4 chicken portions (breasts, legs or quarters, skins left on)
6 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
150ml (5 fl oz) chicken stock* (⅔ cup)
150ml (5 fl oz) single cream (table cream) (⅔ cup)
4 tomatoes, diced
*The sauce is enhanced by using a good stock. In Canada I can recommend ‘Better Than Bouillon’. It really makes a tasty stock and doesn’t contain a lot of additives. In the U.K. I would choose the organic range.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)
Mix the flour, seasoning and curry or chilli powder together and spread on a plate. Spread the Parmesan cheese on a second plate.
In a small roasting pan, melt 115g (4 oz) (½ cup, or 1 stick) of the butter in the oven. This will only take about 1 minute. Then remove.
Turn the chicken pieces in the butter, shaking them a little when lifting to remove any excess butter. Coat in the flour mixture and then the cheese. Reserve remaining flour.
Return the chicken to the pan in a singe layer, skin side down. Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil, turn the chicken and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to crisp up.
Meanwhile melt the remaining 28g (1 oz) (2 tbsp) butter in a large frying pan/skillet. Add the tomatoes and cook over a medium heat. Shake the pan frequently to keep turning the tomatoes.
Take the chicken out of the pan and keep warm while making the sauce.
Mix the reserved flour into the buttery residue in the pan and stir well, scraping up any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Over a low heat, cook for 1 minute. Slowly blend in the chicken stock and then add the cream. Bring to the boil while continuing to stir and then simmer until the sauce has thickened as is smooth. This will only take a minute or two. Remove from the heat.
565g (1 lb 4 oz) salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions
450g (1 lb) baby potatoes (about 9)
450g (1 lb) cherry tomatoes
20 black olives, pitted (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp herbes de Provence
salt and freshly ground black pepper
You will also need a large heavy based baking tray/sheet.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).
While the oven is heating up, place the baking tray/sheet in the oven to get hot.
Brush the hot tray/sheet with a little olive oil.
Now toss the potatoes in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a little salt. Then spread on the baking tray/sheet and roast for 17 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush the salmon pieces with a little olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of herbes de Provence. Season.
After the potatoes have been roasting for 17 minutes, turn them, leaving a space in the centre of the tray/sheet. Now lay the salmon pieces in the centre and then return to the oven for 10 minutes.
While the salmon and potatoes are in the oven, slice the courgettes/zucchinis into 1.25cm (½ inch) rounds and put in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, olives (if using), the remaining olive oil, and herbes de Provence. Season. Now toss to coat.
After the salmon has been baking for 10 minutes, remove the tray/sheet from the oven, turn the potatoes again and spread all the vegetables around the salmon. Return to the oven and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes until the tomatoes are just starting to burst but still holding their shape and the salmon is cooked through.
You will also need an ovenproof dish, greased. It should be large enough to lay the fish in a single layer.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) gas 4.
Bring rice to the boil in 360ml (12 fl oz) (1½ cups) lightly salted water. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. For brown rice simmer for 15 minutes and for white rice simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the skin from the tomatoes by putting them in a bowl, covering with boiling water and then leaving for one minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and gently peel away the skin. (It should come away very easily.) Set aside.
Once the rice has finished simmering for the appropriate time, spread the rice and the remaining water from the pan over the base of the ovenproof dish. (It will not be fully cooked at this point.)
Lay the fish over the rice in a single layer. Then pour over the wine and lightly season with thyme and pepper.
Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top.
Next melt the butter in a frying pan/skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Mix in the breadcrumbs and parsley.
Now scatter the crumb mixture over the tomatoes.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the topping is crisp and golden.
Cut the lemon into four slices and use to garnish.
When we were grocery shopping this week, our fish counter was displaying some wild cod and it looked so good – really white and chunky. I couldn’t resist buying some and I cooked it making a provençal dish. It certainly didn’t disappoint.
It is not often we see wild fish to buy here in Canada, the main one we do see being wild pacific salmon, but I buy it when I can because there is certainly a difference. Once I found out how farmed fish was produced, with all its potential toxins, it made me realise just how much we have forgone quality for quantity. But that’s another story.
Anyway, we enjoyed our fish supper and hope you will want to try it too.
A nutritious fish dish that is full of flavour. The chunky piece of cod is baked with sliced peppers, plum tomatoes and garlic in a tomato, herb and wine sauce.
2 x 400g tins Italian plum tomatoes (1 x 28 fl oz can)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano or 3 sprigs of fresh (leaves only)
salt and freshly milled black pepper
28 g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp, or ¼ stick) plus extra for greasing
You will also need a large sauté pan and an ovenproof dish that is large enough to take the fish in a single layer.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).
Heat the oil in the pan and add the peppers. Over a medium heat, sauté for 3–4 minutes, to soften, tossing occasionally.
Then drain the tomatoes and reserve the juice. Add the tomatoes to the pan along with the garlic, wine, lemon juice, and oregano. Season. Stir in 3 tablespoons of reserved tomato juice and then simmer for a further 3–4 minutes.
Meanwhile, grease the ovenproof dish. Cut the fish into 4 portions and place in the dish. Season.
Now pour the vegetables over the fish and dot with the butter.
Bake towards the top of the oven for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Baste half way through cooking.
Simple to prepare, this tasty pasta dish gets cooked in one pan in just under 30 minutes. Lamb is cooked in a red wine, tomato and thyme sauce with farfalle (bow-tie pasta). Great served with a leafy salad, and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
Pour the sherry and soy sauce into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
Cut the steak into 1.25cm (½ inch) slices and add to the bowl. Turn the steak to coat, then cover the bowl, refrigerate and leave to marinade for at least an hour.
Remove the bowl from the fridge just before preparing the rice to enable steak to come to room temperature.
For the rice
Put the onion, rice, stock, and cumin seeds into a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 35–40 minutes until the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
When it is cooked, leave to rest for 10 minutes while cooking the steak and vegetables.
For the steak
First, cut the tomatoes in half and then each half into thirds.
Drain the meat, reserving the marinade.
Blend the cornflour/cornstarch into the marinade and set to one side.
Now heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Add the steak and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, turning frequently, until lightly browned.
Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for a further minute.
Add the tomatoes and stir in the reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 1 minute.
Divide the rice amongst four plates, spooning it around the edge of each plate to form a circle. Now spoon the steak and vegetables into the centre of the rice, and spoon over any sauce remaining in the pan.
Serve immediately garnished with a little parsley.
These tasty little shepherd’s pies are made in a small gratin dish and are quick to prepare. The lamb is mixed with beans and a minted tomato sauce, and then covered with a creamy mash potato and topped with cheese and cherry tomatoes.
I have two recipes for chicken cacciatore. One I have already posted (see Chicken Cacciatore) and this one I call Chicken Hunter’s Style. We like both recipes although they are slightly different. As cacciatore means hunter in Italian, it seemed an appropriate way to be able to identify the two.
Chicken Hunter’s Style – breasts of chicken are cooked with diced bacon and onions, sliced mushrooms and plum tomatoes in a seasoned tomato sauce.
You will also need a large sauté pan with lid and a medium-sized serving dish
Warm the serving dish in the oven.
Now heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat, add the chicken and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set to one side.
Put the bacon in the pan and sauté for 1 minute, tossing frequently. Then add the onions and mushrooms, reduce the heat a little, and cook until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Stir through the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Next stir in the wine and tomatoes, then return the chicken to the pan and sprinkle with the parsley and seasoning.
Cover and gently simmer for 30 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. Add the basil during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Remove the chicken to the warmed serving dish and pour over the sauce.
I have two recipes for chicken cacciatore. One I have already posted (see Chicken Hunter’s Style) and this one is called Chicken Cacciatore. We like both recipes although they are slightly different. As cacciatore means hunter in Italian, it seemed an appropriate way to be able to identify the two.
Chicken is sautéed and then cooked with chopped onions, sliced mushrooms and chopped tomatoes in a seasoned sauce. Rocket/arugula is then stirred through before serving.
You will also need a deep-sided sauté pan for this recipe.
Heat half the oil and half the butter in the pan, and when the butter starts to foam, add the chicken. Over a medium heat brown the chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes, then remove and put to one side.
Next add the remaining oil and butter to the pan, and once the butter starts to foam, add the onions and mushrooms to the pan. Reduce the heat and gently cook for about 8 minutes, until the onions begin to soften and the mushrooms turn a golden colour. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock, then add the oregano and bay leaf. Now return the chicken to the pan. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
Remove the bay leaf, then season well and stir through the rocket/arugula.
1 x 400g tin (or ½ × 796 ml can) chopped/diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée/paste
1tsp chicken bouillon, or 1 × organic stock cube, mixed in 300ml (10 fl oz) (⅔ cup) boiling water
1 tsp sugar
200g (7 oz) spaghetti
½ a small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded (or other green leafed vegetable finely shredded*).
*Savoy cabbage in Canada can be very pale and so I prefer to use something like kale. The dark green colour works well with the spaghetti, although it does sound an unusual combination.
You will also need a large lidded frying pan/skillet.
In a large bowl mix together the pork, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, lemon zest, finely chopped onion, half the garlic and half the sage, a pinch of the crushed chillies, and plenty of seasoning. Once everything is well mixed in, shape into 30 meatballs. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
Heat half the oil in the frying pan/skillet and add the meatballs. Brown over a medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally to brown all sides. This may need to be done in two batches. Remove and set aside.
Now add the remaining oil to the pan, reduce the heat, and add the chopped onions. Cook gently for 5 minutes until they have softened. Then add the remaining garlic and sage and cook for a further minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée/paste, stock, sugar, a pinch of crushed chillies, and season. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 5–10 minutes until the sauce has reduced a little.
Return the meatballs to the pan, then gently simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, turning them halfway through.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted, boiling water, adding the cabbage or other green vegetable for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain.
Serve the spaghetti alongside the meatballs and sauce.