Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken with cous cous

There’s nothing better than sticking a bird in to roast of a weekend, but when the warmer weather arrives and there are only two of you, sometimes the traditional roast, glorious as it is, doesn’t seem necessary.

Jamie’s recipe for roast chicken with cous cous is for four people, but it works absolutely perfectly for two with a delicious lunch for work the next day. It’s really simple, one pan cooking, and the flavours are great. It’s healthy, too.

 

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Haddock in basil oil with green beans and roasted tomatoes

We had some ingredients (particularly basil) to use up so I thought I would have a crack at making a quick and simple dish on my own, based on some other recipes I’d tried previously.

I decided to chop some basil up and add some olive oil, to create a marinade for the fish, and I also used what was left to roast the tomatoes in. basil goes well with tomatoes, and it also went well with the fish, too! The below recipe serves two people.

Ingredients

  • Two boneless, skinless haddock fillets
  • Generous handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Two handfuls of runner beans
  • One large handful of basil (chopped)
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

 

 

Method

  • In a chopper, or by hand, finely chop the basil and place in a bowl with the oil. Reserve a small amount of this to drizzle on your tomatoes.
  • Gently mix the fish fillets in the large bowl of oil, and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
  • When ready to cook, boil the kettle and pre-heat the oven to 180c fan.
  • Put the tomatoes in an oven proof dish, drizzle with basil oil and a sprinkle of salt. These will need 10 minutes in the oven.
  • Put a frying pan on, and add the fish, while bringing a saucepan of the kettle water to boil.
  • When boiling, add some salt and your beans for a few minutes.
  • When the fish has cooked, allow to rest on a warm plate before finishing off the beans in the pan for a few minutes with a sprinkle of sea salt.
  • Plate up with the haddock on top of the beans alongside the tomatoes.
  • Healthy and simple!

Marcus Wareing’s cauliflower and spiced coconut soup

So, I obtained a new cook book! As they say, start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start!’, so I did! The very first recipe in Marcus Wareing’s new book, ‘Marcus at Home’, is a cauliflower and spiced coconut soup. This recipe is dairy free, simple as anything and tastes delicious! I actually deviated slightly from the recipe in the book, but this is a really tasty starter, or with some lovely fresh bread, a lovely lunchtime meal – ideal for work, too!

 

Novice tomato, mozzarella, parma ham and pesto sandwich

This is one of the nicest sandwiches in the world!

Crusty white bread, fresh pesto topped with mozzarella, tomato and ham, this sandwich when packed properly and left to sit until lunchtime moulds itself into a delicious foil wrapped delight!

Slice the tomatoes and add them to a piece of paper towel to absorb some of the moisture – this will stop the sarnie from getting to damp. Simply spread a generous helping of pesto on one half of the bread and top with slices of mozzarella and then the tomato. On the other half of bread, add the parma ham, as much as you want or can fit to close up the sandwich!

Drizzle it all with a little olive oil (not a lot, there’s pesto don’t forget!) and a pinch of salt and a nice crack of pepper.

Close the sandwich up properly and securely, then wrap tightly. The bread will mould around the abundance of fillings and you’ll have one of the nicest sandwiches you can have at your desk – fresh, vibrant and full of flavour!

 

Novice spaghetti carbonara

I’ve tried for ages to get a good carbonara recipe that I can knock up at home. Genarro Contaldo’s recipe is a brilliant place to go, although I find using yolks only too thick (although I’m just probably not a good enough cook!) Antonio Carluccio also has a good recipe online, but he uses traditional meat which is harder for us all to come by, so the below uses everyday ingredients.

This recipe is really simple, but to stop things from curdling, the method, while straightforward, is important.

For two people, I go for the below ingredients to produce a really creamy, rich carbonara.

Ingredients

  • Two eggs and one egg yolk
  • 50g grated parmesan (plus extra to serve)
  • 100g pancetta cubes (roughly)
  • 250g fresh spaghetti
  • Pepper

Method

On a medium heat, get your pancetta on in a frying pan. I put the pancetta in straight away with no oil, enough fat comes out as the heat builds, so don’t add to it, you’ll only end up taking it out.

  • Next, stick pan of salted boiling water on, and add your fresh spaghetti – this won’t need long.
  • In a bowl, mix the parmesan, eggs and a generous crack of pepper until all combined into a gloopy, cheesey mixture.
  • When your pancetta is browned, reduce to a really low heat. Once the spaghetti is cooked, add to the pancetta, allowing a some pasta water to carry over. Note: do not throw the pasta water away, leave the saucepan on the turned off ring/hob that you cooked the spaghetti in.
  • Combine the pancetta and spaghetti, and now carefully place the frying pan on top of the saucepan. From here, add the sauce, and stir around. What will happen is that the residual heat from the pan and water will cook through the egg but won’t be hot enough to scramble it. You’ll also find that having egg white involved means the sauce is loose enough to cook through quickly.
  •  Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and another crack of black pepper

Novice slow roasted crispy duck

Not my normal Sunday roast, but a bird in the oven and a smile on my face all the same!

Get a 1.2kg duck, rub it with salt inside and out, a sprinkle of five spice, and in the oven it goes on 170c for a couple of hours.

Every now and then, carefully spoon away the fat that comes out of the bird – this will help the skin to crispen up.

I like to let mine rest for a good 15 minutes or so, allowing all the juice to come out, before placing the bird on a board in the centre of the table and letting everyone pick their meat off and make their wraps.

 

Jamie Oliver potato and chorizo breakfast hash

This is a brilliant recipe to have up your sleeve because, not only is it simple and delicious, but it’s cheap and made up of many ingredients you may well have at home.

It’s warming, full of flavour and even the most novice chef can do it!

 

Access the recipe by visiting Jamie Oliver’s website here.