WHAT I’M COOKING...
Ginny Grant’s leek, smoked fish and spinach pie #OMG
STIR-FRIED BEEF WITH ORANGE & CHILLI SERVES 4-6
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce ¼ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons cornflour 450g beef (I used tri-tip), very thinly sliced across the grain 3 tablespoons sunflower oil 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced diagonally 2 bunches asparagus, sliced diagonally 220g can water chestnuts, sliced 5 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 5cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced 1 red chilli, sliced zest and juice of 1 orange (or tangelo) steamed rice to serve
Mix the Shaoxing, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, the dark soy sauce and the salt with the cornflour and 1 tablespoon of water. Add the beef and mix well. Heat a wok, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and quickly fry the beef until it is cooked but still a little pink. Remove and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the wok then the carrots and asparagus and fry for a few minutes until crisp tender, then add the water chestnuts, spring onions, garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a minute. Add the zest, juice, remaining soy and beef, cook for another minute or so until the sauce lightly thickens. Serve immediately with rice. (DF)
Fast braised fish, new potatoes & fennel Fry sliced onion and fennel with sliced garlic in olive oil, then add sliced new potatoes and fry for a few more minutes with a pinch of saffron. Add a dash of wine and a splash of water, cover and steam for 10-15 minutes, adding skinless, boneless, mediumto firm-fleshed fish pieces in the last 5 minutes. Finish with chopped parsley.
Spring soup with whey Fry chopped onion and garlic until soft, add sliced baby carrots, thin rounds of zucchini, chopped fennel and cubed potatoes or canned borlotti beans. Cover with whey left over from making ricotta (see page 30) and top up with water or stock if necessary. Simmer until the veges are tender. (In place of whey, use chicken or vegetable stock and enrich at the end with a little cream.) Stir in a dollop of pesto and soft herbs (eg chives, basil).
White beans dressed with mojo verde, panfried haloumi & spinach Make a quick mojo verde by toasting cumin and coriander seeds. Grind with salt, then blitz in a food processor with fresh coriander, garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil. Coarsely chop spinach and wilt with chilli and garlic. Set aside. Warm a couple of drained and rinsed cans of white beans in a little water, drain most of the water and dress the beans with the mojo verde. Toss the spinach with the beans and serve with panfried haloumi and a lemon wedge.
Red braised beef or lamb Blanch chunks of beef or lamb in boiling water, drain and set aside. Heat a casserole dish and fry chilli bean paste with a little oil then add slices of ginger, garlic and spring onions, the meat, a dash of Shaoxing rice wine and soy sauce, a cinnamon quill and a few star anise. Cover with water or chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer on the stovetop or put in a low oven for a few hours until tender. If desired, add root veges while it’s cooking. Serve with rice. See page 32 for how to use leftovers.
Chicken cooked in whey or milk Brown a whole chicken or skin-on thighs and legs in a heavy casserole dish with a little olive oil. Add sage leaves, thyme sprigs, unpeeled garlic cloves and the grated zest of a lemon. Add whey left over from the ricotta on page 30 (or use milk) and the juice of the zested lemon and season well. Cook covered (either on the stove or in a 180°C oven) for an hour then finish cooking, uncovered, until the sauce is thick, dark and reduced. Serve with roasted new potatoes and greens.
Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with preserved lemon & green olives Brown lamb shoulder in a heavy casserole dish, add sliced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add ground cumin, coriander and cinnamon, a pinch of saffron, sliced preserved lemons and green olives and chicken stock and bake, covered, in a 180°C oven for 1-1½ hours. Add mint and coriander and serve with couscous.
LEEK, SMOKED FISH & SPINACH PIE SERVES 4
50g butter 100g baby spinach 1 large leek, sliced 2 tablespoons flour 2½ cups chicken stock, heated 450g smoked fish, flaked into chunks ½ cup parsley, finely chopped 4 tablespoons creme fraiche 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs 2 cloves garlic, minced grated zest of 1 lemon pinch chilli flakes extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put a little of the butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat, add the spinach to wilt then remove and set aside. Add the remaining butter to the pan and cook the leek for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the fish and half the parsley and simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir in the creme fraiche and wilted spinach, season and put into a baking dish. Combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, remaining parsley, lemon zest and chilli and scatter it over the pie, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake until golden (about 15 minutes). (DF)
KEY TO SYMBOLS (V) VEGETARIAN (DF) DIABETIC-FRIENDLY (GF) GLUTEN-FREE (HF) HEALTHY FATS