Spiced rice with a boiled egg

Serves 4
A dash of rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

A thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

Basmati rice for four

1 tbsp of madras curry powder

1 tsp of turmeric

500g of smoked haddock

A handful of peas

2 eggs

4 tsp of mustard seeds, toasted

A bunch of coriander, chopped

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion over a low heat until it is translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for a further minute. Add the rice, curry powder and turmeric to the pan and fill it with twice the volume of water. Allow to bubble away on a low heat, stirring occasionally until all the water has evaporated or soaked in and the rice is soft. You may need to add more if it begins to dry out.

While this is cooking, fill a large saucepan with enough water to just cover the fish and bring to the boil. Place the fish into the saucepan and simmer for five minutes over a low heat until the fish is flaking. Remove the skin and set aside. Steam the peas over the fish as it is cooking.

Put the two eggs into a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for six minutes, they will be boiled through and the yolk mostly hard but with a little wobble. Set aside in a bowl of cold water.

Taste and season the rice once it is cooked and fluff it up with a fork. Stir the mustard seeds, flaked fish and peas through. Cut each egg in two and lay a half over the rice after you have spooned it onto plates. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.

Sausage stir fry

Serves 4

Rice for four

a dash of rapeseed oil

1 onion, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

8 large banger style sausages, sliced into bitesize pieces

1 small stem of broccoli broken into florets

1 handful of kale, roughly chopped

4 tbsps of teriyaki sauce

A handful of cashew nuts, toasted

Put the rice on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok. Stir fry the onion, garlic and sausages for 30 seconds then add the broccoli. Continue stir frying until the sausages are golden.

Stir in the kale and the teriyaki sauce and a half a small cup of water. Allow to bubble away for a minute then stir in the cashew nuts. Taste and season.

Serve with the rice.

Sicilian aubergines

Spiced rice with a boiled egg

Serves 4

4 medium-sized aubergines, chopped into bitesize pieces

A dash of olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 thin sticks of celery, sliced

300g of chopped fresh tomatoes

A bunch of thyme, removed from the stalk and chopped

2 tbsps of capers, rinsed

A large handful of green olives

Two handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved

40mls of red wine vinegar

1 tsp of honey

A bunch of parsley, chopped

Crunchy bread for four

In Italy they sprinkle the aubergines with salt and allow to drain in a colander for at least 30 minutes. This removes, what used to be, the bitter liquid in the aubergines. We now use different varieties so they are not as bitter as they would have been a generation ago. It is still nice to keep this step within this recipe, however, as it also changes the texture of the aubergine, firms up the flesh and gives it more bite.

After allowing to stand in the colander, shake or wipe off any excess salt and sauté the aubergines in hot oil until golden. Set aside.

Heat another dash of oil and sauté the onion and celery over a medium heat for three minutes until softened. Add the chopped tomato and thyme to the pan and allow to simmer away on a low heat for 20 minutes.

Stir in the aubergines, capers, olives and cherry tomatoes. Add the vinegar and honey to the pan and allow to simmer for a further ten minutes. Taste and season.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crunchy bread.

Butternut mac and cheese

Serves 4

A dash of rapeseed oil

1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into bitesize chunks

300g of macaroni or another small-shaped pasta

50g of butter

50g of spelt flour

500mls of milk

1 tsp of cayenne pepper

200g of cheddar

50g of parmesan

Green leaves for four

1 tbsp of vinaigrette dressing

Toss the squash in some oil and seasoning and roast in an oven for 15 minutes until soft.

In the meantime boil the pasta until it is cooked but still retains a bite.

Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour until it is completely combined. Keep stirring for another 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk a little at a time until you have a smooth sauce.

Stir the pasta, cheddar cheese and the squash through the sauce and pour into an oven proof dish. Taste and season. Sprinkle with the parmesan and some black pepper and bake in an oven heated to 20 degrees until the top is golden and bubbling. It should take about 15 minutes.

Toss the leaves in the dressing and serve on the side.

Lamb chops with rocket and mint pesto

Serves 4

2 large handfuls of rocket leaves, roughly chopped

1 handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped

150g of feta cheese, crumbled

3 tbsps of cashew nuts, roughly chopped

6 tbsps of olive oil

Carrots for four, cut into batons

Juice of two oranges

4 handfuls of peas

8 lamb chops

Place the rocket, mint, feta, nuts and oil into a blender and blitz until it is a paste but still retains some texture. Taste and season.

Boil the carrots in the orange juice and water until soft but retaining a bite. Taste and season once drained.

In another saucepan boil the peas with a generous spring of mint in salted water for six or so minutes, until softened but still retaining a bite. Remove the mint and drain the peas.

Season the chops and rub with a little oil. Grill or pan fry the chops for about two minutes aside if you like them pink or a little longer if you do not.

Serve the vegetables and chops on a plate and spoon the pesto over. This is nice served with a green salad or potatoes.


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