Baked salmon with baby potatoes and watercress mayonnaise

Baked salmon with watercress mayo

Preheat oven to 180C.

Crush the fennel seeds with the salt using a pestle and mortar. Put in a large bowl with 1 tbsp of the oil and add the potatoes. Mix well and tip into a large roasting dish. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Season each salmon fillet and wrap a slice of prosciutto around each one. Set aside.

Remove the foil from the potatoes and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until almost tender. Arrange the tomatoes and salmon on top of the potatoes and sprinkle the fish with the remaining oil. Return to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until the salmon is done.

Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, yogurt and lemon juice together in a bowl. Add the watercress and capers and mix again. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the salmon and potatoes with the watercress mayo and wedges of lemon.

Pork, chorizo and bean stew

Pork, chorizo and bean stew

Method:

A warming meal for a cold evening. This recipe also freezes well.

Add a splash of olive oil to a casserole pan and brown the pork over a high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the chorizo to the pan and fry until starting to crisp and the oil has turned red. Remove from the pan and set aside with the pork.

Turn the heat down to medium and fry the onion and peppers for a few minutes until starting to soften. Next, add the garlic, the two types of paprika, chilli flakes and dried oregano and fry for a minute or two.

Add the Marsala or sherry and bubble for a few minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes, stock and tomato puree. Return the pork and chorizo to the pan and mix well. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the beans and simmer for another ten minutes or so until the pork is tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with mash and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

 

Broccoli, feta and chickpea salad

Broccoli, feta and chickpea salad

Method:

Cook the broccoli in salted water until tender. Drain and rinse under a cold tap. Set aside.

Mix the chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, olives, hazelnuts and parsley in a large bowl. Add the broccoli, a good glug of olive oil, the lemon juice and some black pepper (you probably won’t need salt as the feta is quite salty) and mix everything well together.

Finally, add the feta and give another mix, trying not to break up the feta too much. Divide into two bowls and drizzle over a little more of your best extra virgin olive oil.

 

The best chocolate cake in the world

nemesis chocolate cake

Method:

This is the most amazing chocolate cake. There is no flour in it so it is not a spongey cake but instead is rich, gooey and fudgy… a bit like a giant chocolate truffle. It is surprisingly easy to make and will feed a lot of people.

Preheat your oven to 120C. Using the extra butter, grease a 25cm cake tin and line with parchment paper.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt with the butter in a bowl over simmering water.
Beat the eggs with 70g of the sugar with an electric whisk until the volume quadruples.

Heat the remaining sugar with 100ml water until dissolved into a light syrup. Pour the hot syrup into the chocolate mixture and leave to cool slightly.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and fold together using a metal spoon or spatula. Pour into the tin.
Put a folded tea towel in the bottom of a baking tray. Put in the cake and pour in enough boiling water to come three quarters of the way up the tin.

Bake for 50 minutes until just set (it should still wobble slightly). Leave to cool in the water.

Once cooled, remove from the tin using the parchment paper to pull it out. Cutting is easier if you run your knife under hot water before each slice.

Nonya chicken curry

nonya curry

Method:

Make the Nonya curry powder
Roast all the spices, apart from the turmeric in a dry pan until fragrant. Allow to cool before grinding in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Mix in the turmeric. Keep what you need for this recipe (5 tbsp) and store the rest in an air-tight jar.

Make the curry
Whizz the onion, garlic and ginger with 1-2 tbsp water in a small food processor to make a paste.
Heat the oil in a shallow, wide pan over a medium heat and add the onion paste. Fry for a few minutes without letting it colour, stirring regularly. Add the curry powder and fry for 3-4 minutes until the oil is released.

Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. If you are using chicken thighs, add now (chicken breasts need less cooking so add nearer the end).
Throw in the lemongrass, lime zest, tamarind water and potatoes with a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. If using chicken breast, add 10 minutes before the end of cooking. Add the tomatoes 5 minutes before the end. Check the potatoes are tender before turning off the heat. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove lemongrass before serving.

Serve the curry in individual bowls sprinkled with the coriander leaves and red chilli

Indonesian grilled spicy chicken

indonesian-grilled-chicken

Method:

Combine all marinade ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Blot the thighs dry with kitchen roll and place in large bowl. Add the marinade and mix well. Cover with cling film and leave to marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Before you cook the chicken, remove from the fridge and leave at room temperature for at least 40 mins.  Cook on a griddle or under the grill until crispy and slightly blackened, this will take around 20 mins for breast and 35 for thigh.

Serve with rice and a wedge of lime.

Hot Spicy Lamb or Chicken in Sauce

spicy lamb in sauce

Method:

This Indian recipe is one of our favourites – try it to see why.

Heat some groundnut oil in a casserole pan and add the meat and half of the garam masala. Fry until well browned. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and fry until golden brown. Return the meat to the pan, reduce the heat and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally.
In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt and tomato puree, ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne, ground coriander, nutmeg and the rest of the garam masala. Pour this mixture over the meat and stir fry, mixing the spices well into the meat.
Add enough water to cover, then add the fennel, paprika and bay leaves. Stir well, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hrs until tender.
Half an hour before it is ready, add the green chilli.
Garnish with the chopped coriander.

Lamb or chicken tikka

chicken tikka kebab

Method:

This Tikka recipe can be made with lamb or chicken, this version is for lamb.  Cut lamb into 4cm cubes. Put in a bowl and add cumin, turmeric, salt, yogurt, onion, ginger and garlic. Mix well.  Cover and leave in the fridge for 4-6 hours to marinate.

Drain lamb from marinade and thread onto 8 short skewers, pressing cubes together closely.
Heat grill. Cook for 15-20 mins, basting kebabs with any remaining marinade, turning occasionally until well browned and done to taste. Sprinkle with garam masala and serve at once.

Marinated pork with kebab chilli sauce

soy marnitated pork with chilli sauce

Method:

First marinate the pork by placing in a dish, gently prick with a small sharp knife and then rub in the sugar, chilli and soy.  Cover and allow at least an hour but preferably longer.

Next make the kebab house chilli sauce.  Fry the onion for a few minutes in olive oil and then basically through everything else in and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes, the sauce should be broken down so it helps if you keep an eye on it and give it the occasional stir.  Check for seasoning, it should be a little sweet, very hot and a bit sour, adjust the flavours if neccessary.  Remove from the pan and blitz it roughly before chilling (the sauce, not the chef!)

When you are ready to eat heat a non-stick pan on a medium high heat with oilve oil.  Add the pork steaks and turn every two to three minutes, they will begin to carmelise and go a deep brown colour.  After ten minutes take the pan and place in the oven for a further ten minutes (depending on the thickness) at 180c.

When the pork is ready serve with the rice, rocket, yoghurt/mint mixture and chilli sauce…. pitta bread and hangover optional.

Chicken katsu curry

katsu curry

Method:

Heat the oven to 200°C. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then throw in the carrot pieces and cook slowly for 10 minutes, with the lid on, giving the odd stir occasionally. You want to sweat the vegetables until softened and starting to caramelise.

Stir in the flour and curry powder and cook them for a minute. Slowly pour in the chicken stock bit by bit until combined (do it slowly to avoid getting lumps).

Add the honey and soy and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes. The sauce will have thickened and taken on all of the flavours, although you still need it to have a pouring consistency. Add the garam masala, salt and pepper, then pass the sauce through a sieve. (if you like a chunky sauce so feel free not to strain it.)

While the sauce is cooking, get on with the chicken. Lay the seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs on to separate plates. Coat the chicken breasts into the flour, then the egg and finally cover with the breadcrumbs. Place in the oven and cook for around 15 mins.

Serve with rice topped with the chicken and the sauce

Onion bhajis

Onion bhajis

Method:

Serves 2 as a starter or wee snack!

Fry the onion gently in a couple of tbsp of the oil, stirring freqently until soft and translucent but not coloured – about 10 minutes. Add a pinch of cayenne, a pinch of salt, half tsp turmeric, half tsp ground coriander, quarter tsp ground cumin and quarter tsp ground ginger. Mix well, turn out the heat and set aside.

Measure the gram flour into a large bowl and add half tsp salt, quarter tsp ground cumin and half tsp ground coriander. Mix well. Mix the tomato puree with a shot glass (or egg cupful) of water. Add this to the flour and spice mixture along with the cooked onions.

Mix everything well together – it should be the consistency of thick batter.

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan and deep-fry dessert spoonfuls of the mixture, in batches, until quite dark and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the lemon and pickles.

 

Tuna pilau

tuna pilau

Method:

This is a great ‘fridge surprise’ tea and leftovers are great for lunch – hot or cold – the next day!

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan (one that has a tight fitting lid) and add the curry leaves and onion with a pinch of salt. Fry gently, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised.

Add the garlic and ginger and continue frying for a few minutes. Next, add the spices and mix well.

Tip in the rice, coat well with the spice mixture and add the stock. You may not need the full 500ml, so leave a wee bit behind. Mix well, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for about 7 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is almost cooked.

At this stage, flake in the tuna and add the peas. If it looks really dry, you can add a bit more stock. Cover and continue to simmer for another few minutes until the tuna and peas have warmed through and the rice is cooked. Turn out the heat and leave to sit, covered for 2-3 minutes.

When ready to serve, squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle over the fresh herbs.

 

Quick chicken tikka (kwikatika)

chicken tikka kebab

Method:

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and stab each piece a few times with the tip of your knife.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and add the chicken. Massage the marinade well into the chicken using your hands. Cover and chill for half an hour or as long as you can wait!

Preheat your grill to its highest setting. Line a baking tray with foil (makes cleaning easier) and place a rack on top. Place the chicken on the rack and grill until browned all over and cooked through – about 7-10 minutes.

Serve with salad, pitta bread and yogurt and mint dressing. Or add to a home-made curry sauce and serve with rice.

Prawn cocktail

prawn cocktail

Method:

To make the Marie Rose sauce mix the mayonnaise, ketchup, cayenne pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice together in a large bowl. Season to taste with Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and a splash of brandy. Stir to combine.

Place a spoonful of Marie Rose sauce into the bottom of 4 serving glasses. Shred the lettuce and divide equally among the glasses. Scrape out the flesh from the avocado using a spoon and scatter over the lettuce. Spoon another layer of sauce on top.

Arrange the prawns on top and finish with a final spoonful of sauce (reserving any remaining sauce for future use). Sprinkle with a touch of cayenne pepper and garnish with a lemon wedge in each glass to serve.

Smoked mackerel frittata

smoked mackerel frittata

Method:

Skin the mackerel and flake into a bowl, removing any bones.  Heat the grill to high.

In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil and gently fry the onions until soft and slightly coloured. Add the mackerel and mix with the onions until warmed through. Add the parsley, if using.
In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the pan and mix through with the onion and mackerel. Turn down the heat and leave to cook until the egg has just started to set.

Place under the grill to finish cooking – this will only take a few minutes if the grill is hot.
Leave to rest in the pan for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with a tomato and onion salad