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Posts Tagged ‘Nigel Slater’


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Thick slices of in-season aubergine softened in the oven at a high temperature then topped with ripe tomatoes cooked with garlic, a little chili and a slice of mozzarella or grated parmesan.

Lunch?

Yes!

To brighten a cloudy day…

Summer simplicity–using vegetables bang in season and begging to be used.

Me, sir! Me! Me, sir! Just like at school; eager hands in the air, knowing the answer.

This is a Nigel Slater idea from his book Tender.

I am using:

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  • 2 aubergines/eggplants–sliced thickly

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  • Olive oil (for brushing the sliced aubergines)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb/450 grams tomatoes–ripe as can be–roughly chopped

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  • 1 tbs olive
  • 1 garlic clove–peeled and chopped
  • a small dry chili–chopped (no need to take out the seeds)
  • small handful of basil leaves (optional)
  • A medium ball of mozzarella–sliced thick
  • 2 tbs grated parmesan

Oven: 220C/430F  (hot!)

Oil an oven tray large enough to take the aubergine slices.

Brush the aubergines with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper–generously!

Put the tray in the top of the oven and cook for about 25 minutes (check at 20 minutes, but the aubergines profit from a little singeing–and they must be soft).

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While the aubergines are cooking, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan and add the tomatoes, garlic, chili and basil (if you have it).

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Cook for 20 minutes or until you have a nice mess of tomatoes.

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Remove the aubergine slices from the oven and spread some of the tomato sauce on each with a teaspoon.

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Top each slice with the grated parmesan or a slice of mozzarella.

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Put the tray back in the oven for about ten minutes–long enough for the cheese to melt.

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Oh my!

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We had small salad with these–using cherry tomatoes from the garden, cucumber, sliced onion and small pieces of feta. (It was intended to be a Greek salad but I forgot the black olives!)

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A three CHEESE feast!

An interested guest looked on.

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More of her later…

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m keen to try simple meal-in-a-pot recipes that can be prepared in advance.

This is one inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe from an old newspaper clipping.

We found it hard not to finish it off last night–impossible in fact!

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“Well it’s just one medium sweet potato, a single fennel bulb and some chickpeas.”

(I added smoked paprika and halved the amount of smoked bacon in the original.)

“Oh–go on then!”

So much for moderation.

For 2/3

1 onion–chopped

2 sticks of celery–chopped

2 tblsps olive oil

3 garlic cloves–pulped with a teaspoon of salt

1 tsp rosemary spears–chopped fine

2oz/50gms smoked bacon–cubed

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 medium sweet potato–peeled, sliced into thick rounds and these halved

1 fennel bulb–outer leaves removed and sliced thick on the vertical

1/2 pint stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

250gms cooked chickpeas

200ml coconut cream*

2 tblsps breadcrumbs

2 tblsps parmesan cheese–grated

  • set the oven to 190C/360F
  • Heat the oil in a medium size, shallow sauté pan.
  • Fry the onion and the celery for a couple of minutes over a medium heat–

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  • then add the garlic, rosemary and bacon and paprika.

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  • Stir these together and continue cooking and stirring as the vegetables begin to soften and the bacon colours–about ten minutes.
  • Turn the chickpeas into the pan and mix them in.

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  • Add the sweet potato half-rounds and the fennel slices and mix them in.

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  • Ease in the stock and the coconut cream.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring it to the boil and sprinkle over the parmesan and breadcrumb mixture.

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  • Place in the middle of the oven for about thirty minutes.
  • From oven to plate and tuck in!

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*The difference between coconut milk/cream and cream of coconut is fully explained here: 

http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-coconut-m-75446/

It looks like milk, it is NOT sweetened and it does NOT taste of coconut!

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Just managed to fit in a cooking no-potato fishcakes session on Fox’s Channel 5 here in Washington with host Holly Morris, before we head for the airport.

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Another recipe based on a Nigel Slater recipe. I have always loved fishcakes – must be the comfort food factor kicking in – but these days of course the fact they usually contain 50 per cent potato causes trouble for me as a diabetic.This recipe solves the problem by leaving the potato out! The dill and the grain mustard make the fishcakes special and they sometimes serve as a tasty starter. If you keep them small and cook them quickly, they’ll be crisp and brown on the outside and still succulent inside.

Yogurt sauce

2 x 125 ml pots low-fat yogurt
1 tsp grain mustard
good pinch of chopped dill (from the main bunch) salt

The Fishcakes

400 g/1 lb salmon fillet – skinless and checked for bones

white of an egg
1 tbsp chickpea flour – of course, plain flour works as well

1 tsp grain mustard

juice of 1⁄2 lemon
small bunch of dill – chopped fine salt and pepper (parsley will substitute though dill goes well with the salmon)

2 tbsp olive oil

 

  • Mix all the yogurt sauce ingredients and refrigerate until you are ready to eat.
  • Cut up the salmon fillets in roughly equal-size pieces.
  • Put these in a mixer and pulse three or four times.
  • Avoid working them too much and producing slush at the end.
  • You could just cut them up in small pieces if this suits better.
  • Put the salmon in a bowl.
  • Turn in the egg white and the flour, and then the mustard, lemon juice, and the dill.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • It’s a good idea to taste the mix for seasoning at this point – the dill and the salt should come through.
  • Refrigerate if not using immediately.
  • Heat the oil to hot in a frying pan and using a dessertspoon scoop out a dollop and make a ball.
  • Put this carefully in the pan and flatten it gently.
  • Cook on a medium-high flame, crisping and browning the outside while making sure the interior cooks through–about a minute each side, taking care not to burn them.
  • Serve with the mustardy yogurt dipping sauce on the side.

 

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Aubergines/eggplants–are piled high on the market stalls at the moment and I’m ever on the lookout for new ways to cook them.

Beautiful shiny black, purple and even white torpedoes, these enigmatic vegetables have always felt a bit daunting to me–where does one start!

Well yesterday I started with Nigel Slater’s heavy tome Tender (weighs in at 4 lbs).

He’s an English cookery writer with an air of the solitary about him and a touch of genius, who wrote  about his childhood in a book called Toast.

Tender is the story of his urban London vegetable garden:

As the church bells chimed New Year’s Eve and fireworks lit up the night sky, I vowed to dig up my lawn and grow at least some of my own vegetables.

So far I’ve not dug deeply into it. Time to look again.

The section on aubergines is extensive–and this simple recipe leapt out at me.

We had these last night as a light supper with green beans (their ubiquity is beginning to cause comment!).

for two

1 large aubergine/eggplant–sliced carefully into rounds about a 1.5 cm/.75″ thick

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic–thinly sliced

1lb/450gms tomatoes–cut up with their juice

1 dried red chili–chopped roughly

salt and pepper

more olive oil as you need it

4 tablespoons grated parmesan

  • salt the aubergines and leave them to drain for an hour or so.

set the oven at 220C/425F

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and soften the garlic–about 30 seconds.
  • Put in the tomatoes and the chili, season and cook over a medium high heat until you have a sauce–stirring often.
  • Line a shallow oven tray with foil and brush it lightly with oil.
  • Brush the aubergine rounds with olive oil.
  • Arrange them on the tray and bake in the upper part of the oven until soft (undercooked aubs are un-eatable!)-15-20 minutes–turning them over after 10 minutes.
  • Pile some sauce on each round–be generous–and top with some parmesan.
  • Put the tray back in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • the rounds should come out–as Nigel puts itsizzling!

This is how much we liked them..!

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the ingredients--I forgot the sunflower seeds!

This is based on an early Nigel Slater recipe, and is a good standby for lunch–we had it yesterday, when I found very little else in the fridge!

 

2 small/125 gm pots of non-fat yogurt

1 dessertspoon (for Americans, a scant tablespoon) Dijon mustard

1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar–if you can find it with tarragon all the better

2 dessertspoons olive oil

A small bunch of chives–chopped

A dessertspoonful of spring onions (scallions)–chopped

salt and pepper

190 gm tin of tuna–drained and broken up with a fork–(the amount of tuna is a matter of choice; I reckon about 75 gms each)

1 tablespoon dry roasted sunflower seeds (gently brown the seeds in a small frying pan [with no fat] )

There are two ways of making the non-fat yogurt thicker and more interesting.

If you have a square of muslin, place it in a sieve and the sieve over a bowl.

yogurt in muslin

Carefully empty the yogurt into it and–as in the photo–

yogurt ball

gather the material together and gently squeeze out about 60 ml of whey (liquid).

If there’s no muslin to hand, empty the yogurt straight into the sieve placed over a bowl and let the whey slowly drip out for about an hour. (Leave the bowl in the fridge while this happens.)

Meanwhile, empty the tuna into a bowl, add the herbs, the spring onion, the sunflower seeds, a scant tablespoon of olive oil and a twist or two of pepper.

Mix these ingredients together.

When you are ready, discard the whey and put the thickened  yogurt into the empty bowl.

Whisk in the mustard, combining it well with the yogurt.

Add a scant tablespoon of olive oil and the vinegar–blending well.

Season lightly with salt and pepper.

ready to mix...

Fold the tuna mix into the yogurt and combine well.

Adjust the seasoning, before

...and mixing.

serving with a green salad.

tuna salad --ready to serve!

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…which is published on August 4th in the UK and in November in the USA, comes this recipe adapted from one of my favourite British cooks, Nigel Slater.

Salmon Fishcakes with dill and grainy mustard

I have always loved fishcakes. Must be the comfort food factor kicking in–but they usually contain 50 per cent potato, not ideal for those like me with type 2 diabetes. This recipe solves the problem by leaving the potato out! The dill and the grain mustard make the fishcakes special. They sometimes serve as a tasty starter, but today with our friend Mitch–who is working here to fix the drainage system at the back of the house–we’ll have them as a light lunch as it’s hot.

If you keep them small and cook them quickly, they’ll be crisp and brown on the outside and still succulent inside.

Yogurt sauce

2 x 125 ml pots low-fat yogurt

1 tsp grain mustard

good pinch of chopped dill (from the main bunch)

salt

The Fishcakes

400 g/1 lb salmon fillet – skinless and checked for bones

white of an egg

1 tbsp chickpea flour – of course, plain flour works as well

1 tsp grain mustard

juice of ½ lemon

bunch of dill – chopped fine

salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1. Mix all the yogurt sauce ingredients and refrigerate until you

are ready to eat.

2. Cut up the salmon fillets in roughly equal-size pieces. Put

these in a mixer and pulse three or four times. Avoid working

them too much and producing slush at the end. You could

just cut them up in small pieces if this suits better.

3. Put the salmon in a bowl. Turn in the egg white and the flour,

and then the mustard, lemon juice, and the dill. Season with

salt and pepper.

4. It’s a good idea to taste the mix for seasoning at this point –

the dill and the salt should come through.

5. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

6. Heat the oil in a frying pan and using a dessertspoon scoop

out a dollop and make a ball. Put this in the pan and flatten

it gently.

Cook on a medium-high flame, crisping and

browning the outside while making sure the interior cooks

through.

7. Serve with a fennel salad and the mustardy yogurt

dipping sauce on the side.

Meredith goes for the fennel salad!

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