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.

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 carrots, 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.

Serve the salmon over the noodles and sprinkled with cilantro. 

Serves 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti with Marmite

Simple and sublime! 

12 oz. spaghetti or linguini
3 tbs. butter
1 tsp. Marmite
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reverse 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain.

When the pasta is nearly done, melt the butter and Marmite in a small saucepan with 1 tbs. of the pasta cooking water. Toss with the drained pasta and add more of the reserved water to amalgamate if nessecary.

Serve with the cheese sprinkled on top.

Serves 4 – 6

Forgotten Cookies

Affectionately called “Merookies” by Nigella, these delights are a cross between a meringue and a cookie.

2 egg whites
pinch of fine sea salt
1/3 cup plus 2 tbs. caster sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. apple cider or white vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the egg whites and salt together until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a bit at a time until the mixture is thick and gleaming. Fold in the corn starch, vinegar and cardamom, then fold in the chocolate chips and most of the pistachios.

With a spoon, drop mounded blobs onto the baking sheet about   1 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios. Put in the oven, immediately turn if off and leave the cookies to cool overnight.

Makes 12 – 14

Coconut Crab Cakes

The addition of shredded coconut is brilliant here. Not only does it add it’s subtle flavor but it keeps the crab cakes incredibly moist.

1 cup lump crab meat
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
3 tbs. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbs. diced jalapeno peppers, fresh or from a jar
1 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar, plus more to drizzle
vegetable, for frying

Stir together the crab, flour, coconut, jalapeños, cilantro and 2 tsp. vinegar. Pat it down into a compact layer in the bottom of the bowl, cover and chill for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a non-stick, flattish pan or griddle. Press the mixture into a 1 1/2″ ice cream scoop and drop onto the pan or griddle. Cook on both sides until golden and everything is heated through. Repeat to use all the mixture. You can keep them warm in a 225°F oven.

Serve drizzled with more rice wine vinegar.

Serves 6

 

Chocolate, Tahini and Banana Bread

Tahini adds a sophisticated huskiness and a lovely velvety texture to this complex and delicious quick bread.

2 medium, very ripe bananas
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup tahini
1 egg
1/4 cup caster sugar
3 tbs. soft brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
generous 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Beat the bananas to mash, then add the oil and tahini. Add the egg, sugars and vanilla extract. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into the banana mixture, then fold in the chocolate chips. Spread in the prepared pan and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then wrap the bread in parchment, then foil and leave for a day before slicing.