Wow can’t believe I am at 20 weeks already! Apologies for lateness in sending this out, it’s been a busy week travelling with work. But on the plus side I am full of new food inspiration which I will hopefully be putting into practice and the weekly menu as soon as I work out what time of day/night it is!
Some really lovely recipes this week in particular the Friday dish of chicken with morels (mushrooms) by Raymond Blanc. You can buy morels dried from larger supermarkets and deli stores. I usually stock up on mine when I see them at food festivals as they are handy to have in the store cupboard. This meal is so easy to prepare, I watched him to do it at a demonstration a few weeks ago and the end result was divine, so do give it a go!
Saturday: Sticky pan fried scallops w/ sweet chilli rice
Sunday: BBQ lamb cutlets w/ courgettes and butter beans
Monday: Crab and asparagus salad
Tuesday: Spicy pepper and tomato soup
Wednesday: Haddock w/ spicy beans and chorizo
Thursday: Aubergine, pine nut and raisin pasta
Friday: Chicken w/ morels
Sticky pan fried scallops w/ sweet chilli rice
For the scallops:
400g fresh scallops, raw and ready to cook
Chinese five spice powder
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 glove garlic, crushed
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
For the rice:
1 large mug Basmati rice
1 small bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
Sweet chilli sauce (ready made is fine if you don’t want to make your own, obviously I recommend making it!)
Put the rice on to boil first, in a pan with 1.75 mugs (the same mug you measured the rice in) of boiling water and a good pinch of salt. Put a lid on and simmer over gentle heat for around 8 mins until all the water has been absorbed and you can see little air holes appear in the rice, it should be al dente to taste.
Whilst the rice is cooking put your spring onions into a mixing bowl, then add the eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil and a little drizzle of olive oil and whisk well together. When the rice is cooked, fluff up with a fork then add this mixture to the pan, pouring it all over the rice, along with a good squeeze of lemon juice and some seasoning. Give it a good stir with a fork then recover the pan and turn the heat down to low and leave it for another 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat when done.
Lay the scallops on a piece of greaseproof paper and score some light crisscrosses on top of each one, only going about 1/2 way through. Drizzle over some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on some finely grated lemon zest and dust with the five spice powder. Finally drizzle on the sesame oil and give it all a good mix so the scallops are well coated.
Heat a frying pan on the highest heat. Add a good amount of olive oil into the hot pan. Then add your scallops, scored side down for about 2-3 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown on the bottom. Then turn them over and give them another 30 seconds. Add the crushed garlic, chilli, juice from 1/2 the lemon, about 1-2 tsp of honey and 2 small knobs of butter. Give the pan a gentle shake. Once the butter has melted and its all started to become a little sticky remove from the heat, this should be just a few minutes. Sprinkle with chopped coriander before serving.
Finish off the rice with a sprinkling of coriander and sweet chilli sauce drizzled over the top and serve along side your scallops.
BBQ lamb cutlets w/ courgettes and butter beans
9 lamb cutlets , French trimmed
3 lemons , 1 zested and juiced, others each cut into 4 fat wedges
250g baby courgettes , halved lengthways
small bunch of mint , leaves picked
400g can butter beans , drained
1 red chilli , deseeded and finely chopped
4 spring onions , finely sliced
140g feta cheese , crumbled
Marinate the lamb cutlets in the lemon juice and 4 tbsp olive oil for about 20 mins. Brush courgettes with another 2-3 tbsp olive oil and season.
Lift the lamb cutlets out of the marinade, season well and barbecue (or grill) for 1-3 mins on each side depending on how well cooked you like your lamb. Barbecue or griddle the courgettes for 2-3 mins on each side until tender and charred. Barbecue or griddle the lemon slices for 30 secs-1 min each side to char and caramelise slightly.
Transfer the lamb and courgettes to a platter. Scatter on the mint, lemon zest, butter beans, chilli, spring onions, feta and seasoning, and gently toss. Drizzle with olive oil and add the barbecued lemons to the platter to squeeze over.
Crab and asparagus salad
20 asparagus spears , trimmed
100g white crabmeat
3 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 lime juice and some zest cut into thin strips
brown crabmeat, (optional)
olive oil , for drizzling
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the asparagus for 2 mins until just cooked. Drain, tip into iced water to refresh and drain again. Cut each spear on the angle into 2-3 pieces.
For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together with brown crabmeat (if using). Toss the asparagus through the dressing, then build a nest of asparagus spears on plates. Place some white crab meat in the centre of each nest, top with a small bundle of rocket and drizzle everything with olive oil before serving.
Spicy pepper and tomato soup
2 tbsp olive oil , plus extra to serve
2 onions , finely sliced
1 carrot , finely chopped
3 red peppers , roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves , sliced
1 red chilli , sliced
400g can chopped tomatoes
850ml vegetable stock
4 tbsp Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cucumber, halved, deseeded, coarsely grated and squeezed of excess water
a few mint leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Tip in the onions, carrot and peppers. Cook gently for 15 mins, to soften. Add the garlic and chilli, and cook for a few mins more. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and 800ml of the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 mins until the veg is completely tender.
Meanwhile, mix the yogurt, cucumber and mint in a bowl, and season.
Blitz the soup with a hand blender until smooth, using the extra stock to thin if it has become too thick. Heat through, season and spoon into bowls. Serve with a dollop of the yogurt mixture on top, a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh crusty bread.
Haddock w/ spicy beans and chorizo
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion , chopped
small rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
25g chorizo, chopped (more if you like)
2 fat garlic cloves , crushed
410g can cannellini beans in water, drained
200g shredded green cabbage
4 skinless Haddock fillets (large chunky fillets)
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then soften the onion for 5 mins. Add the rosemary, chorizo and garlic, then fry for 2 mins more until the chorizo is starting to crisp. Tip in the passata, beans, cabbage and sugar, season, then simmer for 5 mins.
Add the fish to the pan, leaving the tops of the fillets peeking out of the sauce, then cover with a lid and leave to cook for 5 mins or until the flesh flakes easily. Serve with crusty bread.
Aubergine, pine nut and raisin pasta
4-5 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
Handful oregano or marjoram, roughly chopped
2 medium aubergines, diced into 1 inch cubes
4 large tomatoes , chopped
2 tsp tomato purée
2 tbsp baby capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
400g fusilli pasta
small handful mint, roughly chopped
50g pine nuts, toasted
Parmesan, grated (as much as you like)
In a heavy based pan, heat 1/2 tbsp of oil and gently cook the onion, garlic and chilli until soft with half the oregano.
Meanwhile, heat 3-4 tbsp of oil in another frying pan and start browning the aubergines. Once cooked, add to the onion mixture. Fry the raisins in another 1/2 tbsp oil and, when they have puffed up, add to the aubergine mix. Add the tomatoes, purée and rest of the oregano. Cook on a medium heat for 15-20 mins so all the flavours come together.
Add the capers and the vinegar and leave on a low heat while you cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water. If the mixture becomes very thick add 100ml of water. Toss the pasta through the aubergine sauce and sprinkle with fresh mint and the pine nuts. Serve with a generous sprinkling of parmesan.
Chicken w/ morels
For the chicken:
1 tbsp Unsalted butter
4 Chicken breasts, free range, skin off (approx 180g each)
30g Dried morels soaked in 250ml of water overnight
250g Button mushrooms, washed and quartered
120ml Dry sherry
100ml Morel juice, passed through a fine sieve or muslin, to remove any sand
400ml Double cream
For the leeks:
200g Water, boiling
2 Leeks, medium size, outer leaves removed, washed and cut into 2cm pieces
15g Unsalted butter
Drain the morels, squeeze to extract as much of the soaking water as possible, reserve the water. Then wash the morels in plenty of water to remove any sand. Drain and squeeze excess water from the morels. Chop large morels to size. Reserve.
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it is foaming. Add the chicken breasts and colour for 5 minutes on each side, remove from the pan and reserve.
In the remaining fat, soften the soaked, cleaned morels and button mushrooms, for 2-3 minutes, season with a pinch of salt. Add the boiled sherry and allow the alcohol to boil off for about 30 seconds. Then add the morel juice and double cream; bring to the boil and place the chicken breasts back into the pan. The cream sauce must cover the breasts. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and keep warm. Reduce the sauce on full boil until it coats the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning.
While the chicken breasts are cooking, bring the water, salt and butter to the boil, add the chopped leeks, cover with a lid and cook on full boil for 5-10 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, lift the leeks from their juices and mix in with the morel sauce. Place the chicken breasts into the sauce to reheat for 2 minutes. Taste, correct the seasoning if required. Serve your chicken breasts whole or sliced if you prefer on a bed of the leeks and smothered in the morel sauce.
(Credits: Jamie Oliver, Good Food Magazine, Raymond Blanc, Thomasina Miers, JJMoola’s Kitchen)