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. Put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for one minute. Carefully, remove from the water and gently peel away the skin. (It should come away very easily.) Set aside.
Lightly season the fish with thyme and pepper.
Once the rice has finished simmering for the appropriate time, spread the rice and the remaining water from the pan in the ovenproof dish. It will not be fully cooked at this point. Then lay the fish on top of the rice in a single layer and sprinkle the wine over the fish. Slice the tomatoes and arrange over the fish.
Melt the butter in a frying pan/skillet add the onion and garlic, and cook over a low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in the breadcrumbs and parsley, then scatter over the tomatoes.
Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the topping golden brown.
Cut the lemon into four slices and use to garnish.
With local tomatoes now in abundance, this is an ideal time to make a pot of summer tomato soup. This recipe produces a thin, flavoursome soup with just a hint of basil. Just right for a light lunch with some crusty bread.
1 x 400g tin (½ x 796ml/28 fl oz can) chopped tomatoes/diced tomatoes
1.8 litres (3 pints) good chicken stock (7½ cups)
85g (3 oz) spaghetti
400g tin (540ml/19 fl oz can) cannellini beans/white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
140g (5 oz) frozen peas (1 cup)
fresh basil to garnish
Peel the vegetables and dice into small pieces, about 0.5cm (¼ inch). Heat the oil in a large pan, add the vegetables and stir to coat with the oil. Cook, uncovered, over a medium–low heat until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then stir in the tomatoes and stock, and bring up to a simmer. Break the spaghetti into small pieces and add to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Finally, add the beans and peas, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Serve garnished with basil leaves and accompany with crusty bread or rolls.
575g (1lb 4 oz) sirloin or rump steak, fat removed
4 tbsp medium-dry sherry
6 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
225g (8 oz) button mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
For the rice
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
200g (7 oz) brown rice (1 cup)
475 ml (15 fl oz) chicken stock (2 cups)
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 medium tomatoes
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 the 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.
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, then reduce the heat and cook for 1 minute.
Divide the rice between four plates, spooning it around the edge of each plate to form a circle. Now divide the steak and vegetables into four portions placing each in the centre of the rice and spoon over any sauce remaining in the pan.
Serve immediately, garnished with a little parsley.
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.
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.
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.
seasonal vegetables or crusty bread to mop up the juices
deep sided sauté pan
Heat half the oil in the pan over a medium–high heat, add the chicken and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion and mushrooms for 8 minutes, until beginning to soften.
Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf and chicken stock, then return the chicken to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 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.
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.
675g/1 lb 8 oz cod, skinned (chunky cod, if available)
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 x 400g/28 fl oz can plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
1 oz butter
large sauté pan
ovenproof dish, buttered
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Cut the fish into 4 portions and place in the ovenproof dish. Season and set aside.
Heat the oil in the pan, add the peppers and, over a medium heat, sauté for 3–4 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally.
Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice, and add to the pan along with the garlic, wine, lemon juice and oregano. Season. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the reserved tomato juice, then simmer for a further 3–4 minutes.
Pour the vegetables over the fish and dot the fish with the butter.
Bake towards the top of the oven for 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Baste half way through cooking.
Toss the potatoes in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a little salt. When coated, spread on the baking tray and put in the oven to roast.
Meanwhile, pat dry the salmon with kitchen paper, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of herbes de Provence and season. After the potatoes have been roasting for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and turn leaving a space in the centre of the tray to lay the salmon. Return to the oven.
Then slice the courgettes/zucchinis into ½ inch rounds and put in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, olives (if using), the remaining olive oil, 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence and season. Toss together to coat. After the salmon has been baking for 10 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, turn the potatoes and spread all the vegetables around the salmon. Return to the oven and continue cooking for a further 10–12 minutes until the tomatoes are just starting to burst but still holding their shape and the salmon is cooked through.