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

Catalan Toasts

Something akin to Italian tomato bruschetta where the tomatoes are roughly chopped, this Spanish version finely chops the tomatoes into a fuzzy mush. They are spread on toasted bread and make a fabulous side dish or easy lunch.

1 large, very ripe tomato (not beefsteak), chopped very finely
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 chunky slices sourdough or other rustic bread, halved

Having chopped the tomato, keep  it on the board and add the garlic, mashing them together with a fork. Transfer to a small bowl and add the olive oil. You should have about 1/2 cup. Ideally, leave the mixture to sit for a while.

Toast the bread, spread with the tomato mixture and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Serves 2-3

Mussels with Pasta and Tomatoes

These marvelous moules are a jot to make and a delight to eat. By the time it takes to cook pasta, supper is sorted. Place the pan in the middle of the table and serve this family style in large bowls.

Mussels with Pasta and Tomatoes

2 lbs. mussels
8 oz. short, stubby pasta such as macaroni or ditalini
2 tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatos, cut across the equator
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
80ml red vermouth
4 tbs. chopped fresh parsely

Clean the beards from the mussels and rub off any debris from their shells. Soak in cold water for 20 minutes, then discard any that are still open.

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large, wide pan that has a lid. Tumble in the tomatoes and cook until softened over a medium heat, 2-3 minutes. Tip in the garlic, chili flakes and salt. Stir often until the tomatoes start to melt down and make a juice, 3-4 minutes. Pour in the vermouth and let it bubble up.

Add the mussels to the pan and cover. Cook, shaking the pan a few times, for 3-4 minutes, or until the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that have stayed closed. Add the pasta, cover and leave for a minute or two off the heat. Uncover, stir in most of the parsley and serve with the remaining parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves 4

Pork Steaks with Port and Figs

Nigella calls this “Pig and Fig” for obvious reasons. The best part is the rich and syrupy port laced pan sauce.

6 soft, dried figs
175ml Tawny part
1 tbs. plain flour
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. around cumin
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
4 thick-cut pork loin steaks
1 tsp. regular olive oil
2 tbs. butter
few drops Worcestershire sauce

Put the figs in a small saucepan, pour over the port and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let them bubble for about 10 minutes. The figs should be soft and swollen and the port reduced by about half. Remove from the heat.

Mix the flour, spices and salt in a freezer bag. Drop in the pork and shake to coat evenly.

Over a medium-high heat, war the oil and butter in a heavy-based skillet that will fit the pork snugly. Add the pork and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove to a plate.

To the skillet, add the figs, port and Worcestershire sauce. Over the heat, let it bubble for about 30 seconds, or until rich and syrupy. Pour over the pork and serve.

Serves 2