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.

 

Halloumi with Quick Sweet Chili Sauce

Halloumi cheese is the star here, followed by the beloved red chili. Modulate the heat of the sauce by the amount of chili seeds you use.

3 red chilies
2 tbs. honey
1 lime, halved
1 8 oz. block of halloumi cheese
salad leaves of your choice
extra-virgin olive oil

Slice 2 of the chilies, leaving the seeds in. Then deseed the third chili and chop all of them finely. Add to a small saucepan (something like a butter warmer) along with the honey and the of 1/2 a lime. Put the pan on the smallest ring of the stove and bring to a bubble. Then, turn the heat to low and let it foam for 4 minutes, stirring often.

Slice the halloumi into 8 pieces. Heat a heavy skillet or griddle and cook the halloumi for 30-60 seconds a side, until patchily bronzed. Arrange the salad leaves on the plate and drizzle with olive oil and the juice of the other lime half. Top with the halloumi and drizzle the chili glaze on top. Serve immediately.

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

Meatzza

This is basically a meatloaf made into round disc and served in slices like a pizza. It really does taste like a pizza without the crust!

1 lb. ground beef
3 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbs. rolled oats
3 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
salt and pepper to taste
butter, for greasing
1 x 14oz. tin diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. garlic-flavored olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 oz. fresh mozzarella (not Buffalo), halved then sliced
few fresh basil leaves

Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix together the beef, Parmesan, oats, parsley, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper. Butter an 11″ shallow, round baking pan and pat the mixture evenly and lightly with your fingers.

Make sure to drain as much juice out of the tomatoes as possible, then mix them with the garlic-flavored olive oil and the oregano. Season and spread on top of the meat base. Arrange the mozzarella on top and bake for 20-25 minutes, by which time the meat should be cooked through and the mozzarella melted.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then adorn with some fresh basil leaves and cut into slices, like a pizza.

Serves 6

Eggs in Purgatory

“….or what to eat when you feel like hell.”

1 tbs. olive oil
1 small garlic clove, grated or minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 x 14oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1-2 eggs
2-3 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
bread, to serve (mandatory)
extra grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
chili oil, to serve (optional)

Pour the olive oil in a small skillet and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Put over a medium heat and stir for 1 minutes. Tip in the tomatoes and salt and bring to a bubble. It’s got to be good and hot to pouch the egg.

Crack in the egg, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Partially cover with a lid and let it bubble for 5-6 minutes, by which time the white should be set and the yolk still runny.

Serve with toasted bread for dunking and drizzled with more grated Parmesan cheese and chili oil, if using.

Serves 1

 

Star-Topped Mince Pies

It would not be Christmas with Mince Pies and these are some of the best!

240g plain flour (scant 2 cups)
120g butter, cold and cubed (8 1/2 tbs.)
juice of 1 orange
pinch of salt
approx. 350g mincemeat (3/4 cup)
icing sugar for dusting

Toss together the flour and the cubed butter and set it aside in the freezer for 20 minutes. Place the orange juice in the fridge for the same about of time. After 20 minutes, place the flour/butter mixture and the salt in the food processor and blitz to a porridge-like crumble. Pour in the orange juice through the feeding tube, pulsing until it just begins to come together. If you run out of orange juice, use cold water. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and use your hands to bring it into a dough. Divide into three flat discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, or overnight.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Roll out the first disc as thinly as possible, but dense enough to support the mincemeat. Using a fluted cutter, cut out circles and gently press into mince pie tins. (You may have to do this in batches of three if you only have one mince pie tin.) Spoon in a teaspoon or so of mincemeat into each. Cut out stars and gently place on top.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on them as oven temperatures greatly vary. Remove from the tins and set on a wire rack to cool. If you are working in batches, let the tin cool down between.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with brandy butter.

Date and Marmalade Christmas Cake

Celebrate the festive season with this molasses-rich and last-minute fruit cake. It can be easily shared out because it is both gluten-free and daily-free!

1 cup strong black tea
18 oz. medjool dates, snipped into pieces
3/4 cup candied cherries or dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sultanas
3/4 cup plus 1 tbs. dark brown sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 tbs. coconut oil
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
scant 1 cup good-quality orange marmalade, plus more for brushing
2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup chopped almonds
3 extra large eggs, beaten

In a large saucepan, combine the tea, dates, cherries, cranberries, sultanas, brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Let the batter stand for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 300°F and line the bottom and sides of an 8″ springform pan with parchment paper. (To line the sides, make 1″ snips along the bottom edge and ease it around the tin to form a collar.)

Add the marmalade, almond meal, chopped almonds and eggs to the batter and stir well. Spread in the prepared tin and bake for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours. The sides will be coming away from the tin and the center will leave only a slight stickiness when tested with a cake tester.

Remove to a wire rack and brush with about 3 tbs. marmalade, then let the cake cool in the tin. The cake can be stored in an air-tight container and wrapped in foil for up to a month.