Main Courses

Absolutely Delicious Tuscan Chicken Spaghetti

One from my daughter, Maddie, who found this recipe on the Internet to liven up her Uni dinners. What a joy when she offered to cook the recipe on her last trip home! As much as I love cooking, it is an absolute treat when someone else offers to do it and this recipe went straight to the top of my ‘favourites’ list of pasta dishes – it’s hearty and really flavoursome – the tomatoes and spinach contrast perfectly with the richness of the cream and the dish is quite honestly, just fantastic! A perfect family supper dish – thanks Madz – you can do it again!!!!

Serves 6

What you need…

Splash of olive oil

4 chicken breasts, seasoned

8 rashers back bacon, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

300ml double cream

8 tomatoes, roughly chopped

150g spinach

Sea salt and black pepper

150g Parmesan, grated

A large handful fresh basil leaves, torn

Dried spaghetti (amount depends on how hungry you are)

What to do…

In a large saucepan, bring to the boil salted water in which to cook the spaghetti.

In a large frying pan, warm the oil over a moderate heat and then cook the chicken breasts for 6 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Pop your spaghetti into the pan of boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions: mine is about 12 minutes.

Add the bacon to the chicken pan and fry until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside onto kitchen paper.

Into the pan chuck the garlic. Fry for 1 minute and then add the tomatoes, cooking for 5 minutes. Toss in the spinach and pour in the cream, cooking through until the spinach has mostly wilted.

Tip in the cooked chicken and bacon, stir to evenly incorporate and then add the Parmesan and basil.

Drain the spaghetti and add to the sauce. Mix the whole lot together so the sauce beautifully coats the pasta.

Serve to six hungry people, perhaps with a glass or two of robust red wine and enjoy this truly hearty, really tasty pasta dish.

Inspired by…

Maddie, who found the recipe on the Twisted Food website

How easy…

Fast, easy and very student-friendly!

Spicy Gammon Steak with Mascarpone Peas

The name gives absolutely no clue as to how absolutely delicious this dish is. I loved it so much, I enjoyed it two days running!!! The gammon takes on a real razzle dazzle star quality and quite frankly, peas in mascarpone are going to be a regular event. Try this! It’s fast and fabulous – buonissimo!

Serves 2

What you need…

Splash of rapeseed oil

4 teaspoons salted butter

1 teaspoon dried crushed chillies

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 gammon steaks (choose thick, juicy ones – maybe 2cm)

160g frozen peas, defrosted

4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Heat half the oil and half the butter in a frying pan, add the crushed chillies and half the parsley. Then pop in the gammon steaks and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer gammon and juices to a baking tray and pop in a low oven to keep warm.

Wipe out the pan with kitchen roll and return to the heat with the remaining oil and butter. Add the peas and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.

Season with salt and pepper, add the mascarpone and remaining parsley. Stir the lot together and serve these party-dressed peas to accompany the razzle-dazzle gammon – that’s it – buonissimo!

Serving suggestion…

Red potatoes, sliced or chunked, tossed with olive oil, dried rosemary and chopped garlic and the cooked in the oven for 35 minutes: lovely!

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Marvelously easy and it tastes like something that was meticulously created!

 

 

Cod ‘BLT’

I was drawn to this recipe mainly because I thought that the combination of cod, bacon, tomato and lettuce with a dressing was nothing short of bonkers! Anyway, dubiously I created my take on Nathan Outlaw’s orginal recipe (which as a little too cheffy for me) and was absolutely gob-smacked at what a wonderful dish it turned out to be (the dressing in particular is divine) – a great and very different salad for a summer’s evening supper!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking tray, liberally buttered

1kg cod, gutted, filleted and skinned

4 rashers of streaky bacon

Sea salt and black pepper

2 baby gem lettuces, washed and torn

A handful of basil leaves, torn

for the BLT dressing

8 tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, chopped

30ml white wine vinegar, plus a further teaspoon

1 tablespoon sugar

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

150ml olive oil

50ml double cream

for the oven-dried tomatoes

1 x baking tray, lined with foil

16 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

Drizzle of olive oil

Sprinkle of caster sugar

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Start with the oven-dried tomatoes: heat your oven to 110°c / 225°f / gas ¼. Lay the tomatoes on the baking tray and sprinkle over the garlic, thyme, olive oil and caster sugar. Season with salt and pepper and pop in the oven for 90 minutes.

Turning to the dressing: into a mini chopper or blender tip the tomatoes, garlic, 30ml wine vinegar, sugar and chilli. Season with salt and pepper and whizz until smooth. Ideally leave this in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavours develop. Strain this tomato ‘stock’ through a sieve, discarding the remaining pulp. Set aside.

Using an electric handheld whisk, beat together the egg yolks, mustard and teaspoon of wine vinegar. Very slowly add the olive oil, whisking the whole time to emulsify. Whisk in the cream.

When you’re ready to cook the fish, preheat your oven to 200°c /400°f / gas 6.

Dry-fry the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Cut into small pieces (I use scissors) and set aside.

Lay the fish fillets onto your baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until just cooked.

Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce on serving plates and scatter over the oven-dried tomatoes.

In a saucepan, gently heat the sieved tomato stock together with the egg yolk sauce, whisking the whole time and avoiding boiling.

Flake the cod over the lettuce, sprinkle over the bacon and basil and then drizzle over the sauce – enjoy this very odd combination that works extremely well!!!!

Tip…

The oven-dried tomatoes and the two elements that combine to create the BLT dressing can all be prepared in advance, leaving very little to do just before you want to eat.

Inspired by…

Nathan Outlaw

How easy…

Not difficult but requires quite a lot of time and prepping in advance. Worth it though!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon and Tarragon-Crusted Sea Bass

 So simple and so very, very yummy! A lovely crispy ‘panko’ coating contrasts beautifully with the fresh, tangy lemon tarragon sauce but doesn’t detract from the natural flavours of this delicious fish. A great dish for a supper with family and friends! Simply delightful!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking sheet, lined with parchment paper/ Bake O Glide

4 sea bass fillets, skin on

40g butter

60g panko breadcrumbs

Zest of 1 lemon, grated finely

½ tablespoon tarragon, chopped

40g Parmesan, grated

Sea salt and black pepper

Lemon wedges, to serve

for the lemon tarragon sauce

200g full-fat crème fraîche

½ tablespoon tarragon, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of caster sugar

What to do…

Season the sea bass fillets well on both sides with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a small pan, then remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and tarragon so that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. Set aside.

On your baking sheet, sprinkle over half the breadcrumb mixture in 4 rows, roughly the same size as the 4 fish fillets. Lay each fillet, skin side down, on top of a row of breadcrumbs and press down firmly. Top each fillet with the remaining breadcrumbs, sprinkle with Parmesan and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes (or for up to 8 hours).

When you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven to 200°c / 400° / gas 6.

To make the sauce, chuck all the ingredients together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix together.

Cook the fish in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve each crispy-coated fillet on a warm plate with a dollop of the lovely sauce, a wedge of lemon and perhaps a little greenery and potatoes – absolutely delicious and delightfully easy!

What’s Panko all about…?

Panko breadcrumbs were a total revelation to me. I couldn’t believe that Mary was using pre-prepared breadcrumbs but these little lovelies can be set quite apart from your everyday breadcrumb!!! In short, panko is a type of flaky breadcrumb; it’s commonly used in Asian, particularly Japanese, cuisine, although it has become more popular in Western cooking. What sets it apart from standard breadcrumbs is its texture which is light, airy and delicate; all of which ensure that it crisps as it cooks. The texture of panko makes it especially wonderful for fried food because it absorbs less oil than breadcrumbs, keeping food more crisp and crunchy. I will be using it for all sorts from here on in – toppings, coatings and crusts are going to be panko all the way!

Tips…

The fish can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Likewise, the sauce can be made a couple of days in advance.

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy….

I’m loving these recipes from Mary’s Everyday cook book – they’re all really easy and fit nicely into a busy schedule – this one is no exception – enjoy!

Decadently Delicious Beef Strogonoff

An absolute culinary classic, Beef Strogonoff hails from 1890’s Russia (Count Strogonoff no less) and was extremely popular in the 1970s as a fabulous dinner party dish for which no expense had been spared. Tender beef fillet, earthy mushrooms and a gorgeous creamy sauce – it takes just minutes to cook and is an absolute treat (albeit not cheap!) From Russia with love….xx

 Serves 4

 What you need…

 450g beef fillet, cut from the tail end and then sliced into strips

Sea salt and black pepper

1 teaspoon hot paprika

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

Splash of rapeseed oil

30g butter

2 shallots, chopped finely

200g button mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 teaspoon tomato purée

50ml white wine vinegar

75ml white wine

200ml double cream

A drizzle of soured cream

1 tablespoon flatleaf parsley, finely chopped, to garnish

What to do…

In a bowl, mix together enough salt and pepper to season the beef with the two paprikas. Chuck in the fillet and mix together so that the beef is covered in the seasonings.

Heat a frying pan and add a splash of rapeseed oil. When it’s hot, flash fry the strips of beef until they are rare – about 2 minutes, then remove them from the pan and put in a sieve allowing any juices to drip into a bowl. Set aside.

Add the butter to the pan and when melted, tip in the shallots and cook for 2 minutes over a moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute before adding in the tomato purée and cooking for another couple of minutes. Stir well, then add the white wine vinegar and reduce the mixture until all the liquid has evaporated.

Add the white wine and reduce the liquid by half. Pour yourself a glass whilst you wait! Pour in the double cream and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the beef and the cooking juices and warm through but don’t boil – the beef needs no further cooking.

Serve on top of piping hot boiled rice (I prefer basmati mixed with wild rice). Drizzle over a little soured cream, perhaps a dusting of paprika and scattering of parsley. Decadently delicious!!!

What’s it all about…?

Beef Strogonoff is largely recognised as being created in the 1890’s for Count Pavel Strogonoff, a diplomat and gourmet who often entertained his friends with extravagant feasts. A light-hearted competition between some of the great families of St. Petersburg was organised to see which of their chefs could produce the finest dish and it was Strogonoff’s chef, Charles Briere, who was pronounced the winner – there you have it!

Inspired by…

James Winter’s ‘Who put the Beef in Wellington’ book. This recipe though, was a gift to him from chef Lawrence Keogh, who was at that time, head chef at London’s iconic restaurant, ‘The Wolseley’.

How easy…

Real quick, real easy, real tasty!

Yuzu Salmon with Buttered Leeks

A Mary Berry dish, this one is from her ‘Everyday’ series. The first thing that I should say is that I couldn’t find Yuzu juice anywhere but that didn’t matter – Google recommended the alternative mix of fresh lime and orange juice – I have no idea whether this combination tastes like the Japanese citrus fruit juice, ‘Yuzu’, but I can tell you that this salmon dish was absolutely delicious – fresh, tangy with a touch of Asian-inspired heat, all working brilliantly as a foil for the richness of the salmon. Also, it’s stupidly easy AND can be prepared in advance! This is DEFINITELY on the regulars list.

Serves 4

What you need…

Knob of butter

4 small leeks, finely sliced

4 x 125g salmon fillets, skinned

3-4 radishes, thinly sliced, to garnish

A few coriander leaves, to garnish

for the dressing

2cm chunk of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Dessertspoon of fresh orange juice

4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Into a screw top jar, tip the ginger and garlic with the chilli, lime juice, orange juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper, screw on the lid and shake like mad. Set aside until you’re ready to cook the meal.

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°c / gas 6.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan and when it has melted, add the leeks and fry over a high heat for 3 minutes. Pop the lid on the pan, lower the heat and sweat the leeks for 10 minutes until soft but not brown. Tip into an ovenproof dish.

Sit the salmon fillets on top of the leeks and season with salt and pepper. (If you’re preparing ahead you could now just cover the whole lot with cling film or foil and pop into the fridge).

Spoon all but two tablespoons of the dressing over the salmon. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through (a little longer if the dish has been sat in the fridge already prepared).

Toss the coriander leaves and radishes in the remaining dressing. Serve a spoonful of leeks onto each plate with a salmon fillet on top and then spoon over the radishes, coriander and dressing.

Enjoy this delicious, tangy and vibrant supper dish and remember to stick it right back on the menu to enjoy again soon!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Ridiculously easy and so much flexibility with time (we enjoyed ‘wine time’ between when the salmon sat on the leeks and when the dressing went on and the whole lot went into the oven.

 

 

 

Tournedos Rossini!

When we fancy a bit of blow out, we turn to steak and I’ve tried some amazing recipes. Last weekend, 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!

Fennel and Feta Linguine

OK, so the image might not excite but this is a totally gorgeous, light, relaxing dish and is comforting and flavoursome. A perfect supper dish that is quick and easy to make and combines the lovely sweet, fried flavours of the fennel and shallot with tangy, salty earthiness of the feta.

Serves 4

What you need…

400g linguine (I use gluten-free as it’s lighter on my old tummy)

Splash of rapeseed oil

2 fennel bulbs, peeled and sliced

2 shallots, peeled and sliced

A generously large handful of basil leaves, torn

200g feta cheese

What to do…

Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water in accordance with the packet instructions – my takes around 12 minutes.

In a large saucepan, warm the oil over a moderate heat and then sauté the fennel and shallot until soft.

Scatter over the basil and crumble in the feta.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and then tip into the shallot mixture. Stir thoroughly but gently, mixing all the ingredients together.

Enjoy this perfectly lovely supper, perhaps with a glass of cold, crisp white wine on the side. Simply delightful!

Inspired by…

Nigel Slater

How easy…

So very, very easy and it takes no time at all.

 

 

Venison with Red Wine & Chocolate Sauce (oh yeah!) with Celeriac & Apple Purée

O M G! This is so very, very special! Delectable, delicious, de-lovely – absolutely incredible! OK, enough adjectives! This is a dish worth celebrating – venison can be dear (or deer – see what I did there!!). I paid £17 for 600g which serves 4 so that’s £4.25 each which I didn’t think was too bad given the ‘off-the-scale’ enjoyment that was registered: the meat is so succulent and very flavoursome without being ‘gamey’. Paired with the rich red wine and chocolate sauce and complemented by the sweet, crisp celeriac and apple purée: a better trio I cannot imagine! An ideal dinner party dish, this is so good and not at all difficult (especially if you prepare the sauce and purée in advance); you simply must give it a go!!!! (Don’t let the long ingredients list put you off – it’s sooooo worth it!)

Serves 4

What you need…

600g venison loin

Rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed

2 thyme sprigs

2 garlic cloves, chopped

50g unsalted butter

Sea salt and black pepper

for the sauce

Rapeseed oil

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed/grinded

300ml robust red wine

200ml water from the kettle

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50g dark chocolate, grated

25g cold unsalted butter, chunked

Pinch of salt

for the purée

1 celeriac head, peeled and chunked

500ml semi skimmed milk

500ml water

2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 tablespoon caster sugar

25g unsalted butter

Pepper (white’s better as it blends in but I only had black, which works equally as well)

What to do…

So, we’re going to turn the ingredients list all around: first making the chocolate sauce and then the purée, both of which can then be popped in the fridge for use later in the day or even the following day.

To the sauce: heat a splash of oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until they start to caramelise.

Add the herbs, juniper berries and peppercorns and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Meanwhile, make a strong chicken stock by using a balloon whisk to dilute your chicken stockpot into the hot water. Add the stock to the pan, bring back to the boil and then simmer until reduced by half.

Into a jug, tip the grated chocolate. Strain the sauce into the jug and then plop in chunks of butter. Use your balloon whisk again dissolve both the chocolate and butter into the sauce. Season with a pinch of salt. Taste, say ‘wow’ and vow to leave the sauce alone until it’s on your plate with the venison! Cover with cling film and set aside until needed.

Next the purée: pop the celeriac into a large saucepan with the milk and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently until the celeriac is soft. Into your blender pour a couple of ladles of the cooking liquid and then, using a slotted spoon, add the celeriac chunks. Set aside. Pour the remaining cooking liquid into a jug and set aside.

Wipe out your pan and pop it back onto the heat with a splash of water, the apple and sugar. Simmer gently until the apple is soft and beginning to break apart. Use a spatula to scrape the lot into the blender with the celeriac. Whizz until smooth, adding more cooking liquid if needed. Add the butter, season, whizz, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside until needed.

That’s most of the ‘work’ and mess done. At this stage you could cool both the sauce and purée and pop them in the fridge until tomorrow if you were preparing in advance for a dinner party. I made mine in the morning and then just left them on the worktop side until I was ready to cook dinner in the evening.

To the main event: preheat your oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Rub the venison loin with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Also, rub in the juniper berries all over the meat. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a high heat, add the venison and sear on all sides for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add the thyme, garlic and butter to the pan and baste the venison for 2 minutes. Cover the meat with foil and then transfer the pan to the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest, still covered by the foil, on a warmed plate for 10 minutes.

Whilst all that is going on, have your sauce and purée and sauce in separate saucepans over a low heat just to warm through.

Carve the venison into thick slices; try not to dribble in anticipation. Onto each diner’s plate, plop or swirl some purée, arrange a few venison slices on the top and then drizzle with the sauce. Enjoy with a simple green vegetable and a lovely glass or two of red wine. Consider for a moment how wonderful life can be! Enjoy!

Tip…

I found the size of the venison too ungainly to deal with as one piece so chopped it in half….worked for me!

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Really easy. And if you prep the sauce and purée in advance, the actual cooking of the venison takes no time at all and is a sinch!

Red Mullet with Saffron, Orange Oil and Spring Onion Barley

I first tried this last week when I was in Penzance with my brother, Martin; this dish is ridiculously easy to make and absolutely delicious! We picked up the freshly caught fish at lunchtime and cooked this up on a whim in the evening. The freshness of the fish evokes a quite wonderful essence of the sea: a beautiful flavour that is enhanced by the lovely and light pearl barley ‘risotto’ – the perfect base for these delightful little fish – just yummy!

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

What you need…

for the orange oil

Zest of 1 orange, grated finely

75ml rapeseed oil

25ml olive oil

for the main dish

1 x medium baking tin

400ml hot water from the kettle

1 vegetable stockpot (I use Knorr)

8 spring onions

8 red mullet fillets (your fishmonger will do this for you)

Rapeseed oil

50g unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, chopped

100g pearl barley

1 teaspoon saffron strands

200g spinach, washed and trimmed

2 teaspoons dill, chopped, plus extra fronds to garnish

50g Parmesan, grated finely

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

Ideally, the day before you want to enjoy this dish, make up the orange oil by putting all the ingredients into a blender and whizzing for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a jug, cover, pop into the fridge and leave to infuse for 24 hours. Strain into a screw-topped jar and keep in the fridge until needed (it will actually keep for up to 1 month).

Time to prepare this lovely meal! First, a bit of prep: make some stock by using a balloon whisk to dilute the stockpot into the hot water. Set aside. Trim the spring onions and slice finely, keeping the white parts separate from the green. Set aside. That’s it – prep done.

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a splash of rapeseed oil and the butter. When hot, add the white spring onion slices and the garlic. Stir for 1 minute and then add the pearl barley, stirring for a further minute.

Pour in 200ml of the vegetable stock and add the saffron. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a moderate heat for 20 minutes, checking on it occasionally – if it looks like the stock is being absorbed too soon, add a little more until the 20 minutes is up and the cooking liquid is now almost completely absorbed. Discard any remaining stock.

Add the green spring onion slices, spinach and dill and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the Parmesan, season, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

For the fish, allow 4 minutes before the end of the pearl barley cooking time. Heat your grill to medium. Splash a little rapeseed oil into your baking tin, spread all around and season. Pop the fish in, skin side up and slide the tin under the grill, cooking for 4 minutes or until just cooked through.

Spoon the barley onto warmed plates and arrange the red mullet on the top. Drizzle orange oil over and around the fish and then garnish with dill fronds. Dead easy and absolutely delicious!

Inspired by…

My bro and before him, Nathan Outlaw.

How easy…

Very easy. The freshness and essential flavours of the fish obviate the need for any fancy cooking – it’s all there for you already!

 

 

 

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