a wide-ish saucepan with water and heat to a low simmer.

Stir together the yogurt, garlic and salt in a heat-proof bowl. Place over a small saucepan of simmering water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water) and stir until the yogurt is a room temperature and has the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Turn off the heat and leave as is.

Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan until it just becomes a hazelnut brown color. Turn off the heat, stir in the pepper flakes and set aside.

Now to poach the eggs. Crack one into a small fine-mesh strainer and let the watery part of the white drain off. Gently tip into a small cup or ramekin, then add 1 tsp. off lemon juice. Repeat with the second egg, then carefully lay them into the simmering water and turn the heat down so there is no movement. Leave for 3-4 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb any water.

Divide the creamy yogurt between two bowl, place a egg on top and drizzle with the butter. Sprinkle with dill and serve with toasted bread.

 

Spatchcock Chicken with Miso and Sesame Seeds

Not that it’s difficult to do it yourself, but you can now buy a spatchcocked chicken in U.S. markets!! (Look for the Bell and Evans brand.) It halves the cooking time needed and the chicken roasts to succulent perfection.

1 tbs. vegetable oil
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
4 tsp. sweet white miso
1 tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 tbs. freshly grated ginger
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 chicken, spatchcocked
2 tsp. sesame seeds

Mix together the vegetable oil, 1 tsp. of the sesame oil, miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger and garlic. Place the chicken in a large freezer bag, add the sauce mixture and squidge everything together. Place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

About an hour before you want to roast the chicken, take it out of the fridge and put it and the marinade in a shallow, roasting tin. Leave to come to room temperature.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Cover the chicken with foil and roast for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil, baste with some of the pan juices and sprinkle over the remaining sesame oil and the sesame seeds. Put it back in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Leave the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving with any pan juices spooned on top.

Serves 4-6

Steaks with Anchovy Cream Sauce

This is a twist on the classic Steak au Poivre, but instead of giving the cream sauce a punch with pepper, Nigella uses anchovies. They melt into the sauce and add an earthiness and deep flavor that is utterly irresistible.

2 steaks, rump, strip, rib-eye or fillet
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 tsp. regular olive oil
1 tsp. unsalted butter
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic, minced
2 tbs. fresh chives, finely chopped
75ml heavy cream

Take the steaks out of the fridge and sprinkle them with the salt on both sides. Leave them to come to room temperature.

Pour the oil into a heavy-based skillet in which the steaks will fit without too much empty space around them. Turn the heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the steaks and cook 3 minutes a side for rare, or longer for more well done.

Take the pan off the heat and transfer the steaks to a plate, then tent with foil. Put the pan back on the heat and turn it to low. Add the butter to the pan juices. When melted, stir in the anchovies and garlic. Cook for a minute or so until the anchovies melt into the butter. Add most of the chives and pour in the cream. Let the sauce boil and thicken, then remove from the heat. Pour over the steaks and serve sprinkled with the remaining chives.

Serves 2