Sake Salmon and Rice

This is a classic Nigella Lawson recipe for a very good reason – it’s utterly delicious!

Marinade:
1 tsp. English mustard or wasabi paste
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
1 tbs. sake
2 salmon fillets
1 cup basmati rice
2 cardamom pods

Sauce:
1/4 cup sake
1 tbs. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. fish sauce or brown rice vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. English mustard or wasabi paste
1-2 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro or parley, to garnish

To make the marinade, combine the mustard or wasabi, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, oil and sake in a freezer bag or shallow dish. Add the salmon and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

Bruise the cardamom pod and cook with the rice, following the package directions.

Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet and cook the salmon for 1-2 minuets per side. Remove and wrap in foil for 10 minutes.

For the sauce, bring the sake to a boil in a little saucepan to evaporate the alcohol, then take off the heat and add the remaining ingredients.

Divide the rice between 2 plates. Cut the salmon into slices and arrange on top. Pour the sauce over everything and sprinkle with cilantro or parsley to serve.

Serves 2

Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese

This is a GAME-CHANGER!!

1 lb. sweet potatoes
10 oz. baby penne or other short, small pasta (approx. 2 cups)
4 tbs. butter, softened
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp. English mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika, plus 1/4 tsp. to sprinkle on top
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese, plus 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top
4 fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 400°F. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. (A lid makes this go faster.)

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into rough 1″ pieces. When the water is boiling, add salt to taste and cook the sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft. Scoop them out with a spider or slotted spoon, then mash them roughly. Do not throw out the water.

In another saucepan, gently melt the butter, then whisk in the flour to make a roux. Take the pan off the heat and slowly add the milk until everything is combined and smooth. Change to a wooden spoon and continue to stir until the flour taste has cooked away and the sauce is thickened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the mustard, 1/4 tsp. of paprika and a bit of seasoning.

Cook the pasta in the reserved water according to package directions until just al dente. Reserve some of the cooking water, then drain and stir into the sweet potatoes. Stir in the feta cheese, then stir in the sauce and the 1 1/4 cups Cheddar cheese. Add some of the reserved cooking water if it seems too thick. Check seasoning again.

Spoon into 4 small overproof dishes (1 1/2-1 3/4″) or 1 baking dish (12×8″). Sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar cheese and paprika, then shred the sage leaves and scatter over.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is bubbly and everything is piping hot.

Tamarind-Marinated Flank Steak

The tamarind and soy sauces tenderizes the meat and impart a lovely sourness. Serve it thinly sliced on it’s own or in beef tacos. Leftovers make a wonderful salad.

3 tbs. tamarind paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hot water, from a recently boiled kettle
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tbs. honey
1 1 3/4 lb. flank steak

Combine the tamarind paste, soy sauce and water in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat to dissolve the tamarind. Whisk in the oil and honey, then set aside to cool.

Put the flank steak into a resealable plastic bag and pour in the cold marinade. Squelch it around, then chill overnight or up to 1 day.

Bring the steak back to room temperature. Heat a ridged grill pan or BBQ to very hot. Shake off the marinade juices, then add the steak and cook for 2 minutes per side, or to your liking.

Immediately transfer the steak to a carving dish, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Carve thinly against the grain to serve.

Serves 6

Dirty Lemon Martini

Considering the situation, we have renamed these “Quarentinis. “We are advised by Nigella to, “sip elegantly or knock back as needed.”!

2 shots gin or vodka
1/2 shot white vermouth
1 tsp. juice from a jar of preserved lemons

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the three ingredients. Shake, then pour into a martini glass to serve.

Serves 1

Chicken Schnitzel with Bacon and White Wine

This speedy supper will satisfy everyone!!
1 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
4 strips bacon
4 x 4 oz. chicken escalopes or boned and skinner breast tenders or thighs
1/3 cup white wine

Put the oil in a skillet and add the bacon. Fry until the bacon is cooked and the pan is full of bacon juices. Remove the bacon to a piece of foil and wrap to keep warm. Fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness, or until cooked through. Make sure the pan is hot so that the chicken catches a little, turning is bronze.

Remove the chicken to a serving plate, then crumble in the bacon and pour in the wine. Bubble until slightly thickened, then pour over the chicken to serve.

Serves 4

Shrimp Pasta Rosa

This subtle and simple pasta is a pleasure both to make and to eat.

1 tbs. tomato paste
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup mascarpone
1 tbs. garlic-flavored olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 oz. raw, peeled shrimp
5 tbs. red vermouth
8 oz. taglierini

Boil a large pot of water, then add a good bit of salt.

Stir together the tomato paste, milk and mascarpone and set aside.

In a wok or large pan, warm the olive oil and add the red pepper flakes, giving a stir in the heat before adding the shrimp. Stir-fry for a minute or two by which time they should be almost cooked through.

Pour in the vermouth and let it bubble excitedly. When it has reduced a little, add the sauce and stir until everything is hot.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta per package instructions, drain and toss with the shrimp and sauce. Divide between two bowls and serve immediately.

Served 2

Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Bay Leaves and Balsamic Vinegar

Succulent and scented with fresh bay leaves, this is perfect and effortless for a Sunday lunch.

3 lb. boned and butterflied leg of lamb
6 fresh bay leaves, snipped, plus whole leaves to serve (optional)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly

Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the lamb in a shallow, sturdy roasting tin, skin-side down.

Scatter with the snipped bay leaves and half the salt, then pour over the oil and vinegar. Push the garlic slices into the crevices where you can and lay the rest on top. Leave to marinade for 30 minuets.

Turn the lamb over, so that now the skin side is up and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Roast for 30 minutes.

Remove and tent with foil for 15 minutes. Slice and place on a serving plate. Tuck extra whole bay leaves around the edges, if using.

Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken

This lovely chicken recipe is a doddle to make and gorgeous to eat!

8 – 10 chicken pieces
1 head garlic, separated but unpeeled
2 lemons, cut into eighths
small handful fresh thyme, most leaves removed, but a few left intact to serve
3 tbs. olive oil
10 tbs. white wine or vermouth
black pepper

Heat the oven to 300°F. Put the chicken in a roasting pan along with the garlic, lemons and the thyme leaves. Pour in the olive oil, then mix everything together with your hands. Sprinkle over the wine and grind in the pepper.

Cover tightly with foil and roast for 2 hours. Turn the heat up to  400°F, remove the foil and roast for 30-45 more minutes or until the skin is browned and the lemons are caramelized. Toss over the remaining thyme sprigs and serve.

Serves 4 – 6

Turkish Eggs

Poached eggs atop garlicy yogurt and drizzled with a peppery butter sauce……YUM!

200g plain Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes or alternative
2 eggs, fridge-cold
2 tsp. lemon juice
chopped fresh dill
bread, to toast and serve

Fill a wide-ish saucepan with water and heat to a low simmer.

Stir together the yogurt, garlic and salt in a heat-proof bowl. Place over a small saucepan of simmering water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water) and stir until the yogurt is a room temperature and has the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Turn off the heat and leave as is.

Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan until it just becomes a hazelnut brown color. Turn off the heat, stir in the pepper flakes and set aside.

Now to poach the eggs. Crack one into a small fine-mesh strainer and let the watery part of the white drain off. Gently tip into a small cup or ramekin, then add 1 tsp. off lemon juice. Repeat with the second egg, then carefully lay them into the simmering water and turn the heat down so there is no movement. Leave for 3-4 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb any water.

Divide the creamy yogurt between two bowl, place a egg on top and drizzle with the butter. Sprinkle with dill and serve with toasted bread.

 

Easy Almond Cake

This cake is a jot to make and simply divine to eat. Soften the marzipan in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to incorporate into the batter.

1 cup plus 2 tbs. softened,, unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tbs. softened marzipan
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 cup self-rising cake flour (or 1 cup self-rising flour….remove 2 tbs. and add 2 tbs. cornstarch)

Heat the oven to 350°F and butter, then flour a 10″ springform tube pan.

Chop the butter and marzipan, then put them along with the sugar in the food processor. Whizz until combined and fairly smooth. Add the almond and vanilla extracts, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the flour and pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for 50 minutes, but check after 40. The cake should be golden and a cake tester should come out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

Serves 10-12