Pasta for 4 – I used fresh spaghetti
1 onion, finely diced
2 large handfuls of peas
1/2 cup butter, softened
A large handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
Large pinch of salt
In a bowl mix the butter, lemon juice, mint (fresh and dried), salt and paprika until well blended. I’ve found it’s best to soften the butter first, about 10 seconds in our microwave on it’s lowest power setting does the job, although in the recent heat just leaving the butter out of the fridge for about an hour has the same effect. Once mixed pop it in the fridge while the rest is being prepared.
Next you’ll need to prepare your pasta. If you’re using dried pasta follow the instructions on the packet. Alternatively you can use our fresh pasta recipe for this, I just used the spaghetti cutter that came with our pasta maker instead of a knife for the tagiatelle described in the recipe. This recipe works great with any pasta so use your favourite.
The pasta needs to be just ready when you complete this next stage so timing is important. Thankfully this next step is pretty easy 😉
Now add about half the butter mixture to a frying pan on a medium high heat and when it has melted add in the onion and fry until they start to soften. Now add the peas and a little of the pasta water and let this cook the peas for 2-3 minutes.
Drain your pasta, then add the contents of the frying pan to the pasta and toss this over a medium heat. Add the remaining butter mixture and continue to toss the pasta until it has melted completely. Then you’re ready to serve.
For the fish cakes:
450g potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 large onion, finely diced
225g smoked trout, flaked
225g fresh cod, poached & flaked
225g fresh salmon, poached & flaked
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley (divide into 2 equal halves)
Zest of 3 lemons, finely chopped (divide into one-third and two-thirds)
6 tablespoons of breadcrumbs (approx 2 slices bread)
3 tablespoons of plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
For the parsley sauce:
1 medium onion, finely diced
75g plain flour
Large handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks finely chopped (keep the stalks separate)
Makes 8 fish cakes (2 per person is a very decent meal) and enough sauce to cover them. If you are going to chill / freeze some of the fish cakes, reduce the ingredients for the sauce proportionately.
Directions on how to make speedy mashed potatoes can be found here.
To poach the fish, cover in cold water, add 1 bay leaf and bring to boil. After boiling for 5 mins, remove from heat and flake the fish, discarding the skin and the bay leaf. Remove any bones at this point and throw away.
Heat the 50g butter and sauté the onions over a medium heat for about 10 mins, so they are well cooked but do not take on colour.
In a large bowl combine the breadcrumbs, half of the chopped parsley and one-third of the lemon zest. Tip out onto a plate. On a 2nd plate, spread out your flour. Finally, on a bowl (or plate with high sides), pour out your beaten eggs.
In your empty bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, flaked fish, cooked onion, dill, chives and the remaining parsley and lemon zest. Mix well with your hands and divide into 8, forming into fish cake shapes. Dip each fish cake into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, coating well and set aside. The fish cakes can be chilled or frozen at this point for later use – 24-48 hours in fridge, 1 month in freezer.
Now turn your oven on to 200 C. Begin to cook the parsley sauce while the oven heats. Melt your butter over a medium heat and add in the chopped onion and parsley stalks, frying gently for about 10 minutes until softened, but not coloured. Reduce the heat and add in the flour, stirring well. Start slowly adding in the milk, about 2-3 tablespoons at a time, stirring in well to avoid lumps. You may need to play with the heat here, keep your mix just below a simmer.
Just after you start adding the milk to the sauce, heat enough vegetable oil in a frying pan to just cover the bottom. Fry the fish cakes over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly golden. Be careful not to use too much heat as they will burn easily. Once fried, transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
All this time you should have been keeping an eye on your sauce, adding the milk until you get to the consistency you desire. With about 2-3 minutes before the fish cakes are ready to come out of the oven, add in the chopped parsley and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper – this is very important as the sauce will be incredibly bland without added salt!
Note: if you can’t get the specific types or quantities of fish listed here, feel free to substitute smoked salmon, tinned tuna, etc, as needed.
4 chicken breasts, diced
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 chilies, finely diced
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely diced (or half a teaspoon of ground ginger)
1 teaspoon turmeric
500ml of hot water
Half teaspoon of ground coriander
50g salted peanuts
I like to use those “generic” chilli peppers you see in most supermarkets these days as they don’t give a lot of heat. This brings all the other flavours to the forefront and allows you to really enjoy them more than any curry I’ve ever tasted.
If you prefer your curry a little hotter, then you can adjust the strength of the chilli that you use, we’ve made this same recipe with Scotch bonnets and found that the extra heat changes the flavours and gives you a curry flavour not unlike the chicken curry you’d get down your local Chinese restaurant.
Fry the onion, garlic and peanuts in the butter until they start to colour (approx 10 Min.). Then add chili, ginger and turmeric and stir well.
Now, add the chicken and allow this to cook until it starts to brown. Follow this with the water and raisins, cover your pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep simmering until the sauce has reduced by half, stirring occasionally. (approx. 20-30 Min.)
Once the sauce has reduced then you’re ready to serve on a bed of fresh boiled rice.
This next recipe is based on one I found in an old cookbook – “Recipes of All Nations” by Countess Morphy, published in 1935. History is a little murky, but it appears that she wasn’t a countess at all and may not have travelled the world either! The book is still an excellent read and a historical curiosity and we’d like to thank our friend Will for lending it to us.
According to Countess Morphy:
The recipes I have selected for curries, dopiazas and koftas are chiefly from Northern India, as these are less hot and more adapted to English tastes.
My how times have changed since 1935 And it’s not just the English tastes either, I made some significant changes to the original recipe, as it had more than double the amount of butter and a huge amount of salt. My new recipe gives more or less the same flavour but with less than half the butter and the only salt in it is from the salt in the butter and on the peanuts. It should leave your heart a little happier than the original recipe.
I also added salted peanuts and raisins to the recipe. The peanuts give all the salt the dish needs and the combination of both gives a really interesting texture.
I remember the first time I made this curry, I was stunned by the subtle flavours, the lack of heat and just how easy it was to prepare. Even if you’re a hardened curry fanatic that likes their curry “centre of the sun” hot I’d urge you try this recipe, even once just to experience the flavour.
This pie uses veg instead of fruit so it’s a healthy(ier) Soul Food dessert and what’s even better, it tastes great. This recipe makes enough pie filling to fill two sweet pastry pie crusts, so I usually freeze half instead of baking two pies (it’s better for my waistline:)).
To start with, heat your oven to 200C, wash your sweet potatoes and prick them all over with a fork. Then lay them out on a baking tray and pop them into the oven for about 50 minutes to an hour. When they’re done they should be soft and cooked through fully, I use a skewer or cocktail stick to check they are soft in the middle. Once they are done get them out of the oven and turn it down to 180C.
You will need to leave them to cool for a few minutes once they come out of the oven so you don’t burn your fingers at the next step, which is to peel them and get rid of the skin. This isn’t difficult, just pull at the skin and it should come off fairly easily once they’re cooked. The hotter they are the easier I find it to peel them, put it’s a fine line between hot enough and sore fingers, so be careful!
Put the flesh of the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and mash them. I find a potato masher works best but you can use a fork. Next melt the butter over a low heat and add it along with the sugar, flour, nutmeg, vanilla extract and a large pinch of cinnamon to the mashed sweet potato.
Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl or mug and add this to the rest, then mash everything together until it’s completely combined.
Next spoon the mixture into the pastry case and spread it around evenly. Take the left over uncooked pastry, roll it out and cut it into strips to “cover” the pie. The easiest way I’ve found to get the woven finish is to do the weaving on a sheet of greaseproof paper and then flip this onto the rest of the pie.
Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the exposed pastry. Make sure the oven has cooled to 180C and put the pie in for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
I usually serve this with either some ice-cream or whipped cream. It’s best eaten fresh, just allowed to cool for about half an hour, but it can also be eaten cold.