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Gluten Free

Fabulous French sauce for fish

This to me is the best possible sauce for any sort of fish. Due to the reducing, it’s very intense, creamy and utterly out of this world. (When I made this for my step-daughter several years ago, she literally was brought to tears)

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This amount serves 2 – 4, depending on how much sauce you want!
* Sometimes I use 4 fl oz of Noilly Prat instead of white wine, which makes it more intense)

8 fl oz good fish stock
4 fl oz dry white wine
3 tbsp Noilly Prat
2 small shallots, finely chopped
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 1/2 oz butter, chilled & cut into small cubes
2 tbsp fresh chives, finely cut
Salt and pepper

Put the fish stock, wine, Noilly Prat and chopped shallot in a pan and boil rapidly, reducing until 1/4 of the volume is left.

Add the cream and boil gently, stirring constantly, to reduce to the required consistency and taste. (The consistency is right when it thickly coats the back of a spoon and tastes intense)
When it’s to your liking, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter cubes one by one.
Strain through a fine sieve and season.

You can also liquidize the sauce before adding the chives to make it extra light and fluffy, or if you prefer it as is, add the chives just before you serve it.

Slow-cooked spiced red cabbage

This is wonderful with roast turkey or beef and divine with a crown roast of pork. The aromas and flavors are so Christmassy and it literally cooks itself for 2 hours in the oven.

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Serves 6 – 8

1 good sized red cabbage
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
2 large red onions, halved and sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a good glass of Ruby port
3 tbsp dark Muscovado sugar. (or as dark a sugar as possible)
2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 cinnamon stick, split in 2
4 oz butter, cut into cubes
finely grated zest and the juice of 1 large orange

Heat the oven to 250 F
Put all the ingredients in a Dutch oven with a lid.
Put over medium heat, stir well then cook everything for 5 minutes until the butter is melted and everything is well mixed together.

Transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours. Season before serving.

Creamy garlic Tuscan salmon

A stunningly creamy, silky restaurant quality recipe from the blog “Cafe Delites”

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4 Servings

4 salmon fillets, about 6 oz each and skin off (or Trout or any white fish)
Salt and pepper, to season
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup dry white wine (OPTIONAL) — (do not use a sweet white wine)
5 ounces (150 g) jarred sun dried tomato strips in oil, drained of oil
1 3/4 cups half and half *SEE NOTES
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, (do not include for dairy free option)
1 tsp cornstarch (cornflour) mixed with 1 tbsp of water (optional)**
1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon filets (or fish if using) on both sides with salt and pepper, and sear in the hot pan, flesh-side down first, for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.

Melt the butter in the remaining juices leftover in the pan. Add in the garlic and fry until fragrant (about one minute). Fry the onion in the butter. Pour in the white wine (if using), and allow to reduce down slightly. Add the sun dried tomatoes and fry for 1-2 minutes to release their flavors.

Reduce heat to low heat, add the half and half (or heavy cream), and bring to a gentle simmer, while stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

Add in the spinach leaves and allow to wilt in the sauce, and add in the parmesan cheese. Allow sauce to simmer for a further minute until cheese melts through the sauce. (For a thicker sauce, add the milk/cornstarch mixture to the centre of the pan, and continue to simmer while quickly stirring the mixture through until the sauce thickens.)

Add the salmon back into the pan; sprinkle with the parsley, and spoon the sauce over each filet.
Serve over pasta, rice or steamed veg.

Recipe Notes
*Half and half is an American product, made from equal parts light cream and milk. Feel free to use half light cream and half 2% milk (or full fat if not worried about calories and fat counts), in place of half and half.
Alternatively, use all light cream or heavy cream.
**For a gluten free option, find GLUTEN FREE Cornstarch where available

Shakshuka with tahini and olives

This is the most wonderful brunch or lunch, oozing with flavor and goodness.

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Serves 2 – 4 (but can easily be augmented)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 large organic, pasture-raised eggs
3 medium tomatoes – roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion-diced
5 cloves garlic-roughly chopped
2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1&1/4 tsp harissa
1 handful green olives – pitted and roughly chopped for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

For the tahini mixture;
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic-finely grated
2 tbsp lemon juice
Approx 1/4 cup water
pinch of sea salt

In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, garlic and lemon juice. The mixture will be clumpy. Keep whisking and slowly add 1 tbsp water at a time until the tahini loosens and can loosely coat the back of a spoon. Season with a pinch of salt- set aside

Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the oil, onions and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes until soft.
Season the onion mixture with the smoked paprika and sauté for 60 seconds- stir constantly to prevent burning.

Add the tomatoes and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir, lower the heat to medium low and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the Harissa.
NOTE- If the tomato mixture dries out during the cooking, add 1-2 tbsp water.

Remove the lid and crack the eggs into the sauce one at a time.
TIP- Use a spatula to create a small “well” in the sauce and add the egg into the well so that the eggs cook in the sauce rather than over the top of it.

Cover with a lid and cook until the whites have hardened but the yolks are runny; approx 6 to 8 minutes.
For firmer yolks, cook for a bit longer.
Remove from the heat, drizzle with the tahini and garnish with the olives

 

Carrot cake smoothie

I happen to be married to someone who adores carrot cake, so when I found this recipe recently, there was no way I wasn’t going to include it. I mean, a healthy smoothie tasting like carrot cake??

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1 cup carrots, peeled and then grated (if you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you could probably just roughly chop them)
1 organic banana, frozen
1 1/2 cups coconut/almond milk(or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for two hours (or 1/4 cup homemade cashew nut butter)
1 tsp good vanilla extract
1 good sized Medjool date
1 tbsp organic raw shelled hemp seeds, or protein powder.
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Optional – instead of the hemp seeds, for additional nutritional support, you could also opt for a scoop of Protein Powder, either the Vanilla Chai or straight Vanilla would be great.

Directions: Add all of the ingredients to your high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Top with a little cinnamon and a pinch of grated carrots. Enjoy immediately.

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

Coconut-braised chicken quarters with chorizo and potatoes

This is a beauty! I just love cooking with chicken quarters as they are so moist and flavorsome and with the addition of fresh ginger and crushed coffee beans in the gremalata, it’s definitely in a category of it’s own! Also the recipe is easy to judge for people as 1 good sized chicken quarter is enough per (normal) person!
The beauty of this recipe is that it is also a Whole30 recipe with the substitutions of olive oil instead on canola oil and ghee instead of butter.

Serves up 4 generously or 6 normally!

2 tbsp canola or olive oil
6 good sized whole chicken legs
Pepper
1/2lb fresh Mexican-style chorizo, but I have been known to use Spanish chorizo chopped small
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 dried chili de arbol, broken in half
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1lb baking or Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces lengthwise
2 tbsp fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
1 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee

Gremalata

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra sprigs
7 coffee beans, finely crushed (1/2 tsp)
2 tsp finely grated lime zest

Preheat the oven to 425 F
In a large enameled or cast-iron braising dish, heat the oil. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
Working in 2 batches, brown the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes per side.
Transfer the chicken to a large plate
Add the chorizo and onion to the pan and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 10 mins
Stir in the ginger, garlic and chili and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
Add the coconut milk, potatoes and chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer.
Cover and braise in the oven for about 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through.
Stir in the lime juice and butter and season with salt.

Meanwhile make the gremalata.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
Spoon the braised chicken and potatoes into shallow bowls.
Garnish with the gremalata and cilantro sprigs and serve with lime wedges

Make ahead
The braised chicken can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently.

Roasted chicken quarters with dates, olives and capers

Yet another Ottolenghi recipe that is beyond delicious. Take the two days to marinade the chicken to maximize the flavor and tenderize the meat.Don’t cut corners.

Serves 4 generously

8 whole chicken legs of a good size, skin on
6 large garlic cloves, crushed
About 1/2 oz fresh oregano, torn
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
4 oz pitted green olives
2 oz capers, plus 2 tbsp of their juices
3 oz Medjool dates, pitted and quartered lengthways
2 bay leaves
5 fl oz dry white wine
1 tbsp date syrup or treacle
Salt and black pepper

Place the chicken in a large, non-reactive bowl and add all of the ingredients, apart from the wine and date syrup, along with 3/4 tsp salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Gently mix everything together, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to marinate for 2 days, stirring the ingredients a few times during the process. (The other thing you can do is get a very large plastic bag that self seals and use that to marinate everything)

Preheat the oven to 350F

Spread the chicken quarters out on a large roasting dish along with all the marinade ingredients. Whisk together the wine and date syrup and pour over the meat.
Place in the oven and cook for 50 mins, basting 2 or 3 times, until the meat is golden brown on top and cooked through.
Remove from the oven, transfer everything to a large platter, sprinkle with some fresh oregano leaves and serve

Baked porcini mushrooms and potatoes

Rich, earthy, woody and fabulous to have with roasted or grilled meats and a salad. This recipe is from the River Cafe in London.

Serves 6

5oz dried porcini mushrooms. (See below for soaking instructions)
3lbs medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
5 oz Ghee, clarified butter or butter
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked from the stalks and washed

Preheat the oven to 400F

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and into quarters lengthways if they are too big. Wash and pat dry.
Soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 pints (1 liter) boiled water for 20 minutes, then strain, retaining the liquid.
Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Rinse the porcini mushrooms under running cold water to get rid of any remaining grit. Dry well on paper towels.

In a thick-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter/ghee over medium/low. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic and soften for a minute of two before adding the porcini.
Cook, stirring to prevent sticking, for a few minutes before adding the strained porcini liquid.
There will be a lot of liquid, which needs to reduce and thicken for about 7-8 mins.

Now add the potatoes. Coat them in the juices the gently stir and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes.
The potatoes should begin to take on the color of the porcini juices.

Remove the pan and tip everything into roasting trays.
Season with salt, pepper and the fresh thyme, stir gently and bake for another 30 mins.

Test the potatoes with a skewer to make sure they are tender.