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Posts Tagged ‘Easy’

Noodles with shiitake mushrooms & scallions

We can think of nothing nicer to eat than a bowl of slurpy noodles. Perfect for a speedy lunch or snack.

Wine Suggestion: a friend has suggested that there are brilliant saki matches for dishes like this that play with the umami but we’ve not tasted enough to suggest which one. However, we really liked a couple of wine options: a Lustau dry Oloroso, a Deux Montille Rully Blanc or a Tyler Pinot Noir from California. In each case they have a wonderful textural vibrancy that this dish needs.

Udon noodles with shiitake mushrooms and spring onions – serves 2

  • 125g dried egg noodles
  • 1½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 1½ tbsp groundnut oil
  • 200g shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 6 scallions, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • few coriander springs, leaves picked
  • 2½ tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 2½ tbsp soy sauce

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, salt generously and cook the noodles for the time given on the pack. Drain and run under cold water, then stir through a few drops of sesame oil and groundnut oil to stop them from sticking.

Heat the oils over a high heat in a wok or frying pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until starting to soften. Add the scallions, nam pla, soy sauce and noodles. Heat stirring until the noodles are glazed with the sauce.

Serve sprinkled with the coriander.

(Original recipe from Leiths How to Cook by Claire Macdonald and Jenny Stringer, Quadrille, 2013.)

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Cajun-spiced chicken

These spicy drumsticks are really tasty and perfect when you’re relying on the freezer for dinner!

Wine Suggestion: For some reason we always think of rosé when cooking Cajun food. This time it was the Chateau St Jacques d’Albas, La Chapelle en Rosé and we were delighted to find our rosé of the year.

Cajun-spiced chicken – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 8 chicken thighs or drumsticks or a mixture of both

Make the marinade by mixing everything but the chicken together.

Rub the chicken pieces in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1 least an hour or up to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

Spread the chicken pieces out on a roasting tray and cook at the top of the oven for 40-45 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through.

(Original recipe from Family Kitchen Cookbook by Caroline Bretherton, DK, 2013.)

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Fennel & orange salad

We had this as a side dish with pork but it would also work well as a fresh starter or with oily fish.

Fennel & Orange Salad – serves 4

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 3 oranges
  • 25g hazelnuts
  • small bunch of mint leaves
  • small bunch of basil leaves
  • small bunch of oregano leaves (optional)

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp mustard

Trim the base and stalks off the fennel but keep any feathery fronds. Slice the fennel as thin as you can – we use a mandolin for this. Put the slices in a bowl of iced water until ready to serve.

Top and tail the oranges, then cut the skin and membrane off with a sharp knife. Reserve the peel and slice the oranges thinly, removing the seeds, then arrange over a large plate.

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until they have coloured and smell good. Rub the skin off with a clean tea towel if needed, then crush lightly into large pieces.

Make the dressing by putting the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and mustard into a large bowl. Squeeze any juice from the pieces of orange peel, then season well with salt and pepper and whisk together. Drain the fennel and add to the dressing. Mix well and pile on top of the orange slices. Sprinkle over the hazelnuts, herbs and fennel fronds.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers Mediterranean Adventure by Si KIng & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

 

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Spiced lentil soup

We have what you might call a well-stocked cupboard but the problem with bulging cupboards is that it’s easy to forget what’s in there. Every now and then we make a list and search for recipes to use things up which is how we came to make this soup – perfect for lunch on chilly days.

Spiced Lentil Soup – serves 4

  • a knob of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • a squeeze of lime
  • coriander leaves, to serve

Heat a little oil in a large pan and fry the ginger, cumin seeds and chilli flakes for a couple of minutes.

Add the onion and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, then add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the lentils are tender.

Blend until smooth or leave chunky, then stir through a squeeze of lime.

Serve with some fresh coriander leaves if you have them.

(Original recipe in Olive Magazine, November 2011.)

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Linguine with Tuna

Linguine with Tuna

Please buy fancy tins or jars of tuna in olive oil for this. We often go for Ortiz but recently we’ve been buying Shines Wild Irish Tuna – who knew we had such fabulous fish in Irish waters. Italians will complain about serving Parmesan with this but we can do what we like 🙂

Wine Suggestion: a textural white like Vermentino is our pick. From the Tuscan coast is the delightful Poggio ai Ginepri which is worth seeking out and shows great promise from a very youthful vineyard. Looking further afield you could go for a Vermentino, or Rolle as it is also known as, from France

Linguine with Tuna – serves 4

  • 400g linguine
  • 150-200g tin or jar of tuna in olive oil (drained weight)
  • 50g capers
  • 50g green pitted olives, sliced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

TO SERVE:

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, put the tuna into a large bowl and break gently into flakes. Add the capers, olives, lemon zest, Parmesan, parsley and chilli flakes and stir slightly.

Reserve a ladleful of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the bowl and drizzle over the olive oil. Add about 100ml of the cooking water and mix to combine.

Season with salt & pepper, then serve immediately, sprinkled with extra parsley and cheese.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure by Si King & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

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Chicken with tomatoes, mozzarella & basilWe love easy ideas like this for adding extra interest to some chicken fillets mid-week. Serve with warm crusty bread and green salad.

Wine Suggestion: your choice of youthful, lighter Italian red; our choice tonight was the refined and under-rated Poggio ai Ginepri Bolgheri Rosso, but almost chose a Chianti. Both would be good.

Chicken breasts with tomatoes, mozzarella & basil – serves 4

  • 4 chicken skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins cherry tomatoes
  • 10 basil leaves, plus a few extra to garnish
  • 3 x 125 mozzarella balls, drained and sliced (don’t use buffalo mozzarella for this)

Slash each of the the chicken breasts four times with a sharp knife, cutting to the middle.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and gently fry the garlic and chicken for 2 minutes on each side or until golden all over.

Tip in the cherry tomatoes with the basil and season with salt and pepper.

Cook, uncovered, over a medium heat for 12 minutes, turning the chicken breasts over halfway through.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill to its highest setting.

Take the pan off the heat and put the mozzarella slices on top of the chicken breasts. Grind over some black pepper and put the pan under the grill for a minute or until the cheese starts to melt.

Pour some sauce onto each plate, top with a piece of chicken and garnish with the extra basil.

(Original recipe from Pronto! by Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Books, 2014.)

 

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Mallorcan Spiced Pork

This spiced roast pork by the Hairy Bikers is a really good value roast and feeds lots of people. We served with Tumbet (a Mediterranean vegetable bake) but it would also be great with any seasonal veg. If you have leftovers we recommend this easy pork chilli.

Wine Suggestion: Richer, oaked white wine to work with the richness of the pork. We opened a bit of a treat, the Tyler Santa Barbara County Chardonnay from California and it was beautiful.

Mallorcan Spiced Pork – serves 6 to 8

  • 2-2.5kg boned pork shoulder, rolled and skin scored (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced

FOR THE RUB

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 4 cloves, ground
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • salt

FOR THE GRAVY

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 100ml white wine or fino sherry

Preheat the oven to 230C/Fan 210C/Gas 8.

Mix all the ingredients for the rub together and season well with salt. Use your hands to cover the pork with the rub, pushing it into the scores. Wipe off any excess, then rub the pork with the tbsp of oil and pour over the lemon juice. Sprinkle the skin with salt.

Scatter the onion over the base of a roasting tin and put the pork on top. Add 250ml of water. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4 and continue to roast for 25 minutes per 500g.

Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest, lightly covered with foil, for at least 15 minutes. Strain off the liquid from the roasting tin and wait for it to settle, then skim off the fat.

To make the gravy, sprinkle 1 tbsp of flour over the roasting tin and stir well over a medium heat to scrape up any sticky bits from the tin. Add the wine or sherry and mix to form a paste. Add the skimmed pan juices and thin with some more water if you need (you can also do this in a pot).

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure by Si King & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

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