Posts Tagged ‘Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’

Now this salad is so simple and healthy – just perfect for a light mid week supper. I do like beans but served up as an accompaniment I don’t find them particularly exciting – just a matter of eating them because I know they are good for me. However this recipe changed all this – beans as the base for a salad works beautifully! Just 3 ingredients and a simple dressing and presto a great family dinner. We even managed to get Izzy to try the almonds by getting her excited about the crunch texture and teaching her to chew, chew, chew them!

Chicken, French bean and Almond salad (courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – River Cottage Everyday)


About 200g French beans, trimmed

A good handful of blanched almonds

About 200g cold cooked chicken, torn into shreds

For the dressing:

1/4 – 1/2 garlic clove, crushed

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard or other mild mustard

1 tsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

About 1/2 tsp honey

2 Tbsp rapeseed or EVOO

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Cook the French beans in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes, until just tender but stil with a bit of bite. Drain, refresh immediately under cold running water and pat dry.

Scatter the almonds in a dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until golden brown. Leave to cool.

Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl or shake in a screw top jar to combine.

Put the beans, shredded chicken and almonds in a large bowl and toss together with your hands. Trickle over the dressing, toss well and serve.


Read Full Post »

Come Sunday and I still had a cabbage in the fridge from our last PYO session and in the spirit of waste not, want not I needed to find a recipe that would incorporate this into our dinner. To me cabbage screams coleslaw but the main problem with coleslaw is that it is usually drowning in mayonnaise – yuck!

So a quick scour through a couple of cookbooks and I found Jamie’s Winter Veg Coleslaw and the dressing is yoghurt instead of mayonnaise so big plus! Another bonus is that we got to put our Mandoline to good use – I hate chopping and knowing this Mer bought me one for my birthday. They are a god send when it comes to dishes like this!!

We also had some Hake fillets in the fridge and I made a tartare sauce and a crumb topping (as instructed by Delia) and served the grilled fish alongside the coleslaw. I will share the Fish recipe at another time. I did open up the River Cottage Fish book but no recipes from Hugh although there was a very interesting section about the different fish species and the threats facing them. It was the first time I had read up on this and was surprised to find that Hake is a fish best avoided (due to extensive over fishing by Spain in particular) as stocks are so low and it has been rated by the Marine Conservation as ‘5’ – Don’t Eat! However the South African Hake Trawl Fishery is fishing Cape Hake in a sustainable way so the Southern stocks are doing much better than the Northern. I was very relieved to find that the fillets I had purchased from Sainsburys were in fact from South Africa and approved by the Marine Stewardship Council. Will definitely be taking more notice of which fish is sustainable and which is not.

According to Hugh F-W (The River Cottage Fish Book) the ten fish to avoid are as follows:-

1. Whitebait

2. Cod from the UK unless MSC certified or organically farmed

3. Hake

4. Bluefin tuna

5. Sharks and Huss, all types except dogfish

6. Skate and rays, unless one of the 3 sustainable species

7. Wild Halibut

8. Sea bass

9. Wild salmon

10. Eel

So, back to the Coleslaw. We have had this over 2 dinners now and still have a big bowl left!

The Best Winter Veg Coleslaw (courtesy of Jamie Oliver – Jamie at Home)


2 carrots, different colours if you can find them, peeled

1 bulb of fennel, trimmed

Use at least 2 of the following: 3-4 radishes; 1 light coloured beetroot, peeled; 1 turnip, peeled; 1/2 a small celeriac, peeled

400g red and white cabbage, outer leaves removed

1/2 a red onion, peeled

1 shallot, peeled

1 lemon

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A handful of fresh soft herbs – mint, fennel, dill, parsley, chervil

250ml yoghurt

2 Tbsp mustard

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shred the carrot, fennel and your choice of radishes, beetroot, turnip or celeriac on a mandoline, or use the julienne slicer in your food processor. Put the veg in a mixing bowl. Slice the cabbage, onion and shallot as finely as you can and add to the bowl.

in a separate bowl, mix half the lemon juice, a glug of EVOO, the chopped herbs, yoghurt and mustard. Pour this dressing over the veg and mix well to coat everything. Season to taste with S & P and the rest of he lemon juice if you like.

Really delicious served with thinly sliced leftover roast lamb, pork or rare roast beef, drizzled with EVOO.


Read Full Post »

James and I both enjoy fish but for some reason we have never been particularly adventurous – salmon, tuna, the odd piece of cod or haddock and that’s about it. When I eat out I often have fish and always come away wondering why we don’t cook more fish at home. To be honest I am a bit nervous about how to cook it – have never been particularly confident with the pan! and a nice piece of fish is not cheap and so the pressure is on not to screw it up. My other problem is that I hate handling fish – yuck, yuck, yuck!! I can’t even bring a whole fish home for James to fillet – can’t have it in the house. Couldn’t even have a goldfish in the house – can’t bear them! Anyway, luckily the man at the supermarket fish counter was happy to take off the heads and fillet a couple of sea bass for me.

Before cooking I had a look at a few recipes about the best way to cook and decided to keep it as simple as possible as we had decided to serve it with a new dish – Tabula kisir – taken from Hugh F-W’s latest book. The Tabula is full of alot of flavour and so don’t want it all getting too complicated!

So, no particular recipe for the fish but I will tell you this – cooking fish in the pan is nowhere near as daunting as I had thought. Simply heat a pan on medium heat and add a small splash of sunflower oil, then place the fish in the pan skin side down. Cook for about 3 mins and then turn over and cook for 2-3 mins. So simple and unbelieveably delicious.

I cooked Izzy a portion separate from us as I though the Tabula might just be a bit much for her. Izzy devoured her piece along with a simpler concoction of broccoli and corn.

Now for the Tabula Kisir (originates from Turkey) – this is absolutely amazing and you MUST try it. I loved it and will definitely be having it again! There is a fair bit of preparation, just ask James as he actually made this not me.

Tabula Kisir (courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – River Cottage Everyday)


200g bulghur wheat (according to HF-W couscous works well too)

50g walnuts

350g ripe omatoes

3-4 spring onions, top green part discarded

1 red pepper, cored and deseeded

1 green pepper, cored and deseeded

5 Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley

4 Tbsp finely chopped mint

3 Tbsp finely chopped dill

For the dressing:

4 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp tomato puree (concentrated)

pinch of dried chilli flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

5 Tbsp rapeseed or extra virgin olive oil

Place the bulghur wheat in a large bowl, pour over 200ml boiling water, stir, then cover and leave for 2o minutes. The bulghur should retain some bite at this stage.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Mix together the lemon juice, tomato puree, dried chilli, cumin, paprika, salt & pepper, then whisk in the oil. Pur the dressing over the warm bulghur and stir well. Leave to cool completely.

Put the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in an oven preheated to 180C for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Leave to cool and then chop roughly.

Meanwhile, core, deseed and dice the tomatoes. Slice the spring onions finely, and cut the peppers into dice.

Once the bulghur is cool, combine it with the tomatoes, peppers, spring onions, walnuts and hebs. Leave to stand for at least seasoning, adding more salt, pepper and/or chilli flakes if you like. Serve with pitta bread and/or lettuce leaves.


You MUST try it - so delicious!!

Read Full Post »

Sticking with what could become a tradition – Muffins on a Sunday! Following last weeks muffins I received a comment about the Lemon Curd Muffins from the new River Cottage book – ‘Everyday’. Well that was all the encouragement I needed to get on Amazon (any excuse!!) and order it….well that and 50% off! Bargain!

These muffins are quick, easy and indulgent. I love lemon curd so I was sold from first bite!

Lemon Curd Marble Muffins (courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – River Cottage Everyday)


225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

a good pinch of sea salt

100g caster sugar

1 medium egg

125g plain yoghurt

125ml whole milk

75g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

150g lemon curd

Put 12 large cases into a muffin tray.

Put the flour, baking powder, salt & caster sugar in a large bowl and whisk lightly to aerate and combine.

Mix the egg, yoghurt, milk and melted butter together in a jug. Pour them into the dry ingredients and mix lightly, stopping as soon as everything is combined – it’s essential not to over-mix or you’ll get dense cakey muffins.

Add the lemon curd in 6 or 7 dollops and quickly ‘marble’ it lightly through the mixture (a couple of light stirs is really all that’s needed). If your lemon curd is a bit stiff, just add it in little blobs.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, to three quarters fill them. Bake them in an oven preheated to 180C for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Eat on the day you bake them, ideally while still warm.


Read Full Post »