Main Courses

Lemon Sole with Brown Shrimp and Caper Butter Sauce

The 95th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is an utterly delightful way to showcase the flavours of a lovely, fresh fish.

A tweaked version of a recipe demonstrated on telly, this lemon sole dish is fast, simple and absolutely lovely – something that I am convinced is to do with the minimal tinkering applied to the fish – its natural flavours are there to be enjoyed, enhanced by a lovely little simple sauce. Just yummy.

Serves 4

What you need…

A splash of rapeseed oil

800g lemon sole, cleaned and filleted to 4 portions

Sea salt and black pepper

100g unsalted butter

90g brown shrimp, cooked and peeled

2 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed

Juice of two lemons

Small handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

What to do…

On a high heat, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Bubble away until the butter turns a lovely golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and, standing as far away as is feasible, pour in the lemon juice – it will go crazy and spit – you don’t want this all over you! Set aside and then add the brown shrimp, capers and parsley. Put back on the heat and keep warm on a very low heat, whilst you cook the fish.

Season the sole fillets with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and once hot, add the fish and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve the fish and then drizzle over some of the brown shrimp and caper butter sauce. It’s lovely. Once a again, a reminder that the simple things in life often provide the most pleasure! (Providing you first have good quality fish, in this case!) Enjoy your lemon sole with brown shrimp and caper butter sauce!

Serving suggestion…

Parmentier potatoes together with creamed leeks with chestnut and thyme crumble (both already blogged).

Inspired by…

Bryn Williams, Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Ever so. All you need is great fish to start with and lemon sole is nothing like as expensive as Dover Sole, so…..no holding back!

Monkfish Roasted with Parma Ham and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The 93rd of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a truly lovely way of serving monkfish.

A lovely dish that is simple to make, very easy on the eye and great tasting.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil

2 large handfuls of fresh basil

Olive oil

16-20 slices of Parma ham

4 x 200g monkfish tail fillets, trimmed

Sea salt and black pepper

Balsamic vinegar and rocket (optional, to serve)

What to do…

Pre-heat oven to 200c / 400f / gas 6. Place sun-dried tomatoes and half their flavoursome preserving oil in a food processor with all the basil and blend until smooth. While blending, add the remaining preserving oil to the paste until it’s nice and spreadable.

Take four A4-sized pieces of greaseproof paper. Rub some olive oil over each piece and lay about 4 slices of Parma ham snugly next to each other, on each piece of paper. Divide your paste into 4, smearing each quarter evenly over the ham. Then, place your monkfish fillets at one end, season, and, using the greaseproof paper as an aid to wrap the monkfish firmly in the Parma ham, fold and roll up. Slide the Parma ham-wrapped monkfish off the greaseproof paper onto an oiled baking tray (with sides as liquid will escape during cooking and make a right mess of the oven – been there, done that!). Roast for 15-20 minutes.

To serve your monkfish roasted with Parma ham and sun-dried tomatoes, either slice up or serve each portion whole, ideally with really buttery mashed potato. Garnish with drizzled balsamic vinegar over the fish and scattered rocket over the whole plate.

It’s quick, gorgeous and looks like it’s taken hours of slaving. Ideal for a dinner party as it can be prepared in advance, kept covered and refrigerated until you are ready to pop it in the oven; or for a family supper when you fancy something a little different.

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver

How Easy…

Very easy and hardly any clearing up!

Insalata Burrata della Casa Kinnon

The 92nd of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this was first tried with the lovely Jane and Dom Kinnon (thank you) and then recreated for a spontaneous birthday picnic. This gorgeous little number is being enjoyed today al fresco under a sparkling blue sky enjoying the best of British summer time.  A joy to assemble, this salad is manna from heaven: peppery rocket perfectly contrasting perfectly with the soft, rich, pillow of gorgeousness that is the burrata, the sweet delight of the figs and the gentle saltiness of the Parma ham. Now discovered, it is to be a near permanent summer fixture in the Duffield house.

Serves 2 for a summer lunch

What you need…

A couple of large handfuls of rocket

4 – 6 really ripe figs, halved or quartered

6 – 8 slices Parma ham

1 Burrata (only seen so far in Waitrose)

Aged balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

What to do…

Scatter the rocket all over a pretty plate.

Muck about with the Parma ham, rolling it up prettily and arranging over the rocket.

Arrange the figs and then place the Burrata in pride of place at the centre of the plate.

Drizzle over balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Consume with restrained fervour, ideally with a glass of cold white wine: utterly delicious.

What’s Burrata…?

A speciality of Italy’s Puglia region, rich and soft centred, filled with cream and ribbons of mozzarella.

Inspired by…

Jane and Dom Kinnon (no idea where they came across it).

How easy…

So little effort for something that is an absolute mouth-watering treat – you couldn’t ask for better!!!!

Toad in the Hole

The 90th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is perfect for today which is rather drab and cold.

There’s nothing quite like it on a cold winter’s day, is there? Toad in the hole – with no soggy bottom – and a great gravy – sticks to the ribs and is soooooo warming and comforting. Our version has great mountainous sides, plunging into the sausagy middle – something easily attainable from the batter whisking and the use of suet. Whip it up, stick it in the oven and serve – great for an early-week supper, particularly as you can use the Sunday roast’s left over gravy to serve it with. Try as we have done in the past, we now tend to avoid accompanying vegetables – why spoil a naughty thing?!

Serves 4 hungry people

What you need…

1 x baking dish, lightly buttered (mine is 30cm x 20cm x 7cm deep)

12 of your favourite sausages

275 g plain flour

4 eggs

300ml milk/Oatly if you’re cutting down on dairy

180ml water

Sea salt and black pepper

A good handful of suet

What to do…

Preheat oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7.

Pop the sausages into the baking dish and bake them on the middle shelf in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they are just starting to colour.

Using an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, water, salt and pepper until there are no lumps and you have a lovely, smooth batter.

Whisk in the suet into the batter – just enough to get it incorporated (mix it for too long and you’ll beat out the raising agent).

Remove the sausages from the oven and quickly tip in the batter. Put it straight back in the oven and cook for 30-ish minutes, turning half way through to ensure and even bake. The batter should be golden, crispy around the edges and cooked properly through the middle; sausages good and brown poking through the batter.

Serve your fabulous winter toad in the hole immediately – huge great wedges for each lucky person. Ideally, top with the rich gravy left over from your Sunday Roast Dinner. Sit back at the end, patting the belly and pronounce that you can do nothing further for the rest of the day!

Tip…

If you don’t have any left over gravy available, this is my quick stop-gap version which does a fine job!  For four people, tip 150g Bistro chicken gravy granules into the bottom of a large jug. Gradually add boiling water from a kettle, mixing in the granules evenly using a balloon whisk. Keep adding water until you have a gravy that is your preferred consistency (we like ours thick). Add a good glug of Pellegrino Marsala Superiore to the gravy and taste – maybe add a bit more. The Marsala adds a wonderful depth of flavour. If you have time,  you can bring this to the boil in a saucepan and cook off the alcohol, but we never have and we’re all quite close to normal!

Inspired by…

John the husband and Delia Smith

How easy…

Ever so. A bit of whisking and then the oven does the rest. A perfect weekday meal!

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Kiev

The 85th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this one indulges the 1970s in a really, really good way!

A 70’s classic and an oldie but a goodie as they say. I don’t know why I’ve never made this before but having tried it once, it’s now a regular to our supper table. To cut through the crispy coating to the succulent chicken is lovely enough but then the big reveal: the garlicky butter oozes out of the meat and the wonderful aroma enticingly wafts towards you. Not only is the chicken beautifully flavoured throughout but all that butter assures the meat of a gorgeous moist lusciousness! I wouldn’t bring back the 1970s but this dish is staying firmly on this decade’s favourite list!

What you need…

4 plump skinned chicken breasts (or supremes)

125g dried breadcrumbs (see tip)

40g Parmesan

2 large, happy eggs, lightly whisked

50g plain flour

Pinch paprika

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

String!

for the garlic butter

100g butter, softened

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

What to do…

Use a fork to mash together all the garlic butter ingredients. Dump the whole lot onto a large piece of cling film and use the cling film to help you create a log shape. Pop the garlic butter in the freezer for 1 hour.

Lay the chicken breasts on a chopping board and use the point of a sharp knife to make a deep pocket in the middle of each one. Slice discs of garlic butter from your log and insert them into the pockets – be generous. Pull the meat together to cover the garlic butter and use the string to tie up the chicken breast like a parcel.

Take 3 plates or shallow, wide bowls. Into the first, mix together the flour and paprika. In the second, tip the whisked eggs and in the third, mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Now the fun bit, dip each breast, first in the flour, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process for an extra crispy coating. Pop them on a plate and into the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat and then fry the kievs for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Pop onto a baking tray – pocket side up and cook for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.

Enjoy the ensuing garlicky aroma. Remind everyone about the string before they tentatively try their first bite and then devour the rest – they’re that good, honest!

Tip…

To dry out the bread, I stuck 2½ slices of white bread in a low oven for 10 minutes or so, before roughly cutting them up and whopping them in the food processor to create the breadcrumbs.

Inspired by…

BBC Good Food

How easy…

Very easy and really satisfying to make but you do have to be at home for the afternoon so that you can have time for the butter to sit in the freezer for an hour and the kievs to chill in the fridge for a further hour. Absolutely worth it though.

Prawn Saganaki

The 84th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is an absolute family favourite, exuding Mediterranean sunshine!

Ooooh, this is sooooo lovely that I cooked it twice in one week before blogging it – the cooking smells the first time around demanded immediate indulgence so no photographs were taken before we sat down… so I had to cook it again – shame!!!! It smells amazing and tastes even better! Greek in origin, this is a brilliant starter or supper that tastes like it belongs in a gorgeous summer holiday – you can practically feel the Mediterranean sun, smell the lavender carried on the breeze and hear the sea gently lapping on the shore. It’s quick to knock up and is definitely so much greater than simply the sum of its parts.

Serves 4 as a main meal and 6 as a starter

What you need…

A good splash of rapeseed oil

1 large red onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon dried crushed chillies

2 star anise

6 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

800g raw king prawns

50g Boursin cheese (the original recipe uses Feta but I prefer Boursin)

A small handful of parsley, roughly chopped

What to do…

Heat the oil over a moderate heat in a frying pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes until soft but not brown. Stir in the chilli and the star anise, then add in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Next, dump in the Boursin cheese and then add in the prawns, stirring and cooking for a few minutes until the prawns are pink and the cheese is evenly dispersed. Remove the star anise.

Scatter over the parsley and serve immediately with a nice chunky doorstep of good, fresh bread – just yummy!

Tip…

I just love this dish but if you wanted to be a little more authentic, replace the rapeseed oil for olive oil and the star anise for 3 tablespoons of ouzo. If you choose to do the latter, you’ll need to cook it off for a bit before adding the tomatoes to dispel the alcohol and reduce the liquid. However, star anise worked really, really well (weirdly, I didn’t have any ouzo in the house!)

Inspired by…

The Traveller’s Table (although I have mucked about with it quite a lot).

How easy…

Soooooo happy that I happened upon this ridiculously easy recipe!

 

Tournedos Rossini!

The 82ndof 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is definitely worth celebrating the weekend with!

When we fancy a bit of blow out, we turn to steak and I’ve tried some amazing recipes. On one such an occasion, at the behest of the uni-returning daughter, steak was once again on the menu and we elected to try a classic: Tournedos Rossini – a gutsy yet elegant dish that is served with a wonderful velvety sauce – it was nothing short of fabulous. I did adapt the recipe however! The original includes fois gras and as much as my food shopping bills are significant, even I could not push the boat out for that extravagance so swapped it for a little chicken liver paté and some sautéed mushrooms – still decadent and absolutely delicious!

Serves 4 very lucky people

What you need…

1 x small cookie cutter

Olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

4 x 200g beef fillet steaks

Sea salt and black pepper

250g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and sliced

150g good quality chicken liver paté (optional)

4 chunky slices of ciabatta

for the sauce

100ml hot water from the kettle

½ beef stockpot (I use Knorr)

2 tablespoons port

4 tablespoons brandy

4 tablespoons Madeira, plus extra for frying

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 truffle, finely sliced

What to do…

A couple of hours before you want to eat, take your steaks out of the fridge, put a teaspoon of oil onto each one, massage the oil in using the heel of your hand, season with black pepper (no salt at this stage), flip them and repeat on the other side. Cover with cling film and set aside.

Just before you’re ready to eat, add the butter to a hot frying pan. Season the steaks with salt on both sides and when the butter is foaming, pop in the steaks and cook over a high heat for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and keep warm (I put mine into a really low oven).

Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and sauté for five minutes until golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and pop onto kitchen paper to drain any excess liquid and then keep warm with the steaks.

Into the pan pour the port, brandy and Madeira and bring to the boil. Add the stock and reduce the heat to moderate, letting the sauce bubble away until it starts to thicken.

In a separate pan over a moderate heat, add a splash of Madeira and the garlic, cooking for a couple of minutes before adding the truffle. Turn the heat to low and cook for a further two minutes. Then, add the reduced sauce.

Meanwhile, toast the ciabatta. Also, if you’re including the paté, cut 4 small circles from it using your cookie cutter. Set aside.

To serve, place each steak on a piece of the toasted ciabatta, top with a circle of paté if using, then the mushrooms. Pour over the delicious sauce and dig in – it’s gutsy but elegant at the same time – fillet steak needs little faffing and this sauce together with a little pate and mushrooms create a fabulous dish that should be lingered over but….is demolished!!!!!

Serving Suggestion…

Potato Dauphinoise and a few green beans works particularly well.

What’s it all about…

Tournedos Rossini was created by chef, Marie-Antoine Carême, who is renowned as the ‘king of chefs’ and ‘chef of kings’ having cooked for Napoleon,  the Prince Regent and Tsar Alexander I, to name but a few. But it was whilst working for the House of Rothschild that he met and became friends with great composer and kindred spirit, Gioachino Antonio Rossini and it was for him, that this wonderful dish was created.

Inspired by…

James Winter, who included it in his fabulous book, ‘Who Put the Beef in Wellington?’ and who said, ‘…people with passionate appetites for luxurious food will always order Tournedos Rossini.’ What a wonderful line!

How easy…

Really easy, very quick and absolutely fantastic – only for a special occasion though unless you have very deep pockets!

Cider-Baked Luxury Fish Pie

The 81st of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this one is perfect for today when, in my world, the sky is grey and laden with rain for the rest of the day – ugh! This dish will provide the necessary comfort!

I’ve never really been a fan of fish pie but this recipe is just rich enough to feel indulgent without that sluggish, overly full and slightly sick feeling that often comes with overly rich food! Haddock, scallops and prawns are the basis of this dish so, providing you’ve got good quality, the great natural flavours are already there, just waiting to party with your taste buds! It has double cream in but that’s countered by the cider to produce a tasty sauce that just begs an extra spoon at the table just to make absolutely sure there isn’t any left; and for the mashed potato topping, I did my own thing – anchovies don’t scream ‘salty fish’ as you might expect but just add a depth of flavour. At our table, it was agreed, we’re definitely having this dish again – absolutely lovely!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x 1 litre ovenproof dish, lightly buttered

100ml milk

400g haddock fillets

100ml milk

150g scallops

150g large raw prawns, shelled

25g butter

25g plain flour

100ml dry still cider

75ml double cream

1 dessertspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

for the topping

500g King Edwards potatoes, peeled and roughly chunked

3 anchovy fillets (from a jar in oil), roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

100g salted butter

Splash of milk

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas 5.

Pop the potatoes in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and simmer until soft (15 minutes-ish).

In a little saucepan, tip in the anchovies, garlic and butter. Put it on a really low heat, just to melt the butter and let the flavours develop. Ignore it until you need it later.

Meanwhile, pop the haddock into a large pan with the 100ml milk, bring to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove the fish to a plate with a slotted spoon, retaining the flavoured milk for later. When it’s cool enough to handle, flake the fish into large chunks into your ovenproof dish. Tip into the dish the scallops and prawns and spread about evenly.

Melt the 25g butter in a small sauce pan, tip in the flour, cooking for 1 minute whilst stirring like crazy. Remove from the heat and, using a balloon whisk, gradually mix in the cider and then the retained milk. Return to a moderate heat for up to 10 minutes, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the cream and mustard; add the parsley and season to taste. Pour over the fish and set aside whilst you complete your mash.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Add a splash of milk and the melted butter with anchovy and garlic. Depending on your preference, either mash traditionally or, if you would like a smoother, creamier version, use an electric hand whisk to create a lovely silky mashed potato (no points for guessing which approach I prefer!) Taste and adjust the seasoning. If you’re feeling really naughty, you could add a tad more butter or double cream.

Dollop the mash all over the fish mixture and then use a fork to give it a nice ‘roughed up’ texture.

Pop in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until lovely and golden brown. Serve and enjoy – it is utterly delicious!

Serving suggestion…

We really enjoyed this dish with garlic, rosemary and anchovy-flavoured greens together with Hasselback potatoes, both of which I will type up and blog this week – they are great sides that would go with a wide variety of dishes, were really tasty, attractive and required next to no effort (always a bonus!)

Inspired by…

Woman and Home magazine

How easy…

Dead easy, really quick and very little clearing up – perfect for a weekday supper, although the ingredients aren’t the cheapest.

Chimichurri Verde with Steak

The 79th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this one is a bit wowser!

I’m not overly partial to steak, normally favouring a couple of fillets over the course of a year rather than a more regular cheaper cut. That said, John found this Brazilian-inspired recipe towards the end of the last Olympics and we thought we’d give it a bash. Wow! The steaks – purchased from our local butcher – were so very succulent but it was the chimichurri that lifted them from your average rib eye to something really quite fantastic. I also reckon that you could use the chimichurri to dress up a more mundane fish steak. I have a feeling we’ll be trying it with all sorts!

Serves 4

What you need…

50ml cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

100ml olive oil

30g fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely

30g fresh coriander, chopped finely

15g fresh oregano, chopped finely

1 dried red chilli, chopped

3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced finely

4 garlic cloves, chopped

Splash of rapeseed oil

4 x 240g 1cm rib eye steaks

What to do…

First, make the chimichurri by tipping all the ingredients (except the rapeseed oil and steaks!) into a screw top jar, pop the lid on a shake like mad. Pop the jar in the fridge for anything between 30 minutes and 24 hours to let the flavours develop.

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 4.

Gently bash the steaks each side with a steak mallet.

Heat the rapeseed oil in a hot frying pan and fry the steaks for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer them to a baking tray and smother them with half the chimichurri. Pop them in the oven and cook for 10 minutes (for medium).

Serve straight from the oven, ideally with garlicky crushed new potatoes or hasselback potatoes (both already blogged) and something green (broccoli that has been steamed and then tossed in garlic and either chilli- or anchovy-infused oil would work really well) together with a generous dollop of the remaining chimichurri on the side – simple but stunning!

Inspired by…

Waitrose Weekend

How easy…

Ever so, especially as the chimichurri can be prepared up to a day in advance.

Bacon and Black Pudding Pasta with Scrumptious Ginger, Palm Sugar and Cream Sauce

The 78th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a spectucular pasta dish unlike any I have ever tasted. Try it!

We eat A LOT of pasta, but when I dished this one up, our son, Connagh, declared it as the best pasta he had ever tasted (he’s a 19-year old foodie, so his gastronomic opinion counts). How to describe it…..the sauce has a delightful, tangy sweetness that works spectacularly well in contrast to the earthy richness of the black pudding. I think it might also be slightly addictive: once the first mouthful passes your lips, you simply yearn for more!!!! What more can I say: try it and let me know!!!!!

Serves 4

What you need…

2 baking trays, foil-lined

8 rashers unsmoked streaky bacon

200g black pudding, chunkily sliced

Your favourite shaped dried pasta

for the sauce

50g fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

75ml water

2 cloves

50g palm sugar

300ml double cream

200g baby spinach

What to do…

Starting with the sauce, pop the ginger into a large saucepan with the water and cloves. Bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove the cloves and add the sugar and dissolve.  Tip into your food processor/blender and whizz until the ginger is reduced to small chunks.

Return the ginger mixture to the saucepan, pour in the cream, chuck in the spinach, whack on the lid and set aside.

Spread the bacon around on 1 baking tray and use the other for the black pudding. Pop the bacon in the oven and cook until crispy (15-20 minutes). Pop the black pudding in at the same time but cook for only 10 minutes, turning over after 5 minutes. Once cooked, remove both from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted boiling water, according to the packet instructions.

When your pasta is nearly cooked, break up the bacon into little pieces and likewise, cut the black pudding into chunks.

Heat your saucepan of sauce over a moderate-high heat and stir whilst the cream warms up and the spinach wilts. Transfer the pasta into the sauce, tip in the black pudding and mix gently but thoroughly together.

Serve in warmed bowls and scatter the crispy bacon over the top. Absolutely bloody gorgeous!

Tip…

I’ve had feedback that for some people that the sauce is a bit too sweet for  their taste – if that’s the case, just cut down on the palm sugar! Personally, it’s gorgeous as it is!

Inspired by…

Most of the essential ingredients were inspired by a James Martin scallops-led recipe! Needless to say, from that inspiration, there has been quite a bit of mental mucking about for me to come up with this! Some people dream of holidays and other grand schemes; me: I wake up with recipes dancing around my head!

How easy…

So very, very easy and so spectacularly gorgeous!

 

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