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.

 

 

 

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Cod on a Bed of Roasted Tomatoes, Red Peppers and Olives with Sweet Potato (4)

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Dinner party worthy. The cod steamed in olive oil and lemon juice nestles on a bed of roasted tomatoes, red peppers and olives flavored with garlic and small pieces of sweet potato are scattered around the fish. Start cooking the tomato mixture ahead of the fish as it needs more time.The sweet potato ‘confetti’ is briefly cooked in boiling water and then sautéed.

Fish

1 pound of cod

2 tbsp. olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place fish on a piece of aluminum foil in a roasting tin.

Pour the oil and lemon juice over the fish and season. Then wrap the fish and cook in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Roasted Tomato, Red Peppers and Olive Mixture

2 tbsp. olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 dry pint cherry tomatoes

2 red peppers – sliced

1 large clove of garlic

12 black olives – pitted and chopped

Place seasoned oil in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and toss well so they get a good coating of oil.

Place in a roasting tin and cook in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees

Sweet Potato Confetti
2 x sweet potato – peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil – seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook sweet potatoes pieces in boiling water for 5 minutes or so until just tender.

Heat olive oil and when sizzling add sweet potato pieces.

Cook until nicely browned.

 

Chicken or Feta Platter

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Great for a casual summer lunch. Lay everything out on a big platter and let people help themselves. Per person I would suggest half a chicken breast  – sliced or diced (feta cheese for vegetarians). Load up on the veggies – tomatoes (diced), roasted red peppers (from a jar) cut into pieces, black olives (pitted), hard boiled egg, hummus, artichokes, green beans. Serve with vinaigrette

Watermelon and Feta Bites

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People have been telling me that I may not be intolerant to goat’s cheese or Feta cheese only to dairy cheese. So I am giving Feta a go. Have just made these nibbles. Nothing simpler, but the taste of the salty Feta and the juicy, sweetness of the watermelon is a winning combo. Just cut watermelon and Feta into equal sized pieces and skewer them on a cocktail stick. To avoid the possibility of the watermelon slipping off the end of the cocktail stick, place it on top of the Feta!

Mustard Chicken with Spinach Crust (4)

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I was thinking of my spinach roulade for some reason and it occurred to me that it might work as a topping instead of, say, mashed potatoes. What would it go with? Chicken, perhaps? Then, what to do with the chicken? How about lentils? Would it be bland? How about a mustard sauce? This is the thought process I go through as I develop my recipes.

SPINACH CRUST

10 oz. baby spinach – rinsed

4 eggs – separated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place rinsed spinach in a skillet/frying pan and cook until nicely wilted, then drain and wrap in a clean T-towel to get rid of excess moisture.

When spinach is cool whizz it in a food processor along with the egg yolks and seasoning

Whisk egg whites until stiff then fold into the spinach mixture one large spoonful at a time.

Line a baking tray with waxed paper greased with a little oil, place spinach mixture on top and cook for about 20 minutes or so until mixture is firm

CHICKEN

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 pound of chicken – cut into small bite size pieces

2 cups of cooked lentils

1 cup chicken broth/stock

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Heat oil in skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add onion and let soften a bit then add garlic and cook until onion is a little browned.

Add chicken and sear till browned on all sides, then add lentils.

Stir the mustard into the broth and pour mixture over chicken. Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place chicken and lentils in an oven proof dish, remove warm spinach mixture carefully from waxed paper and place on top of  chicken mixture. Serve immediately.

Avocado and Egg Salad (4)

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A different take on egg salad and it is rich and moreish. Best eaten straight away. Can serve it on a bed of crunchy lettuce.

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

2 hardboiled eggs – chopped

1 avocado – chopped

1 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped

Stir first four ingredients until blended

Toss eggs, avocado and red onion in mayo. mixture

 

Harissa Chicken with Vegetables (4)

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Harissa paste is a fiery North African pantry staple now fairly readily available in supermarkets. This recipe is quick as all the ingredients go into an ovenproof dish at the same time – onion, garlic, baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes, black olives and chicken breasts (I made 4 diagonal cuts in each breast, then spread with harissa paste and made sure the paste went in the cuts as well).

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion – finely chopped

1 large clove of garlic – grated

10 baby potatoes – halved

18 cherry tomatoes

18 black olives (without pits/pips)

2 chicken breasts – with 4 slits cut into each breast

2 dessertspoons of harissa paste

Place oil in an ovenproof dish and add the rest of the ingredients except for the harissa paste. Tossing them to coat in the oil.

Spread the harissa paste over the chicken breasts and make sure it goes into the slits too.

Place in oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.