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Posts Tagged ‘Nigella’

Green beans with lemon

This is a Nigella Lawson recipe that she recommends for Thanksgiving but we like it with roast chicken (and lots of other things) in the summer months. It’s easy to scale down for smaller numbers. We like our beans well-done – no squeaky, al-dente beans for us please.

Green Beans with Lemon – serves 8 to 10

  • 1kg fine green beans, topped and tailed (there’s always a debate in our house over whether or not to leave the curly tails on)
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon (to prepare cut a slice of each end, then cut downwards to remove the skin and pith, then slice)

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add plenty of salt to the boiling water, then add the beans and cook until tender (start checking after about 6 minutes).

Drain the beans and put the pot back over the heat with the butter and a few drops of olive oil. Add the lemon slices, and any juice on the board, to the butter. Stir well and add the beans.

Turn the beans over in the lemony butter. Add some sea salt and lots of freshly ground white pepper (black pepper will do fine if that’s what you have).

(Original recipe from Feast by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2004.)

 

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Mushroom stroganoff

We like a good stroganoff, and this vegetarian version doesn’t lack anything that the classic beef one has in terms of flavour. We’ve served this to dedicated carnivores with no complaints.

Wine Suggestion: Jono recently tasted the Höpler Blaufrankisch from Burgenland, Austria and thought it would match the richness, was wonderfully fresh to cut through the cream, and was spicy and juicy in a very complimentary way. We think there’s a new generation of red wines from Austria that are definitely worth seeking out.

Mushroom Stroganoff – Serves 8

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g shiitake mushrooms
  • 275g button mushrooms
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 250g Portobello mushrooms
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tbsp Maldon salt/1½ tsp table salt
  • 4 tbsp Amontillado sherry (or white wine)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 x 142ml tubs sour cream
  • 4-5 tbsp chopped parsley

Peel and quarter the onion and process with the garlic cloves until finely chopped.

Heat the oil in a large wide pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured.

Remove the stalks from the shitake mushrooms and slice them; quarter the button mushrooms and slice. Slice the chestnut mushrooms, and peel and quarter the Portobello mushrooms, discarding the stalks first.

Melt the butter in the pan, then add the mushrooms. Turn the mushrooms to coat with the butter, then cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes. (You can cook up to this point earlier in the day)

Take the lid off the pan (reheat first if you’ve done to this point earlier) and add the salt, sherry, paprika, nutmeg and sour cream. Stir over the heat for about 5 minutes, then stir in most of the parsley. Put the stroganoff into a warmed serving dish and scatter the remaining parsley over the top.

Serve with steamed basmati rice.

(Original recipe from Feast by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2004.)

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Crab & Chilli Risotto

We’d been eyeing this recipe up for a while and when we stumbled across some really good crab meat we had our excuse to make it. It was luxurious and delicious as we expected.

Wine suggestion: Go for a rich white like an oaked Chardonnay, which will also have a good freshness and texture to balance the rich risotto. Our choice was the Rustenberg Chardonnay from Stellenbosch in South Africa which never lets us down.

Crab & chilli risotto  – serves 2

  • 1 litre light chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 garlic cloves, bashed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 75ml dry white wine or vermouth
  • 100g brown crabmeat
  • 100g white crabmeat
  • zest and juice of ½ a lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • 50g rocket

Heat up the stock, add the saffron threads and keep hot over a low heat.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan (which you have a lid for) and add the bashed garlic cloves. Leave to sizzle for a couple of minutes, then remove and discard the garlic. Add the scallions and most of the red chilli and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring, for about a minute.

Turn up the heat and stir in the rice so that the grains become coated in the oil.

Add the white wine/vermouth and let it bubble up until it has been absorbed. Add a ladleful of stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed.

Turn the heat down and continue to stir and add ladlefuls of stock, allowing each one to be absorbed before adding another. After about 18 minutes the stock should have all been absorbed and the rice should be al dente.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the crab and the lemon zest and juice, then season. Add the rocket, cover with the lid, and let stand for a minute.

Serve the risotto with the remaining chilli over the top and a squeeze of lemon.

(Original recipe from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2012.)

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We gave each other a food mixer for Christmas and hence have baked more cakes in the last month than we’ve made in all our years of blogging. This one can be mixed up really quickly and can be made wheat-free for our coeliac friends with no adverse affect. We made this example with wheat; the wheat-free version which substitutes nuts (ground almonds) for the flour is  more squidgy and dessert-like.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake 

  • 150ml olive oil (not extra virgin), plus extra for greasing
  • 50g good quality cocoa powder
  • 125ml boiling water
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g plain flour (OR 150g ground almonds)
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 170ºC/Gas 3/325ºF.

Grease a 22 or 23cm springform tin with a little olive oil and line the base with baking parchment.

Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl and whisk in the boiling water to give a smooth paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract and set aside to cool a little.

In another bowl, combine the flour (or ground almonds) with the bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt.

Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or use whatever bowl and whisk you have) and beat vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale yellow and thickened cream.

Turn down the speed a little and add the cocoa mixture. When this is mixed in, add the flour (or ground almond) mixture.

Scrape down and stir a little with a spatula, then pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre still looks slightly damp. A skewer inserted into the cake should come out mostly clean.

Cool on a wire rack, still in the tin, for 10 minutes before easing the sides gently away with a metal spatula and springing out of the tin. Leave to cool completely and serve with cream and berries or eat while still warm with ice-cream.

(Original recipe from Nigella.com)

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Marscapone & Marsala Fettucini

A rich and indulgent pasta dish and quite a hefty portion but as Nigella points out there is little point in leaving 50g of fettuccine in the box for another time!

Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Marsala & Mascarpone – serves 2

  • 15g dried porcini
  • 60ml Marsala
  • 125g mascarpone
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley plus more to serve
  • 250g  fettuccine (or tagliatelle)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan

Measure the porcini into a very small saucepan, cover with the Marsala and 60ml water, put on the heat and bring to the boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Put the mascarpone into a bowl with a good grating of fresh nutmeg and ground pepper. When the porcini have finished soaking, strain the liquid into the bowl and fork together to combine.

Squeeze the porcini out over the bowl, then chop on a board along with the parsley.

Cook the fettuccine in a large pan of boiling salted water.

Melt the butter in a large pan and add the garlic, stirring over the heat for a minute, then add the porcini and parsley mixture and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone and stir until the sauce bubbles, then turn the heat off.

Reserve a small cup of the pasta cooking water before draining and tipping the pasta into the sauce. Add a little pasta water to loosen as it will thicken on standing.

Add the Parmesan and check the seasoning before serving with some extra parsley.

(Original recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Nigellissima, Chatto & Windus, 2012).

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We have a tonne of recipe books, some we use all the time and some we use very seldom. For this reason we try to go to the shelves and deliberately choose something we haven’t cooked from for ages, or indeed never. This is how we ended up cooking this gammon dish, as Nigella Express has been neglected since well before Jono and Jules even met. Since 2007 to be precise when Jules cooked some cocktail sausages in honey, soy sauce and sesame oil and wrote “28.10.2007 Too sweet!!” beside the recipe. The comment beside this recipe is, “5.8.11 Really good!! Serve with new spuds + peas w/ Parmesan + cream” – which is much more positive and so we thought we would share it.

Nigella’s Gammon Steaks with Parsley – Serves 2

  • 2 tsp oil (Nigella suggests garlic oil but we didn’t have any and it didn’t seem to matter much)
  • 2 gammon steaks, around 200g each
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • lots of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan and cook the gammon steaks for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

Take the pan off the heat. Whisk the vinegar with the water, pepper and honey and throw into the hot pan along with most of the parsley. Stir to mix and make sure you scrape all the sticky bits of the bottom of the pan, then pour over the gammon steaks.

Sprinkle over the remaining parsley and serve.

P.S. Nigella suggest serving this with some frozen peas blended with a little Parmesan, pepper and Mascarpone. We blended ours with some Parmesan, pepper and double cream as that’s what we had.

(Original recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express, published by Chatto and Windus.)

Wine Suggestion: Pick a lightly oaked and well balanced Chardonnay – you should get a wine with freshness and minerality as well as lovely ripe fruits and a good structure to hold it all together. If the wine is well made it won’t be too forceful rather it will have a structure to support and compliment the food. We drank the William Cole Columbine Reserve Chardonnay from Chile which went down a treat; really great value at €13.50 in Mitchells.

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