Baked garlicy mushrooms

This is the first meal I’ve cooked from Jamie Oliver’s new book ‘5.’

The title pretty much says everything you need to know – mushrooms cooked with cheese, sage, tomatoes and garlic.

The book is brilliant, every recipe has five ingredients, with the occasional kitchen essential.

All the ingredients in this dish (which you do in one pan) just go – classic flavours, easy to prepare, delicious to eat.

 

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Jamie Oliver’s quick crispy chicken with tomatoes and asparagus

If you were to compare the image alongside Jamie’s recipe to mine, you would not think they were the same dish. I did plate it differently, as well as far less elegantly, but the flavours were there!

I have to say that the standout thing on the plate is the basil, olive, butter, tomato and wine sauce. It is absolutely delicious. I will use it again with other chicken dishes.

This is a really good recipe, and actually works well adapted for lunches on top of some couscous, as it soaks up all the buttery/winey sauce.

Oh, and I added a poached egg to the asparagus because they needed using up!

You can access Jamie’s recipe, here.

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!

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!

 

Gennaro Contaldo’s perfect tomato and mozzarella linguini

Simple, fresh and delicious, this is a great recipe to keep in your locker for midweek speedy dinner. The freshness of the tomatoes and the little hum of chilli is great. However, the star is the mozzarella, which melts and adds some creamy goodness to the dish!

You can get the recipe by watching Gennaro at work here on YouTube.

Joe Wicks’ cod, chorizo and tomato stew with greens

Cod and chorizo are two ingredients that hold themselves well in a stew. Although they won’t disintegrate, you still need to watch you don’ over cook the cod.

I served mine with additional greens and ran some spinach through the stew for some extra thickness and healthy goodness.

This dish would work equally well with whatever white fish you can get your hands on; I’ve used some Pollock that was going cheap, as well as basa which is half the price of cod.

You can get Joe’s great book here.

Cod fillets in parma ham with potatoes and vine tomatoes

Remember when you first start cooking and you heard people talk about seasoning? It’s hard to describe seasoning, isn’t it? You don’t have to cook for very long before seasoning food is a staple along with having chopped tomatoes and an onion in your cupboard, but, you flounder if someone asks you to explain ‘why’.

After a while, it just begins to make sense, you can tell yourself when you’ve properly seasoned a tomato sauce or a piece of griddled chicken.

This dish is also one of those that is made by seasoning correctly. The specks of black pepper, burning their way into the crispy parma ham, the salt glistening on top of the potatoes and providing that contrast to the blistered, sweet, hot tomatoes.

Without careful but generous seasoning, this dish would be relatively boring. But with it, this is a healthy, delicious, easy dinner to knock up in 35 minutes.

Ingredients

  • Two sustainable cod fillets
  • Six slices (at least, eight would be better) parma ham
  • Two decent handfuls of baby potatoes
  • Tomatoes on the vine – as many as you want or can fit in your baking dish with the fish and spuds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200c
  • Parboil your potatoes in salted water for 5-10 minutes
  • While boiling, season the fish with salt and pepper, then wrap the finish in the parma ham – this can be a bit tricky be gentle with the ham, long stringy bits are hard to wrap a fish in
  • Once wrapped, season again and place in the baking dish
  • Next, put your tomatoes on the vine in the dish.
  • Finally, put the boiled potatoes in the dish.
  • Drizzle everything with olive oil
  • Season generously from a height
  • bang it all in the oven until the fat from the ham has started to drain out and crispen up.
  • Serve up neatly and don’t be afraid to drizzle the fishy, meaty, salty, tomatoey, oily juices from the dish on your plates.