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

Cod with Broccolini and Chili

Perfect for a kitchen supper for two, this lovely and light dish is ready in no time.

3 tbs. olive oil
4 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 oz. broccolini, trimmed
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
2 cod fillets (approx. 6 oz. each and no more than 1″ thick)
1 fresh red chili, seeded and chopped

Heat the olive oil over a low heat in a large skillet with a lid and add the anchovy fillets. Stir to melt the anchovies into the oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for about 30 seconds before adding the broccolini. Tip in the wine or vermouth and let it bubble, then cover and let the broccolini steam for 7 minutes, until tender-crisp.

Season the cod, then add to the skillet and let it bubble for 3-4 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.

Serve in warmed bowls with the pan juices and topped with red chili.

Serves 2

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

Chicken with Greek Herb Sauce

Simple and healthy, this is certainly a winner!

12 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on or off)
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbs. regular olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped scallions or red onion
1 green chili, deseeded and diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and diced
3 tbs. each chopped fresh cilantro and mint

Heat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken (skin-side up is using) in a shallow roasting pan, then pour over the lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with the oregano and season well. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes. Alternatively, toss the chicken with the lemon  juice, oil and seasoning, then grill for 6-7 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, stir together the remaining ingredients to make the sauce.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with the sauce.

Serves 4-6

Salmon with Greens and Shitake Mushrooms

This fast and fabulous supper will become a staple in your kitchen – I guarantee it!!

2 skinned salmon fillets
1 garlic clove, finely minced or chopped
2 tbs. vegetable or peanut oil
generous 1/2 cup stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 bok choy, roughly chopped, with stems separated from leaves
3 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
pepper to taste

Heat a nonstick pan or wok over a medium-high heat and cook the salmon for several minutes a side or until cooked through. Remove to two warmed plates.

Add the oil to the pan and fry the garlic just until it softens. Stir in the mushrooms and chopped bok choy stems. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, then remove the lid and add the chopped bok choy leaves, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook 1-2 more minutes until the leaves have wilted.

Divide the veg between the two plates, season with pepper and serve.

Serves 2

Salmon with Mustard and Dill Creme Fraiche

This lovely little salmon recipe is fast, fresh and fabulous!

2 salmon fillets
1/2 tsp. with wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried dill
1/3 cup creme fraiche
4 tsp. wholegrain mustard
4 tsp. chopped fresh dill
2 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
cornichons, to serve, optional

 

In a small dish, sprinkle in the vinegar, cumin and dried dill. Add the salmon, turn over once and leave while you carry on with the sauce. Put the creme fraiche into a small mixing bowl and add the mustard and most of the fresh dill.

Now cook the salmon. Heat the oil in a medium-sized frying pan and put the salmon in curved side down. Cook for 4 minutes, then turn over and cook for 1 minute on the other side for a soft-centered salmon, or a few minutes longer if you like your salmon more cooked.

Serve the salmon with the sauce spooned over and sprinkled with the remaining fresh dill and cornichons, if using.

Serves 2

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

Corn Pudding

This sensational side dish would be perfect with a holiday meal …… think Thanksgiving!!!

5 eggs
2 1/4 cups canned sweet corn, drained
1 3/4 cups creamed corn
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
generous 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat the oven to 375°F and butter a 10 x 12″ baking dish.

Whisk the eggs and then stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into the buttered dish, sprinkle with cheese (if using)  and bake for 1 hour, by which time it should be golden and puffed.

Serves 8

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