Someone who shall remind nameless complained that my recipes were far to complicated for him and he wanted a dish in less than five ingredients! So as I like a challange I have some delicious yet easy recipes for the… unskilled cook! Hope it helps! (First a nice starter, or (main course if you eat more than one bowl) then a couple of main courses and some very yummy desserts!)
Potato and Thyme Soup
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- olive oil, for frying and drizzling
- 600 g potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
- 3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
- 1.2 litres chicken stock
1. In a large saucepan, fry the onion in the butter and olive oil until softened but not browned.
2. Add the potatoes and most of the thyme and cook until the potatoes turn translucent. Season well with salt and pepper.
3. Cover with the chicken stock and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
4. Let the soup cool slightly before puréeing it with a hand-blender – leave a few lumps if you prefer a rustic-style soup.
5. Reheat if necessary then serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and the remaining thyme leaves scattered on top.
Chicken with Lemon, Honey and Rosemary
- 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 8 chicken pieces (8 chicken pieces (breasts, legs or thighs)
- 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp honey, warmed
- salt and black pepper
- 2 sprigs rosemary, or 6 sprigs of thyme
For the salad
- 150 g goats’ cheese
- 1 bunch watercress
- 01 lemon, juice only
- 6-8 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
2. Place the chicken pieces in a large baking dish, skin side up (they can be skinned if you prefer but the chicken will be more moist with the skin on). In a small bowl mix the juice of the lemons with the warm honey, then pour this over the chicken pieces. Place the empty lemon halves in the dish between the chicken pieces for extra flavour, along with the sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Season with sea salt and pepper.
3. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the skin is golden. Remove from the oven and discard the lemon halves.
4. Pour the juices from the dish into a saucepan and boil, uncovered, for about 5 minutes until the juices have thickened slightly. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
5. Add the salad ingredients to a bowl, combine the lemon juice and olive oil and season well. Pour over the salad just before serving.
6. Serve the chicken and sauce with the salad.
10 Minute Salmon with Spring Onion Sauce
- 450 g wild salmon fillet
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 570 ml water
- 6 tbsp coursley chopped spring onions
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
- 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp low salt soy sauce
1. Rub the salmon fillets with the pepper.
2. Bring the water to the simmer in the wok. Add the salmon, simmer for 2-3 minutes, cover tightly and turn off the heat. Allow to stand for 4 minutes.
3. Combine the spring onions and ginger together in a small bowl.
4. In a small wok or pan combine the sunflower and sesame oils and bring it to the smoking point.
5. Remove the salmon from the water and arrange on a platter. Scatter the spring onion and ginger mixture on top and pour the hot oils over it. Then pour the soy sauce over the salmon and serve at once.
Chocolate, coffee and cardamom mousse
- 130 g dark chocolate, plus extra for grating
- 85 ml coldstrong black coffee, (espresso is great)
- 2 cardamom pods, husks discarded and seeds lightly crushed
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- crème fraîche, and grated chocolate, to serve
1. Place 4 x 120ml ramekins or serving glasses in the fridge; this will help the mousses to set quickly.
2. Break the chocolate into chunks, then put in a large heatproof bowl with the coffee and cardamom seeds. Set over a pan of simmering water for about 3 minutes until the chocolate has melted, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and making sure that the bowl is not touching the hot water. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
3. Once the chocolate has cooled for a few minutes, beat in the egg yolks one at a time, using a wooden spoon. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and, using a balloon whisk or an electric beater, whisk to soft peaks. Tip the sugar into the stiff whites and continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and meringue-like.
4. Stir a spoonful of the whites into the melted chocolate – this helps to loosen the mixture – then carefully and lightly fold in the rest of the meringue. Spoon the mixture into the chilled ramekins or glasses and chill for at least 40 minutes (or up to 2 hours if time allows). Serve on plates with a good dollop of crème fraîche topped with a little grated chocolate, if liked.