Tag Archives: Recipe

Weekly Meals: ‘Simple’ by Dianna Henry

July 1, 2017

NOURISH

Simple Dianna Henry

Cookbook Club is a regular meet up with some lovely ladies I’ve met through Instagram where we all bring a different dish from one cookbook or cookery writer and spend the evening eating and talking about delicious food. Our cookbook of choice for this month’s Cookbook Club is ‘Simple‘ by food writer Dianna Henry. It’s a book that my friends at cookbook club have been raving about for months but until recently I hadn’t delved into. To get properly aquatinted with a new cookbook I love to immerse myself in it by trying out lots of the recipes that catch my eye in quick succession. Planning week’s worth of evening meals from the one book is a great way to do this.

Both my husband Will and I love to cook and the recipes in ‘Simple’ are just up our street; simple, rustic dishes that are big on flavour but have smallish ingredients lists. Here’s what we cooked from the book to get stuck in…

Meal Plan

Monday: Linguine All’amalfitana // page 106

I’m actually not a huge pasta fan so when I say that I could happily eat this walnut and anchovy linguine dish over and over again know that it’s high praise indeed! This recipe uses the pasta water to create a lovely glossy sauce, which reminds me of my favourite Anna Jones pasta dish.

Simple Dianna Henry

Tuesday: Breton tuna & white bean gratin // page 78

This is the only recipe that we weren’t so sure on. Not sure if I took a misstep when executing but I found that blending the beans meant we had a rather sloppy unappetising end product. I do however love that it’s made up of store cupboard ingredients but if I attempt it again I think I’ll leave some of the white beans whole for more texture in the gratin.

Wednesday: New York takeout noodles // page 97

We’ve already cooked these noodles three times in as many weeks, so it’s safe to say this recipe is an early favourite! The sauce for the noodles combines so many of my favourite things – garlic, chilli, peanuts, sesame and soy.

Dianna Henry Simple

Thursday: Baked merguez with beans eggs & feta // page 81

This dish featuring merguez sausages, beans and feta sprinkled on top was a great upgrade on our usual baked eggs which are already a huge favourite our ours.

Friday: Parmesan roast chicken with cauliflower & thyme

In the book, Dianna Henry says this dish was created out of a craving for roast chicken and cauliflower cheese, without a creamy sauce it didn’t quite hit that spot for me but it was delicious none the less and certainly perfect comfort food. The more traybake recipes up my sleeve the better I say!

Aside from one, these are all recipes I’ll be sure to make again and some I can see making frequent appearances on our dining table. There are so many more dishes in the book that I can’t wait to try so I think another week of cooking from Simple might be in order!

Pumpkin Salad with Fig & Goats’ Cheese

September 30, 2016

NOURISH

This seasonal pumpkin salad with fig & goats’ cheese is so full of the joys of autumn I simply love it!Pumpkin Salad with Fig & Goats' Cheese

I have this thing with pumpkins, they just bring me so much joy to look at and eat that I can barely walk past them without buying one. Seen as my local greengrocer has a lovely display of brightly coloured seasonal squashes at the front of the shop I’m currently bringing home pumpkins home like little lost kittens! Although I’m perfectly happy to have them brightening up my home, I thought seen as we’re still a month away from Haloween I better cook one up before the collection gets out of hand!

Pumpkin Salad with Fig & Goats' CheesePumpkin Salad with Fig & Goats' Cheese

I’m a big advocate that salads aren’t just for summer, and this pumpkin salad with fig & goats’ cheese is just the ticket for the transition into warm salad season. The spices added to the pumpkin for roasting bring depth and a little heat with the cinnamon adding that extra hint of the cosy season upon us. The soft squash contrasts wonderfully with the crispy chicory and the sweet figs and goats’ cheese combo is always a winner. This is a lovely simple bright supper to make as the evenings draw in. Oh, and the method I suggest below is my absolute favourite way to cook crispy bacon which is amazing in salads!

Pumpkin Salad with Fig & Goats’ Cheese

Salad
1 small pumpkin or seasonal squash – skin on, cut into wedges
Cumin seeds
Chipotle flakes
Cinamon
2 figs – quartered
50g goats’ cheese
4 rashers of good quality smoked streaky British bacon
2 heads of chicory – 1 white / 1 purple
A couple handfuls of other salad leaves – rocket, little gem, red oakleaf etc.
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds – toasted

Dressing
balsamic vinegar
small tsp dijon mustard
small tsp honey or date syrup
olive oil

Place the pumpkin wedges into a roasting pan and drizzle with oil; dust each slice with a little cinnamon and sprinkle over cumin seeds and chipotle flakes. Roast at 200c until cooked through and caramelising slightly. Toss the pan once during cooking. Remove the skin before serving if you prefer.

Line a tin with baking paper, lay rashers on the sheet and cover with a second sheet of baking paper. Place another heavier tin on top to keep the bacon flat and bake in the oven for 20mins. Cut into squares once cooked.

To assemble the salad: Separate the chicory leaves – slicing the larger ones in half lengthways and add to salad bowl or platter with the other leaves; top with the warm squash, fig quarters and bacon; top with crumble the goasts’ cheese followed by toasted pumpkin seeds; dress and serve.

Cook It: Hasselback Potatoes

March 28, 2016

NOURISH

Hassleback Potatoes Cooked Close Up

I’m not really a potato person, how ever they come I tend to find them the least interesting part of a meal –  even the most perfect roasties get left on my plate after a roast dinner (shock horror I know!), but I think these Hasselbacks may have me converted.

After seeing them pop up in my Instagram feed regularly this year I think you can file this one under #FoodTrend, but a trend for a good reason as aside from being the prettiest potatoes you ever did see they may well be the tastiest too! A perfect combo, somewhere between baked, sautéed, chips and roast potatoes, they are versatile and work well as a side dish to all sorts of dishes.

Hassleback potatos prepHassleback potatos uncooked tray

Method

Scrub and dry your potatoes if needed. Working along the length of the potato make multiple cuts stopping at around a 1/4 inch from the bottom. Take care at each end but don’t worry if you chop the ends off entirely as I often do!

Placing the potatoes on a baking tray, drizzle throughly in olive oil, add herbs or spices and season with salt & pepper. Bake in the oven for at least an hour until crispy on the outside and cooked through.

For the fresh herb dressing topping as pictured, blend a handful of coriander and parsley with a clove of garlic; mix with olive oil, season to taste and spoon over the cooked hasselbacks.

Variations

– Bake with herbs of your choice – bay, rosemary, thyme or fennel seeds would work well.
– Try spices instead. Think paprika or dried chipotle flakes for a spiced smokey vibe,
– Smother with your favourite cheese for the last 5-10 minutes of baking and serve with mayo and dips for a tasty take on ‘loaded potato skins’.

Hassleback Potatoes

Hassleback Potatoes Cooked

This is without doubt my new favourite way with potatoes. Let me know what you think if you give them a try.

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