Easy Salmon and Posh Mushy Peas

This is a marvelous way to eat salmon. The saltiness from the bacon pairs wonderfully with the simply prepared salmon and the tender mushy peas.

2 rashers bacon
2 salmon fillets
1 small clove garlic
2 cups frozen peas
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. sour cream or creme fraiche

Put the kettle on to boil. Using scissors, snip the bacon into a skillet and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Season the salmon and add to the skillet. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, or to your likeness.

In the meantime, put the peas and garlic clove (unpeeled) into a jug and pour over boiling water. Leave for 3-4 minutes, then drain, peel the garlic clove and place the peas and garlic clove in a blender. Whizz until chunky, then stir in the butter, sour cream or creme fraiche and season. Serve alongside the salmon.

Serves 2

Sardinian Couscous with Clams

Fregola is a large, round Italian pasta that is similar to Israeli couscous and can be substituted in this wonderful recipe.

2 – 2 1/2 lb. clams
2 tbs. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbs. tomato paste
3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dry red vermouth
1 1/3 cups fregola
3 tbs. chopped parsley, plus more of sprinkling

Soak the clams in a large bowl of cold water to remove any sand. Discard any that do not close or are cracked.

Heat the oil in a heavy pot that has a lid. Cook the shallots until softened, a minute or two, then stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the tomato paste, stock and vermouth. Stir in the fregola, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until the fregola is tender.

Drain the clams and tip into the pot. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes at a fast simmer until the clams open up. Discard any that don’t. Sprinkle in the parsley and ladle into warmed serving bowls. Top with a bit more parsley, to serve.

Serves 4

Peanut Brittle with Art and Soul

Sweet and salty all at once, this easy confection is fast and fun to make and share.

1 cup caster sugar
1/3 plus 1 tbs. golden syrup
60ml water
1 cup salted peanuts
2 tbs. softened butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Tip the sugar, golden syrup and water into a heavy saucepan and gently bring to a boil. Adjust the heat and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts, followed by the butter, vanilla extract and baking soda. Pour onto the prepared pan and spread out with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool completely, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Chicken Schnitzel with Bacon and White Wine

Bacon makes anything better and here it is sprinkled over chicken in a quick white wine pan sauce.

1 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
4 strips bacon
4 chicken escallops or large tenders
1/3 cup white wine

Put the oil in a skillet with the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp, then remove and wrap if foil.

Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. You want a high heat so the chicken catches in places. Remove to a serving plate and quickly crumble the bacon on top. Pour the wine into the skillet and let it bubble up, then pour over the chicken and bacon

Serves 4

Lamb Steaks with Anchovies and Thyme

This lovely sauce would also be wonderful with boneless, skinless chicken cooked in the same manner.

1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
2 lamb steaks
4 anchovy fillets
leaves from a few thyme sprigs
1/4 cup rose or sweet vermouth

Warm the oil in a heavy skillet. Season the lamb and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or to your liking. Remove to a foil-line cutting board and wrap it.

Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the anchovy fillets until they begin to melt into the oil. Put the skillet back on the heat and add most of the thyme and the vermouth. Bubble to thicken slightly. Place the lamb steaks on a plate and add any of their juices to the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the lamb and serve sprinkled with the remaining thyme.

Serves 2

Chocol-Oat Cookies

Oats and chocolate go so well together and this easy biscuit is proof.

7 tbs. butter, softened
scant 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
3 tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Heat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugars, then stir in the vanilla and egg. Add the flour, oats and cocoa powder and combine well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll into 1″ balls and place on the baking sheets with space between. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until flattened. Leave on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Linguini with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms

Pasta Perfection!


4 cups finely sliced button mushrooms
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. kosher salt or 1/2 tsp. table salt
small garlic clove, minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped to give 1 tsp.
1 lb. linguini
1 small bunch parsley, chopped to give 1/2 cup
2-3 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper

Put the mushrooms in a large bowl and toss in the oil, salt, garlic, lemon juice and zest and thyme leaves.

Cook the linguini per the package directions. Keep back a bit of the pasta water, then drain and add to the bowl. Ross everything together adding some pasta water if necessary. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, parsley and pepper.

Serves 4 – 6

Squid Salad with Lime, Cilantro, Mint and Mizuna

Mizuna is a peppery Japanese salad leaf which can be substituted for arugula. This salad is fresh, light and absolutely delicious!

For the dressing:

1 bunch fresh cilantro or mint, or a combination of both
1 garlic clove, peeled
1-2 tbs. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 green finger or jalapeño chili, seeded (optional)
1 lime
6 tbs. peanut oil

For the salad:

7 oz. mizuna or arugula leaves
1 small red onion
18 oz. (cleansed weight) baby squid
2-3 tbs. peanut oil, for cooking

Tear the salad leaves away from their stalks and place in a small food processor. Tip in the garlic, fish sauce, sugar and chili. Peel the lime and add the peeling, then process to a paste. Drizzle the oil into the funnel to emulsify. Scrape into a bowl to use later.

Arrange the salad leaves in a bowl or large plate. Peel the onion, cut it in half, then slice it into very thin half moons. Scatter these over the leaves.

Slice the squid into rings, leaving the tentacles whole. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook for a few minutes. Season and scatter over the leaves. Drizzle with the dressing to serve.

Serves 6

 

Chicken with Tomatoes and Peppers

Here is a comforting and satisfying stew that is done in under 30 minutes.

1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tbs. Marsala
1 x 14 oz. can chopped tomtoes
1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes
1 x 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
cooked orzo, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and cook the shallots over a medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken with the dried oregano and turn them about in the pan. Add the Marsala and allow it to bubble for a minute, then tip in the tomatoes. Fill the tomato can half full with water, swill it around, then add to the pan with the salt. Continue to cook, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thicken.

Snip the peppers into the pan and stir until they are warm. Serve over orzo.

Serves 3-4

Seared Salmon with Singapore Noodles

This a lovely way to prepare salmon. The curry powder rub is delicious!

For the salmon:

2 tsp. mild curry powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. table salt
4 salmon fillets
1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil

For the Noodles:

8 oz. vermicelli rice noodles
1/2 cup dried shrimp
1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine
1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
2 cups finely sliced napa cabbage
1 cup baby corn, cut into thin rounds
2 scallions, sliced
2 tsp. mild curry powder
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tbs. soy sauce
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

For the salmon, mix the curry powder, sugar and salt on a small plate and dip the top of the salmon into it to coat. Set aside.

To make the noodles, put them in a large bowl and poor over boiling water. Leave to set for 4-5 minutes, then drain. Soak the dried shrimp in the wine.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and add the cabbage, corn and scallions. Cook for a few minutes, then tip in the wine and dried shrimp, curry powder, ginger, stock, soy and bean sprouts. Toss in the noodles and bubble a few minutes to thicken.

Heat a grill or griddle pan to medium-high and cook the salmon for 4-5 minutes per side, or to your liking.

Serve the salmon over the noodles and sprinkled with cilantro. 

Serves 4