I’ve been reading ‘Curry Easy’ again. I had some salmon fillet from the reduced section in the co-op and Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe book had several very good ideas. I picked this one, but now I want to go and buy more salmon so I can try the other recipes too. I did tweak it a bit so I didn’t have to go to the shops again.
This is very easy to prepare the sauce and fish in the morning, ready to cook when you get in after work. I served this with rice, and stir-fried chard.
- 600 to 700g salmon fillet
- 1/4 tsp salt
- black pepper
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 250ml single cream (approx.)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
- Start by dividing the salmon into 8 pieces. Season with a little salt and black pepper, turmeric and cayenne, and leave to marinade in the fridge. I used a plastic container with a lid, but a plastic bag would do.
- Combine the tomatoes, cream salt sugar, garam masala, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and coriander leaves. Use a soup wand to make the sauce smooth. Just before using, stir in the lemon juice.
- To cook the fish, heat some oil in a pan, and when it is hot, add the cumin seeds, and cook for 10 seconds.
- Pour in the sauce and bring to a simmer before adding the salmon pieces. Spoon the sauce over the top of the fish, and continue this way for another 4 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
This is a very easy recipe from ‘Dear Francesca‘ – it feels very indulgent adding all that butter, but the sauce is unbelievably tasty.
- One tin of tomatoes (I used chopped tinned tomatoes)
- A small shallot, peeled but not chopped
- 150g unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp caster sugar
- A pinch of dried rosemary (a sprig of fresh rosemary is better if it is available)
- Penne pasta or gnocci – allow 60 to 75g per person
- freshly grated pecorino cheese
- Put the tomatoes through a mouli or sieve to get rid of the seeds. It is easier if you blend them in a liquidiser first.
- Put the sieved tomatoes in a small saucepan with the shallot, sugar and butter, and bring to a slow simmer. Put a wooden spoon in the pan and then put the lid on, so it is propped open a little. Keep simmering and stirring to reduce the sauce. Cook for 30 minutes
- When the sauce is cooked, take out the shallot, add the rosemary and season with salt.
- Cook the penne or gnocchi, and drain, pour over enough sauce and then add freshly grated pecorino cheese
I’ve just read ‘Dear Francesca’ from cover to cover. The recipes use a relatively small range of ingredients to create wonderful food. This is one of the first recipes I tried, using a tray of cherry tomatoes that had ended up in my fridge, along with some of the staples from the book: ricotta and pecorino.
I didn’t have spaghettini, so I used spaghetti, which is very slightly thicker. It was fine, I had no complaints.
- 3 tbsp good extra-virgin olive oil
- A punnet of cherry tomatoes, or a couple of good handfuls, quartered
- a clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 180g spaghettini (or enough pasta for 2 people, whatever your usual measure is, I allow 60 to 75g per person)
- salt and black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
- two good pinches of dried oregano
- freshly grated pecorino
- Heat the oil in a pan, and add the tomatoes and garlic. Turn the heat down low and let them cook for ten minutes. There will be a bit of sizzling.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water, according to the instructions.
- When the tomatoes are completely softened, add the oregano and the ricotta cheese, and mix well. Check for taste and add salt if required.
- When the spaghettini is cooked, drain it, return to the pan and add the sauce, pecorino and a grating of good black pepper.
We are eating what is in the fridge, to avoid going to the shops, and keeping it simple. We had some cuts of cooked pork in the freezer, and this was a really quick meal to make. The quantities below should serve 4-6 people, depending on their appetites, and the rest of the meal.
- 300g pasta such as penne rigate or pipe rigate, or tubetti
- Olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 450g left-over cooked pork. chopped to 1cm dice
- a small glass of red wine
- 1 tin of tomatoes, preferably San Marzano tomatoes
- chopped flat-leaf parsley
- grated pecorino cheese
- Heat a large pan of salted water ready to cook the pasta
- In a skillet, or large heavy frying pan, heat the olive oil and then fry the chopped onion over a medium heat until it softens, around five minutes
- Add the pork, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and scrape round the bottom of the pan to pick up all of the flavour there.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, and rinse out the tin with a little water, adding this to the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for around 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the pack. When it is done, drain it and add it to the sauce. Add a little pasta water if required, to get the sauce to a consistency that you like.
- Serve in bowls, garnished with parsley. The cheese should be grated and served in a dish on the table for people to serve themselves.
Susannah and Alexander have hens, so I have eggs. This is another dish in which the eggs are poached in a sauce. This is delicious served with warm flatbreads, such as pitta bread. Susannah is good at home-made flatbreads, and I shall have to get instruction.
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 long red peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 hot green chilli, seeded and chopped
- 1 tin of chopped tomato
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- eggs – 2 per person
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley to garnish
- feta cheese, crumbled, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan to a medium heat, and cook the chopped onions and peppers until soft, and beginning to brown at the edges.
- Add the oregano and spices, stir once and then add the tomatoes and stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until reduced to a thick stew.
- Use a spoon to make a small dent in the sauce, and crack the eggs into it, cover and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
- Garnish with the parsley and feta cheese and serve with bread.
This dish is sensational. We bought 3kg of small Dublin bay prawns from a local fisherman, and boiled them for a couple of minutes in batches. The cooking water was flavoured with a pinch of saffron. We peeled them after they had cooled. Then I made this sauce and served them with toasted pitta bread and a green salad, as well as a stupendous white burgundy.
- Cooked peeled prawns, as above
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced and chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 small dried hot chillies, crumbled
- 1 green pepper, diced small
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp honey or sugar
- chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, and fry the garlic over a medium to low heat until it starts to brown.
- Add the caraway and the chilli and cook for a further 30 seconds before adding the green peppers. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and bring to a slow simmer. Cook for another 20 minutes, so that the sauce is reduced and thickening. Add sugar, salt, and pepper to your taste.
- Add the prawns and simmer for another couple of minutes to heat them through.
- Serve in a bowl, garnished with chopped parsley. A rocket salad and toasted pitta bread is ideal as an accompaniment.
I’ve been eating a lot of salad this summer, this is a good one to serve with some of the other dishes that I’ve posted this year. It is from Nightingales and Roses by Maryann Sinaiee. I have adapted it a bit, because we don’t get a lot of pomegranates on South Uist, but you can add these for an extra burst of colour and flavour.
- Half a long cucumber
- About the same weight in cherry tomatoes
- About the same weight in spring onions
- A couple of sprigs of fresh mint
- A good squeeze of lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Peel the cucumber and dice
- Cut the tomatoes into 8 (half, half and half again)
- Chop the spring onions into small circles
- Chop the mint finely
- Mix the chopped ingredients.
- Just before serving, mix in the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
This is a bit of a mixture of recipes. My daughter left some Orzo pasta when she last visited. I hadn’t come across it before, it looks like large bits of rice. So I googled and tested and used what was in my fridge and freezer. This is heavily based on Nigella Lawson’s dish of the same name, but there are other twists from similar recipes.
You could use one of my other meatball recipes to make the meatball mixture, but I followed the method below. The recipe makes six servings.
- 500g mince
- 1 large egg
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 50g grated parmesan
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 litre cold water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano (I actually used the mystery herbs)
- 60ml red vermouth or red wine
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 300g orzo pasta
- Put the mince, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, parmesan and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl, and mix to a smooth paste. Leave to chill in the fridge for half an hour minimum.
- Heat the oven to 180C
- Make small meatballs from the mixture, about the size of a large marble. I made around 35. They should be small enough to eat whole without looking greedy. Put them onto the bottom of a roasting tray or baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs in the oven for around fifteen minutes.
- MEANWHILE get ready for the sauce and pasta. Get the ingredients assembled.
- Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or pan with a lid. Cook the chopped onion over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until very soft and cooked
- Add the herbs and stir them in, before adding the vermouth.
- Once the vermouth is hot and bubbling, add the tomatoes, and rinse out the tins with the water before adding that as well. Add 1 tsp salt at this stage.
- Bring the mixture back to a simmer, and let it cook with the lid on for around twenty minutes.
- Add the orzo and the meatballs, bring back to a simmer, and cook with the lid on for a further ten to fifteen minutes. The orzo has a tendency to stick, so the occasional stir will help.
- Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with parmesan shavings and chopped parsley.
- I also served a dish of grilled asparagus and buttered baby carrots.
This is the first recipe I have tried from the ‘Cook for Syria’ recipe book. The book is a collection of recipes from Syria, and so much more. It tells about the culture of food and sharing in Syria, builds links with people using the #CookForSyria @CookForSyria tags, and raising money for Unicef to help children affected by fighting in their beautiful country.
I served it to a visitor, and we shared a lot of stories about the ethics and politics of food. I had to make a few adaptions to fit my ingredients.
- 2 aubergines
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp za’atar (I used the mystery mixed Italian herbs, but za’atar is available from Seasoned Pioneers. )
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 4 chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 can chickpeas
- 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Chopped coriander to serve
- Coconut vegan yoghurt, or grated creamed coconut
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Chop the aubergine into chunks. I split them length-ways into quarters and then slice thickly.
- Put the aubergines into a roasting tin with the spices and 4 cloves of garlic, coat with olive oil and roast for 25 to 30 minutes
- Finely chop the red onion and cook it slowly in olive oil, for around 10 minutes
- Add 2 cloves of garlic, chopped, along with the tomatoes, tomato puree and tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes
- Add the aubergine, chickpeas, salt, apple cider vinegar and cook until the chickpeas are hot.
- Serve with a garnish of coriander leaves and coconut yoghurt.
I served this with rice, and we were very full afterwards
I have tried many recipes for ratatouille, this is the best. I think I got it off the internet, with a promise that this was the most authentic.
- 1 aubergine, diced
- 4 courgettes, halved and sliced
- 300g french beans, cut to 1 inch lengths
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 cup of chopped fennel leaves
- fresh basil leaves, torn
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Salt the diced aubergines and courgettes and set aside. Rinse the salt off after 20 minutes (I do this in a colander)
- Heat the oil in a large pan, and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft.
- Add the aubergines and courgettes, and cook for another five minutes or so.
- Add the remaining ingredients and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes, and then with the lid off for 20 minutes. Keep a close eye and stir occasionally, to stop the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan.
This freezes OK, but it is best reheated the day after making it.