Cod Wrapped in Ham

So simple!! A perfect sauce to serve alongside would be a mixture of equal parts basil pesto and sour cream or plain yogurt.

6 cod fillets
6 tbs. butter, melted
12 slices prociutto

Heat the oven to 400°F. Place two slices of prosciutto on a work surface. Place a cod fillet in the middle. Season, brush with butter and wrap the prosciutto over. Place seam-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the top with more butter.

Repeat with the remaining code. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the procuitto in crisp.

Beef and Beans with Pasta

What’s better than a comforting bowl of pasta? The fact that everything is cooked in one pot!

1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1 medium carrot
1 medium celery stalk
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 x 14oz. tin beans, drained – red kidney, cannellini, ect.
2 cups beef stock
1 x 14 oz. chopped tomatoes
2 tbs. ketchup
2 tbs. red wine (optional)
1 tbs. Italian herbs
1/2 tsp. chili flakes
1 2/3 cup macaroni
grated Parmesan, to serve

Put the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in a food processor and whiz to a chunky rubble. Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the veggies until soft, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until browned.

Add the beans, beef stock, tomatoes, ketchup, red wine (if using) herbs and chili flakes. Bring to a boil, then tip in the pasta. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, adding more stock if necessary. Season well with salt and pepper and serve with grated Parmesan scattered on top.

Cottage Pie

Everyone loves a cottage pie. This version uses already cooked meat – it’s perfect for left overs.

For the topping:
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 tbs. butter
1/4 cup milk

For the filling:
1 tbs. olive oil
few sprigs of parsley, minced
1 large shallot or small onion, minced
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 stalk celery, minced
1 small to medium carrot, peeled and minced
1 cup left over cooked meat, cubed
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup milk
2 tbs. heavy cream
1 tbs. butter
2 tbs. shredded cheddar (optional)

To make the topping, put the potatoes in a saucepan with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until soft enough to easily mash. Drain and mash with the butter and milk. Set aside.

For the filling, heat the oil in a heavy-based skillet and add the parsley, shallot, garlic, celery and carrot. Cook over a gentle heat until soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add the meat and a little more oil if necessary. Sprinkle over the flour, stir it for 2-3 minutes, then tip in the tomatoes and bubble over a low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and cream and season well.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Spoon the filling into a baking dish, top with the mash and sprinkle with the cheddar, if using. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serves 4

Chicken with Scallions, Chili and Yogurt

The sauce is similar to tzatziki and brightens the lemon-marinated chicken.

6 chicken cutlets
juice of 2 lemons
6 tbs. olive oil, plus more if needed
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 green chili, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cucumber, cut into a small dice
3-4 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 tbs. chopped fresh mint
1 3/4 cups plain yogurt

Marinate the chicken in the 3 tbs. of the oil, lemon juice and some seasoning for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by stirring together the scallions, chili, garlic, cucumber, cilantro, mint and yogurt. Season and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken for 5 minutes or so on each side. (You can also grill the chicken outside.) Arrange on a plate and serve with the sauce.

Serves

These wonderful chicken cutlets can be pan-fried or grilled, weather dependent!

6 chicken cutlets
juice of 2 lemons
6 tbs. olive oil
6 scallions
1 green chili, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cucumber, cut into small dice
3-4 tbs. chopped coriander
1-2 tbs. chopped mint
1 3/4 cup plain yogurt

Marinate the chicken in the lemon juice and 3 tbs. of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the sauce, stir together the scallions, chili, garlic, cucumber, coriander, mint and yogurt. Check for seasonings.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and either heat the grill or heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Cook them quickly for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Add a bit more oil if needed to the skillet. Serve with the sauce.

 

Salmon Scallops with Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette

The simplicity of this lovely salmon is what makes it perfection and the sweet acidity of the balsamic vinegar is an ideal flavor pairing. It is wonderful with Bulgar Wheat with Flaked Almonds and Nigella seeds.

1 tbs. vegetable oil
8 thin scallops or fillets of salmon
6 tbs. balsamic vinegar
6 tbs. olive oil
small bunch chives, snipped (optional)

Heat a heavy-bottomed, well-seasoned skillet or a good non-stick skillet. Tip in the 1 tbs. of vegetable oil, then add the salmon and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or to your liking. Keep warm with tented foil.

In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar and the 6 tbs. of olive oil until warm. Serve poured over the salmon and sprinkled with chives.

Serves 4-6

Shrimp with Garlic and Chili Pepper

Sheer simplicity in flavor and preparation! Serve over pasta or rice.

2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 – 1 fresh red chili (according to size and taste), minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. medium raw shrimp
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Pour the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet, then add the chili and garlic. Cook over a moderate heat for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. Turn the heat to high and add the  shrimp and stir-fry for another 2 minutes until they just begin to turn pink. Tip in the wine and let it bubble for another minute or so, then season with salt, if necessary and stir through the parsley.

Serves 1

Roast Loin of Pork

Classic simplicity and succulent flavors.

4 lb. pork loin
1 cup white wine, cider or stock
4 tbs. orange marmalade

Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the pork in a small roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes per pound. This should take 80 minutes.

Half way through the cooking time, tip in the wine and marmalade. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 150-155°F. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving into thick slices.

Serves 6

Salmon with Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette

Simplicity at it’s finest. You can also grill or broil the salmon to your liking. This is really all about the sweet balsamic vinegar drizzled over the warm salmon.

1 tbs. vegetable oil
4 salmon fillets
6 tbs. balsamic vinegar
6 tbs. olive oil
snipped chives, to serve

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over a medium heat. Season the salmon and cook on each side for 5-6 minutes, or until done.

In the meantime, combine the vinegar and oil in a small saucepan and heat until just warm. Decant to a pitcher.

To serve, place the salmon on warmed plates, drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the snipped chives.

Tagliatelle with Chicken from the Venetian Ghetto

The title is classic Nigella (a little cheeky) and the taste is just as fabulous. Use a rotisserie chicken if time is an issue and we are instructed, “No cheese, please.”

3 lb. chicken
2 tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
1 tbs. finely chopped rosemary leaves, 2-3 sprigs
50g sultanas (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes) (1/3 cup)
100g toasted pinenuts (3/4 cup)
1 lb. tagliatelle
2 tbs. freshly chopped parsley

Heat the oven to 350°F. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tin and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours until well browned and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced. Take the chicken out of the oven and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Take the meat off the bone, keeping the skin, and cut or tear into pieces.

Put a large pot on to boil.

Pour all the juices from the roasting tin into a saucepan. Add the rosemary, sultanas and pine nuts, then simmer gently while you cook the pasta. Salt the boiling water well and cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes. Drain and toss with the chicken and sauce. Serve in a large bowl topped with chopped parsley.

Serves 6

 

Fresh Tagliatelle

Dust off that old pasta maker from the 90’s and try this easy, fun and delicious tagliatelle.

400g OO flour (2 2/3 cup)
1 fat pinch of salt
4 large eggs

Either put the flour and salt in a bowl or on a clean work surface. Form it into a mound and crack in the eggs into the mound. Work with your hands or a spoon until the mixture comes together in a claggy mess. Knead for a few minutes until smooth and satiny. Form it into a ball, cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Have more OO flour at the ready and begin to roll out the pasta.  Cut the ball into strips and feed through the pasta maker as directed. Nigella recommends repeating the no. 1 setting several times, folding the dough in half each time. Pass it through up to no. 5, then put through the tagliatelle cutter. Toss immediately with OO flour and leave to dry a bit.

Cook in plenty of boiling, salted water for just 1-2 minutes, or until tender. Toss with your favorite sauce.