Weekly menu 34

Sorry for the delay peeps, got back from a trip across to the US yesterday and all I wanted to do was have a good curry and sleep – so I did! I have snuck in Coronation chicken this week as its one of my all time favorites. You can also add chopped dried apricots if you like them, I don’t so have left them out of the recipe. Friday night supper of slow baked sausages uses a bought chilli jam, find a good one – doesn’t matter how hot or mild, that’s up to you. I use a mix of two which I brought back from the US the last time I was there. You need to make sure its chilli jam though – not chutney and it needs to a be quite a thick consistency so if your jam is on the runny side reduce it in a pan on the stove top before using so you get a thicker jam.

Enjoy 🙂

Saturday: Salted duck legs w/ spinach and potatoes
Sunday: Poached salmon fillets w/ a herb mayo
Monday: Courgette burgers
Tuesday:  Smoked haddock frittata
Wednesday: Mixed mushroom pasta
Thursday: Coronation chicken salad
Friday: Slow baked sausages w/ chilli jam glaze, roasted garlic cloves and pan fried, herby new potatoes

Salted duck legs w/ spinach and potatoes

6 duck legs
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp sunflower oil
500g small onions
500g small waxy potatoes
175g smoked bacon lardons
4 or 5 sage leaves
200g spinach leaves
2 tbsp sherry vinegar

One day ahead: Place the duck legs in a dish and sprinkle over the salt, rubbing it into the skin. Cover with cling film and chill.

The next day, rinse the duck legs under cold water to remove the salt. Pat dry with a clean towel. Heat oven to 160C/gas 3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Place the duck, fat-side down, in the pan and cook gently for 15 mins until crisp and golden.

Turn the duck and pour off the fat into a small bowl – put to one side. Cook for a further 15-20 mins, then transfer to a roasting dish. When all the duck is cooked, put in the oven for 40-50 mins while you finish the dish.

Put the onions in a pan with 1 tbsp of the reserved duck fat and gently cook for 20 mins until golden. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 15 mins in a pan of salted water, then drain, peel and leave to cool.

Add 2 tbsp of the reserved fat into the duck pan and add the potatoes, bacon, onions and sage. Fry for 10 mins until golden, then add the spinach. Cook for 4 mins to wilt the spinach, then add the vinegar. Turn up the heat and reduce the liquid, then spread this over a large serving plate. Arrange the duck on top and serve.

Poached salmon fillets w/ a herb mayo

2 salmon fillets, about 1 kg each, skinless
olive oil, for greasing
1 lemon, sliced
1 bunch dill, chopped
small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
6 tbsp white wine

2 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
450ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp herbs, such as chervil, chives, dill, parsley and tarragon, finely chopped

1 cucumber, sliced into long thin strips with a potato peeler
small handful chopped dill
lemon wedges

Heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Take a very large sheet of extra-wide foil (turkey foil), and lightly brush with olive oil. Place one salmon fillet on the foil and scatter over the sliced lemons, dill and half the fennel, and season well. Place the second salmon fillet on top, domed side up. Season and drizzle with the wine. Top with a second sheet of greased foil and fold up the edges to enclose the salmon in a parcel. Make the parcel quite loose so there is room for the steam. Lift onto a large baking tray and cook for 1 hr then remove and allow to rest in the foil for 10 mins.

While the salmon cooks, make the mayonnaise. Place the yolks and the mustard in a medium bowl, adding a pinch of salt, if you like. Briefly whisk the eggs and start to drizzle in the oil very slowly, starting with a few drips at a time while continuously whisking. Continue adding the oil. When the mayonnaise starts to come together, you can add the oil slightly quicker. Continue until all the oil has been added. If the mayonnaise curdles at any point, you can rescue it by cracking another yolk into a clean bowl and whisking the curdled mayonnaise into the fresh egg. Continue doing this then add any remaining oil.

When your mayonnaise is made, slowly stir in the vinegar and lemon juice to your taste. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the chopped herbs. Keep chilled until the salmon is ready.

Mix the cucumber with some of the dill and the rest of the fennel. When the salmon has rested, cut the foil open and carefully transfer the fish to a long serving platter. Sprinkle with the dill and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with the herb mayonnaise, cucumber shavings and if you like steamed and buttered new potatoes.

Courgette burgers

1 medium courgette, grated
1 finely shallot, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1-2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 medium egg
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Toasted burger buns, lettuce and tomatoes to serve

Squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the courgette then put into a bowl with shallot, ginger, chilli and mustard. Add the egg , breadcrumbs and coriander then mix well, season with salt and pepper and shape into two patties.

Heat 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry patties for 5min, turning once, until golden and crisp. Serve in toasted burger buns with lettuce.

Smoked haddock frittata

300g potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced into rounds
2 x 100g smoked haddock fillets
5 large eggs
75ml milk
1 tsp dried dill
100g cooked and peeled small prawns (frozen also fine)
40g watercress leaves

Preheat oven to 180°C/gas 4 and line an 18cm x 23cm x 4cm (7in x 9in x 1½in) tin with baking parchment.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then tip in the potato slices and haddock. Simmer for 5min or until the potato is just tender and the fish is opaque (it doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through), then lift the fish on to a plate with a slotted spoon and use a cutlery knife to peel off and discard the skin. Flake the fish into large pieces. Drain the potatoes and steam dry in a colander for 5min.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, dill and plenty of seasoning. Stir in the potato, haddock and frozen prawns. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it evenly.

Cook in the oven for 35min or until set and golden. Cut pie into quarters and serve topped with the watercress.

Mixed mushroom pasta

400g penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
500g mixed mushrooms (button, chestnut, shiitake), roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 tbsp double cream
100ml hot vegetable stock
Handful chopped herbs, parsley, chives and thyme
Fresh Parmesan to serve

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Drain well and return to the pan.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan. Add the mixed mushrooms and garlic and stir-fry over a medium heat for 5min until the vegetables are golden brown. Add the cream and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3–4min until the mushrooms are cooked. Add the herbs, then taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper before mixing well.
Tip the mushroom mixture into the pan of pasta and mix everything together. Grate over some Parmesan and serve immediately.

Coronation chicken salad

6 skinless chicken breasts
1 ltr chicken stock
2 tsp mild curry powder
150g mayonnaise (good quality, homemade if possible)
125g crème fraîche
3 tbsp mango chutney
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
50g sultanas
50g flaked almonds
Large handful fresh coriander, chopped
Mixed salad leaves

Put the chicken breasts into a large pan and cover with stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 15min or until the chicken is cooked through (slice a breast in half to check). Drain and leave until completely cool.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan and toast the curry powder, stirring, until it smells fragrant (about 30 sec). Empty into a large bowl and stir through the other ingredients except the flaked almonds, coriander and salad leaves, along with plenty of seasoning. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Cut or tear the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the mayonnaise mixture, along with most of the flaked almonds and chopped coriander. Stir well and check the seasoning again.

Put your salad leaves on to a platter, pile the coronation chicken on top and finish garnished with the remaining flaked almonds and chopped coriander.

Slow baked sausages w/ chilli jam glaze, roasted garlic cloves and pan fried herby new potatoes

6-10 Sausages, any variety you like
1 small red onion, sliced
5 whole garlic cloves, skin on
10-12 new potatoes
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme, leaves removed from stalks
1 tsp oregano, fresh or dried

2-3 tbsp chilli jam
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 small lime, juice only

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 8. Mix the glaze ingredients together and season with a pinch of salt if necessary. If the chilli jam you are using is very thin and runny then reduce the amount of lime juice you are using. Ideally you want a thickish glaze to throw over your sausages.

Put the sausages into a roasting tray with a splash of olive oil and shake them around so that they get nicely coated in the oil. Put the sausages into the oven and cook for around 20 mins, check halfway through and give them a shake. You want the sausages to have a nice brown colour before you do anything else with them, so you might need to cook them for less or more time depending on how thick they are. When your sausages are brown, add in the onions and garlic cloves and then the chilli glaze and give everything a really good mix. Reduce the heat of the oven to 200C/gas 7 and put the sausages back in the oven for around another 30 mins. The end result should be that the glaze has reduced right down to a thick sticky coating on the sausages, onions and garlic cloves so keep checking until you have this which might take longer than 30 mins.

While the sausages are cooking, scrub and rinse your potatoes and then quarter them. Put into boiling lightly salted water for around 7 mins. You want them to be just cooked but not too soft or falling apart. Drain and allow the steam to dry off. In a frying pan heat a knob of butter and a splash of olive oil and then add in the potatoes. Don’t stir them around too much but cook over a medium heat until you get them nicely browned and with some crunchy bits. Add in your herbs and season with salt and pepper (you can add more herbs if you like). Serve alongside your sticky chilli sausages and the whole cloves of garlic, don’t forget to smother in the lovely sauce from the roasting tray.

(Credits: Jeremy Lee, JJMoola’s Kitchen)


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