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In our house almost anything will be eaten if it’s mixed with noodles (though not mushrooms sadly … but we’re working on it). Any leftovers of this will make a popular lunchbox too.

Chicken & soba noodle stiry-fry – serves 4

  • 800ml chicken stock
  • 400g chicken breasts
  • 200g dried soba noodles
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • half a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely shredded
  • 150g green beans, trimmed
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • a small handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a pot, then add the chicken breasts and cook for 20 minutes. Make sure they are completely submerged in the stock. Remove the chicken breasts, shred with two forks and set aside.

Add the noodles to the chicken stock and cook according to the pack instructions. Remove the noodles from the stock with tongs and set aside, reserve the stock.

Heat the oil in a wok, then stir-fry the ginger, chilli and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the onion, carrot, green beans and mushrooms and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken, the noodles, 50ml of the reserved stock, the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Toss to combine and heat through. You can add a little more stock for moisture if you need.

Divide between warm bowls and scatter the coriander over the top.

(Original recipe by Nadine Brown in Olive Magazine, May 2021.)

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We recently bought Ammu by Asma Khan, a book full of Indian home-cooking recipes interlaced with lovely stories about Asma’s family life. Today was its first outing and we cooked these kebabs on the barbecue because the sun was shining, and our friend Michael keeps gifting us huge jars of pickled onions that he got for a bargain price in M&S (true). Asma recommends serving with a black-eyed bean salad called Lobia – and we agree.

Wine Suggestion: Find an easy, juicy barbecue red that isn’t too heavy and you’ll be happy here.

Murgh Seekh Kabab – serves 6

  • 900g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 5cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 300g well-drained pickled onions or shallots
  • 6 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp chilli powder

Ideally you should marinade the chicken and leave in the fridge for about 4 hours. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, then add the chicken and toss to coat, then cover and put into the fridge.

Get your barbecue going, we prefer charcoal but whatever you’ve got will do.

Thread the chicken pieces, thinly sliced ginger and pickled onions onto metal kebab sticks (you can use the wooden ones but you need to soak them in cold water for about 20 minutes first to stop them burning). Grill the kebabs for about 5 minutes on each side, basting with the ghee or vegetable oil.

(Original recipe from Ammu by Asma Khan, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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This was made at the end of a weekend where all the previous recipes we’d tried hadn’t quite come together, or worked as we’d hoped, so our expectations were low. What a relief: we were blown away with the flavour, and our enthusiasm returned with a vengeance! The recipe is by Jamie Oliver but inspired by the Japanese restaurant Nobu in London who are known for their black cod miso and for good reason. The recipe is simple but you need to start 24 hours in advance.

Wine Suggestion: This is a dish jam packed full of savoury umami flavours and needs a similarly umami loaded wine to match. We started with a small glass of Hidalgo La Gitana’s Pasada Pastrana, a single vineyard aged manzanilla which was excellent. Then we segued into savoury Grenache territory with Roc des Ange’s Segna da Cor from the wilds of Roussillon; vibrantly textured and almost sucking the stones it was grown on. What a way to end the weekend.

Black Cod Miso- serves 4

  • 4 bulbs of pak choi, quartered
  • 1 cucumber, peeled halved and deseeded, then sliced into long 1cm thick strips
  • juice of 1 lime
  • soy sauce
  • cooked sticky rice (to serve)

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 2 stems of lemongrass
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 200ml of sake or white wine
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 300g miso paste
  • 4 x 200g cod steaks, skin-on and pin-boned

Start the marinade the day before. Remove the outer layer from the lemongrass stems and discard. Bash the lemongrass with the back of a knife, then finely chop. Put the lemongrass into a pestle and mortar with the chilli, ginger and a pinch of salt, then bash to a paste.

Put the paste into a saucepan with the sake and honey, then bring to the boil. While the mixture is warming, gradually add the miso paste, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Simmer until the mixture is lightly golden, then remove from the heat and pour onto a flat tray so it cools quickly.

When the marinade is cool, put the fish into a container and pour over three-quarters of the marinade. Move the fish fillets around to ensure they are completely coated, then cover and put into the fridge. Put the rest of the marinade into a container and keep in the fridge until needed.

When ready to cook, preheat the grill until very hot. Put the pieces of fish onto an oiled baking tray, skin-side up and cook until slightly caramelized and golden. This will take 6-8 minutes depending on how thick your pieces of fish are.

Meanwhile, lay the pak choi into a steamer over a pan of boiling water. Add the strips of cucumber and steam until the pak choi is tender.

Stir the lime juice into the container of leftover marinade to loosen it slightly. Serve the fish with the greens and drizzle over a little soy sauce. Serve with cooked rice and the miso dressing on the side.

(Original recipe from Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver, Penguin Books, 2006.)

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Plums are in season and we’ve been trying to find ways to cook them. This plum sauce is really rich with warm spices and it would be good with many things. We stashed the leftovers in the freezer for another night. Save the leftover duck fat in the fridge for roast potatoes, you won’t regret it.

Wine Suggestion: Whenever we’re in the southern part of France we can’t escape duck. Tonight’s wine match followed suit with a Grenache, Syrah, Carignan blend, the Roc des Anges Sega de Cor. Smooth and silky plums, sloes and raspberry flavours grounded in a seductive stony character.

Duck breasts with plum sauce and stir-fry veg – serves 4

  • 4 duck breasts, with skin on
  • 25ml sunflower oil
  • 4 carrots, finely sliced on an angle
  • 400g of cavolo nero or half a green cabbage, remove the core and shred the leaves
  • a bunch of scallions, sliced on an angle
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2-4 tbsp soy sauce

FOR THE PLUM SAUCE:

  • 400g plums, remove the stones and quarter
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp Chinese five spice
  • 25ml red wine vinegar
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Make the plum sauce first. Put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the plums are very soft. Whizz using a stick blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and season with more soy sauce if needed.

Use a sharp knife to score the duck skin and fat in a diamond pattern, but don’t cut the meat. Season and place in a frying pan, skin-side down. Put the pan over a medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until the skin is golden and the fat rendered. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into slices. Pour off the duck fat and keep for potatoes another day.

While the duck rests, stir-fry the veg. Put a wok over a high heat until smoking, then pour in the oil and add the carrots. Stir fry for 2 minutes, then add the cabbage, scallions, garlic, ginger and 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Cook for another couple of minutes or until the veg is softening but still with some crunch. Tip into a serving dish and add more soy sauce if needed. Serve with the duck and plum sauce.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, Harper Collins Publishers, 2013.)

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We definitely have a bit of a thing for Asian-style greens and rice. And while it may seem like you need another dish on the side, you really don’t, it’s just a bowl of healthy, delicious things. Having said that, this would also be great on the side of some white fish.

Wine Suggestion: Anthony Girard’s La Clef du Recit Menetou Salon is a star here. A Sauvignon Blanc grown on Kimmergian clay-limestone, this has a depth, texture and body that belies the grape a little and a wine that we think gets better with a few years in the bottle … if you can wait that long. Don’t worry if you can’t though, it’s delicious from release too.

Asparagus with ginger & garlic – serves 2

  • 12-16 spears of asparagus, snap off the woody ends and slice on the diagonal into 4cm pieces
  • 2-3cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into very fine matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 80ml water
  • 1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
  • cooked rice, to serve

Put your wok over a medium-low heat and add the sunflower oil. When warm, add the ginger and cook briefly until fragrant.

Add the asparagus, garlic and chilli and toss, then pour in the water and turn the heat to high. Cook for a minute, then add the oyster sauce. Toss well to coat the asparagus and cook for about 30 seconds or until tender but with a bite.

Remove from the heat and season with some black pepper, you shouldn’t need salt.

Serve hot over rice.

(Original recipe from My Favourite Ingredients by Skye Gyngell, Quadrille Publishing, 2008.)

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Baked salmon parcels with ginger, soy, honey, toasted sesame seeds & broccoli

We love a simple salmon recipe and this one, by Neven Maguire, is particularly handy as it’s all cooked in a tidy parcel in the oven. Serve with steamed rice with a some scallions sprinkled over.

Wine suggestion: delicious with a good, dry Riesling like Weingut Korrell’s Slice of Paradise from the Nahe in Germany which has a delicate dance of fruit, aromatics and a wonderful core of bright acidity and texture.

Soy and honey salmon parcels with tenderstem broccoli – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (just toast them gently in a dry frying pan)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • rapeseed oil, for brushing
  • 4 x 100g salmon fillets, skin and bones removed
  • 250g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • steamed basmati rice, to serve
  • finely chopped scallions, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Whisk the sesame seeds, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and garlic together in a bowl, then set aside.

Cut out 4 squares of tin foil about 50cm square. Brush the foil with oil and put a piece of salmon in the middle of each one.

Blanch the broccoli for a minute, then drain and refresh in iced water.

Sprinkle the ginger over the salmon, then divide the broccoli between each parcel. Spoon over the soy sauce mixture and drizzle each piece of fish with about ½ tsp of oil. Fold the edges of the foil together to seal and place them on a baking tray.

Cook the parcels in the oven for 10 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked. You can leave it for a bit longer if you prefer your salmon well done but we wouldn’t recommend it.

Serve the parcels with a large bowl of rice sprinkled with the scallions.

(Original recipe from Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook, Gill Books, 2016.)

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Carrot & Ginger mash with pan fried codSo, this is a full-on diet dish, but the carrot and ginger mash is spectacular and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough for nights when you need some restraint. We are a greedy household and require restraint on a regular basis – no wine for us tonight!

Carrot & Ginger Mash with Pan-fried Cod – serves 2

  • 2 large carrots (about 300g), thickly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 15g fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 15g butter
  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 thick, skinless cod fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dried chilli flakes

Put the carrots, garlic & ginger in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until soft.

Take the pan off the heat, reserve a ladle of the cooking water, then drain. Return the carrot mixture to the pan and add 3 tbsp of the reserved cooking water, the butter, and the lemon juice. Whizz the carrots to a purée with a stick blender, adding a bit more of the water if needed. Season with salt and black pepper.

Season the cod with sea salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the cod for about 4 minutes, then turn, sprinkle with a few chilli flakes, and cook on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how thick they are.

Spoon the purée onto warm plates and serve with the fish on top and plenty of green veg.

(Original recipe from The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Claire Bailey & Justine Pattison, Short Books, 2019.)

 

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Ginger & Miso Soup

Pumpkins are everywhere and the evenings have got dark and chilly. This delicious soup by Melissa Hemsley looks like sunshine and tastes warm and comforting. Don’t omit the topping as it really brings the soup to life.

Ginger miso sunshine soup – serves 6

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 large carrots, chopped into 1.5cm cubes
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1.5 litres stock or bone broth or water – we used Marigold Bouillon powder
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • juice of 1 lemon

CHIVE TOPPING

  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Melt the oil in a large, wide saucepan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for another minute.

Add the carrots & squash, followed by the stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for 15-18 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl. Add the miso and lemon juice to another bowl and add a few tablespoons of the hot liquid from the soup and stir or whisk until you have a smooth paste.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the miso paste. Blend the soup until smooth and season to taste. Serve with the chive topping.

(Original recipe from Eat Happy by Melissa Hemsley, Ebury Press, 2018.)

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Ginger pork stir-fry

A light and tasty stir-fry to use up bits of veg leftover from the weekend. Feel free to use what you have rather than the suggestions below and prep all the ingredients before you start as this takes minutes to cook. Serve with rice or noodles.

Wine Suggestion: If you can find it, the Zind Humbrecht Muscat Grand Cru Goldberg 2013, was an amazing match. This is a truly astonishing wine that confounds the stereotype of Muscat because of the terroir and winemaker, being fresh, vibrant and dry. Alongside the ginger and soy this danced a fine line of complementary and contrasting flavours.

Ginger Pork Stir-fry – serves 4

  • 25g root ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp finely grated root ginger
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200g pork fillet, trimmed and sliced into 5mm slices
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed/grated
  • 150g carrots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 150g purple-sprouting broccoli or small broccoli florets
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, finely sliced
  • 75g kale (stalks removed), shredded
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped coriander (leaves & stalks)

Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add the sliced ginger and boil for 1 minute, then drain.

Get a wok or a large frying pan smoking hot, then pour in the oil and stir-fry the boiled ginger for 30-60 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Add the pork, garlic, grated ginger and carrots. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the pork is cooked, then add the broccoli and peppers.

Keep frying for another minute, then add the kale and toss for briefly to wilt.

Finally, add the sesame oil, soy sauce and chopped coriander. Toss together quickly then serve over rice or noodles and garnish with the crispy ginger.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, Harper Collins, 2013.)

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Grilled chilli & coriander salmon w. ginger rice

This is a bit of a fall back recipe for us on weeknights. It’s super simple and pretty healthy but there’s also something really nice and tasty about it. We think you should try this one! We grill an extra salmon fillet for our 3 year old (without the chillies) and she loves it with the ginger rice.

Wine Suggestion: Riesling, pure and simple. Try the vibrant Weingut Korrell “Slice of Paradise” dry Riesling from the Nahe in Germany, or if you want to push the boat out their Kreuznach Paradies Riesling, a full-throttle, powerful and dry Riesling with delicacy and a light touch despite the power and body. Even better if you can hang on to it for a few years and get the benefit of development in the bottle.

Grilled Chilli & Coriander with Ginger Rice – serves 2

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets, about 140g each
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 lime, halved

FOR THE RICE:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • small piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 100g basmati rice

Heat a tbsp of the oil in a pan and fry the onion for a few mins until lightly browned. Stir in the ginger and garlic, fry for another minute, then stir in the rice. Add 300ml boiling water and a little salt, then bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 10-12 mins or until the rice is tender.

Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium. Brush a baking tray with a little oil and place the salmon fillets on top. Grill for about 4 minutes, then scatter with the chilli, coriander, the other tbsp of olive oil and some seasoning. Return to the grill for another 4 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.

Serve the salmon on top of the rice with a piece of lime to squeeze over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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WOO-HA! This is a fandabidozi soup!

Jono and me sold lots of wine today and got home late. If I’d have had my way we would have stopped in the pub for grub on the way home. I’m so glad he persuaded me to stick with the plan for Vietnamese soup.

If you like prawns and asian-style you will love this!! Super tasty and super healthy too.

Serves two tired people with very little effort:

  • 75g basmati rice
  • 750ml  chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • a finger of fresh ginger, cut into little matchsticks
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 150g raw, peeled prawns
  • 15g chopped dill
  • coriander to serve (but don’t go buying any just for this)
  1. Cook the rice until al dente and drain.
  2. Boil the stock, add the fish sauce, ginger, rice, lime juice, tomatoes, prawns and dill.
  3. Simmer until the prawns are pink and cooked.
  4. Serve with a bit of coriander over the top if you have some.
  5. Slurp.

Check out the original recipe here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/889668/vietnamese-prawn-rice-and-dill-soup

Julie

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