A tasty way of serving fish that is quick to prepare and just right for a summer supper. A thick fillet of sole is grilled/broiled smothered in tiny broccoli florets and a cheesy sauce until the sauce is bubbling and golden.
170g (6 oz) broccoli florets (a medium head of broccoli)
40g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp, or ³⁄₈ stick)
40g (1½ oz) flour (⅓ cup)
300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
115g (4 oz) cheese, grated (1 cup)
4 large sole fillets (each weighing about 170g (6 oz)
salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
butter for greasing
28g (1 oz) Parmesan, grated (¼ cup)
Baby new potatoes
You will also need a vegetable steamer and a large baking tray/sheet.
Preheat the grill/broiler to high.
Cut the broccoli into florets, trimming and discarding the stems. Then separate the florets into 1cm (½ inch) chunks. Steam for about 2 minutes, until just tender. Remove the steamer from the pan and set to one side.
Now melt the butter in a small pan add the flour.. Stir until smooth. Let this cook gently over a low heat for 1–2 minutes, until it starts to bubble.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in the microwave for 1 minute, which will then make it easier to blend into the roux. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring continuously until there is a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bring the sauce to the boil, and then stir over a gentle heat until it thickens.
Remove from the heat and vigorously stir in the cheese until it has melted and blended into the sauce. (Just use the heat of the sauce to melt the cheese. Don’t put the pan over heat on the stove as this will make the cheese go oily.) Set to one side.
Next season the fish and then sprinkle over the lemon juice.
Grease the baking tray and place under the grill/broiler for 1 minute to heat up.
Lay the fish on the hot tray in a single layer. They will sizzle as they touch the hot baking tray/sheet.
With the grill/broiler rack 7.5cm (3 inches) from the heat, cook the fish for just 3 minutes and then remove.
Meanwhile, carefully spoon the broccoli into the cheese sauce to evenly distribute the florets. Spoon over the fish and then sprinkle the grated Parmesan.
Put the fish back under the grill/broiler and cook for a further 4 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and beginning to turn golden.
Sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper over each piece of fish and serve immediately.
284ml (10 oz) can condensed beef broth (Campbells)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 red pepper
1 small head of broccoli
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
450g (1 lb) sirloin steak, cut into strips
You will also need a 22.5cm (10 inch) deep frying pan/skillet.
First, blend together the cornflour/cornstarch and water in a bowl. Stir in the beef broth and soy sauce and then set aside.
Before preparing the vegetables put a large plate in the oven to warm up.
Deseed the pepper and cut into small chunks. Break the broccoli into small florets, discarding the stem. Peel and thinly slice the carrots.
Place the pan over a medium–high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, add the vegetables and garlic, and stir to coat. Stir-fry until tender, about 5–8 minutes. Transfer to the warm plate and cover.
Now add the other tablespoons of oil to the pan and when hot add the beef. Stir-fry for 2–4 minutes according to how well-done you like your steak. Turn frequently to brown on all sides. Transfer to the plate with the vegetable, cover, and keep warm.
Then add the reserved broth to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir until it thickens. Return the vegetables and meat to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce. Reheat for 1–2 minutes until everything is hot.
225g (8 oz) carrots (3 medium), sliced thinly into rounds
2 small courgettes/zucchini, cut into 1.25cm (½ inch) rounds
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For this recipe you will also need a heavy-based frying pan/skillet for the steaks, if not barbecuing, and a deep-sided frying pan/skillet with lid for the vegetables
Lay the steaks in a single layer in a shallow dish.
Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the next 5 ingredients and pour this over the steaks. Cover the dish and leave to marinade for 30 minutes, turning the steaks halfway through.
Once the steaks have finished marinading, prepare the vegetables.
Wash and cut the broccoli into small florets discarding any stems. Place in a bowl along with the sliced carrots and courgettes/zucchini. Pour over the olive oil and season, then toss to coat the vegetables with the oil.
Now wash the potatoes, place in a pan, cover with water and add a little salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15–20 minutes until tender.
Next put five plates in the oven to warm.
Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry (reserve the marinade). The steaks can be barbecued or cooked in a heavy-based frying pan/skillet. If using a pan, first heat the pan until it is really hot and then brush with olive oil. Reduce the heat and add the steaks to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side, depending on how you like your steaks. Remove them on one of the warmed plates, cover the plate with foil and leave the steaks to rest for 5 minutes, turning halfway through.
While the steaks are cooking, the vegetables can also be cooked. First, heat the deep-sided frying pan/skillet, then add the vegetables and sauté over a medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Reduce the heat, pop on the lid, and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and sauté for a further minute to crisp them up.
When the steaks are resting, stir the reserved marinade into the steak pan and, over a gentle heat, let it bubble to heat through. (If the steak was barbecued, once the vegetables have been cooked and removed from their pan, use this pan to heat through the marinade.)
Serve the steaks with the sauce poured over and the vegetables alongside.
Pork cooked in a creamy soup and complemented by a selection of broccoli and cauliflower florets, with carrots for added colour. Using a soup is a great way to add flavour to a dish when you want a speedy supper.
450g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin divided into 4 portions (slice across horizontally and then halve each piece)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, sliced
10 fl oz can creamy vegetable condensed soup (asparagus or broccoli work well)
150g (5 fl oz) water (⅔ cup)
2 carrots, sliced
½ small cauliflower
½ small broccoli crown
You will also need a large frying pan/skillet
Heat the oil in the pan. Add the pork and onion, and sauté for 10 minutes over a medium-low heat, turning the pork half way through and turning the onions occasionally, until both are nicely browned. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Drain off any fat.
Add the soup and water to the pan and stir until combined, scraping off any crusty bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan as you stir. Bring to just under the boil and then return the pork to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes until the meat is cooked through, stirring the soup occasionally.
Meanwhile, break the cauliflower and broccoli into small florets and steam along with the carrots for 7–10 minutes, until just tender.
Top the pork with the onion slices and serve along with the vegetables.
Chicken strips are marinated in lemon and then stir-fried with broccoli florets, carrot sticks and spring onions/green onions and tossed in soy sauce. It is served over a bed of rice and is just perfect for a summer dish.
450g (1 lb) boneless chicken breasts cut into strips (4)
small head broccoli
340g (12 oz) carrots (6–8 medium)
2 tbsp olive oil
60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
2 tbsp clarified butter*
2 spring onions/green onions cut into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
1 tsp water
4 tbsp soy sauce
* To clarify butter, melt in a saucepan over a low heat. Skim off the clear liquid from the sediment that collects in the bottom. Discard sediment.
Large sauté pan with lid
Place the chicken strips in a non-metallic bowl. Finely cut the rind from a quarter of the lemon and put to one side. Squeeze the juice from the whole lemon (this should produce 3 tablespoons). Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and season with pepper. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.
Cut or break the broccoli into small florets. Cut the carrots into 8cm (3 inch) batons.
Heat the oil over a high heat and add the broccoli florets and carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the water, then cover and reduce the heat to medium. Steam for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
Make a well in the centre of the vegetables and add the butter, lemon rind, and onions.
Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and add to the pan. Stir-fry for 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Combine the cornflour/cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the pan along with the reserved lemon marinade and let it bubble for 1 minute until thickened.
Quick Mediterranean chicken combines strips of chicken fillets with peppers and penne cooked in a herb flavoured soup. This is a really quick dish to prepare and cook. Great for those nights when time is short.
10 fl oz can tomato, basil and oregano soup (Campbells)
300ml/10 fl oz water
salt and pepper
170g/6 oz penne (De Cecco is my favourite)
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Serve with sautéed courgettes/zucchini and broccoli florets.
Large frying pan/skillet or saute pan
Heat oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken, pepper and garlic and stir fry for 5 minutes.
Stir in the soup and water. Season to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and peppers are soft.
Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt and a glug of olive oil. Add the pasta to the pan and cook according to the directions on the packet. Drain. Stir the pasta through the chicken and peppers.