Lemon Roast Chicken

What’s better for dinner than a perfectly aromatic roasted chicken?!

1 chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 tbs. sea salt
1 heaped tbs. butter
1 tsp. olive oil

Heat the oven to 425°F. Leave the chicken at room temperature for 1 hour, then place in a roasting tin. Put one lemon half in the cavity, sprinkle with sea salt, rub with butter and drizzle with olive oil.

Roasts for 1 1/2 hours. Let the chicken rest in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a carving board. Put the roasting tin over a medium heat and deglaze the pan with the juice from the remaining lemon half, letting the juices caramalize and thicken. Serve drizzled over the sliced chicken.

Serves 2 – 4

Cod Wrapped in Ham

So simple!! A perfect sauce to serve alongside would be a mixture of equal parts basil pesto and sour cream or plain yogurt.

6 cod fillets
6 tbs. butter, melted
12 slices prociutto

Heat the oven to 400°F. Place two slices of prosciutto on a work surface. Place a cod fillet in the middle. Season, brush with butter and wrap the prosciutto over. Place seam-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the top with more butter.

Repeat with the remaining code. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the procuitto in crisp.

Coffee Shortbread

A new twist on a classic – so yummy.

2 sticks plus 1 tbs. butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. instant espresso powder
20 walnut halves

Heat the oven to 325°F and line two baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Roll into 20 walnut-sized balls and arrange on the baking sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly, then top with a walnut half.

Put in the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Leave for 20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool on the baking sheet.

Petit Pois a la Francaise

Here is an easy side dish that complements almost anything.

3 scallions, or 2 shallots, sliced
3 tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic olive oil
1 baby gem lettuce, shredded
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Cook the scallions or shallots in the butter and olive oil until softened. Stir in the lettuce until wilted, then add the peas and stock. Cook at a robust simmer until everything is tender and the liquid has reduced.

Season and serve

Spaghetti with Chard, Chili and Anchovy

This fabulous pasta will feed two, but can be easily increased.

10 oz. rainbow (or other) chard
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
8 anchovy fillets
3 fat garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
6 1/2 oz. spaghetti
2-3 tsp. Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more to serve

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Strip the chard leaves from the stalks. Roll up and slice finely. Cut the stalks into 1″ pieces.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the anchovies. Cook gently until they seem to melt into the oil. Stir in the garlic and chili flakes for 1 minute, then tip in the chard stalks. Stir for a few minutes, then pour in the boiling water, cover and leave to simmer until softened, about 10 minutes.

When the water has boiled, salt it well and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.

Add the shredded leaves to the pan with the stalks and cook for 2-4 minutes or until wilted.

When the pasta is cooked, use tongs or a pasta fork to transfer the spaghetti to the other pan and toss well. Add more of the pasta cooking liquid if needed to make a sauce. Stir in the cheese and serve with more cheese sprinkled on top and a good drizzle of olive oil.

Steak with Potato Wedges

Steak and potatoes for supper? Yes please!

2 rib eye steaks
1/2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. softened butter
2 medium russet potatoes
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 rsp. paprika

Stir together the parsley, Worcestershire sauce and butter. Form into a little log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Tip the oil, cayenne and paprika into a small roasting tin. Cut the potatoes into 8 wedges and toss in the oil. Season and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and roast a further 10 minutes.

Season the steaks well and cook to your liking. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 5 minuets. Serve them with a slice of butter on top and the potatoes on the side.

Serves 2

Chicken with Red Grapes and Marsala

I you can’t find chicken supremes, simply use bone-in breast or thighs. It’s really all about the lovely sauce.

4 tbs. Marsala
4 tbs. chicken stock
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. olive oil
2 chicken supremes
20 red grapes
1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves

Heat the oven to 400°F. Mix the Marsala, chicken stock and mustard in a little jug.

Heat the oil in a sturdy skillet or shallow casserole that will fit the chicken snuggly and will go in the oven. Season the chicken and cook, skin-side down for 5 minutes, or until golden. Turn the chicken over and add the Marsala mixture. Bring to a bubble, then drop in the grapes and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin crisp.

Transfer the chicken to two shallow bowls or dinner plates. Put the pan over a high heat and bubble for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauces has reduced and thickened. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Serves 2

Lamb Kofta with Garlic Sauce

These zesty zeppelins are like Eastern Mediterranean meatballs and are served in warm pita breads with chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

For the kofta:

1 lb. ground lamb
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. white pepper
3 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbs. chopped fresh mint
2 tbs. olive oil

For the sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
1 tsp. dried mint

To serve:

chopped tomatoes
shredded iceberg lettuce
pita breads

To make the kofta, tip everything but the oil into a large bowl. Gently, but thoroughly mix together, then form into 10 oblong shapes. Place on a lined baking sheet and chill at least 30 minutes.

For the sauce, stir everything together and set aside.

When ready to cook, heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet and fry the kofta for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve with the sauce, tomatoes, lettuce and pita breads.

Spiced Almonds

There is something irresistibly moreish about these almonds. They are a combination of crunch and kick.

1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. honey
finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 1/2 cups almonds

Heat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl mix together the spices, oil, honey, lime zest and salt. Set aside.

Scatter the almonds on a lined baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Quickly tip the hot almonds into the bowl and stir briskly until the nuts are lightly and evenly coated. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt to taste. Transfer back to the baking sheet to cool. Store in an air-tight jar or tin.

Serves 4