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Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Krispy Kale

Often a tricky vegetable to incorporate into a meal, especially if you have fussy or ‘discerning eaters’ in your family. Here are some great recipes which will tempt tastebuds and get the green back into your meals.

Krispy Kale

6-8 cups of kale

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cider or white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Rinse and dry kale (a salad spinner works well). Break into 1 inch pieces.

Spread onto a baking tray and toss with olive oil, vinegar and salt.

Bake on the low rack of the oven for 10 minutes, remove, stir and bake for another 8-10 minutes if necessary, until crispy.

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Serves 2

 

2 partly-boned chicken breasts
2 tsp groundnut oil
2 rounded TBS Thai red curry paste
Salt

To garnish:
1 lime, cut into quarters
A few sprigs of fresh coriander

 

About 1 or 2 hours before you need to cook the chicken, lay the breasts in a heatproof dish, then take a sharp knife and make 4 diagonal cuts across each breast.  Sprinkle first with a little salt and then with the oil, rubbing the oil well into the chicken.  Next spread the curry paste over the surface of each portion and rub that in well too.  Cover with clingfilm and leave on one side for the chicken to soak up all the flavours.
To cook the chicken, pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.  Place the dish on a high shelf and cook for 30 minutes, basting with the juices from time to time.  When ready, serve with a large green salad, garnishing the chicken with sprigs of coriander and some lime quarters to squeeze over.

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Serves 4

 

700g shoulder or neck fillet of lamb (weighed after trimming), cut into cubes
2 onions, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
3 TBS groundnut oil
1 rounded TBS Madras curry powder
75g fresh coconut, finely grated
75g creamed coconut, grated
Milk from 1 fresh coconut
Approx. 570ml stock
2.5cm whole cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 rounded tsp fenugreek powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1 medium onion, quartered then separated out into layers

 

Pre-heat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2.  First heat 1 TBS of the oil in a large casserole, then add the onions and garlic and cook gently to soften for 5 minutes.  Next heat the remaining 2 TBS of oil in a frying pan and, when it’s nice and hot, quickly brown the cubes of meat (you will have to do this in 2 batches).  Then sprinkle the flour and curry powder over the onions in the casserole and stir to soak up the juice, then cook gently for 2 minutes.
Now pour the coconut milk into a measuring jug and make up to 725ml with stock and slowly pour this into the casserole, stirring all the time.  Next stir in the grated fresh and creamed coconut and transfer the browned meat to the casserole.  Finally add the spices and season with salt and pepper.  Bring up to simmering point, cover and cook in the centre of the oven or on a low simmer on top of the stove for 2 hours.  Approx. 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the cinnamon stick and stir the hard-boiled eggs and onion pieces into the curry to warm through (the onions are not meant to be cooked).  Serve with a large green salad.

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Serves 2


For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
50g anchovies, drained
175g pitted black olives, chopped
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
1 heaped TBS capers, drained
450g tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 rounded TBS tomato puree
1 dessertspoon fresh basil, chopped
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the garnish:
Fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

 

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then add the garlic, chilli and basil and cook these briefly until the garlic is pale gold.  Then add all the other sauce ingredients, stir and season with a little pepper – but no salt yet because of the anchovies.
Turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer very gently without a lid for 40 minutes, by which time it will have reduced to a lovely thick mass, with very little liquid left.  Toss in the basil (set aside for the garnish) and serve over a large green salad with freshly grated parmesan on the top.

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Serves 2

 

350g halloumi cheese, cut into 2.5cm cubes
1 medium pepper (any colour)
1 medium red onion
4 medium cap mushrooms

For the marinade:
55ml extra virgin olive oil
1 fat clove garlic
1 level tsp each chopped fresh thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint and parsley
(or similar combination of whatever herbs are available)
Juice of 1 lime
Freshly ground black pepper

 

Begin by cutting the pepper and onion into even-sized pieces about 2.5cm square, to match the size of the cubes of cheese.  Then chop the herbs and garlic quite finely and combine them with the oil, lime juice and some freshly ground pepper.  Now place the cheese, onion, pepper and mushrooms in a large, roomy bowl and pour the marinade over them, mixing very thoroughly.  Cover and place in the fridge for 24 hours, and try to give them a stir round every now and then.
When you are ready to barbecue the kebabs, take 2 skewers and thread a mushroom on first (pushing it right down), followed by a piece of onion, a piece of pepper and a cube of cheese.  Repeat this with more onion, pepper and cheese, finishing with a mushroom at the end.  Place the kebabs over the hot coals, turning frequently until they are tinged brown at the edges (brushing on any left-over marinade juices as you turn) – this will take about 10 minutes.  Serve immediately.

 

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Serves 4

 

350g neck fillet of lamb (80% lean meat, as some fat is important to keep it juicy)
1 small onion, quartered
1 clove garlic
110g roasted and salted cashew nuts
3 TBS fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 fresh green chilli, deseeded
A little groundnut oil
1 level tsp cumin seeds
1 level tsp coriander seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

First of all, you need to roast the spices, and to do this place them in a small frying pan or saucepan over a medium heat and stir/toss them around for about 1-2 minutes, or until they begin to look toasted and start to ‘jump’ in the pan.  Now transfer them to a mortar and pestle and crush them to a powder.
To make the kebabs you need to cut the meat into chunks and place it in a food processor along with the onion, garlic, coriander leaves, lime juice, cashews, spices and seasoning.  Pulse until you have ground everything together but it still has some identity – it needs to end up like very coarse sausagemeat.  Now take around a TBS of the mixture and roll it on a flat surface into a sausage shape, squeezing the mixture firmly together.  Pat and square off the ends to give a nice shape.  Repeat until you have used all of the mixture – you should aim to finish up with 12.  Thread these on to 4 skewers (3 on each).  Cover them with clingfilm and keep them in the fridge until you need them (it’s important to leave them for at least 2 hours anyway to firm up).
Before grilling, brush the kebabs with oil and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, either indoors (around 5cm from the grill) or outside over hot charcoal.  Serve with a large salad or vegetable dish.

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Oven-roasted ratatouille

Serves 2

 

450g cherry tomatoes, skinned
2 medium courgettes
1 small aubergine
1 small green pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm squares
1 small yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm squares
2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm squares
3 TBS olive oil
Handful fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Pre-heat the oven to its highest setting.  Prepare the courgettes and aubergine ahead of time by cutting them into 2.5cm dice, leaving the skins on.  Now sprinkle with 1 dessertspoon salt, then pack them into a colander with a plate on top and a heavy weight on top of that.  Leave them like this for an hour so that the bitter juices can drain out.  After that, squeeze out any juices that are left and dry the vegetables thoroughly in a clean cloth.  Arrange the tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes, peppers and onion in a roasting tin (approx. 40cm x 30cm) and sprinkle the garlic over them.  Roughly tear up the basil leaves and mix with the olive oil.  Drizzle the oil over the vegetables, making sure that each one has a good coating, and finally, season with salt and pepper.  Roast on the highest shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are roasted and tinged brown at the edges.  Remove from the oven and serve straightaway.


Use as an accompaniment to a protein dish or in place of a salad.

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