Sweet chili roasted sausages and butternut squash

These all-in-one-pan roasts are divine and fast. Great for working people to throw together at the end of a hard day and you have a delicious meal. This dish is incredibly simple but just a little different because of the sweet chili sauce and cilantro.

Serves 4

8 good pork sausages (I use sweet Italian)
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 small/medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
2 small red onions, peeled and quartered
12 cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small handful cilantro, leaves picked and chopped

Heat the oven to 400 F.

Put the sausages in a bowl with the sweet chili sauce and shake around until they are fully coated with the sauce. Tip them into a large roasting pan.

Toss the butternut squash and red onion in with the sausages.

Nestle the cherry tomatoes around the dish and then drizzle the lot with the olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the sausages are golden brown and the vegetables tender.

Scatter with the chopped cilantro and serve in the center of the table with crusty bread to mop up the juices


Creamed Onion gratin

Everyone loves Potatoes Lyonnaise, but not everyone wants the heavy feeling when they get up from the table. This is delectable with plain roast chicken or any other meat.

Serves 4 to 6

2 medium yellow onions, cored and quartered lengthways
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp butter, preferably unsalted
2 tbsp flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dry white wine
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
3/4 cup finely grated fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese
4 oz mountain gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/4 tsp paprika

Heat the oven to 350F
Toss the onions with the oil in a 9 x 11 (or 13) inch baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
Bake, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 1 hour; set aside.
Heat the oven to broil

Heat the butter in a 2 qt saucepan over medium-high heat; add the flour and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the cream and wine and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper and a good amount of grated nutmeg

Pour the sauce evenly over the onions.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, dot with the crumbled Gorgonzola and sprinkle with paprika.
Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown on top, about 3 mins


Oven roasted ratatouille

This is the very best recipe for ratatouille that cooks all together, has that toasty flavor and is packed with garilcky, basil flavors. You can double or treble this or even make it for a crowd, spreading it out over baking sheets. It’s also great at room temperature and so easy to prepare.
All you need is some great tapenade, good bread and a BBQ boned and marinated leg of New Zealand lamb and you’re in heaven!!

Serves 4

1lb cherry tomatoes, whole or small tomatoes, halved
3 -4 medium zucchinis
1 medium eggplant
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 1inch squares
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 1 inch squares
4 fat cloves garlic, chopped small
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch squares
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch squares
6 tbsp good olive oil (or more if you want)
1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper (plenty)

For a less traditional Ratatouille, you may want to try cauliflower florets,  leeks, chopped into 1″ cubes or butternut squash also cut into 1″ cubes.

You will need a large shallow roasting roasting tin, about 16″ by 12″ or so
Preheat the oven to the highest setting

Gently put the tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, peppers, onions and any other vegetables you use in a very large bowl and sprinkle over the chopped garlic. Roughly tear up the basil and sprinkle over the vegetables with the olive oil. Make sure all the vegetables are well coated with the oil and finally season really well with salt and pepper. Toss really gently until everything is well incorporated ( I like to do this with my hands, it’s gentler and easier and fun.) and then gently tip out onto a large baking shallow sided baking tray.
Roast on the highest shelf in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are roasted and tinged with brown at the edges.
Remove from the oven and serve straight away.

Roasted red onions with butter, honey,thyme and balsamic vinegar

My son, Oliver found this recipe, made it and adored it. It’s rich but low calorie (ish) and very moreish.

Serves 6

6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 red onions, quartered

Preheat the oven to 350F

Combine the butter, honey, thyme, salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute to reduce slightly.
Place the onions in a single layer in a baking pan.
Drizzle the butter/vinegar mixture over and roast until soft and slightly caramelized, about 45 to 60 mins (or more if necessary)

Salmon Rilette

A fellow Los Angeles food blogger called “The Pasadena Chef” posted this and it is divine!!
If you are talking fish in NYC there is no better restaurant than Le Bernadin. Chef Eric Ripert is a genius and I came across this recipe for his house starter which is served before every meal.

2 cups dry white wine
1 tbsp minced shallots
1 lb fresh boneless, skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 oz smoked salmon, diced
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup a good mayonnaise
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
toasted baguette slices

Combine the white wine and shallots in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes until the shallots are tender. Add the salmon pieces and poach for just 2 – 3 minutes until they are barely opaque.

Remove the salmon pieces from the wine with a slotted spoon and drain them on a baking sheet lined with kitchen towel. Strain the wine reserving the shallots. Place both salmon and shallots together and put into the fridge to cool.

Combine the cooled salmon pieces, shallots, smoked salmon, chives and some mayonnaise and lemon juice and gently fold together

Use the lemon juice and mayonnaise sparingly, so you have just enough to moisten the mixture. It will need salt inspite of the smoked salmon.

Serve cold with the toasted baguette slices. This is lovely served with champagne or a white burgundy

Pork in Black Bean Sauce

Serves 4. This is so easy and delicious and is a great recipe to double.

1lb pork tenderloin (1 pork tenderloin with silverskin removed)
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour
1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil

1 1/2 tbsp dried Chinese black beans, rinsed and coarsely chopped (available in Asian markets)
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp scallions (spring onions) finely chopped
1 tbsp shallots, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp sesame oil

Cut the pork into thin slices 1 1/2 inches long. Put the slices in a bowl and mix them well with the rice wine or dry sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour. Leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until it’s very hot. Add half the oil and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, lift the pork out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, put it in the wok and quickly stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl at once.

Wipe the wok or pan clean, reheat it and add the rest of the oil. Quickly add the black beans, garlic, scallion (spring onions) and shallots. A few seconds later add the rest of the ingredients. bring the mixture to the boil and then return the pork to the wok or frying pan. Stir fry the entire mixture for another 5 minutes.
Turn it on to a warm serving platter and serve at once with some hot steamed rice.