Lentil Ragu with Courgetti

Ingredients

2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus 1 tsp
3 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
140 g button mushrooms, quartered
500 g pack dried red lentils
500 g tomato passata
4 cups reduced-salt vegetable broth
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 large courgettes (zucchini), cut into noodles with a spiraliser, julienne peeler or knife

Method

  1. Heat the 2 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan. Add the celery, carrots, garlic and onions, and fry for 4-5 minutes over a high heat to soften and start to colour.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the lentils, passata, broth, oregano and balsamic vinegar. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for 30 mins until the lentils are tender and pulpy. Check occasionally and stir to make sure the mixture isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan; if it does, add a drop of water.
  4. To serve, heat the remaining oil in a separate frying pan, add the courgette and stir-fry briefly to soften and warm through.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Good Food Magazine

Best Cinnamon Toast

Ingredients

Four 3/4-inch thick slices Pullman loaf or whole wheat bread
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Confectioners’ (icing) sugar (optional)

Cinnamon Syrup

1/2 cup sugar
3 cinnamon sticks

Method

  1. Make the cinnamon syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cinnamon sticks, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the cinnamon is very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool (the syrup can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks).
  2. Make the toast, coat both sides of each piece of toast using 3-4 tablespoons of the butter. Brush a generous amount of cinnamon syrup over one side of each slice (add enough syrup to saturate the bread without making it soggy).
  3. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the cinnamon until combined, then transfer all but 2 teaspoons of it to a plate. Dip each piece of toast, syrup side down, in the cinnamon sugar.
  4. In a large skillet (frying pan), melt the remaining 2-3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and place the toast, sugared side down, in the skillet. Set a large heat-safe plate on top of the toast to press it down (place one or two cans of beans on top to weight it down). Cook until the edges of the bread are caramelized and the sugar is completely melted and glistening across the surface of the bread, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve each slice of toast caramelized side up and sprinkled with some of the reserved cinnamon sugar and, if desired, confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Toast

Pot-roasted Chicken with Mustard

Ingredients

3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
one 3-1/2-lb free-range chicken
3/4 cup dry white wine
10 oz button mushrooms, wiped
6 tbsp Cognac
salt
black pepper

Sauce

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 cup creme fraiche
2 tbsp whole -grain mustard
2 tbsp strong Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Savora mustard
1 bunch of fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt the butter and oil in a roasting pot or flameproof casserole dish on the stove top. Season the chicken, then add it to the pot, and color it on all sides.
  3. Put the chicken in the oven to roast for 1-1/4 hours, but every 15 minutes turn the bird, baste it, and add some white wine until you’ve used up all the wine. Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the pot and set it aside to rest.
  4. Slice the mushrooms, add them to the pot, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the brandy and flambe briefly, then set aside to keep warm.
  5. For the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the flour, and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour in the milk, whisking well, bring to a boil, and cook for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Stir in the creme fraiche, then take the pan off the heat and whisk in the mustards and tarragon. Add the mushrooms and any liquid from the roasting pot to the sauce. Do not boil the sauce again, or it may separate and taste bitter.
  8. Disjoint or carve the chicken and serve with the mushroom sauce.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen

Balti Fish Curry

Ingredients

2 lb thick fish fillets, such as angler fish, red snapper, cod, or haddock, rinsed and cut into large chunks
2 fresh bay leaves, torn
2/3 cup ghee or vegetable or peanut oil
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 tbsp salt
2/3 cup water
fresh cilantro sprigs, to garnish

Marinade

1/2 tbsp Garlic and Ginger Paste
1 fresh green chili, seeded and chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 – 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp water
salt

Method

  1. To make the marinade, mix the Garlic and Ginger Paste, green chili, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder together with salt to taste in a large bowl. Gradually stir in the water to form a thin paste.
  2. Add the fish chunks and smear with the marinade. Tuck the bay leaves underneath, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
  3. Remove the fish from the refrigerator 15 minutes before you intend to start cooking.
  4. Melt the ghee in a karahi, wok, or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with the salt, and cook, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes, or until very soft and golden.
  5. Gently add the fish and bay leaves to the pan and stir in the water. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat and cook the fish, spooning the sauce over the fish and carefully moving the chunks around, for 4-5 minutes until they are cooked through and the flesh flakes easily.
  6. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and garnish with cilantro sprigs before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Curries

Apple Brown Betty

Ingredients

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled,cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cognac

Method

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the apples with lemon juice.
  3. Brush 4 six-ounce ramekins with 1/2 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with the granulated sugar to coat.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs with 4 tablespoons melted butter. Add remaining ingredients to the apples and toss. Divide a third of the bread crumbs among the ramekins. Arrange half the apples over bread crumbs and add another third of the crumbs. Repeat with the rest of the apples and bread crumbs. Press into ramekins.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Raise oven temperature to 450ºF, continue baking until tops are golden brown and apples are tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around sides of ramekins and turn apple betty out onto dessert plates.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: What to have for dinner