Weekly menu 22

So this week I have tried to get in a couple of real favs- my newly acquired taste for chowder after recently spending time in Seattle (Seattle food report coming soon!), and also BBQ brisket which I absolutely adore. I use smoked paprika in the dry rub but you can use plain paprika if you prefer. This dry rub can be used on pretty much any meat you want to BBQ, I am actually putting it today on butterflied leg of lamb.

Must say a quick hello to my new followers in Seattle (you know who you are!). And also a mention to Natalie who keeps plugging away and trying something new every week, and telling me that I still add too much chilli to things  – Go Nats!!

Enjoy 🙂

Saturday: Seafood chowder
Sunday: BBQ Brisket w/ salad
Monday: Quinoa w/ courgettes and preserved lemons
Tuesday: Sweet peppers stuff w/ mozzarella
Wednesday: Mediterranean roast chicken and veg
Thursday: Vietnamese fish soup (*322 calories per serving)
Friday: Spaghetti w/ rich veg sauce (*323 calories per serving)

Seafood chowder

250g scallops, fresh and uncooked
250g prawns, fresh, shelled and uncooked
400g white fish, filleted and ready to cook
450g potatoes, par boiled and diced small
1 large onion, diced
115g celery, diced
1 tbsp sea salt
60g plain flour
250ml water
500mls hot fish stock
750ml double cream
1 medium tomato, diced
some fresh dill, chopped – add as much as you like
3 limes, juice only
Vegetable oil
Some chopped parsley, chives and paprika to garnish

Cover the bottom of a large pot with vegetable oil and bring to a high heat. Chop the scallops, prawns and fish into small pieces and add to pot to sear lightly, turning frequently. Lower heat. Add diced onion and celery and saute until translucent. Season well with salt.

Next sprinkle flour over the mixture and slowly add water, stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Add cream and pre-cooked diced potatoes. Stir until chowder until it starts to boil and let it bubble for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Add chopped tomatoes, dill and lime juice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, chives and paprika. Let the mixture cool a little before serving with chunks of fresh bread or sourdough if you are feeling posh.

BBQ Brisket

5kg piece of beef brisket – approximate weight
500 ml beef stock

1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
500 ml tomato ketchup
100 ml Worcestershire sauce
75 ml lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp malt vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp dried thyme

2 tbsp each chilli powder and mustard powder
1 tbsp each smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion granules, ground black pepper, soft dark brown sugar, sea salt
1 bay leaf, crushed

To make the barbecue sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan, then cook onion and garlic for a few mins until soft. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pan with a good pinch of salt and simmer for 20 mins. Use a hand blender or food processor to whizz to a smooth purée.

Heat oven to 150C/gas 2. Make the rub by mixing all the ingredients together. Rub the mix all over the beef and set aside.

In a large roasting tin, mix the beef stock and ½ the barbecue sauce. Add the brisket to the tin, cover tightly with foil, then cook for 4-5 hrs until the meat is really tender when you push a fork into it. The beef can be prepared the night before – just leave it to cool in the tin covered with foil, but don’t refrigerate.

To finish the beef, get a barbecue fired up and wait until the coals are completely ashen – you want a low, not fierce, heat. Lift the beef out of the roasting tin and place on the barbecue to char. If your barbecue has a lid, close it now. Cook for about 30 mins, turning it carefully with tongs, until charred all over and hot in the centre. Serve with any remaining BBQ sauce, salad and any other sides you like, or serve in a bun to make sliders.

Quinoa w/ courgettes and preserved lemons
150 g quinoa
100 g pistachio nuts, shelled
2 large courgettes, cut into 1cm slices
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for the courgettes
1 small bunch of fresh mint, stalks discarded and leaves finely chopped
6-8 preserved lemons, deseeded and finely chopped
½ lemons, juiced
2 tsp nigella seeds

Boil the quinoa according to the packet instructions, then drain using a sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold water until the grains are cold. Allow the excess moisture to drain away and then put the quinoa into a large mixing bowl.

In a large frying pan over a medium heat, toast the pistachio nuts without any oil for 3-4 minutes, gently tossing them to ensure they do not blacken or burn. Set aside. Add the courgettes to the same frying pan, drizzle just the tiniest amount of oil into the pan and fry them for 3 minutes each side, until they get a good colour on them but don’t cook all the way through. Set aside.

Add the mint to the quinoa along with preserved lemons, olive oil, lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Add the toasted pistachios and nigella seeds, give the ingredients one final mix and serve.

Sweet peppers stuffed w/ mozzarella

4 long sweet red peppers , halved lengthways through the stalk and deseeded
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2 x 125g balls mozzarella, sliced
2 tbsp black olives, chopped
1 tbsp chopped oregano
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Heat a griddle pan to hot. Rub the outside of the peppers all over with the olive oil.
Stuff the peppers with the mozzarella, olives, oregano and garlic, and drizzle with a touch more olive oil, if you like. Roast in the oven at 220C/gas 7 for the same amount of time for 12-15 mins until soft but not falling apart. Serve with a fresh green salad.

Mediterranean roast chicken and veg

250g baby new potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large courgette, diagonally sliced
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
6 firm plum tomatoes, halved
12 black olives, pitted
2 skinless boneless chicken breast fillets, about 150g each
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp green pesto

Preheat the oven to 200C/ gas 6. Spread the potatoes, courgette, onion, pepper and tomatoes in a shallow roasting tin and scatter over the olives. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.

Slash the flesh of each chicken breast 3-4 times using a sharp knife, then lay the chicken on top of the vegetables. Mix the olive oil and pesto together until well blended and spoon evenly over the chicken. Cover the tin with foil and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil from the tin. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables are juicy and the chicken is cooked through (the juices should run clear when pierced with a skewer). Serve immediately.

Vietnamese fish soup

1 tsp coriander seeds
small piece ginger (or galangal), sliced
850ml chicken or fish stock
175g thin rice noodles
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 fat red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
300g raw, tail-on tiger prawns
200g skinless salmon fillet, cut into small cubes
4 spring onions, chopped
handful coriander leaves
handful mint leaves, torn
juice 2 limes

Put the coriander seeds and galangal or ginger in a saucepan. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5 mins. Leave to stand for 10 mins.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles following pack instructions. Drain and keep warm. Return stock to the boil. Add the fish sauce, chillies and garlic, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 mins. Add the prawns and salmon, return to a simmer and cook gently for about 5 mins until both are firm and cooked. Add the spring onions, herbs and lime juice, to taste.

Divide the noodles between soup bowls. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the prawns and fish, and place on the noodles. Season the hot stock, pour into the bowls and serve straight away.

Spaghetti w/ rich veg sauce

2 red peppers, quartered and deseeded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
2 tbsp tomato purée
400g can chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock
1 tsp caster sugar
small handful basil, leaves shredded
500g fresh spaghetti, cooked (you can use fresh tagliatelli or fettuccini if you prefer)

Heat the grill and pop the peppers, skin-side up, underneath for 10 mins or until beginning to char. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut the flesh into strips.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the fennel, onion and carrot for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, crushed chilli and tomato purée, cook for 5 mins, then add the canned tomatoes, stock and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 mins or until the vegetables are completely soft and you have a lovely rich sauce.

Take out a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce into a separate bowl, then blend the rest in the saucepan until almost smooth with a stick blender. Simmer for 5 mins to thicken, then stir in the reserved sauce, shredded basil and peppers. Serve with the freshly cooked pasta which should be al dente and not too soft, and parmesan if you like it.

(Credits: Sabrina Ghayour, Good Food Magazine, James Martin, JJMoola’s Kitchen)


One Comment Add yours

  1. Nats says:

    That’s right I have to tone down the chillies!
    You say two, I say half!!!!!
    Gonna try spaghetti and veg sauce next and the easy chicken korma I will obviously keep you updated of my progress x

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