Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry

This is a soft and mellow curry that has a gentle warmth rather than a fierce bite.

3 tbs. vegetable oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3/4″ piece fresh ginger, minced
1 fat garlic clove, minced
2 small green chilis, deseeded and chopped (or 1 small can)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
13 3/4 oz. tin unsweetened coconut milk
4 cardamom pods, bruised
2 lbs. boned, skinned chicken, cut into pieces
7 oz. green beans or asparagus, cut into pieces
1/2 cup cashew nuts
small bunch cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a wok or a wide saucepan and gently fry the onions until soft. Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, then season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or so, then stir in the coconut milk, chicken and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans or asparagus and cook a further 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream.

Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a dry skillet until just golden. To serve, spoon the curry into bowl and top with the cashews and cilantro.

Serves 6

Festive Fusilli

This unfussy supper comes together in a jot. The recipe calls for “sun blush” tomatoes, which are half way between fresh and dried and come packed in seasoned oil. However, fresh tomatoes can be used as well, if they are nearer to hand.

2 cups sun blush tomatoes
3 tbs. vodka
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 lb. fusilli or other short pasta
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
chopped fresh parsley
flaked Parmesan cheese, to serve

Put a large pot of water on to boil.

Chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl and toss with the vodka, salt and sugar. Leave this to steep while you cook the fusilli.

Salt the pasta water and cook the fusilli according the the package directions. Drain and put it back into the pot with the mascarpone, the tomato mixture and half of the chopped parsley. Mix together well. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and the Parmesan cheese.

Serves 5-6

Radicchio, Chestnut and Blue Cheese Salad with a Citrus, Grain Mustard and Honey Dressing

This wonderful wintery salad is made of bitter leaves and salty cheese tossed with a fantastic dressing. If you are not partial to chestnuts, substitute in toasted walnuts. Serve it with a simple roast chicken and supper is sorted.

For the dressing:

2 tsp. lime juice
2 tsp. orange juice
1 tsp. grain mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tbs. olive oil
a drop of sesame oil
sea salt flakes

For the salad:

1 large or 2 small radicchio, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chestnut pieces
1/2 cup fridge-cold blue cheese, crumbled

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well to mix, or whisk together in a bowl or jug.

Put the torn radicchio in to a large bowl. Pour over the dressing, then toss patiently and well. Add the chestnuts and most of the blue cheese and toss again gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and serve.

Serves 4-6

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

Pollo Alla Cacciatora

Usually Chicken Cacciatori is a lengthy affair to make. In this version, Nigella has simplified it without losing any of the slow-cooked, cozy, comfort-food qualities.

1 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
1/2 cup pancetta cubes
6 scallions, chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 4 pieces
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 cup white wine
1 x 14 oz. tin chopped tomatos
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 x 14 oz. tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
chopped fresh parsley, to serve

Put the oil in a pan with the pancetta, scallions and rosemary. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken, stirring well, and the celery salt. Pour in the wine and let it come to a bubble before adding the tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Put the lid on and let the pan simmer for 20 minutes.

Uncover, and add the beans. Cook for a bit longer, then serve with the parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves 4

Chicken with Tarragon Salsa Verde

Let’s be honest here, the chicken is simply the vehicle by which one gets to eat this wonderful and fragrant sauce.

For the chicken:

2 tbs. olive oil
4 chicken breast cutlets or boneless chicken thighs
small bunch fresh tarragon

For the sauce:

leaves from a small bunch fresh parsley (about 1 cup)
leaves from a small bunch fresh tarragon (about 1/4 cup)
1 scallion, green and white part roughly chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Heat the oven to 425°F. Pour 1 tbs. of the olive oil into a shallow ovenproof dish in which the chicken will all fit snuggly. Arrange them skin-side up. Tuck 2 sprigs of tarragon around them and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine the parsley, tarragon, scallion, zest, juice, salt and half the olive oil. Using a food processor or immersion blender, whizz into a paste. Slowly add the remaining olive oil and blend well. Taste for seasoning.

Once the chicken has cooked, pour any pan juices into the sauce and blend again. Serve the sauce drizzled over the chicken.

Serves 4

 

 

Cocktail Sausages

These are not just any cocktail sausages. The sesame oil, honey and soy sauce give them a sweet-savory stickiness that is nearly impossible to resist.

2 1/4 lbs. cocktail sausages (apprize. 75)
1/2 cup honey
2 tbs. sesame oil
2 tbs. soy sauce

Heat the oven to 425°F.

Separate the links if they are joined and arrange in a shallow roasting tin. Whisk together the honey, sesame oil and soy sauce and pour over the sausages, mixing them about well.

Roast for 25-30 minutes, giving them a shuffle half way through.

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

Soft White Dinner Rolls

These are heaven slathered with salted butter!

3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. caster sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 heaped tsp. butter

For the topping:
1 beaten egg
1 tbs. milk pinch salt
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. sesame seeds

Combine the 3 1/2 cups flour with the yeast, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Put the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat until the milk is warm and the butter has begun to melt.

Pour the milk/butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork or wooden spoon to make a rough dough, adding more flour if the dough is too wet. Dump onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and silky. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch the air out of the dough and place on a floured work surface. Pull out walnut-sized pieces and form them into small balls. Place them on a greased or lined baking sheet about 1/4″ apart. You should get about 30 balls. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise again in a warm place until they have puffed up.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Mix the egg with the salt and brush the dough balls, then sprinkle with the seeds. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove them to a cooling rack or serve immediately.

Parmesan French Toast

While obviously a contender for Sunday brunch, this savory take on French toast is wonderful any time. Serve it with soups, stews or a simple roast chicken.

Parmesan French Toast

1 egg
3 tbs. finely grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbs. whole milk
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 slices sourdough bread, not too thickly cut
1 tbs. butter
1/2 tbs. olive oil

Whisk together the egg, Parmesan, milk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and paprika in a shallow dish that will fit the bread snugly.

Add the bread and let it sit for 2 minutes per side to soak up the liquid and soften slightly.

Warm the butter and oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Once the butter is beginning to bubble, add the bread. Cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Transfer to a plate and serve.