Another week, another menu! I have kicked off with one of my all time favorite dishes this week, Nasi Goreng. There are loads of different recipes for this, the mother of a good friend of mine makes it with pork instead of chicken which is also very tasty. I couldn’t resist a mid week BBQ opportunity either and then there is a cheeky curry which was inspired by my recent visit to Rick Stein’s Seafood restaurant where I had the most delicious tamarind fish curry!
Saturday: Nasi Goreng
Sunday: Roast loin of lamb w/ kidneys and spinach
Monday: Spaghetti w/ cherry tomatoes and black olives
Tuesday: Sticky chicken drumsticks w/ roasted herby new potatoes
Wednesday: Tamarind fish curry
Thursday: Beetroot and carmalised onion tart
Friday: Salmon fishcakes w/ tomato, watercress and avocado salad
2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice (cooked in 3 cups water)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
230g boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch strips
180g raw prawns, peeled (small or large up to you)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 tbsp dried shrimp paste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp chili bean sauce or 1 -2 teaspoon sambal oelek (you can get this in most supermakets)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp ketjap manis (you can get this in most supermarkets) or 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
1 red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
Small handful fresh coriander, chopped
Boil rice in plenty of salted water until cooked. Rinse, drain and spread the rice on a tray to cool. Do this at least two hours ahead, or preferably, leave overnight in the fridge.
Combine eggs with sesame oil and salt, and put aside (see below). Heat wok over heat until hot. Add oil, and wait until it is very hot and slightly smoking. Add the onions, ginger, shrimp paste, garlic, and pepper, and stir-fry for 2 minutes, squashing the shrimp paste as you go. Then add chicken and shrimp and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Now add rice and continue to stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Next add chilli bean sauce or sambal oelek, oyster sauce and ketjap manis/dark soy sauce and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Finally, add egg mixture and continue to stir-fry for another minute or so. Alternatively make 2 thin omelettes from the egg mixture ahead of time and cut into strips. These can then be used as garnish on the finished dish (if you are adding a fried egg at the end no need for the omelette strips).
Turn onto large serving platter and garnish with the spring onion and fresh cilantro, and serve hot. Some people top each serving with a fried egg and crispy fried onions, this is very nice so give it a try!
Roast loin of lamb w/ kidneys and spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
120 g spinach leaves, washed and dried
20 g flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
2 boned lamb loin, each weighing about 500g with the flank still attached
4 large fresh whole lamb’s kidneys, membrane and cores removed with scissors (butcher can do this for you if you want)
100 ml red wine
150 ml chicken stock
1 tsp beurre manie, made by mixing 1 tbsp flour with 1 tbsp softened butter to make a paste
Gently heat the olive oil in a small pan. Add the spinach leaves and as soon as they have wilted, tip them into a small sieve and press out as much of the excess liquid as you can. Transfer to a mini food processor and add the chopped parsley, mustard and lemon juice along with a little salt and some black pepper. Blend to a smooth paste.
Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8. Put the prepared loins of lamb onto a board, skin-side down, and open them out. Season the meat well with salt and pepper and spread half of the spinach mixture down the centre of each one.
Lay 2 kidneys in a line down the centre of each loin and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. Wrap the lamb around the kidneys and tie along the length of each one at 3-4 cm intervals with string to make two neat, cylindrical joints. Weigh them and calculate the cooking time, allowing 16 minutes per 450g.
Season the outside of the lamb with salt and pepper, put into a small roasting tin and roast for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 200C/gas 6 and continue to roast for the remainder of the calculated cooking time – approximately 24 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.
To make the gravy. Pour the excess fat away from the tin and place the tin on the hob over a medium-high heat and add the red wine. Bring to the boil, rubbing the base of the pan to release all the caramelised juices, and reduce down to 2 tablespoons. Add the chicken stock and strain into a small pan. Boil once more until reduced to a well flavoured gravy. Whisk in the beurre manié and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Carve each loin across into 6 slices and serve with the gravy and your choice of vegetables.
Spaghetti w/ cherry tomatoes and black olives
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Small bunch basil, leaves torn and stems removed
10 black olives (not in brine), roughly chopped
1 tbsp caper, drained and rinsed
Zest and juice 1 lemon
Shaved parmesan, to serve
Cook the pasta following pack instructions in salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a bowl with the oil, basil, olives, capers, lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of salt and mix together.
Drain the pasta, then return to the pan. Add the tomato mixture and mix again to combine. Serve with the cheese sprinkled on top
Sticky chicken drumsticks w/ roasted herby baby new potatoes
8 chicken drumsticks
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Baby new potatoes
Dried of fresh herbs
Make 3 slashes on each of the drumsticks. Mix together the soy, honey, oil, tomato purée and mustard. Pour this mixture over the chicken and coat thoroughly. Leave to marinate for 30 mins at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
Heat oven to 200C/gas 6. Put as many new potatoes as you like into a shallow roasting tray and lightly drizzle with olive oil, a good sprinkling of any dried or fresh herbs you like and sea salt (I used thyme or rosemary). Put them on to the top shelf of the oven and roast for around 45 mins, until they are soft on the inside with a crusty shell. Put the chicken into a shallow roasting tray and cook for 35 mins (10 mins after the pots have gone in), turning occasionally, until the chicken is tender and glistening with the marinade. You might have to tweak the cooking times a little depending on how quick or slow your oven is. You can also BBQ the chicken if you fancy a cheeky mid-week grilling session! :). Serve with straight away coleslaw or salad.
Tamarind fish curry
6 garlic cloves
2 red chillies, roughly chopped (deseeded for less heat or more chillies for hotter)
Thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seed
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
200g green beans, trimmed and halved
1 tbsp tamarind paste
4 firm white fish fillets (e.g. hake)
Handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Cooked basmati rice, to serve
Blitz together the garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric and ground coriander with 3 tbsp water in a mini chopper or blender. Heat the oil in a large pan and toast the cumin and fennel seeds, letting them sizzle until aromatic. Add the ginger paste and fry for 3 mins.
Empty the tomatoes into the spice pan, plus a can of water. Add the beans, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Stir in the tamarind paste. Add the fish fillets, generously season with ground black pepper, cover and simmer for 10 mins. Take off the lid, carefully turn the fillets, then bubble the sauce until the fish is cooked through and the sauce is thick.
Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and serve with rice.
Beetroot and caramalised onion tart
175g wholemeal flour
100g porridge oats
100g grated carrots
3 large onions, sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 medium raw beetroots, peeled and grated and squeezed to remove most of the moisture
3 medium eggs
Heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Pulse the flour, oats and butter in a food processor and blitz until crumb-like, add the grated carrot and continue to process until the mixture comes together to form a ball (you can hand rub the butter into the dry ingredients, add the carrots and press together until a ball is formed), you can add a splash of water if necessary to help form a pliable dough. Carefully roll out the pastry and line a metal 25cm pizza dish or shallow tart case then chill.
Gently cook the onions in balsamic and a little oil for about 15-20 mins until beginning to caramelise. Place the squeezed beetroot in the pastry case and cover with the onions. Whisk the eggs and milk together, season and pour over the onions and beetroot. Bake in the oven, lowering to 160C/gas 3 after 15 mins, for 40 mins or until firm and golden. Serve with a lightly dressed salad. Tip: you can crumble in some feta cheese to the tart before baking for extra yumminess.
Salmon fishcakes w/ tomato, watercress and avocado salad
500g potatoes, cut into chunks
85g broccoli, cut into small florets
pack of 2 poached salmon fillets
1/2 tsp English mustard powder
juice 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
small bunch dill, chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 avocado, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
100g bag watercress
Cover the potatoes in salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 mins, until just tender, adding the broccoli 3 mins before the end of cooking time. Drain, allow it all to steam dry, then roughly mash. Flake in the salmon, add half the lemon juice, mustard powder and dill and season well, then shape into 4 cakes.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the fishcakes for 3-4 mins each side until golden, don’t prod pr poke them while they are cooking or they may start to fall apart, you want a nice golden crust before you turn them over.
Whilst the fishcakes are cooking, mix remaining lemon juice with the mustard and seasoning, then set aside. Mix the avocado, tomatoes and watercress and divide between plates. Serve with the salad, drizzled with dressing, and extra lemon wedges for squeezing over.
(Credits: Rick Stein, Jennifer Joyce, Good Food magazine, Lucy Netherton, JJMoola’s Kitchen)