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

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

 

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.

 

Spiced Bulgur Wheat with Roast Vegetables

This is indeed a treat for a vegetarian or anyone who adores wonderful flavors and textures plus it is a visual feast for the eyes. Enjoy!

For the bulgur wheat:

3 tbs. olive oil
small bunch coriander
2 fat garlic cloves
1 orange
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1 cup bulgur wheat
1/4 cup red lentils
375ml cold water
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes

For the roast vegetables:

2 large leeks, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
2-3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
3 tbs. olive oil
6 radishes, topped and halved

First, make the bulgur wheat. Heat the oil over a low heat in a heavy pan that comes with a tight-fitting lid. Chop the stalks of the coriander and stir into the oil along with the grated zest of the orange and the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, then turn up the heat to medium-low and stir in the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds, followed by the red chili flakes.

Turn the heat to high and stir in the bulgur wheat and lentils. Make a well in the center and pour in the water and the salt. Bring to a boil, then clamp on the lid, reduce the heat to low and leave to cook gently for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean tea towel and replace the lid. Leave for 40 minuets or up to 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Tip all the ingredients for the roast vegetables along with 2 tbs. of the orange juice and 2 tbs. water into a shallow roasting tin that will fit them all snuggly. Toss everything together well and roast for 30 minutes. Stir in the radishes and roast another 10 minutes.

To serve, fork through the bulgur wheat to fluff it up and scoop it into a large bowl. Fork through a third of the vegetables, then chop the coriander leaves and fork through most the them. Taste for seasoning, then top with the remaining vegetables and coriander.

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.