Smoked Mackerel Salad with a Lemony Mayo (4 as appetizer, 2 for entree)

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Smoked mackerel is full of Omega 3 and can be found in some, but not all, supermarkets. It usually comes in two varieties – peppered and un-peppered. Personally, I find the peppered variety too overpowering. This salad is substantial and packed with all sorts of goodness – hard-boiled eggs, roasted beetroot, baby spinach, and a sprinkling of a chopped shallot. Added to this is a delicious dressing made of raw egg yolks, oil and  lemon juice with a little salt and lemon pepper for seasoning. Lemon pepper is a good addition to anything lemony and I rub it over chicken before roasting it. Consuming raw eggs make some people nervous so dilute some mayo with some lemon juice to get an approximate effect. Toss the spinach and a couple of tablespoons of the dressing together and leave for half an hour for the dressing to soak in before assembling the whole platter.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

DRESSING

2 egg yolks

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salt

Lemon Pepper

Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl, whisk in the oil followed by the lemon juice and season with salt and lemon pepper (I use Simply Organics brand).

SALAD

2 medium beetroots – roasted

2 hard-boiled eggs – cut into quarters

5 oz. baby spinach

1 fillet of smoked mackerel – skin removed and cut into smallish pieces

1/2 a shallot – finely chopped

Roast the beetroots in their skins in aluminum foil in the oven for an hour or more until they are tender. Let cool, take the skin off and dice.

Hard boil 2 eggs

Toss the spinach together with 2 tbsp. of the lemon dressing and place in the fridge for half an hour.

Compose salad by first arranging the dressed spinach on a salad platter.

Add the other ingredients and drizzle over the rest of the dressing.

Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

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Coronation Chicken (4)

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The original recipe for Coronation Chicken was created in 1953 for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Any dish that has to cater for large numbers of people with a wide range of tastes cannot be too unusual and although the Coronation Chicken that was served at the coronation lunch contained curry powder it was hard to detect among the other ingredients – tomato puree, red wine, apricot puree, mayonnaise and whipped cream. My mother made a version that included curry powder, some canned Mulligatawny soup and apricot jam. Personally, I use a combination of mango chutney and concentrated curry paste and a little mayo diluted with the chicken juices from the poached chicken. I serve it surrounded by slices of melon and grapes but if you want to bulk it up you could accompany it by rice or a rice salad.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

2 chicken breasts – poached in chicken broth

1 dessertspoon of hot mango chutney (Patak’s brand)

1 tsp. hot concentrated curry paste (Patak’s brand)

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. chicken juices

1 x 1 oz. packet of raisins

A handful of sliced almonds plus extra for garnish

Cantaloupe melon and a mixture of green and black grapes cut in half for garnishing

Place the chicken breasts on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, pour over 1/4 cup of chicken broth and make into a parcel. Cook for 45 minutes. Let cool and slice into small bite size pieces.

Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the raisins and almonds.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the chutney, curry paste, mayo and cooled chicken juices.

Add the curry mixture to the chicken mixture and stir together well.

Place in a serving dish and surround with slices of melon and grapes and scatter with almonds.

Egg and Potato Salad with Anchovies (4)

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Summer is all about grilling and being outside and food is simpler too – maybe freshly shucked corn and potato salad with sun-ripe fruit or ice cream for dessert. Egg and Potato salad is simple but different and combines two popular salads in one. The mayo dressing is diluted with apple cider vinegar which makes it lighter and the addition of store bought rolled anchovies with capers in the middle adds extra flavor.

8 oz. new potatoes – boiled and cut into small pieces (I use organic potatoes and leave the skin on)

3 eggs – hard-boiled and cut into small pieces

1 x can anchovies with capers – chop 4 finely and reserve 4 for decoration

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

Boil the new potatoes and the eggs in a pan together for 10 minutes or so until the potatoes are tender. Drain pan then fill with cold water and add ice cubes.

When cool  cut potatoes into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl.

Peel eggs (easiest way I have found to do this is to crack egg on its bottom on a counter top – there is a little air pocket at the bottom of the egg – and it makes it easier to peel) then chop into little pieces and add to potatoes.

Add the finely chopped anchovies with capers and chop finely to the mix.

Whisk 1 tbsp. mayonnaise with 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and season with a little pepper (salt probably not needed because of the anchovies). Pour over salad and mix well together. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining rolled anchovies.

 

 

Lemon-Dill Dressed Noodles with Chicken, Olives, Cucumber and Feta (4)

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If I had a garden I would set aside  a patch for growing herbs. How nice it would be to gather them fresh for a recipe – to make mint sauce to go with lamb or add basil to a tomato sauce for pasta or to chop some fresh parsley for a garnish. Luckily my supermarket has a wide range of fresh herbs – oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and dill among others.

Dill is a common ingredient in Russian, Scandinavian and Eastern European cuisines where it is used in such recipes as sauces and salads and for pickling.

I didn’t realize how many beneficial properties it has. It boosts digestion and the immune system, contains calcium, is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-flatulent!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 oz. rice noodles

1 x chicken breast

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. olive

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 an English cucumber – sliced then each slice quartered

12 black olives – cut into quarters

2 oz. feta cheese – cut into little cubes

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. dill – finely chopped

1/4 of a shallot – finely chopped

Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool.

Place chicken breast on a piece of aluminum dish in an ovenproof dish, pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Make a parcel out of the aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool then cut into bite-size pieces.

Into a large bowl put the rice noodles, chicken pieces, cucumber, olives and feta cheese.

Make the dressing by whisking together the juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon, Dijon mustard, olive oil, dill and shallot. Pour dressing into the bowl and toss together well (the ‘hands’ in the photo and really good for tossing the salad and separating the strands of noodles).

 

 

 

 

Catharine’s Brunch (per serving)

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Staying with friends and lingering over a late breakfast is a rare treat. Catharine served us this versatile dish – can be a healthy dish for brunch if you add scrambled eggs, a dinner party appetizer or a light lunch. The dressing is a kind of mayonnaise but so easy to make unlike real mayonnaise where the oil has to be dripped in slowly and there is the possibility of curdling.

I am giving the ingredients per person:

Handful of arugula

2 slices of smoked salmon – cut into small pieces

1/2 an avocado – diced

Compose the ingredients on a plate

Dressing (makes more than needed)

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. coarse mustard

2 pinches sugar

5 fl. oz olive oil

Whisk egg yolk, vinegar, mustard and sugar together then add the oil a little at a time and continue whisking all the while.

Put little blobs of dressing around the plate.

Chicken, Arugula, Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Mustard and Anchovy Dressing (4)

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I love this salad!  There are lots of textures and flavors, none of which dominate the other and they seem to complement each other too. I poached the chicken in my usual way which gives the chicken more flavor (place chicken on aluminum foil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, drizzle over 1 tbsp. olive oil and juice of half a lemon and cook for half an hour). When making a dressing I like to put the ingredients in a jar with a screw top lid and give the ingredients a good shake until they emulsify.

1 large chicken breast – poached (see above) and cut into bite size pieces.

1/2 a cauliflower – cut into smallish florets, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 oz. arugula (it is more than it sounds)

1 x 15 oz. can of chickpeas – rinsed and drained

1/2 a shallot – finely chopped

Place dressing in a large mixing bowl.

Add arugula and toss well.

Then, in order, add chicken, cauliflower, chickpeas and shallot one by one tossing well before adding the next ingredient. This ensures a good, even coating of dressing.

Lemon Anchovy Dressing

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 – 4 anchovy fillets (try 2 to start with a taste) – finely chopped

Mix lemon juice and mustard until smooth then add oil and anchovies.

 

 

 

Salad with Peanut Sauce (4)

This peanut sauce is totally delicious and takes quite basic salad ingredients to a whole other level. It could be used with all sorts of salads or could be served warm as a sauce for chicken (think satay). IMG_1294

1 head of Romaine lettuce – chopped

1/2 English cucumber – sliced and then each slice quartered

3 large scallions/spring onions – finely chopped (white part only)

1 large stick of celery – diced

4 hard boiled eggs – quartered

Unsalted peanuts – just a few to sprinkle over top of salad

Place lettuce, cucumber, scallions and celery in a salad bowl and toss with dressing.

Top with hard-boiled eggs and sprinkle with peanuts

PEANUT SAUCE – makes more than is needed for this amount of salad

1 clove of garlic – grated

1 cup smooth peanut butter

3/4 cup lite coconut milk

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. fish sauce

Process all ingredients in a food processor