A beautiful caper vinaigrette to serve with fish

This is worth posting on it’s own as it is absolutely delicious on a salad or drizzled over a piece of hot salmon or halibut. It also keeps for a long time in the fridge

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2 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup blended oil (1 part olive oil to 3 parts canola oil, mixed together)
2 tbsp capers, drained
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper

In a food processor or in a blender, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic and vinegar.
Slowly whisk in the oil. Remove from the blender into a bowl and fold in the capers, mustard and herbs.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle over your seared piece of fish or a salad

Crispy chicken with creamy lentils and chorizo

There’s a whole variety of flavors and textures going on in this dish. I buy the dried medium Spanish chorizo online and it lasts forever. I adore lentils and they soak up the flavors of the chorizo and chicken, and the creme fraiche and lemon give this creamy, tangy finish to the dish. This recipe is positively healing to eat!

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Serves 4

8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on.
4 tbsp olive oil
6 to 8 oz medium Spanish chorizo, peeled and cut into a small dice (You can substitute the chorizo for 4 to 6 oz bacon)
1 red onion, chopped small
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz puy lentils
2 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 to 3 tbsp creme fraiche
zest and juice of 1 lemon
small bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Season the chicken pieces well with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy braiser with a lid and brown the chicken pieces in the hot oil for about 5 mins until golden all over. Remove and set aside.
Add the chorizo to the oil and brown gently. Remove and set aside. Pour away all the oil except for 1 tbsp.
Add the onion to the pan and cook for 5 mins then add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the lentils, stock and chorizo and stir well.
Put the chicken pieces on top, put the lid on and leave to simmer for about 30 mins.
Remove the lid and increase the heat.
Bubble for another 20 mins or so until the lentils are tender, most of the stock has been absorbed and the chicken is cooked through.
Stir in the creme fraiche, lemon zest and juice, mustard, parsley and seasoning.
Serve with a nice green salad on the side.

Chicken Dijon with mushrooms

I have posted several versions of this chicken dish and this is another simple beauty, this time with the emphasis on the mustard sauce, which we love. All you need with this is some rice to soak up that velvety sauce and a green salad.

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Serves 4 but can easily be augmented for a larger dinner party

4 chicken breasts
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 onion, sliced
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped plus extra for the gaarnish
17 fl oz white wine
A splash of brandy

In a pan, heat a glug of olive oil. Season the 4 chicken breasts, then fry, skin-side down, until golden. Turn over and sear, then set aside. Fry the mushrooms in the same pan until golden.
Add 1 garlic clove and the onion then cook until soft. Stir in the Dijon mustard and chopped fresh tarragon. Add the white wine and a splash of brandy, then bubble for 2 minutes. Add the chicken, skin-side up, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring now and then.
Garnish with fresh tarragon and serve with some steamed rice and a green salad

Maple mustard slow roasted pork

Here’s a recipe from BBC Good Food that you won’t forget in a hurry. This meat just falls off the bone, is so succulent and tasty. Served with a winter coleslaw, that’s all you need.

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Serves 6 with leftovers
Takes 8 hours minimum and must be started the night before for the marinading.

7oz sea salt
11 oz dark brown sugar, or light Muscovado sugar
4lb 8oz piece of pork shoulder
4 fl oz pure maple syrup
4 oz wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp English mustard powder, like Colmans

Mix the sea salt and 7 oz of the sugar in a large food bag, add the pork and coat it well. (If you don’t have a bag, rub over the pork in a dish and cover with plastic wrap) Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

The next day, remove the pork and wipe down the meat with kitchen towel.
Heat the oven to 275 F (140C/120C)
Mix the remaining sugar, the maple syrup, mustards and some ground pepper. Rub half the mixture over the pork and sit it on a rack in a roasting tin. Roast for 6 hours.

Spoon the remaining maple mixture over the pork and roast for 1 hour more.

Remove from the oven and rest the meat for 30 mins on a platter loosely covered with foil. To serve, tear the pork into big chunks and after skimming the surface for fat, spoon over any juices from the roasting tin.

Fresh salmon tartare

I adore any form of “tartare” and usually make them with tuna, so this is a lovely new addition to the repertoire.

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Serves 6
1lb skinless fresh salmon fillet (preferably not farmed)
1/2 lb smoked salmon, thickly sliced
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 to 4 limes)
1/3 cup minced shallots (about 2 big shallots)
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh dill (and some more sprigs for garnishing)
3 tbsp drained capers
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 loaf good granary bread, thinly sliced and toasted, for serving

Cut the fresh salmon and the smoked salmon in 1/4 inch dice. Place the salmon in a mixing bowl and add the lime juice, shallots, olive oil, dill, capers, two mustards, salt and pepper.
Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours for the salmon to marinate.
When ready, toast the bread and taste the salmon for seasonings. Serve the tartare with triangles of the toast.

Grilled soy – mustard chicken thighs

Another terrific and easy recipe, this time with Asian flavors for either grilled, broiled or even oven roasted chicken thighs. These recipes are so good for crowds with lots of rice to soak up the tasty juices.


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Serves 6
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (about 1 1/2 lbs)
3 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
1 tbsp Chinese or Japanese sesame oil (preferably toasted)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 heaped tsp chopped orange zest
1 heaped tsp chopped fresh ginger

With a sharp knife, trim away all the fat from the thighs. Place the pieces on a plate.
In a blender or small capacity food processor, mix the soy sauce, mustard, garlic, fresh cilantro, parsley, sesame oil, olive oil, orange zest and ginger to make a rough paste.
With a spatula spread this paste evenly over the surface of each chicken thigh.
Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate and marinate for 2 hours.
A half hour before you are ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the fridge.
Preheat the grill, broiler or oven. (If you’re using an oven set it to 400 F)
If cooking the chicken on the grill or broiler, turn it once until it is brown and fairly firm to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes approximately.
If using the oven, it might take up to 30 to 45 minutes until brown.
Serve at once.

Tangy and fresh lime and caper vinaigrette to have with fish or chicken.

This is a wonderful and versatile vinaigrette to serve with fish or chicken.
It’s divine paired with my “Light and zesty lemon dill rice” recipe. (in the RICE folder)
Thank you Delia Smith!

Juice and zest of 1 good sized juicy lime
1 heaped tbsp capers, drained
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp good grain mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish

A few sprigs of fresh cilantro

Prepare the dressing by simply whisking all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.

Warm it through a little in a saucepan (to take off the chill) and tip over a nice piece of sauteed or poached fish, chicken or halloumi cheese
Top with the garnish of cilantro sprigs.
Serve with my lemon dill rice and you have a really light, stunning meal.

Roquefort and walnut terrine with apple salad

Another killer appetizer!

8 first-course servings

2 cups walnuts (about 7 ounces)
1 lb Roquefort cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
4 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pure olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crust bread, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool.

Line a 7 by 5 inch loaf pan with plastic, leaving 3 inches of overhang all around. In a large bowl, break up the Roquefort with a fork until slightly chunky.

Add the walnuts and creme fraiche and mix thoroughly. Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with 2 tbsp of the lemon juice.

In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tsp of lemon juice with the olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the apples and toss well.

Unmold the Roquefort terrine and discard the plastic wrap.
Run a thin knife under hot water and wipe it off, then cut the terrine into 3/4 inch-thick slices, rinsing and drying the knife after each cut.
Arrange the slices on small plates and serve with the apple salad and bread


Slow cooked, apple-mustard pulled pork

So tasty, so sloooowly cooked and falling off the bone…

Serves 6
Cooks for 8 hours plus overnight salting

7 oz sea salt
10 1/2 oz light muscovado sugar
4lb piece of shoulder of pork
3oz whole grain mustard
4 fl oz maple syrup
2 tbsp English mustard powder or English mustard like Colmans. (Available in US stores)

Mix the sea salt and 2/3 of the sugar in a large food bag, add the pork and coat it well. (If you don’t have a food bag, rub over the pork and coat it well)
Leave in the fridge overnight

The next day, remove the pork and wipe down the meat with kitchen paper.
Heat the oven to 275 F.
Mix the remaining sugar, the maple syrup, mustards and some ground pepper.
Rub half the mixture over the pork and sit it on a rack in a roasting pan.

Roast for 6 hours.
Spoon the remaining maple mixture over the pork and roast for 1 hour more

Rest the meat for 30 mins on a plate loosely covered with foil.
To serve, tear the pork into big, fat chunks and, after skimming the surface, spoon over any juices from the tin

Pasta with spicy sausage, fresh basil and Dijon mustard

This is a Nigel Slater recipe which is fabulous, rich and unctious! I can feel the Southern Californian weather just start to nod towards Fall and that is my favorite season here.

This recipe is for 2 but you can easily double or treble it.

4 spicy Italian sausages
olive oil
4 handfuls (about 1/2 lb) of dried pasta. (any tube or shell shape that catches the sauce)
1 glass of white wine
dried chile flakes, a pinch or two
a small handful of chopped fresh basil, plus a few leaves for garnish
a tbsp of Dijon mustard, smooth or grainy
8 fl oz heavy cream

Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.

Split the sausages open and take out the filling. Warm a little olive oil in a frying pan, just enough to lubricate the bottom.
Discard the sausage skin, crumble the meat into the hot pan and fry till sizzling and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Salt the water generously and add the pasta.

Pour the wine into the sausage pan and let it bubble a little, scraping up all the sticky sausage goo on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the chile flakes, season and add the chopped basil.
Add the mustard and pour in the cream and bring slowly to a simmer. Cook for a minutes or two, stirring now and again.

When the pasta is tender, about 9 minutes after coming to a boil, drain and tip into the creamy sausage sauce.
Serve piping hot garnished with a few sprigs of fresh basil