“Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta and Olives” from “Dinner”

Kirstin: We love pizza. We have it every weekend and having played around with the dough recipes, we’ve decided the best one is the Roberta’s recipe from the New York Times. But then that leaves the question of the toppings!

Tom: Nduja know what my favourite topping is?

Kirstin: I knew you were going to say that.

Tom: I’m just trying to do Nduja right thing. Anyway, you were saying…

Kirstin: So I liked the look of this recipe with broccoli, ricotta and olives. Normally we don’t cook the toppings — we just use olives, prosciutto, passata, garlic…

Tom: And Nduja!

Kirstin: Yes, and that. Anyway, this recipe involves cooking the broccoli, garlic and chilli flakes, and then you chop it up and add the olives.

Tom: And then bung that on the pizza, plus ricotta and olive oil. And salt. And a few more chilli flakes. It was fab!

Kirstin: I loved it. I would do that again. Would you?

Tom: Amazingly, yes. Normally I don’t like pizzas without meat, but this was great!

Kirstin: I think I would add some jalapeño. I’m surprised she didn’t.

Tom: Everything is better with more jalapeño!

“Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta and Olives” from “Dinner”

“One -pot red peppers with chicken” from “Flavour”

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The day I made these, our new armchairs arrived. We are in love with them so it was a Big Deal for me to get out of mine and cook. But this recipe was totally worth it. For a kick off Ms Tandoh suggests we use skinless chicken thighs for this recipe, but they seemed to have the skin on in the picture, so I kept it on when I was cooking. And I’m glad I did as they crisped up beautifully on frying. The chilli blended in so very well with the peppers and garlic and together they made a wonderfully fragrant and delicious accompaniment to the chicken. It was not one pot, however, as I also had to make some rice to go with, but I’m prepared to let that one go especially as the juices were yum with the rice.
The leftovers were even more delicious the following day. A total winner of a recipe.

“One -pot red peppers with chicken” from “Flavour”

“Beef Rendang”” from “Flavour”

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Kirstin: You know when you commit to a recipe that it is going to take several hours to make, that it has to really be worth it. This recipe is just that. I whizzed up the spices, fried it up with all the other ingredients and left it all to simmer for FOUR HOURS one Saturday afternoon. We all got very hungry as the smell it made while it was cooking was exquisite. And we ate it all up when I served it up. Bonus leftovers for tonight too, so total result.

“Beef Rendang”” from “Flavour”

“Herb-packed fishcakes with hot lemon wedges” from “Flavour”

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I love a good fishcake and when I saw these, I was intrigued as potato did not make it into the ingredient list. I used haddock, although she said you could use cod instead. And the curry powder combined with chilli added something very interesting to the mix. Fresh, gorgeous with lemon wedges and perfectly yummy, I would make these again for sure. If you make them though, remember that you have to refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes before cooking, a step I almost forgot! It’s a lovely half an hour to drink a glass of wine and then get on with the frying part.
And see how I’ve saved you all from the terrible fish puns too! Ha!

“Herb-packed fishcakes with hot lemon wedges” from “Flavour”

“Roast Citrus, Ginger and Honey Chicken” from “Simple”

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Tom: This looks totally epic. The sauce is wonderfully dark; it almost looks like a duck sauce!

Kirstin: I know what you mean.

Tom: And the sauce is a little spicy too. What’s in it?

Kirstin: She says to add some hot sauce. So I added some sriracha. Along with the ginger and other goodies.

Tom: It’s brilliant!

Kirstin: It’s almost like a hot sweet and sour, right?

Tom: I think it’s like having Peking duck as chicken.

Ella: I’m glad we’re chicken it out.

Kirstin: GAH!

“Roast Citrus, Ginger and Honey Chicken” from “Simple”

“Sesame Butterflied Chicken, Peanut Sauce, Asian Slaw and Rice Noodles” from ” Superfood Family Classics”

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Kirstin: I would definitely recommend making the slaw. But even with my best attempts at putting the chilli peppers into our food processor they still tended to slip in sideways and did not end up the way they looked in the picture! That said, I was pleasantly surprised by the sauce; not very nice by itself but I thought it tasted ok with the chicken. However, this recipe was a tad uninspiring. I do hope this isn’t the start of a sad month of average recipes. Gah!

“Sesame Butterflied Chicken, Peanut Sauce, Asian Slaw and Rice Noodles” from ” Superfood Family Classics”

“Lamb, Saffron, Dried Lime and Cumin Spiced rice” from “Sirocco”

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Tom: Oooo. Yum! This is kind of like a biryani.

Kirstin: It is, isn’t it? I forgot to take a picture of this with all the bits and bobs. Apologies as it looked so very pretty.

Tom: The lamb is very juicy!

Kirstin: Ah yes. That will be the two hours of cooking beforehand which I didn’t realise until quite late. Oooops!

Tom: This is really great. I could really see this at a party too.

Kirstin: I could tell you were going to like this as you kept coming into the kitchen to see how things were going. And you’ve been hovering next to the oven for the last 20 minutes.

Tom: So Miles, you like paella. This is a bit like it. Do you like it?

Miles: I really like this! The lamb is yum!

Ella: I really like this too! It tastes delicious!

Kirstin: Another winner. And very good for parties, provided you you take the two hours into consideration beforehand. And so pretty too!

“Lamb, Saffron, Dried Lime and Cumin Spiced rice” from “Sirocco”

“Citrus and Za’atar Chicken” from “Sirocco”

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Kirstin: I knew I wanted to make this recipe as soon I opened the book.

Tom: Why’s that then?

Kirstin: I’ve never made anything with za’atar before, even though I have the spice in my cupboard. So I’ve been curious about it for a while.

Tom: And what do you think of this recipe?

Kirstin: I love the flavourings. But the chicken is a little dry.

Tom: I love the little accompaniments you’ve made here too which make it less dry. So what are in these bowls?

Kirstin: One has harissa in it. The other is greek yoghurt with some minced garlic and salt. They do work well with it, don’t they?

Tom: I love harissa.

Kirstin: Ha! I know you too well.

“Citrus and Za’atar Chicken” from “Sirocco”

“Seared Steak with Roasted Vegetables, Whey Dressing & Pepper Sauce” from “Sirocco”

IMG_8932I need to make a full disclosure, now, at the very start: I did not make the whey dressing.

Regular readers of this blog will know how I feel about hard-to-find ingredients. They truly drive me insane. Even worse is when you actually buy said hard-to-find or obscure ingredient, you use it once for a recipe, and then it’s just sitting in your cupboard for an interminable amount of time until you get around to throwing it away, safe in the knowledge that you will never use/need/eat it again. What a waste.

Brown Rice Syrup/Avocado Oil/Pomegranate Mollasses, I’m looking at you.

So: Whey. This recipe calls for it, and I wasn’t even sure where I would find it in my local supermarket or organic food store or green grocer. I had a look in all three local shops, but came up empty handed. But unlike previous recipes from previous books, I didn’t panic, because when we saw Sabrina Ghayour in person, she told us not to stress out too much if we couldn’t find the exact right ingredient called for in some of her recipes.

With her advice ringing in my ear, I made the bold decision to go ahead and make this without it. I thought perhaps we could live without the six tablespoons of whey mixed with six tablespoons of Greek yogurt, and I *think* I was right.

Nearly everyone loved this. While the rest of us were gobbling this down, Tim thought it was lacking something. (Maybe it was lacking some Whey Sauce? Who can say for sure.) He recommended the next time I make it, I sprinkle some feta over the top. Maybe the whey sauce would add the extra special something he thought it was missing, but you all know that I’ll accept any recommendation that says add more cheese, so we’ll do it next time.

But his criticism aside, I thought this was a great weeknight recipe.  To wit:

  • Healthy– what could be better than a tray full of roasted vegetables;
  • Using the steak as a garnish rather than the main event– I imagined nutritionists everywhere giving me a big thumbs up;
  • Easy– Nigella is a big proponent of tray bakes for weeknight cooking, and I couldn’t agree more.

So will I be making this again? Yes. Probably next week, if I can get away with it. (Note to self: Add feta.)

 

“Seared Steak with Roasted Vegetables, Whey Dressing & Pepper Sauce” from “Sirocco”