Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Category: Main courses (Page 1 of 11)

Swedish-style Salmon and Spinach Bake

This was unexpectedly delicious! Quantities make four portions. It is basically layers of wilted spinach, salmon, creamy lemony sauce topped with sliced potato and baked.

  • 600g waxy potatoes, such as Desirée, not peeled

If the potatoes are large you can cut them in half or quarters. Boil 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then slip the skins off. Set aside.

  • 350g young leaf spinach

Place in a collander, pour over boiling water until wilted. You may have to do this in two batches. Set aside to drain.

  • 60g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk

Make a white sauce. When thickened, add

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 10-15g fresh dill, chopped
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • pinch of ground white pepper

Now assemble your pie in a suitable oven-proof dish. Squeeze all the remaining water out of the spinach and lay it out in the bottom of the dish. Add

  • 700g skinless salmon fillets (about 4) cut into bite-size chunks

Pour over the white sauce. Slice the potatoes and layer over the top, overlapping.

  • 2 tbs mleted butter

Brush the top with melted butter and bake 30-40 minutes at 180C. This is a meal in itself but goes well with some fresh bread and a green vegetable if you wish.

Rice ‘n’ Peas

Not peas actually, but beans. Here’s a quick nearly authentic version to go with any Jamaican dish. Serves four as a side.

  • Half a large onion, chopped
  • Dash of vegetable oil

Saute the onion in the oil until transparent. Add

  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced

Saute a few minutes more. Add

  • 225 gm long grain white rice

Stir until coated in oil. Add

  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 900 ml vegetable stock
  • Pinch of dried thyme or a teaspoon thyme leaves

Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Add

  • 1 tin of either red kidney beans, black beans or black-eyed beans
  • Optional: 50g coconut cream

Heat for another five minutes. If the water hasn’t been absorbed, remove the lid and heat until it dries out. Add

  • Chopped coriander leaves or parsley
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper

Serve as a side dish for four people. You can make this a main course by stir frying 200g pork mince with the onion at the beginning, which would serve 2-3.

Mama’s Jamaican Chicken

Serves four as a main course. One tricky part and the rest is very easy. Marinaded, seared then simmered. First make your marinade.

  • 2 spring onions
  • thyme – leaves from 3 sprigs
  • 2tbs chopped coriander leaves
  • 1tbs chopped parsley
  • 1tsp chopped ginger root
  • 2 garlic clives
  • dash of vegetable oil
  • half a lime, juiced
  • dash of Angostrua bitters
  • dash of hot chilli sauce

Blend all that with a stick blender to make a green sauce.

  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on

Marinade the thighs in the sauce for at least four hours or overnight.

  • 5 tbs caster sugur

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Scrape off the marinade and keep it. Here’s the tricky part. Spread the sugar over the base of a cast iron casserole and heat until it turns brown and smokes. If you let this go slightly too far it will burn and you’ll have to start again. At the right moment, put your chicken thighs on the pan skin side down so it sears in the hot caramel. After five minutes turn them over to sear the other side for a few minutes more. They should look nicely brown. Add the marinade you kept, and a dash of water. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, adding more water if it is drying out and catching. When the chicken is cooked and you have a nice syrupy sauce, serve with rice ‘n’ peas.

Cheat’s quick veg biryani

OK, true Indian cookery affionados will probably cringe at this, but if you want a tasty meal ready in under 20 minutes and fewer than 100 ingredients you are in the right place. I’m giving the quantities here for one person, you can scale up x2, x3 and x4 but as this is a microwave dish I’m not guaranteeing it will work for larger quantities because I haven’t tested it for more servings. You can adapt it for the Instant Pot then you can go larger.

Here goes, per person. You can chop and change the choice of vegetables. It can be one or two types, or a gathering of anything you have to hand.

  • 70gm basmati rice
  • 140ml vegetable stock
  • 0.5tbs curry paste (any will do)
  • 120gm vegetables – sliced mushroom, chopped beans, peas, chopped pepper, chopped carrot, cauliflower florets, diced potato, diced sweet potato or any combo that takes your fancy. You can use chopped onion but best to saute these first.
  • 25g dried fruit such as sultanta, raisin, chopped dried apricot

Put the whole lot in a microwaveable container such as a pyrex bowl, and cover. Microwave on full power for 12 minutes. If you are scaling up, you may need to cook for slightly longer but only a minute or two. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff up and add:

  • 25g shopped cashews or flaked almonds
  • 0.5tbs chopped fresh corianer if you have it

Serve with a blob of yoghurt on top and chutney on the side. If you have a few long-life naan breads in the cupboard, heat one in the toaster. If you have grabbed a pack of uncooked popadums you could microwave a couple of those instead. Grab a bottle of lager and away you go.

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Thank you Aedy for bringing this one to Arford Books.

Mix

  • 1kg chicken, jointed or pieces preferably bone-in
  • 2.5tsp Sri Lancan roasted curry powder
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper or red chilli powder
  • 0.5tsp turmeric
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1tbs white wine venegar

Marinate for 30 minutes

  • 3tbs oil
  • 1 onion, chopped

Saute until translucent. Add

  • 1tbs minced garlic
  • 1tbs minced ginger

Saute for another two minutes. Add your marinated chicken plus

  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies sliced

Stir and fry for two minutes. Add

  • 1 large roma/beef tomato chopped

Let it cook down. Add

  • 80ml tomato passata/sauce/puree OR 1tbs tomato paste with 2 tbs water
  • 250ml water

Let it come to the boil then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add

  • 80ml coconut milk

Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and serve with rice, naan or roti.

Rotisserie Chicken

If you have a rotisserie. If not use your grill and keep turning!

Make a rub mix by mixing:

  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp onion powder
  • 0.5tsp salt
  • 0.5tsp ground black pepper.

This amount will just cover a medium chicken. If you like plenty of flavour or have a larger chicken, just double it but keep the ratios the same

  • 1 medium chicken
  • 2tbs oil
  • Rub mix

Mount your chicken on the rotisserie skewer. Smear oil over your chicken then spinkle the rub all over. It will stick, if you actually rub the rub it will come off on your hands which is pointless.

Grill for 75 minutes, basting every 20 minutes, then test with a thermometer – it should be 75C in the centre of meat mass, so check breast and thigh. If it’s not, grill a bit longer. When done, let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the sides. Roast sweet potato mash, corn and green beans works well!

Indian Pie

This is like a giant samosa. A bit fusion I guess, but very good. To make a pie for four people:

  • 500g new potatoes

Boil until tender, about 15 minutes

  • 1 onion

Chop the onion and soften in a pan with a dash of oil. Add

  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 0.5tbs black mustard seeds
  • 0.5tbs cumin seed
  • 1tbs grated ginger root
  • 2 tbs curry paste (Korma, Masala)

Heat a bit longer to cook the spices. Add

  • 2 large handfuls spinach or chard leaves, washed and still wet.

Cover the pan and wilt the leaves. Add the cooked potatoes plus

  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Mix and mush the potatoes to break them up but not too much. This is your pie mix.

Now find a springform or loose bottom cake or flan tin about 25cm diameter.

  • 6 sheets filo pastry (usually vegan – check)
  • Melted butter (or vegan equivalent)

Brush the sheets with butter and also the inside and base of the tin. Lay 3-4 sheets across the bottom of the tin and up the sides, leaving plenty loose. Fill the pie with your pie mix. Fold the pastry sides over the top. Add the remaining sheets, scrunch them a bit and tuck around the sides so you have a wavy, untidy top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 35 minutes. Serve with a side of Josh’s Dhal and some spicy chutney.

Shrimp Gumbo

One from Aedy, she made an ace gumbo.

  • Celery, diced
  • Green pepper, diced
  • White onion, diced 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup okra, sliced
  • Shrimp shells (or any kind of stock if you aren’t making your own)
  • Vegetable oil
  • All purpose flour
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Andouille sausage (or kielbasa)
  • Bay leaves
  • Shrimp
  • Parsley, chopped
  • White rice (to serve with)

Start by chopping some celery, green peppers, and onions. Then mince six cloves of garlic and slice some okra.

For the Shrimp Stock: Saute the shrimp shells in a little vegetable oil for five minutes and then add five cups of water, letting it simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain it and you should end up with 4 cups of shrimp stock.

For the roux: Start by heating ½ cup of vegetable oil over medium heat until it’s almost smoking, then add ½ cup of all-purpose flour. Stir rigorously and constantly while it goes through the different phases of roux until it becomes a nice dark chocolate color.

Pour the mix of chopped vegetables (celery, green peppers, and onions) into the pot and stir.

After stirring a few times, add the sliced okra and saute everything together until nice and soft before adding the minced garlic and sauteing some more.

Once soft and fragrant, add the 4 cups of shrimp stock. Make sure to add slowly while constantly stirring at first. Once half of the stock has been added, go ahead and pour the rest of the stock in.

Season with some paprika and cayenne pepper.

Add in some andouille sausage (if you can’t find andouille sausage, you can use some smoked kielbasa) with two fresh bay leaves.

Stir and let simmer for 1 solid hour.

Remove the bay leaves and add the raw shrimp to cook for four minutes.

Add some freshly cut parsley and stir it all together and letting it cook for 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and prepare to serve with some white rice.

Ladle the gumbo around and over a mound of rice and garnish with green onions and freshly cut parsley.

Jamaican Pork Curry

This is a variation on the better-know goat curry, but pork is easier to source in the UK. There may seem a lot of spices but it creates a rich, deep curry with some heat but not too much. This makes enough for 6 portions. I have provided Instant Pot and conventional hob versions.

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • vegetable oil

Saute the onions gently until translucent.

  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced

Add to the pan and cook for another minute.

  • 1 to 1.5kg pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and skin, cubed
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1 tbs celery salt
  • 1 tbs garlic granules
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper
  • 4 spigs thyme, leaves only

Mix all together in the pan and cook briefly. Add

  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chilli, left whole but stabbed with a knife
  • Instant Pot – 1 can water; stove top – 1 litre water

Instant pot: cook on Meat for 45 minutes then depressurise naturally. Cooker: simmer on the lowest ring for 2.5 to 3 hours, checking it hasn’t dried out.

Instant pot – when ready, you may find it is still runny and the fat has rendered. Let it settle for a few mintues and scoop or pour the fat away. Mix 0.5tbs cornflower with a dash of water and stir in. Reheat to thicken. You can do this with the stove version if it hasn’t reduced.

Serve with Rice’n’Beans or just rice.

Best DIY Pizza

This makes four small or three generous pizzas.

  • 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 325ml lukewarm water (warm enough to wash in)

Mix together in a jug and leave for a few minutes

  • 400g strong white flour
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Stir to mix then mix in with the yeasty liquid. Either do this in a food processor and run the motor for 60 seconds or knead by hand for ten minutes.

Shape into a ball, smear with oil and place in a large warm bowl. Cover in oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place like your airing cupboard for an hour or until double in size.

Take out all the shelves from your oven. Heat your oven to as hot as possible, 250degC.

Knock back the dough and break into three or four equal lumps. Dust a work surface with flour and roll/stretch into discs about 0.5cm thick. Take squares of foil, oil them (this is important) and lay the pizzas on them.

  • Top quality passata or homemade tomato sauce

Spread thinly over the pizzas. Add

  • toppings of choice (ham, prawns, anchovies, sliced pepperoni; or if you want vegan stick to sauted mushroom, olives, sliced antipasto artichoke, basil leaves, sliced pepper, sliced onion, etc.)
  • Top with sliced or grated mozzarella cheese or vegan cheese.

Now for the clever bit. Slide the foil carrying your pizza onto the oven shelves. Put the shelves back in the oven and cook for ten minutes. If they look done they are done!

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