You’ve got friends (or even a special someone) coming around for dinner and drinks on Friday, friends (or that special someone) who appreciate good grub (for the non Aussies, grub = food) and expect a little more than spag bol. The problem is, you get home from work at 6.30pm and you’re worrying about delivering a frazzle-free meal to the table by 7.30pm (whilst remaining the cool, calm and collected home chef that you are).
Fear not my friends, because I have just the answer. A meal that is relaxed enough for a Friday night dinner yet interesting enough to garner acceptable nods from your guests. It’ll also satisfy any gluten free requirements. Bingo!
For the base: 3/4 cup almond meal 3/4 – 1 cup chickpea (besan) flour 2 eggs, beaten 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil or parsley 1 dessert spoon nutritional yeast flakes 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted Good pinch Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
For the topping: 1-2 peaches, cut into eighths 50 grams prosciutto (approx.) 40 grams goats cheese 6 cherry tomatoes, halved 1 large handful rocket 1/2 lemon to squeeze Drizzle of olive oil 1 garlic clove, halved
Preheat the oven to 220C and prepare a greased baking tray.
To make the pizza base throw all the ingredients into a bowl and combine. Once the egg is mixed through I find it easier to get my (clean!) hands in there. If you find the mixture is too wet and sticky (it should have a similar texture to bread dough) slowly add more chickpea flour. When ready, place the dough between two pieces of baking paper and roll into an even thin circle. Pop onto the greased tray and into the oven for 10 minutes, checking half way through to make sure it is not burning.
For the topping, roast the peach slices on a hot grill or barbeque for 2-3 minutes each side (you’re ideally looking for griddle lines on your peaches – for maximum aesthetic effect). Grab your garlic halves and rub them all over the now cooked base. Scatter your grilled peaches, prosciutto and goats cheese around the pizza. Pop back into the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melting. Remove from the oven and top with rocket and a drizzle of olive oil.
A great example of a healthy morning or afternoon snack that will take as long as it takes for you to walk to your pantry/cupboard, come back with these ingredients, pour them into a blender and hit blend. What’s that…5 minutes? If even? Why not make a triple batch of this and throw it in the work fridge for the next few days (just be sure to add your ‘get your mitts OFF!’ sticky to your container of course 😉 – that way you’re guaranteed to get a dose of goodness when you’re so busy you (almost) forget to eat. Know too that you can use frozen berries in this recipe. Fresh frozen fruit and veg retain their nutrient content well (assuming they are indeed frozen fresh) and can in fact hold more nutrients than vegies going a little soft in your crisper.
If you see any ingredients listed below that you are not aware of, know that over the next few weeks we will be featuring articles on the health benefits of various superfoods, including those listed, so stay tuned!
Where I live in Boston, seeing “fish and chips” on a restaurant menu is as common as salt. Every fish shack serves them by default, and you’ll find fancy versions at high-end restaurants, too!
When making fish and chips at home, I say leave the deep-frying to the pros and opt for the oven instead.
Use any firm-fleshed white fish fillets for this sheet-pan version of fish and chips. Check the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list to find species available in your area that are not overfished.
When ready to make your dinner, start with the potatoes since they take longer than the fish. Cut Yukon Gold potatoes into spears, toss with olive oil, and roast until golden and puffy.
Meanwhile, toast the Panko breadcrumbs until golden, and then use them to coat the fish. Panko are an extra-crunchy Japanese variety of breadcrumbs now widely available in supermarkets. Let the fish cook in the hot oven on a separate rack from the potatoes until the fish is cooked through.
The result is a healthier version of fish and chips than the original, and a surprisingly good one, too!
Sheet Pan Fish and Chips Recipe
Prep time:15 minutes
Cook time:40 minutes
Yield:4 to 6 servings
If the fish still has the skin attached on one side, you can ask the fish monger to remove it for you. They will do this free of charge.
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, or more if needed
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or other yellow potatoes (3 large or 6 medium), unpeeled
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Panko, or other unseasoned dry white breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds firm-fleshed white fish fillets, skins removed, such as haddock, halibut, pollock, flounder, whiting, redfish, cod, or other fish in your region
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
Tartar sauce, to serve
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1 Heat the oven to 450F. Arrange 2 oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and coat with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon per baking sheet) or with nonstick cooking spray.
2 Prepare the potatoes: Quarter the potatoes lengthwise, then cut each quarter in half again so you get 8 spears from each potato. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread the potatoes on the baking sheet with their wedges pointing up, if possible, so the cut sides are exposed (some may not stand; that’s OK).
3 Roast the potatoes: Roast the spears on the lower rack in the oven for 40 minutes. Rotate the pan partway through (after 20 minutes of cooking) and use a wide metal spatula to stir the potatoes. At this point, it’s fine if the potatoes fall on their sides; the sides touching the pan will become extra-crispy and golden.
4 Toast the panko: Once the potatoes are in the oven, start on the panko and the fish. To toast the panko, warm a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the panko (no oil needed), and lower the heat to medium. Slowly toast the panko, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
Remove the skillet from heat. Stir the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper into the panko breadcrumbs until they are well coated. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow bowl.
5 Prepare the fish: Cut the fish into large strips (“fingers”) or big 3-inch pieces, however you prefer. Rub all the pieces with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
6 Coat the fish with panko: Press the fish into the panko so the pieces are coated all over. Set the fish on the second baking sheet, spaced slightly apart.
7 When the potatoes are 15 to 20 minutes away from being done, bake the fish: Cook thick (2-inch) fish fillets for 15 to 18 minutes and thinner (1 1/2-inch or thinner) fillets for 10 to 13 minutes, or until the fish is firm and the coating is starting to brown. Err on the side of caution and do not over-bake.
7 Serve the fish and chips: Arrange fish and potato spears on plates, sprinkle with parsley, serve with lemon and tartar sauce.
What’s a Super Bowl without wings? In this chicken wing recipe we are seasoning the wings with Old Bay, a favorite spice blend for crab which works just as well with chicken.
The wings are tossed with in a sauce make with Old Bay, butter, and lemon juice, then baked, broiled, and served with cocktail sauce.
Yes, serving cocktail sauce with chicken wings is a little weird, but it’s good! Especially with the Old Bay.
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Old Bay Chicken Wings Recipe
Prep time:15 minutes
Cook time:30 minutes
3 pounds chicken wings, separated tips from drummettes
8 Tbsp (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter
1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning, plus more for dusting
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Cocktail sauce for dipping
1 Preheat the oven to 425°F. Allow the wings to come to room temperature (or else the sauce will be more difficult to spread on them). Pat the chicken wings dry.
2 Make Old Bay sauce: Melt the butter in a small pot and whisk in the Old Bay and lemon juice. Let it cool enough to feel lukewarm.
3 Mix the sauce again and toss the chicken wings in half the sauce.
4 Bake: Arrange the wings in one layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or Silpat and bake at 425°F for 25 minutes.
5 Broil: Take the wings out of the oven and turn on the broiler. Set a rack about 6 inches under the broiler. Turn the wings over on the baking sheet and put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until they are nicely browned.
6 To serve, toss in the remaining sauce and set on a plate. Dust with more Old Bay and serve with your favorite cocktail sauce.
You’ve got to admit it: they’re cute. These individual bites of not-quite-muffins and not-quite-French-toast are almost too good to be true.
Not only are they scrumptious, but they work on your schedule. Throw them together tonight and bake them tomorrow morning for an easy warm breakfast. They also reheat well, so you can make a batch this weekend and have them for breakfast all week long.
Whatever your breakfast situation, these French toast muffins are up to the challenge.
My secret weapon for French toast has always been cinnamon. Not some fairy dusting of cinnamon, but a full-on downpour.
Since cinnamon and apple go so well and this recipe lends itself well to add-ins, I also like to put little bits of apple in the mix. A few dabs of melted butter on top and a generous sprinkling of coarse sugar on top also yields a sweet crunch.
Soak the bread in the French toast batter for at least four hours, or overnight. You can make and bake them on the same day if you’re an early riser, or you could let them rest overnight and bake them the next morning.
Either way, once baked, they keep, refrigerated, for two to three days, or they can be frozen for up to a one month. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
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Apple-Cinnamon French Toast Muffins Recipe
Prep time:15 minutes
Cook time:25 minutes
Rest time time:4 hours
Any apple will work for this recipe, so pick a favorite!
1 loaf country-style bread (1 pound loaf)
5 large eggs
2 cups whole or 2% milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 to 2 apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 1/2 cups diced)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar or sugar in the raw, divided
Maple syrup, to serve (optional)
2 12-cup muffin pansMethodHide Photos
1 Slice the bread into cubes: Use a serrated bread knife to cut the bread into small 1/2-inch bread cubes. You can leave the crusts on or remove them, as you prefer. Measure out 9 cups of bread cubes; you may not need the entire loaf.
2 Make the French toast batter: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon together until well blended. Add the 9 cups of bread cubes. With a large spoon, stir well to coat the bread with the batter.
3 Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight. Stir from time to time to help the bread absorb the custard.
4 When ready to bake the muffins, heat the oven to 350F.
5 Stir the diced apples into the bread and custard mixture.
6 Line and fill the muffin cups: Line 16 of the muffin cups with a double layer of muffin papers, splitting the batch between two muffin pans. Spray the muffin papers with a little cooking spray. Fill each muffin cup with about 1/2 cup of the filling, mounding slightly to form a peak.
7 Top with sugar just before baking: With a pastry brush, dab the melted butter over the tops of the muffins and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of the turbinado sugar.
8 Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin, and serve warm with maple syrup to drizzle over top, if desired. (Refrigerate leftovers for several days, or freeze them for up to one month, and reheat in the oven or microwave.)
Time to curl up under a cozy blanket and enjoy a warm bowl of soup. This week’s pick? A classic creamy celery soup.
Like cabbage, celery is an oft neglected vegetable, prized for its place in a mirepoix, but rarely the star of the show. Which is silly when you think about it, given how good celery is in soups. (Can you imagine chicken soup without it?)
Celery soup, with a supporting cast of some onion, leeks, and a little cream, is utterly delicious, and the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day.
Recipe and photos updated, first published 2014
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Creamy Celery Soup Recipe
Prep time:15 minutes
Cook time:45 minutes
Yield:Serves 4 to 5
Taste the raw celery you plan to use in this soup. The celery should be fresh and good on its own, not old or bitter. If you have a particularly tough or bitter bunch of celery, please don’t use it in this soup, find another use for it.
3 Tbsp butter, divided into 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
5 cups of chopped celery, and 1 1/2 cups of diced celery (from one large bunch of celery or two small bunches)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, to taste
1/4 to 1/3 cup of cream
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh chopped chives or parsley for garnish
1 Sauté onions, leeks, 5 cups of chopped celery: Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot on medium heat. Add the diced onion, the leeks, and 5 cups of the chopped celery.
Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.
2 Add stock, bay leaves, salt, then simmer: Add the chicken stock and bay leaves to the pot. Taste for salt and add salt. (If you are using unsalted butter and unsalted stock, you will need to add more salt than you expect, if not, maybe just a little salt will be needed.)
Increase heat to bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3 Braise remaining celery to soften: While the soup is simmering, prepare the extra celery that will be added later to the soup. In a separate small sauté pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter on medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups diced celery to the butter.
Ladle 1/2 cup of the simmering stock from the soup pot into the sauté pan. Simmer on low for 5 or 6 minutes to soften the celery. Set aside.
4 Purée soup: Remove the soup pot from heat, let cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender, filling the blender no more than a third full at a time (keep your hand on the lid so the hot liquid doesn’t explode). Return the puréed soup to the pot.
Pair this delicious dish with a risotto and a nice bottle of wine. This Italian favorite is easy to make and sure to impress your guests.
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup limoncello
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs
Unsalted butter, for buttering the casserole dish
5 cups challah (about 8 oz)
1In a small saucepan, combine the cloves with the cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon, and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the fish, return to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and poach the fish until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
2Meanwhile, cover the potatoes with generously salted water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool completely.
3Add the potatoes to the bowl with the fish along with the bread crumbs, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, and chile, season with salt, and lightly mash the potatoes with the other ingredients until evenly combined. Form the mixture into six 3-inch-wide, 3?4-inch-thick patties.
4In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the patties and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the fish patties to a serving platter and serve while hot with mint chutney on the side.