the recipe sharer

Asian flavors

Coconut creamed spinach

This is a terrific recipe from the blog, “Pure Wow”. Coconut milk replaces the cream in this gorgeous, silky spinach dish and the fresh ginger and dash of curry powder make it more fragrant.
I served it with “Rosemary rack of lamb” from The Barefoot Contessa’s book “Make it ahead”.
This is a delicious side dish to lamb, chicken or beef.

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INGREDIENTS
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion–peeled, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
One ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
8 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and dry
1 cup coconut milk

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp curry powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Kosher salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring until it wilts before adding more. Continue until all the spinach is added.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture thickens, about four to five minutes.
Mix together the cayenne pepper, curry powder, smoked paprika and salt in a small bowl and start by seasoning the dish with half of it, stirring to combine. Taste, and if you would like more heat and spices, add some more.
I only used 1/2 of mine

Easy Dijon salmon

This is great for a party and can be doubled or trebled easily. It’s so simple to prepare and is so tasty!

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1 1/4lbs salmon fillet, preferably wild
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce (or if following the Whole 30, use Coconut Aminos)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger powder

Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.Coat the foil with cooking spray unless it’s non stick foil. Place the salmon on the foil. Mix the mustard through the ginger powder in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the salmon and refrigerate the salmon for 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 375 F and bake the salmon for 20 -25 mins or until just cooked through and flakes easily

A bowl of Asian goodness

This is divine on a hot day when you don’t feel like cooking too much. It’s also a great starter for a dinner party

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Serves 4 as a starter

1/2 oz instant dashi granules
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
10 1/2 oz soba noodles
1 nori sheet
3 1/4 inch piece of daikon radish, peeled and finely grated
3 scallions, finely sliced

Put the dashi granules in a bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over them.
Stir until the granules have dissolved, then add the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, wasabi paste and ginger. Stir to make a dressing.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the noodles. Allow the water to return to the boil then add 1/2 cup cold water to drop the temperature a little.
Repeat this process three times, then drain the noodles.
Rinse the noodles with cold water to remove the starch, then divide between 4 bowls.

Toast the nori sheet over a high flame or in a hot oven, then slice into this strips. Pour the dressing over the noodles, toss lightly, then scatter with the daikon, scallions and nori strips.

Whole chicken legs braised in orange, sage, ginger and mustard

My sister highly recommended this Mary Berry recipe and modified it so it wasn’t too sweet. It turned out to be delicious and so easy. Like Delia Smith, Mary Berry, now in her eighties, is a British “institution” in highly successful, fail-safe recipes, particularly baking and it’s well worth investing in some of her recipe books.

Serves 4 to 6

6 whole organic chicken legs
2 tbsp clear honey
1 rounded tbsp cornflour
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade
20 fl oz freshly squeezed orange juice (don’t be lazy and use juice from cartons!)
4 fat garlic cloves, crushed
2-4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp coarsely grated fresh ginger
2 tsp coarse grain Dijon mustard
4 tbsp Seville orange marmalade (optional, but I recommend it)

Combine all the marinade ingredients, mix well and place in a large, resealable plastic bag with the whole chicken legs. Seal the bag making sure all the chicken is coated with the marinade then put in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 F or Gas Mk 6.
Take the chicken out of the plastic bag, reserving the marinade to make the sauce. Arrange the chicken legs, skin side up in a large roasting tin and drizzle with the honey.

Place in the oven to roast for about 30 minutes. Measure the cornflour into a pitcher, add the marinade and mix until smooth. Pour the marinade over the chicken and return to the oven for a further 20 to 30 mins.
Remove the tin from the oven. Strain the juices left in the bottom of the tin to make a sauce, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve a whole chicken leg per person some some of the sauce and enjoy!

PS The marinade mixed with the cornflour thickens the sauce when it cooks in the oven

Miso-marinated black cod

This is my most favorite way of eating fish in a Japanese restaurant and I recently discovered it was so much easier than I ever imagined to make at home!
Make sure you allow 3 days for this as you need to marinate it for this length of time. After that there’s precious little to do and the final result is so buttery and gorgeous!

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Serves 4

1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup mirin
4 tablespoons white miso paste
3 tablespoons sugar
4 black cod fillets, about 1/2 pound each

Two to 3 days beforehand, make the miso marinade and marinate the fish. Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol. Turn the heat down to low, add the miso paste, and whisk. When the miso has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to high again and add the sugar, whisking constantly to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat once the sugar is fully dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Pat the black cod fillets thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with the miso marinade and place in a non-reactive dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

To cook the fish:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat on the stovetop. Lightly wipe off any excess miso clinging to the fillets, but don’t rinse it off. Film the pan with a little oil, then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens in spots, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily.

** Instead of cooking the fish on the stove top, you can do this step on an outdoor grill or under the broiler in your oven.

Oven-roasted eggplant with caramelized miso

I often choose versions of this dish in Japanese restaurants and have wanted to make this for a long time. This recipe comes from the food blog “I’m a flood blog” and is delicious.

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serves 2-4
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sake
2 tbsp shiro miso (white miso)
2 tbsp sugar
2 Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 tsp sesame oil (preferably toasted)
toasted sesame seeds
sliced green onions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place the mirin and sake in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the miso and stir until smooth. Stir in the sugar, and reduce to low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, while you broil the eggplants.
Brush the cut sides of the eggplants with the sesame oil. Put the eggplants cut-side down on a baking sheet and place in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, depending on eggplant size, until they just start to shrivel. The flesh should be fork tender. Remove from the oven and turn them over.
Top the eggplants with all of the miso sauce and put them under the broiler until the sauce bubbles up and starts to caramelize, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, rest for 5 minutes and enjoy with sesame seeds and green onions!

A really great and easy BBQ sauce

This is a really simple and super BBQ sauce you can keep refrigerated for up to 1 week, so if you’re planning a BBQ party, this part of it, you can do well in advance. It’s easily doubled too.

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Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1/2 cup vegetable oil or any other oil ( don’t waste really good olive oil)
4 large cloves garlic, finely diced or minced
a good handful fresh rosemary leaves, stripped from the stalk, finely chopped (minced)
2 tbsp mustard powder
2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp curry powder
4 tbsp sesame oil(toasted is nice too)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup store-bought BBQ sauce (yes, I really mean it!)
salt to taste

Place ALL the ingredients in a jar with a tightfitting lid and shake really well.
Use to brush on absolutely anything that you BBQ, mushrooms, chicken, meat, onions, fish…
Enjoy!

Roast salmon with spiced coconut crumbs

As you probably know by now, anything with coconut makes me stop in my tracks, so when I saw this on the BBC GoodFood website, I had to try it. It’s easy and very tasty, what more do I need to say!

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Serves 8
Made in 30 mins or less

2 oz butter, ghee or clarified butter
8 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely crushed
3 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 plump fresh red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 pinch ground turmeric
8 slim boneless skinless salmon fillets
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

UP TO A DAY AHEAD:.
Melt the butter in a medium pan, add the cardamon and coconut and stir non-stop for 2-3 minutes until the coconut starts to toast. Stir in the chili, ginger, garlic, ground coriander and turmeric. Cook for another minute then leave to cool.

Arrange the salmon in a single layer, spaced slightly apart, in 1 large or two smaller buttered ovenproof dishes. Season the salmon, scatter on the cilantro and spread the coconut mixture on top. Cover in cling film and chill (for up to one day) UNTIL ONE HOUR BEFORE COOKING.

TO SERVE:
Turn the oven to conventional 400F/200°C .
Roast the salmon for 13-15 minutes until cooked, but still moist. If this is for a buffet, bring to the table in the dish(es).

Spicy Asian sesame guacamole

I love anything to do with avocados and this recipe, served with those lovely sesame rice crackers, is the perfect appetizer. Beware though, you will look like all your front teeth have fillings in them due to the black sesame seeds, so have toothpicks handy!

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Serves 4

3 good-sized ripe Hass avocados
1/3 cup chopped red onion (fairly finely chopped)
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts. Reserve some for decoration
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce or Coconut Aminos
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sesame rice crackers, or celery sticks for serving.

Cut each avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin and place the flesh in a bowl.
Add the chopped red onion, scallions, lime juice, chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, ginger, 1 tsp of the sesame seeds and the sesame oil.
Mash with a fork until half smooth and half chunky.
Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp sesame seeds and some chopped scallions and serve immediately with the rice crackers

Asian-influenced chicken and coconut “paella”

This is Tyler Florence’s Asian version of a Spanish paella which is gorgeous. The chicken thighs are lightly crusted with crushed coriander seeds then sauteed and tucked into basmati rice that has been simmered in sweet coconut milk and ginger. Need I say any more?

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Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup coriander seeds
8 chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups basmati rice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups coconut milk

Pea Salad
1 cup frozen peas, thawed in a colander under cool water
A small handful of fresh mint leaves
1 bunch watercress
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Mint leaves for garnish
Lemon wedges for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 F
Coarsely crack the coriander by either pulsing in a spice grinder, wrapping the seeds in a tea towel and crushing them with a rolling pin or grinding them in a pepper grinder on a coarse setting.
Season the chicken thighs well with salt and pepper and sprinkle all over with the cracked coriander.

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep ovenproof skillet. Lay the chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down and give them a good sear for 4 to 5 mins to develop a nice crust.
Turn and cook for 4 to 5 mins on the other side to brown the meat. Take the chicken out of the pan.

Put another 2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Add the onion, ginger and bay leaf, and cook, stirring for 4 to 5 mins, until the onion is soft but not colored.
Now you’ve got all this great flavor going on in the bottom of the pan; chicken drippings, onion, ginger and bay leaf. Add the rice and season with salt and pepper. Stir for a minute or two until the grains are well coated with oil. Stir in the lemon zest. Now add the broth and coconut milk and bring that to a simmer.
Tuck in the chicken thighs, put the whole thing in the oven, and bake, uncovered, until the rice is tender and bound by a creamy sauce and the chicken is entirely cooked through,about 30 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf.

When the chicken is done, put the peas, mint and watercress into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and give it a good toss. Taste for seasoning. To serve take a big spoon and scoop out some chicken and rice and garnish each plate with the pea salad