Weekly menu 32

You’ll notice a fruitiness about this weeks menu (and lack of red meat!), I am very in to the combination of sweet sharpness with poultry and fish at the moment. Taste a lot when preparing these recipes and get the balance right for your own palate – I like a very strong citrus element but I know lots of people don’t like the flavour to be so prominent. I also discovered a couple of new blog sites, Food Stories and Cake Duchess – both excellent!

Enjoy 🙂

Saturday: BBQ Poussin w/ pomegranate molasses and chilli
Sunday: 4 cheese pasta bake
Monday: Fish Tagine w/ couscous
Tuesday: Tomato and courgette stew
Wednesday: Tangerine chicken
Thursday: Baked ratatouille w/ lemon breadcrumbs
Friday: BBQ Sea bass With a citrus twist

BBQ Poussin w/ pomegranate molasses and chilli
Ingredients:

2 poussins, spatchcocked

For the marinade:
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons Turkish chilli flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried rose petals
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (use a good one)
Juice of 1/2 small orange
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Method:
Crush the cumin seeds with the rose petals until you have something resembling a powder, then mix with all the other marinade ingredients. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover the poussin with half the marinade, reserving the rest for brushing on top during cooking.

Cook on the BBQ until, well, cooked (depends on the size of your poussin – maybe 20 minutes), turning and brushing regularly with the marinade.

4 Cheese pasta bake
Ingredients:

500 g pasta, penne
25 g butter
200 g full-fat cream cheese
70 g gorgonzola cheese, chopped
70 g cheddar cheese, grated
100 ml milk, full-fat (at room temperature)
150 g cooked ham, diced
3 tbsp chopped flat leafparsley
50 g grated parmesan

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add in the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and place back in the saucepan.

Add the butter, soft cheese, Gorgonzola and Cheddar cheese. Mix well and then add the milk and stir on a low heat until you get a creamy texture. Add the ham, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and stir in the parsley.

Place the pasta mixture into a large baking tray, sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the top is golden and crispy. Serve immediately.

Fish tagine w/ couscous
Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
good pinch saffron
600ml hot fish or chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, crushed
thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 red chilli (deseeded if you prefer), finely sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp tomato purée
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp ground almonds
zest 1 orange, juice of 1/2
1 tbsp honey
700g white fish, cut into large chunks
small bunch coriander, chopped
handful flaked almond, toasted
1/2 green chilli, for garnish
Couscous to serve

Method:
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for a few mins until soft. Meanwhile, put the saffron in the hot stock and leave to steep. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the pan and cook for a few mins more. Tip in the spices and tomato purée, stir for a few mins until fragrant, then add the tomatoes, ground almonds, orange zest and juice, honey and saffron-scented stock, making sure that you use all of the saffron strands. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened a little.

Add the fish to the pan, making sure the pieces are all nestled under the sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 2-3 mins until just cooked. Check seasoning, add the coriander and scatter with the toasted almonds. Serve scattered with the chilli, along with some couscous.

Tomato and courgette stew
Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 courgettes, quartered lengthways and cut into chunks
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
small bunch basil, torn
25g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated

Method:
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 mins until softened and starting to go golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 5 mins more.

Add the courgettes and cook for about 5 mins until starting to soften. Tip in the tomatoes and give everything a good stir. Simmer for 35-40 mins or until tomatoes are reduced and courgettes soft, then stir in the basil and Parmesan. Serve with crusty bread or new potatoes in herby butter.

Tangerine chicken
Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
80-100ml soy sauce
60 ml teriyaki sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
2-6 Tablespoons orange juice (more the stronger the citrus flavor you want)
3 tangerines or orange, peeled and segments divided
4 large garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6. Arrange chicken pieces on a baking sheet. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and rub it well on both sides. Add garlic to pan and roast for 30 minutes.

Whisk together the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, honey and orange juice. Add the Soy/Teriyaki a little at a time and taste it as you go then add more to get the balance right. You can also add more orange juice to get it really citrusy. Remove pan from oven and spoon juice mixture over the chicken. Add the tangerine/orange slices around the chicken and the pan. Return to oven for another 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Check the chicken a couple times and baste it with the sauce. If it seems dry, you could add a little bit of water to the sauce.

Baked ratatouille w/ lemon breadcrumbs
Ingredients:

50g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 courgettes, chunky slices
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
1 large onion, very roughly chopped
4 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
zest 1 lemon

Method:
Heat oven to 190C/gas 5. In a small bowl, toss the breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp of the oil and a good sprinkling of seasoning. Set aside.

Put the courgettes, peppers, onion, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, tomato purée, vinegar and the remaining olive oil in a bowl. Season well and toss together. Tip the vegetables into a roasting tin and spread out in a single layer. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins. Remove the foil. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and bake for another 10 mins or until golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle over the lemon zest.

BBQ sea bass w/ a citrus twist
Ingredients:

2-3 large oranges
zest 1 lemon (use the juice below)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 x 300g whole small sea bass, scaled, gutted and slashed a few times down each side

For the salad
2 oranges, segmented
juice 1 lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
2 bags watercress
handful small capers
handful pitted green olives, roughly chopped

Method:
Finely grate the zest of 1 of the oranges and add to the lemon zest. Mix with the olive oil, then drizzle over the fish and season. Cut the rest of the oranges into slices about 5mm thick. When the coals are ashen, arrange the orange slices over the barbecue in groups the length of each fish. Char the orange slices on 1 side, then flip them over and lay the fish on top of them – this stops the fish sticking. Barbecue the fish for 5-8 mins on each side (turning them carefully), or until the flesh flakes away easily when prodded.

While the fish is barbecuing (or beforehand), make the salad. Put the orange segments in a large bowl with the squeezed juice from the rest of the oranges and the lemon juice. Season and stir in the olive oil. When the fish is cooked, toss the watercress in the orange dressing with the capers and olives. Serve the fish with the salad.

(Credits: Good Food Magazine, Foodstories blog, Barney Desmazery, Jennifer Joyce, Cakeduchess blog, Gino D’Acampo, JJMoola’s Kitchen)

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