I mentioned before how much I liked the recent Nigella transformation, her new TV show and updated recipes. I even bought the book and already cooked 1/3 of its content and wasn’t disappointed with any of the recipes. No fuss, lovely ingredients, full of new ideas and new takes on classics.
One such recipe is a Stir-fry with double sprouts (Brussel sprouts and bean sprouts), chilli & pineapple. It’s good enough on its own, but even better with some pulled ham hog. I also didn’t have beansprouts this time, which makes my version ‘single sprout’ one.
BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CHILLI, PINEAPPLE AND HAM STIR-FRY
250g Brussel sprouts, trimmed, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
3cm fresh ginger, grated
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
150g fresh pineapple, chopped into cubes
250g cooked and cooled brown rice (or any other rice of your choice)
250g cooked pull ham hog (optional)
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
chopped fresh coriander to serve (optional)
- Prep and chop all ingredients beforehand.
- Heat up a wok, add groundnut oil. Add the Brussels sprouts, chilli, ginger and spring onion and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
- Then add the rice and pineapple chunks, stir-fry for 3 minutes or so, before adding the ham hog pieces, season with soy sauce and lime juice. Stir-fry for another minutes or until everything is hot, sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve immediately.
Soft leeks and crumbled feta cheese go together beautifully. I also had some asparagus to use up. All together it made an easy vegetarian tart good enough for a party or for a midweek dinner.
ASPARAGUS, LEEK AND FETA CHEESE TART
(Adapted from Delicious magazine)
500g shortcrust pastry
knob of butter
2 leeks, sliced
100g asparagus tips
200ml double cream
100ml whole milk
3 large free-range eggs
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- To bake the pastry shell first, prick the base of the pastry case all over with a fork. Line the tart tin with baking parchment and fill with ceramic baking beans or dried pulses. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the pastry is firm, then remove the beans and cook for about 5 minutes more, until golden brown and biscuity. Let it cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 170C.
- Blanch the asparagus by adding to a pan of boiling water (a frying pan is best as the spears will fit easily.) Cook for 2 minutes or until bright green. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain on the paper towel and set aside.
- Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan, then add 2 sliced leeks and cook over a medium heat until softened and golden. Season, then arrange the leeks in a blind-baked tart case, arrange the asparagus spears on top and scatter over 100g crumbled feta.
- In a jug, mix together double cream, whole milk and eggs. Season, then pour into the case.
- Bake in the oven at 170C for 25-30 minutes or until set with a slight wobble. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then serve.
A kedgeree is often thought of as breakfast here in the UK but I prefer mine as a main course. Lots of kedgeree recipes use cold smoked haddock – which is delicious – but I had only smoked salmon on hands, and this substitution didn’t disappointed. It’s a quick dish, it’s easy, it’s filling … but most importantly it’s delicious and good for you.
300g cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
200g frozen peas
225g smoked salmon, cut into chunks or flaked
4 spring onions, finely shredded
bunch of fresh coriander/parsley, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
- In a frying pan, heat up the oil, butter and add the onion. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the spices and fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Add cooked rice and peas, splash of water (if required), cover with lid and cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the peas are cooked.
- Meanwhile cook the eggs how you like them (I personally prefer soft-boiled or poached).
- When rice is done, mix in the salmon, spring onions, coriander and lime juice. Taste, season it and top with the halves soft-boiled eggs.
Lately I felt a bit under the weather. Our office at work is a hive of stinky cold germs at the moment, with every other person being sick, it’s hard to stay untouched by the seasonal bug. I’m trying to fight it in my own way, hot baths, plenty of liquids (whiskey & Hot Toddy counts too) and also some nourishing soups. This was one of them, super easy to prepare, full of spices and with a kick of ginger.
I used canned green lentil this time, because I needed to eat something quickly. Alternatively you can use a dry lentil of your choice and just cook it longer.
ETHIOPIAN – INSPIRED LENTIL SOUP
(Adapted from The Kitchn)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 green chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
2-3 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
2 cans of green/puy lentil
2 stock cubes (veggie or chicken, whatever you prefer)
about 2 litres of water
about 200g baby spinach
juice of one lemon, plus more lemon wedges for serving
- Sauté the onion in a pan until it starts to brown.
- Add all the spices, cook it for 2-3 minutes, then add chilli, ginger and garlic, stir and sauté for a further minute.
- Add the lentil, stock cubes, water, bring up to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for further few minutes.
- Then add the spinach and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Add lemon juice, check for seasoning and serve with extra lemon wedges, if you like.
It’s time to brighten up your midweek dinner. Try a new soup with a twist, but maybe don’t serve it to the children, give them fish fingers instead😉
This soup is quite thick, velvety, with a slightly bitter note of Ale. If you love Ale, you’ll love this soup.
CHEDDAR AND ALE SOUP
(Adapted from ‘Delicious’ magazine)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 big potatoes (I used ‘King Edward’), peeled and diced
50g plain flour
250ml vegetable stock
250ml full fat milk
500ml pale Ale
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon English mustard
200 mature Cheddar, grated (plus some more to serve – optional)
- In a big pan melt butter and oil. Add the onion and cook it about 4 minutes until it becomes translucent. Add celery and potatoes, cover and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Uncover, stir in the flour, cook for 1 minute.
- Add the stock, milk and Ale. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard, then liquidise until smooth.
- Return to the pan and heat up gently, if required.
- Stir in grated Cheddar until melted, season and serve with nice crusty bread.
Hello October! It’s getting noticeably cooler outside, it’s time for us to dust off the pie dishes and casseroles. Personally, I can think of nothing better what represent this time of year like apples, and this is one of my absolute favourite autumnal puddings.
This recipe was adapted from Simon Rimmer, via BBC Food.
APPLE & CHEESE COBBLER
4-5 apples, depends on the size (Bramley or Cox work best), cut into thick wedges
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
For the topping:
225g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
100g butter, cold, cut in cubes
175ml soured cream
150g Cheshire cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Peel and chop the apples, place them in a pan with sugar, butter and cinnamon, and cook gently until just tender and caramelised. Transfer the apples into the prepared pie dish.
- For the topping, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a food processor or rub it with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the soured cream and pulse (or mix with the spoon) until the mixture comes together as a thick dough.
- Spoon the cobbler dough on top of the apples, then crumble the cheese on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.
I’m still on the fence about what this is. Is it a pâté or is it a hummus? It’s smooth and blended, that’s what unites these two, but it lacks the hefty butter content or cream cheese usually in a pâté. On the other hand it has puy lentils, which can classify it as a hummus. Because of these factors, it is a light, healthy flavoursome blend, which can be spread, dipped in, or topped on salads. Enjoy!
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
2 garlic clove, chopped
400g cooked green lentils (puy lentil)
handful of chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil and butter in saucepan, add the onion, carrot, garlic and sauté 5-7 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove aside.
- Place the mushroom mixture along with the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce,thyme in the food processor or blender and pulse to the preferred (coarse or smooth) consistency. Season well with salt and pepper, or lemon juice.
- Scrape the mixture into a small serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.