Mustard Pork Chops

This is such a quick and effortless entree. The pork chops are tender and the pan sauce made of mustard, cider and cream adds comfort and piquancy.

2 pork chops
2 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
1/2 cup cider or apple juice
1 tbs. wholegrain Dijon mustard
1/3 cup heavy cream

Trim the chops of any fat and season. Put them between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and give them a bash with a rolling pin to make them thinner.

Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat, then cook the pork chops for abut 5 minutes per side, until just done. Remove them to a warmed plate.

Add the cider to the pan, still over the heat, to deglaze it. Let it bubble for a minute or so, then stir in the mustard and cream. Let the sauce continue to cook and thicken for a few minutes, then pour over the pork chops to serve.

Serves 2

Cauliflower and Cashew Nut Curry

This delightful curry is a fusion of Thai and Indian. It’s a perfect light and meatless meal.

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
2-3 tsp. sea salt flakes or kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 tbs. cold-pressed coconut oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. finely copped fresh ginger
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tbs. finely chopped coriander stems
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
14 oz. tin coconut milk
2/3 cup cashews
1 lime, halved
small handful coriander leaves
naan or flatbreads, to serve

Put a saucepan of water on to boil and tip in the cauliflower. Once boiling, add 2 tsp. salt and the bay leaves. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until just barley cooked. Drain.

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet that has a lid. Add the scallions, ginger, cardamom, cumin and coriander stalks. Stir over a medium heat for a minute or two, then add the curry paste and coconut milk.  Add the cauliflower and check the sauce for seasoning. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cardamom pods.

Meanwhile in a small dry frying pan, toast the cashews until they have colored. Stir half into the cauliflower and set the other half aside.

Transfer the cauliflower to a 2 serving bowls and top with the reserved cashews, coriander leaves and a sprinkle of lime juice. Serve with warm naan or flatbread.

Serves 2

 

My Mother’s Praised Chicken

So named because the chicken is neither pouched not braised.

1 large chicken
2 tsp. garlic flavored olive oil
scant 1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth
2-3 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and cut into approx. 2″ logs
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
1-2 celery stalks, sliced into approx. 2″ pieces
approx. 2 quarts cold water
1 bouquet garni (mixed herb sachet or bag) or 1 tsp. mixed herbs
fresh parsley stalks, or a few sprigs, tied or banded together
2 tsp. sea or kosher salt
2 tsp. red peppercorns, or a good grinding of black pepper
To serve: chopped parsley leaves, chopped fresh dill, English mustard

Get out a large cooking pot with a lid that the chicken will fit snugly in. On a washable surface, un-truss the chicken and place it breast-side down.Press down until you hear the breastbone crack, then press down again so that the chicken is flattened slightly. Cut off the ankle joints below the drumstick, if need be.

Heat the oil in the pan and brown the chicken for a few minutes breast-side down. Turn up the heat, turn the chicken over and and toss in the cut off feet (if you have them). Still over a vigorous heat, add the wine or vermouth and let it bubble down a little before adding the leeks, carrots and celery.

Pour in enough water to cover the vegetables, then pop in the bouquet garni or your choice of herbs, and the parsley stalks. Sprinkle over the peppercorns.

Bring to a boil, clamp on the lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, then leave with the lid still on for another 20-30 minutes.

Serve the chicken and accompanying vegetables in large bowls over brown basmati rice. Spoon the sauce in and add fresh parsley or dill on top. Serve with English mustard.

Serves 4-6

 

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

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.

No-Churn Brandied Pumpkin Ice Cream

It is hard to believe that it takes longer to do the washing up than it does to make this fabulous frozen treat. Spiced by the warmth of freshly grated nutmeg and spiked by the mellowness of brandy, this is, indeed, the ultimate autumn pleasure.

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3 tbs. brandy

Combine the pumpkin and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl and stir to mix.

Whisk the cream into soft peaks, then whisk in the pumpkin mixture until thick again. Grate in the nutmeg and whisk in the brandy.

Pour into an airtight freezer container and freeze overnight. Take out of the freeze 5 minutes before serving to soften.

Asian Flavored Short Ribs

This stew is remarkable in it’s ease for entertaining and it’s fullness of flavor. Serve with short grain brown rice and a green veg.

5 1/2 lbs. beef short ribs, cut into 2″ squares
1 cup hoisin sauce
2 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
2 tbs. Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs. Asian sesame oil
4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 fresh red chili, deseeded and finely chopped, to serve
2-3 tbs. fresh coriander, chopped, to serve
3-4 lime wedges, to serve

Heat the oven to 300°F. Clatter the short ribs into a large pan that has a lid. Mix together the hoisin sauce, water, soy sauce, wine, 5 spice powder, red pepper flakes, sesame oil and garlic, then pour over the ribs. Cover everything with a layer of parchment paper, tucking it in around the ribs, then cover with the lid. Roast for 4 – 4 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and coming away from the bone. Allow to cool for a bit.

Transfer the ribs into a bowl and gently remove the bones. Cover and chill for at least 1 day or up to 3 days.

Before reheating the ribs, remove the hard layer of fat that will have formed on the top and discard. Transfer the meat to a oven-proof dish, cover with a lid or foil and reheat at 400°F for 1 hour or until piping hot.

Scatter the red chili, and coriander over the top and serve with lime wedges.

Serves 6 – 8

 

Steaks with Anchovy Cream Sauce

This is a twist on the classic Steak au Poivre, but instead of giving the cream sauce a punch with pepper, Nigella uses anchovies. They melt into the sauce and add an earthiness and deep flavor that is utterly irresistible.

2 steaks, rump, strip, rib-eye or fillet
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 tsp. regular olive oil
1 tsp. unsalted butter
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic, minced
2 tbs. fresh chives, finely chopped
75ml heavy cream

Take the steaks out of the fridge and sprinkle them with the salt on both sides. Leave them to come to room temperature.

Pour the oil into a heavy-based skillet in which the steaks will fit without too much empty space around them. Turn the heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the steaks and cook 3 minutes a side for rare, or longer for more well done.

Take the pan off the heat and transfer the steaks to a plate, then tent with foil. Put the pan back on the heat and turn it to low. Add the butter to the pan juices. When melted, stir in the anchovies and garlic. Cook for a minute or so until the anchovies melt into the butter. Add most of the chives and pour in the cream. Let the sauce boil and thicken, then remove from the heat. Pour over the steaks and serve sprinkled with the remaining chives.

Serves 2

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.