Weekly menu 44

Definitely feeling the cold now so some really hearty, warming recipes this week. Some of the meals this week take a little time, so you might want to prep the night before or pre-cook so all you have to do is pop in the oven when you get home from work to finish off. However there are also some super quick suppers, so no excuse not to try something!

Enjoy 🙂

Saturday: Slow cooked pulled pork
Sunday: Vegetable and hazelnut pie
Monday: White bean and chorizo soup
Tuesday: Linguine carbonara
Wednesday: Cheeky midweek roast chicken with squash and creamed sweetcorn
Thursday: Paneer tikka masala
Friday: Glazed seabass with Asian greens

Slow cooked pulled pork

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 kg pork shoulder, boned and tied
2 bay leaves
200 ml whiskey

For the BBQ sauce
75 g ketchup
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp water

To serve
soft flour tortillas
soured cream
1 red chilli, chopped

Heat the oven to 160C/gas 3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large casserole and soften the onion for 5 minutes.

Mix the remaining oil, mustard powder, paprika together and rub into the pork. Season and place on top of the onions. Add the bay leaves and pour over the whiskey. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook in the oven for 5 hours. Remove the pork from the dish and set aside.

For the BBQ sauce: Mix the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and corn flour mix together then pour into the casserole. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until thick. Remove the bay leaves and press through a sieve.

Heat the grill to high. Place the pork on a baking tray, remove the string and skin then smoother with half the BBQ sauce. Place under the grill for 10 minutes until charred. Using two forks, shred the pork and toss through half of the remaining BBQ sauce and toss to coat.

Serve with wraps, soured cream and chilli then drizzle with the remaining BBQ sauce to serve.

Vegetable and hazelnut pie
2 aubergines, chopped into large cubes
3 pepper, in different colours, chopped into large cubes
2 courgettes, chopped into large cubes
4 small onions, finely chopped
2 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
150 ml olive oil
100 g hazelnuts
2 bunches basil, finely chopped
250 g puff pastry
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Mix the aubergine, peppers, courgettes and onion together, add 1 sprig of rosemary and the bay leaf and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange everything in a baking dish and bake for 3 hours – the vegetables should be well stewed down. Stir the vegetables regularly during cooking.

Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and lightly toast at 180C/gas 4 for 5 minutes, then rub in a clean tea towel to remove the skins. Add them to the slow-cooked vegetables, along with the basil leaves. Season and allow to cool.

Divide the puff pastry in half and roll out two rectangles of the same size until about 3 mm thick. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lay one rectangle of dough on top. Spread the slow-cooked vegetables (not too much of the cooking jucies) over the pastry dough, leaving a 1cm border all around. Reserve any remaining juices/sauce from the vegetables.

Whisk the egg with 3 teaspoons of water and glaze the edges. Cover with the second piece of pastry. Seal the two rectangles of pastry dough together by pinching the edges with the back of a fork. Glaze the top of the pie with the remaining egg mixture and decorate with the remaining sprig of rosemary. Bake at 180C/gas 4 for 30 minutes.

While the pie in the oven is deglaze the veg baking dish with a splash of white wine then pour in to a pan and add a little water and simmer to make a little jus. Taste as you go, adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve with creamy mash and your jus drizzled over the top. If you don’t have much jus you can serve with a dollop of tomato ketchup (which I love and eat with pretty much everything!).

White bean and chorizo soup

200 g chorizo sausages, halved lengthways and sliced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
225 g celery, chopped
300 g carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
400 g canned chopped tomatoes
750 ml vegetable stock
2 x 400g cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Fry the chorizo in a large pan until turns golden and has released its spicy oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrot to the oil in the pan and fry gently for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, chilli powder and cumin and fry for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and stock, and season with a little salt and black pepper.

Stir well, then return the chorizo to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the beans and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Serve hot

Linguine carbonara

3 tbsp olive oil
200 g onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200 g pancetta, or bacon
150 ml double cream
4 egg yolks
10 g flat-leaf parsley
350 g fresh linguine
60 g parmesan, grated

Warm a deep serving dish in the oven to 170C/gas 3 for 10 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a very low heat, add the onions and sweat gently for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir well and then transfer the onions and garlic to a bowl.

In a clean, dry frying pan, lightly brown the pancetta or bacon slices over a medium heat. Tip on to a board and cut into 1cm pieces, then add to the onions and keep warm.

In a bowl, mix the cream, egg yolks and parsley together, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the linguine and cook for 1-2 minutes until al dente, or done to your liking, then drain.

Immediately take the serving dish from oven, add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and put in the pasta. Quickly pour on the cream mixture, mix rapidly with tongs, then add the bacon and onion mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan, mix well but not too thoroughly, and serve immediately.

Cheeky midweek roast chicken with squash and creamed sweetcorn

1½ kg whole chicken, wings removed and kept
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
1/2 leek, roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

For the squash
1.5 kg butternut squash, deseeded and cut into chunks
4 smoked bacon, fat and rind removed, halved
4 garlic cloves, pricked a few times with a sharp knife
4 sprigs sage
75 ml rapeseed oil, or olive oil

For the creamed sweetcorn
25 g butter
1 finely diced shallots
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
4 corn on the cobs, husks removed
250 ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Scatter the wings on the bottom of a roasting tin. Toss in the carrot, celery, leek, onion and garlic with vegetable oil to coat lightly. Tie the chicken’s ankles together with a piece of string, and lie the bird on its back in the middle of the roasting tin among the veg. Rub the chicken with a little vegetable oil and season well. Place the chicken on the oven’s middle shelf for 55 minutes.

For the squash: Place the squash chunks in a large mixing bowl with the bacon, garlic, sage and drizzle in the oil. Season well and spread the mixture on a roasting tin, then place in the oven beneath the chicken for 40 minutes.

For the creamed sweetcorn: Melt the butter in a medium heat, then add the shallot and thyme and heat for 3-4 until softened. Add the corn, and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly. Pour in the cream and gently bring the mix to a simmer. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the cream has reduced and the corn is cooked through.

Once the chicken is ready, remove it from the tray and rest for 10 minutes before serving with the squash, creamed sweetcorn and herby buttered new potatoes.

Paneer tikka masala

For the tikka marinade:
10 g root ginger, peeled weight
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp lemon juice
150 g Greek yogurt
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the curry:
400 g paneer, in 3-4cm cubes
500 g vine tomatoes, quartered
1 tbsp vegetable oil
60 g unsalted butter
1 black cardamom pod
6 green cardamom pods
5 cm cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
20 g root ginger, peeled weight, grated
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 tbsp tomato purée
2-4 small green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp paprika
1½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed with your fingers
1-1½ caster sugar, to taste
60-80 ml single cream, to taste

Blend together the ingredients for the tikka marinade until smooth, scrape into a bowl, add the paneer and stir to coat.

With a stick blender, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the whole spices and cook for 10 seconds before adding the ginger and garlic, cook gently until starting to colour. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée and cook down until the resulting paste releases oil, around 20 minutes. Now, over a low-medium flame, brown this paste, stirring often, until it darkens considerably, around eight to 10 minutes.

Add 250ml of water, bring to a boil, then pass through a sieve, pressing down on the solids with the back of a spoon until all you have left are fibre and spices, throw these away.

Heat the grill on its highest setting. Place the paneer on a foil-lined tray and grill for eight to 10 minutes, turning once, or until the edges are lightly charred. Remove from the oven.

Heat the remaining butter and add the green chillies. Add the tomato sauce, powdered spices, a pinch of salt, sugar and a good splash of water and simmer for two or three minutes. Add the paneer and simmer for another five to six minutes. Add the cream and simmer, shaking the pan gently, until the sauce is lovely and creamy, around two or three minutes.

You may need to add a little more water to get the consistency of single cream. Taste and adjust the balance by adding more salt, sugar or cream as necessary – the cream will lessen any obvious acidity from under-ripe tomatoes. Serve along side steamed basmati rice or any Indian bread you like.

Glazed seabass with Asian greens

For the glaze:
6 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp agave syrup
3 tsp rice vinegar
1½ tsp cornflour
4 fillets of sea bass, approximately 150 g each

For the Asian greens:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cm piece of fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
50 g mixed greens, (bok choy, sprouting broccoli and kale)
2 tbsp vegetable stock, or water
sesame oil, for drizzling
soy sauce, for drizzling

For the glaze: Mix soy sauce, agave nectar and rice vinegar in a small saucepan. Mix 1½ tablespoons of water with the corn flour in small bowl until smooth and add to soy sauce mixture. Stir mixture over medium heat until the glaze boils and thickens slightly – this should take about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 220C/gas 7. Arrange the fish on a small non-stick baking sheet then brush with some of glaze. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until opaque in the centre.

For the Asian greens: Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Throw in the thicker stemmed greens and cook for a minute, add the rest of the greens and the stock and put a lid on. Cook for 2 minutes or until tender then take off the lid and add a splash each of sesame oil and soy sauce.

When the fish is cooked, bring the remaining glaze to a boil and then spoon over the fish. Serve with the Asian greens.

(Credits: Mima Sinclair, Stephane Reynaud, Marcus Verberne, Michel Roux Jnr, Mark Sargeant, Donal Skehan, Anjum Anand, JJMoola’s Kitchen)


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