Pasta Shapes with Red Pepper Salsa
Pasta shapes for 4
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
½ red onion, finely diced
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
A bunch of thyme, removed from the stalk
1 tbsp of olive oil
A small handful of rocket
Put the pasta on to boil in lightly salted water. Drain when cooked.
Mix the pepper with the onion, lemon juice, lemon zest, thyme and oil. Taste and season.
Stir the salsa though the pasta and serve with the rocket on top and a drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste.
Tuesday: Asian-inspired Root Vegetable Salad
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into batons or sticks
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced into batons
1 small turnip, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ a red chilli
2 tbsp of sesame oil
½ tbsp of honey
½ tbsp of lime juice
½ tbsp of fish sauce
4 handfuls of baby spinach
A handful of coriander
Toss the carrots, parsnips, turnips, onion, chilli, garlic, honey and ginger in half of the sesame oil and season. Place into a medium oven until the root vegetables are softening.
Mix together the rest of the sesame oil with the lime juice and fish sauce. Taste and season, add a little more of any of the ingredients if you wish.
Once the vegetables are removed from the oven allow them to cool slightly, then toss them and the spinach in the dressing and sprinkle with the coriander.
Wednesday: Beef and Mushroom Stew
A dash of rapeseed oil
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
750g of stewing beef, chopped
Flour for dusting
A bunch of thyme, pulled from the stalk
500g of baby potatoes
2 tbsp of tomato purée
350 mls of red wine
250 mls of stock
A large handful of sage leaves
Heat the oil and sauté the onion on a low heat until it has turned translucent.
In the meantime, toss the beef in the flour and some seasoning, coating it completely.
Add the beef to the pan and fry until it has browned all over. Add the thyme, carrots, mushrooms and potatoes and continue gently stir frying for another minute. Stir in the tomato purée, red wine and stock and allow to bubble away until everything is cooked through. Add the sage for the last few minutes of cooking.
Thursday: Pork Chops with Colcannon
600g of old potatoes, washed
6 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
25g of butter, softened
A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
4 pork chops
250g of kale, shredded
120 mls of milk
Put the potatoes on to boil in lightly salted water.
Mash together the garlic, butter and parsley with some black pepper and set aside.
Steam the kale until soft.
Mash your potatoes and then mash the milk and kale through. Season well, I like to use white pepper rather than black for colcannon like my grandmother did. If you are feeling a little decadent you can mash some extra butter through as well.
Heat your grill to medium and place your pork chops on a baking tray. Grill the chops on one side, turn them around and spread with the garlic butter and grill until cooked through.
Serve the chops with the colcannon and pour any juice and butter from the baking tray over the lot.
Friday: Chicken and Bacon Pie
3 chicken breasts
Flour for dusting
A dash of olive oil
4 thick cut rashers, chopped
A bunch of spring onions, sliced
A handful of mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp of ground nutmeg
A bunch of thyme, removed from stalk
½ tbsp of tomato pureé
300mls of stock
A bunch of parsley, chopped
1 sheet of rolled puff pastry
Dust your chicken in the flour. Heat the oil in a pan and brown the chicken. Once it has browned on all sides add the rashers to the pan and continue frying for another minute. Stir in the spring onions, mushrooms, nutmeg, thyme, purée and stock.
Leave to bubble away for ten minutes without a lid on the pot.
Pour the contents of the pan and the chopped parsley into an ovenproof dish and cover the top with the sheet of pastry. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees until the chicken is cooked through and the pastry is crisp and golden.
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