Posts Tagged ‘smoked paprika’

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!


“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–


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


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


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


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


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Marc Gayraud–my genial fishmonger in Castres market Tuesdays and Saturdays–was offering some medium size monkfish yesterday morning, at a reasonable price (18 euros the kilo–about $24 a kilo). These two pieces cost about 9 euros.


I’d been wanting to cook this lightly-spiced dish for ages–and it is relatively simple to do.

Vendu, monsieur! [Sold, sir!]

You can prepare the sauce beforehand and reheat it when you are ready to add the fish. That’s the beauty of it.

A little brown basmati rice and some seasonal green vegetable makes a pretty plate.


for 3

12oz/300gms monkfish (cleaned)cut crosswise through the cartilage in bite size pieces [or other firm fleshed white fish]


3 tblspns olive oil

1 onion–chopped

2 cloves garlic–chopped

3 large tinned tomatoes–chopped

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp smoked paprika (pimenton)

sprigs of parsley and thyme and a bay leaf

1 glass dry white wine

1 tsp salt

10 juicy black olives–stoned and halved

  • Soften the onion in the oil using a sauté pan large enough to hold the monkfish  –about five minutes.


  • Add the garlic and cook a further three to four minutes.


  • Add the chopped tomatoes with the spices, herbs and salt.


  • Cook these gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook another couple of minutes.
  • This makes the simple base in which to cook the fish.
  • A  few minutes before you want to eat, reheat the sauce and add the olives.
  • Slide the monkfish pieces into the sauce and cook on low heat, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes until the fish is opaque and you can’t wait any longer!


  • Serve over basmati brown rice with perhaps some steamed broccoli on the side.

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A dish to see off the winter chill.
This is adapted from a recipe by Australian cookery writer Jody Vassallo and is a relatively quick all-in-one dish for small company.
It took me about 50 minutes from arriving back from the market to turning off the gas under the casserole.
Chorizo–sausage of the moment–to be eaten in moderation of course!

If made earlier in the day, you may need extra water when reheating it, as the lentils will continue to absorb the liquid–but it shouldn’t be swamped.

2 chorizo sausages–I prefer spicy ones–sliced into round chunks

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion–chopped fine

1 carrot–chopped fine

1 stick of celery–chopped fine

1 small fennel bulb–outer casing and core  removed–chopped into small chunks

50 gms/2 oz pancetta or bacon–chopped

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

120 ml/4 fl oz white wine

2 garlic cloves–peeled but left whole

a couple of bay leaves

250 gms/ 8oz green or puy lentils–the small grey-green ones–washed and drained

1 litre of water–with extra to hand

salt and pepper

a small bunch of parsley–chopped

Heat the oil in a medium casserole and fry the sausage and pancetta/ bacon until lightly coloured.

Remove and set aside on kitchen paper.

Add the onion, carrot, celery and fennel and cook these in the same sausage-informed oil for about seven minutes–until they too have lightly coloured.

Return the sausage and bacon to the casserole, sprinkle over the smoked paprika, add the wine, the garlic and the bay leaves.

When the wine has evaporated, add the lentils and  the litre of water.

Bring up to the simmer, cover and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20–30 minutes.

Season well and serve in warm bowls with the parsley sprinkled over and a swirl of olive oil perhaps.

steaming bowl of lentils and chorizo!

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