Spaghetti with Marmite

Simple and sublime! 

12 oz. spaghetti or linguini
3 tbs. butter
1 tsp. Marmite
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reverse 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain.

When the pasta is nearly done, melt the butter and Marmite in a small saucepan with 1 tbs. of the pasta cooking water. Toss with the drained pasta and add more of the reserved water to amalgamate if nessecary.

Serve with the cheese sprinkled on top.

Serves 4 – 6

Forgotten Cookies

Affectionately called “Merookies” by Nigella, these delights are a cross between a meringue and a cookie.

2 egg whites
pinch of fine sea salt
1/3 cup plus 2 tbs. caster sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. apple cider or white vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the egg whites and salt together until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a bit at a time until the mixture is thick and gleaming. Fold in the corn starch, vinegar and cardamom, then fold in the chocolate chips and most of the pistachios.

With a spoon, drop mounded blobs onto the baking sheet about   1 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios. Put in the oven, immediately turn if off and leave the cookies to cool overnight.

Makes 12 – 14

Coconut Crab Cakes

The addition of shredded coconut is brilliant here. Not only does it add it’s subtle flavor but it keeps the crab cakes incredibly moist.

1 cup lump crab meat
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
3 tbs. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbs. diced jalapeno peppers, fresh or from a jar
1 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar, plus more to drizzle
vegetable, for frying

Stir together the crab, flour, coconut, jalapeños, cilantro and 2 tsp. vinegar. Pat it down into a compact layer in the bottom of the bowl, cover and chill for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a non-stick, flattish pan or griddle. Press the mixture into a 1 1/2″ ice cream scoop and drop onto the pan or griddle. Cook on both sides until golden and everything is heated through. Repeat to use all the mixture. You can keep them warm in a 225°F oven.

Serve drizzled with more rice wine vinegar.

Serves 6

 

Chocolate, Tahini and Banana Bread

Tahini adds a sophisticated huskiness and a lovely velvety texture to this complex and delicious quick bread.

2 medium, very ripe bananas
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup tahini
1 egg
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 tbs. soft brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
generous 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Beat the bananas to mash, then add the oil and tahini. Add the egg, sugars and vanilla extract. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into the banana mixture, then fold in the chocolate chips. Spread in the prepared pan and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then wrap the bread in parchment, then foil and leave for a day before slicing.

Spatchcock Chicken with Miso and Sesame Seeds

The marinade infused the chicken overnight with a deep and musky saltiness that is balanced with a faint sweetness from the miso.

1 tbs. vegetable oil
2 tsp. sesame oil
4 tsp. sweet white miso
1 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
1 chicken, spatchcocked (approx. 3 lbs.)
2 tsp. sesame seeds

Mix the vegetable oil, 1 tsp. of sesame oil, miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.

Put the chicken into a large freezer bag and pour in the marinade. Squidge it about so that everything is coated and leave in the fridge overnight.

An hour before you want to roast the chicken, take it out of fridge and transfer the chicken and the marinade to a large roasting tin, sitting the chicken breast-side up. Leave to come to room temperature.

Heat the oven to 400°F, cover the tin with foil and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, baste with the pan juices, then drizzle the remaining sesame oil over the top and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Roast, uncovered for another 20 minutes. Let the chicken sit for 10 minute before carving into pieces to serve.

Serves 4-6

 

Salmon with Greens and Shitake Mushrooms

This is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen. The salmon can be grilled on the barbecue is the weather is dry.

2 skinned, salmon fillets
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tbs. vegetable oil
generous 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced or halved
1 3/4 cups roughly chopped bok choy, white stems and green leaves separted
3 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
pepper to taste

Cook the salmon fillets in a good, non-stick pan or griddle until done to your liking. Remove to warmed plates and set aside.

In a heavy-based pan, fry the garlic in the vegetable oil for a few seconds, then stir in the mushrooms and bok choy stems. Cover for 5 minutes or so, then add the bok choy leaves, the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Leave to bubble until the vegetables are tender.

Pile the mushrooms and boo choy next to the salmon and serve.

Serves 2

Sweet and Salty Peanut Cookies

To quote Nigella, “If greed alone were the spur and measure, these would be my favorite cookies”. That seems like a good enough recommendation for me!!

1/3 cup light brown sugar, plus more for dipping later
scant 1/2 cup butter, plus a little more for melting
scant 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tbs. self-rising flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tbs. or 4 1/2 oz. salted peanuts

Heat the oven to 375°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, shortening, egg and vanilla. Mix together well, then stir in the flour and then the peanuts. Drop the dough in rounded teaspoons onto the baking sheets about 2″ apart. Brush the bottom of a glass with melted butter, then dip in some brown sugar and gently flatten the dough.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, by which time they should be cooked through. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 30

Pork Chops with Fennel Seeds and Allspice

Fragrant with savory spices, these pork chops are a jot to make and a joy to eat.

2 pork chops, not too lean
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. celery salt
punch ground cloves
freshly ground pepper
2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
5 tbs. Marsala

Cut the rind and most of the fat off the pork chops. Mix the flour, fennel seeds, allspice, celery salt, cloves and a good grinding of pepper on a dinner plate. Dredge the pork chops in the mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet that the chops will fit snugly in and cook the pork chops for 5 minutes on each side. Tip in the Marsala and cook the pork chops for 5 more minutes. Remove to heated plates and bubble the sauce until thickened. Pour it over the chops and serve.

Serves 2

Gingery-Hot Duck Salad

This sublime salad is a perfect recipe for duck. The citrus and ginger dressing is just right.

1 duck breast or leg and thigh
2 tbs. fish sauce
juice of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small red chili, deseeded and finely chopped or 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated
few drops of sesame oil
2 green onions, sliced
handful greens such as spinach, arugula, watercress, etc.

Stir together the fish sauce, orange juice, lemon juice, chili, ginger and sesame oil. Set aside.

Grill or saute the duck, fat side down, if not removed, for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave to rest on a cutting board for a few minutes, then slice into slices or pieces.

Pour any pan juices into the dressing. Arrange the greens on a plate, sprinkle with green onions, place duck on top and drizzle the dressing over.

Serves 2

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

These will be your new favorite potatoes – guaranteed!!!

1 lb. baby new potatoes
3 tbs. olive oil
2 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes

Steam the potatoes until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Tip the oil into a small roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Tip the potatoes onto a plate and crush them with a fork. Add to the tin and cook for 20 minutes. Turn them over and cook a further 10 minutes. Remove to a serving bowl or plate and drizzle with the vinegar and sprinkle with the salt.