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

Seared Mustard-Coated Salmon

Simplicity in fish form, this lovely salmon is a jot to make. The recipe calls for the fish to be cooked on the stovetop, but it works just as well on the grill.

1-2 tbs. olive oil
2 heaping tbs. English mustard powder
2 scant tbs. sugar
6 salmon fillets

Heat 1 tbs. of oil in a skillet. Mix half of the mustard powder with the sugar on a plate and dunk in half of the fillets. Cook over a medium to high heat for about 3 minutes a side, or until browned on the outside, yet still juicy inside. Remove to a warmed plate. Repeat the process with the remaining salmon.

Serves 6

Black and Blue Beef

These Korean-flavored steaks are meant to be charred on the outside and rare in the middle. Such a treat!!!

4 x 1 1/2″ rib-eye steaks
5 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1″ piece ginger, peeled and minced or grated
4 scallions, chopped
2 tsp. sugar
black pepper

Mix everything except the steaks in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag. Add the steaks and turn over if using s dish or squish them about if using a bag. Leave in the fridge overnight or , if you are pressed for time, at room temperature for an hour.

Grill the steaks on a viciously hot grill or griddle for about 5 minutes per side for rare or longer to your liking. Leave to stand for a few minutes before carving into thin slices.

Nigella recommends eating them mounded on plain steamed rice, stuffed into buns with barbecue or steak sauce or piled on a thin flatbread.

Serves 4

 

Hasselback Potatoes

These are a dandy and delicious little side that pairs with just about anything.

oval shaped all-purpose potatoes: 6 large, 18 medium, 36 small (new)
3 tbs. butter
5 tbs. olive oil
Maldon or other sea salt

Heat the oven to 425°F (or 400°F for new potatoes).

Put each potato, in turn, in the bowl of a wooden spoon and cut 1/2″ slices to about 1/2″ from the bottom.  Place a roasting dish over a medium heat and heat the butter and oil. Roll the potatoes around in the mixture, then arrange cut-side up and sprinkle with salt.

Roast as follows: large potatoes – 1 hour, 10 minutes, medium potatoes – 1 hour, small potatoes – 45 minutes.

Serves 6

 

 

Ricotta Hotcakes

These pancakes are light as air – the kind you want to eat in the garden on a summer’s morning.

1 cup plus 2 tbs. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup low-fat milk
2 eggs, separated
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
2 tsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 pint strawberries, chopped or sliced, to serve
maple syrup, to serve

Put the ricotta, milk and egg yolks into a bowl and mix well to combine. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, then gently whisk to make a smooth batter.

Beat the egg whites until they become frothy and then fold them into the ricotta mixture.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or griddle and drop in heaped spoonfuls of batter. Cook the pancakes for about 1 minute until golden and bubbly, then flip them over and cook another minute. Keep the pancakes warm by tenting them with foil while you work your way through the batter. Serve with strawberries and maple syrup.

Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken

This lovely chicken recipe is a doddle to make and gorgeous to eat!

8 – 10 chicken pieces
1 head garlic, separated but unpeeled
2 lemons, cut into eighths
small handful fresh thyme, most leaves removed, but a few left intact to serve
3 tbs. olive oil
10 tbs. white wine or vermouth
black pepper

Heat the oven to 300°F. Put the chicken in a roasting pan along with the garlic, lemons and the thyme leaves. Pour in the olive oil, then mix everything together with your hands. Sprinkle over the wine and grind in the pepper.

Cover tightly with foil and roast for 2 hours. Turn the heat up to  400°F, remove the foil and roast for 30-45 more minutes or until the skin is browned and the lemons are caramelized. Toss over the remaining thyme sprigs and serve.

Serves 4 – 6

Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino

Simple perfection – pasta at it’s very best.

3 oz. spaghetti
3-4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 fat clove garlic (or 2 smaller) peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 dried red chili pepper or a fat pinch of chili flakes
chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Put a pan of water on for the pasta. When it comes to a boil, add salt and then the spaghetti. When you are about 3 minutes away from the pasta being ready, add the oil and garlic to another pan. Crumble in the dried red chili or flakes and stir over a medium heat. When the garlic has taken on a light golden color, add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and turn off the heat.

Drain the pasta and tip into the olive oil sauce. Toss well and check for seasonings.

Serves 1

Saffron-Scented Chicken Pilaf

This bright and flavorful supper dish will delight everyone. It’s just the right mix of cinnamon-scented chicken, tender rice and toasted nuts.

4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs. whole milk yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
1 quart chicken stock
1 tbs. butter
2-3 tbs. peanut oil
2 1/4 cups basmati rice
3-4 cardamom pods, bruised
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup cashew nuts
1/4 cup flaked almonds
2 tbs. pine nuts
3-4 tbs. shelled pistachios, splintered
small bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Marinate the chicken pieces in the yogurt, juice of 1/2 a lemon and cinnamon for about an hour. Soak the saffron thread in the chicken stock.

Over a medium heat in a large pan with a lid, melt the butter with 1 tbs. of the oil and add the rice, stirring to coat until glossy. Pour in the chicken stock, add the cardamom pods, lemon juice and zest, then bring to a boil. Clamp on the lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, shake the excess yogurt off the chicken. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet and cook the chicken until done. If the skillet is not large, do this in batches so that the chicken browns and does not braise.

In a small skillet, add the cashews, almonds and pine nuts. Toast over a low heat until they just become browned. Remove from the skillet.

When the rice is done, fork it through and add the toasted nuts and the parsley. Stir in the chicken and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with the pistachios to serve.

Serves 6