Chargrilled Broccoli With Chilli & Garlic

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  • 2 heads broccoli (about 500 g)
  • 1/2 cup/115 ml olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Toasted almonds or very thin lemon slices, for garnish (optional)

Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets (leave on the florets’ individual stems). Fill a large saucepan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. It should be big enough to accommodate the broccoli easily. Throw in the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. Don’t be tempted to cook it any longer! Using a large slotted spoon, quickly transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice-cold water. You need to stop the cooking at once. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely. It is important that the broccoli isn’t wet at all. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with 3 tablespoons/70 ml oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Place a ridged grill pan over high heat and leave it there for least 5 minutes, until it is extremely hot. Depending on the size of your pan, grill the broccoli in several batches. The florets mustn’t be cramped. Turn them around as they grill so they get char marks all over. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and continue with another batch.

While grilling the broccoli, place the remaining scant 5 tablespoons/70 ml oil in a small saucepan with garlic and chillies. Cook them over medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let the garlic and chilli burn—remember, they will keep on cooking even when off the heat. Pour the oil, garlic, and chilli over the hot broccoli and toss together well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve warm or at room temperature. You can garnish the broccoli with almonds or lemon just before serving, if you like.

*Source: Yotam Ottolenghi, The Cookbook

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Green Bean, Mangetout & Hazelnut Salad

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300g of fine green beans
150g of mangetout
50g hazelnuts
15g chives
1 orange
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper

Heat the oven to about 150 oC.

Fill as big a pan as possible with water for the beans and mangetout. The more space you give them, the more they retain their vivid green colouring. I use a big old casserole pot. Bring the water to the boil.

While it’s heating up, trim and wash the beans and mangetout, keeping them separate. When the water is bubbling drop the beans in and cook for 4 minutes. Take them out and put them in ice cold water to stop them cooking and retain their colour.

Bring the water back to the boil and drop the mangtout in and cook them for no more than a minute. Then drain them into a colander and put them in ice cold water. Dry the beans and the mangetout with some paper towels and put in a large salad bowl.

Put the hazelnuts into the oven and roast for about 7 minutes. Remove and squeeze the skins off – they should mostly crumble away. It doesn’t matter if some bits are left on. Roughly chop with a big, very sharp knife, You don’t want them too finely chopped, there should be plenty of halves, even the odd whole hazelnut left.

Wash the orange and peel away the zest in strips, trying to minimise the amount of white pith you take with it. Slice the strips as finely as possible. Slice the chives in to 1cm lengths.

Add the hazelnuts, orange zest and chives, grind over some black pepper to the beans and toss until all mixed up. Add the sesame (or walnut, hazelnut, pecan or any other nut oil you might have) and olive oils and toss some more.

Serve at room temperature.

*Source: Yottam Ottolenghi, The Cookbook

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Sweet Potato With Pecan And Maple

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  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 850g in total)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 35g pecan nuts
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 Tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbsp roughly chopped coriander
  • 1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 35g sultanas
  • salt and pepper

For the dressing

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 190 C. Start with the sweet potatoes. Don’t peel them! Cut them into 2 cm [3/4 inch], spread them out on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, mix well with your hands and then roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until just tender. Turn them over gently half way through cooking.

In a separate baking tray, toast the pecans for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop roughly.

To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

When the potatoes are ready, transfer them to a large bowl while still hot. Add the spring onions, parsley, coriander, chilli, pecans and sultanas. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to blend, then season to taste. Serve at once or at room temperature.

*Source: Yotam Ottolenghi, The Cookbook

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Breakfast BLT

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  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 short cut bacon rashers
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp snipped chives
  • dash of tobasco sauce
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 small cos lettuce leaves

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the tomato and bacon on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and tomatoes slightly wilted.

Mash the avocado, creme fraiche, lemon juice, chives and season with salt and pepper and tobasco. Toast the bread and spread two of the slices with the avocado mixture. Top with the letttuce, some bacon and tomato halves and then sandwich with the other slice of bread.

Serves 2

*Source: Bill Granger Everday

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Chicken And Date Tagine

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  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
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Combine flour and spices in a bowl. Toss chicken in spice mixture. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add chicken and fry in batches for 1 minute each side until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Add remaining oil to pan with onions and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and any remaining spice mixture. Return chicken to pan. Add stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, dates (if you want them to break down like I do!) and sugar. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Remove lid and cook for 15 minutes. Add chickpeas and dates (if haven’t already added), and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in coriander and almonds; serve with couscous (or borwn/white rice).

*Source: www.taste.com.au

 

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Baked Tomato And Mozzarella Pasta (easy mid week when you have nothing!)

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes (5-6 fresh tomatoes and blended)
  • 45g small black olives,  pitted
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 300g cooked short pasta (such as fusilli or penne)
  • 75g fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 6). Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and cook the onions, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the olives, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Stir the tomato sauce through the cooked pasta and spoon into a casserole dish. Dot with the mozzarella cheddar and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

*Source: Bill Granger Everday

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Spaghetti With Garlic And Spinach (great mid-week meal!)

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  • 400g Spaghetti
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Sliced red chilli, to taste (1-2 small ones)
  • 80ml white wine
  • 90g baby English spinach
  • Sea salt
  • Small handful finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, put the olive oil, garlic and chilli in a frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until the garlic is golden. Add the wine and cook, stirring for 20 seconds. Add the drained pasta and spinach and toss to coat it well.  Season with salt and sprinkle with parsley, then serve with lots of grated parmesan.

*Source: Bill Granger Everday

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Spicy Chicken Meatballs

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  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g pancetta, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 500g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 125ml chicken stock
  • 500g fusilli  pasta, cooked, to serve
  • Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Heat 1t of the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 min., or until the onion is soft. Add the coriander and chilli and cook for 1 min.

Put the chicken in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, bacon, parsley and salt. Add the spiced onion and mix well with your hands. Refrigerate for 30 min. to firm the mixture. Wet your hands with cold water to stop the mixture sticking and roll it into small meatballs.

Put the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with 1 t olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the meatballs on a second lined tray and drizzle with1 t oil. Roast the tomatoes and meatballs in the oven for 15-20 min., or until the meatballs are golden and the tomatoes starting to pucker.

Put the stock and tomatoes in a saucepan and the meatballs. Simmer for 5 min. and season to taste before spooning over pasta and serving with parmesan.

*Source: Bill Granger Everyday

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Ham and Cheese Mini Muffins

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  • 6 slices of ham
  • 190g Cheddar cheese
  • 75g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml milk
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • a pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375ºF/gas mark 5. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

Cut the ham into 1cm chunks, and grate the Cheddar or chop it roughly. Cut the butter into pieces. Beat the egg in a bowl with the milk. Sieve the flour, paprika and salt into a large mixing bowl, and rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the ham and cheese, then pour in the egg and milk mixture and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the muffin tin and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Source: LEON Brownies, Muffins and Slices
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Prawn Salad

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  • 500 grams prawns (2 dozen), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice plus 1 additional tablespoon, spent halves reserved
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley leaves plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns plus ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Table salt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small spring onion, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

Instructions

Combine prawns, 1/4 cup lemon juice, reserved lemon halves, parsley sprigs, tarragon sprigs, whole peppercorns, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt with 2 cups cold water in medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook prawns, stirring several times, until pink, firm to touch, and centers are no longer translucent, 8 to 10 minutes (water should be just bubbling around edge of pan and register 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer). Remove pan from heat, cover, and let prawns sit in broth for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with ice water. Drain prawns into colander, discard lemon halves, herbs, and spices. Immediately transfer prawns to ice water to stop cooking and chill thoroughly, about 3 minutes. Remove prawns from ice water and pat dry with paper towels.

Whisk together mayonnaise, spring onion, celery, remaining tablespoon lemon juice, minced parsley, and minced tarragon in medium bowl. Cut prawns in half lengthwise and then each half into thirds; add shrimp to mayonnaise mixture and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

*Note: I serve spoonfuls inside cos lettuce leaves, or toss with salad greens to make a salad. Great as a side to fish or as a starter or prawn cocktail

* Source: Cooks Illustrated

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