Steak with Bagna Cauda Butter

Grilled steaks gets the star treatment with this savory, anchovy and garlic flavored butter.

10-12 steaks such as rib eye, fillet or New York Strip

For the butter:

1/4 cup anchovy fillets
14 tbs. unsalted butter, softened a little
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
freshly grated black pepper

To make the butter, place all the ingredients in a small food processor and whizz to blend. Spoon out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a log shape. Chill to set.

Season the steaks well and cook to your liking. Cut the butter into fat coins and place atop each steak.

Serves 10-12

Coconut and Chili Salmon

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

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.

 

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 jalapeƱo 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

 

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

Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry

This is a soft and mellow curry that has a gentle warmth rather than a fierce bite.

3 tbs. vegetable oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3/4″ piece fresh ginger, minced
1 fat garlic clove, minced
2 small green chilis, deseeded and chopped (or 1 small can)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
13 3/4 oz. tin unsweetened coconut milk
4 cardamom pods, bruised
2 lbs. boned, skinned chicken, cut into pieces
7 oz. green beans or asparagus, cut into pieces
1/2 cup cashew nuts
3 tbs. sour cream
small bunch cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a wok or a wide saucepan and gently fry the onions until soft. Add the ginger, garlic, chilis, turmeric, cumin, coriander, then season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or so, then stir in the coconut milk, chicken and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans or asparagus and cook a further 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream.

Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a dry skillet until just golden. To serve, spoon the curry into bowl and top with the cashews and cilantro.

Serves 6

Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds

These cold Japanese noodles go wonderfully well with so many things, especially salmon.

1/3 cup sesame seeds
8 oz. soba noodles
2 tsp. rice vinegar
5 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. sesame oil
5 scallions, sliced

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over a high heat until golden brown, then tip them into a bowl.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and cook the noodles for 6 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain, then plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further. Drain again.

In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and sesame oil. Toss in the noodles, scallions and sesame seeds. Leave for about 30 minutes for the flavors to develop, then serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course

Keralan Fish Curry

This tamarind-sharp curry is light and full of flavor. It’s from the Kerala region of India which is known for it’s refined and aromatic cuisine.

2 3/4 lbs. firm white fish, such as cod, sole, haddock or halibut
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tbs. vegetable oil
2 medium onions, halved and sliced into thin half-moons
2 long red chilis, sliced into thin rounds (seeded or de-seeded depending on your taste)
1 1/2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips
pinch ground cumin
13 3/4 ounces unsweetened coconut milk (1 2/3 cup)
1-2 tbs. tamarind paste (or to taste)
1 tbs. liquid fish stock or chicken stock

Cut the fish into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle them with 1 tsp. of the turmeric and a little salt. Leave them while you start the onions.

Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan and add the onions. Sprinkle with a little salt to stop them browning and cook, stirring often, until they are softened, 5-6 minutes. Add the chili, ginger, remaining tsp. of the turmeric and the cumin. Cook everything for a few minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk along with the tamarind paste and fish or chicken stock. Let this bubble for a few minutes. When you are ready to eat, add the fish and cook for a few more minutes until cooked through. Serve over rice.

Serves 4-6

Caesar Cleopatra

This is a light and lemony caesar dressing with anchovy. Perfect for summer!

2 romain lettuce hearts or 1 romaine lettuce head
1 egg yolk
2-3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of half a smallish lemon
few drops Worcestershire sauce
3 tbs. finely grated Parmesan cheese
half and avocado, spooned into curls
1 cold, cooked chicken breast, cut into fat strips (optional)

Wash the lettuce and tear into large chunks, then scatter on plate. Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl, then slowly whisk in enough olive oil to make a dressing. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Toss this with the lettuce, sprinkle with 2 tbs. of the Parmesan, then toss again.

Arrange the chicken (if using) a top the lettuce, scatter over the avocado and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Give it all a good grinding of black pepper and serve.

Serves 1

Fish with Three-Herb Salsa

This recipe was written to be a medley of salmon, tuna and swordfish. Here is it deliciously adapted for just swordfish.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
zest of 1/2 lemon and 1 tbs. juice
2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbs. capers, drained but not rinsed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried mint
4 smallish swordfish steaks

Make the herb sauce by whisking together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, oregano and mint. Season and set aside for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors develop.

Fry the swordfish in a little oil or cook on the grill to your liking. Remove to a plate and spoon over some of the sauce. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Serves 4