Archive for the ‘Nigel Slater’ Category

Noodle soup with lentils and soured cream (Nigel Slater)

September 17, 2018
Noodle soup with lentils and soured cream

Serves 4-6
onions 4
olive oil 3 tbsp
garlic 3 cloves
ground turmeric 2 tsp
chickpeas 1 x 400g tin
haricot beans 1 x 400g tin
small brown lentils 100g
vegetable stock 1 litre
butter 40g
linguine or Iranian reshteh noodles 100g
spinach 200g
parsley 30g
coriander 20g
mint 15g
soured cream 250ml

Peel the onions. Roughly chop two of them and thinly slice the others. Warm the olive oil in a large pan set over a moderate heat, add the two chopped onions and fry them for 10-15 minutes till soft and pale gold. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Stir in the garlic and ground turmeric and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.

Drain the chickpeas and haricot beans and stir them into the onions together with the lentils and stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring the pan occasionally.

Melt the butter in a shallow pan, then add the reserved sliced onions and let them cook slowly, with the occasional stir, until they are a rich toffee brown. This will take a good half an hour.

Add the linguine or noodles to the simmering beans. Wash the spinach, put it in a separate pan set over a medium heat, cover with a lid and leave it for 3 or 4 minutes until it has wilted. Turn occasionally with kitchen tongs. Remove the spinach and put it in a colander under cold running water until cool.

Wring the moisture from the spinach with your hands then stir into the simmering stew. Roughly chop the parsley, coriander and mint leaves and stir most of them into the onions and beans.

Fold in the soured cream, then ladle into bowls and fold in the remaining herbs and the fried onions.

Salted Caramel Brownies (Nigel Slater)

September 29, 2017

Serves up to 16

300g golden caster sugar
250g salted butter
250g dark chocolate
3 eggs (and one additional egg yolk)
60g spelt flour
60g cocoa
1/2tsp baking powder
Salted Caramel 
125g caster sugar
60ml double cream
30g butter
1/2tsp Maldon (or other flaked) sea salt

1. Preheat your oven to 180C. Butter and then line the tin with greaseproof paper; the brownie will be too delicate to “turn out”, so do make sure you have plenty of paper to grasp hold of once it’s baked.

2. Before you prepare the brownie batter, make the caramel. Melt the sugar and 4tbsp water over a medium heat, stirring until dissolved and then boiling the syrup without putting the spoon back in. Allow it to turn a rich golden brown, then remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and cream. It will sputter and spit, so be careful of your hands. Add the salt and set the caramel aside.

3. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat together until light and creamy. Try and use an electrical implement (electric hand whisk or stand mixer) if you have one, so you can get the mixture really light.

4. Place 200g of the chocolate (broken into chunks) in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Once mostly melted, remove from the heat and stir to melt the final pieces.

5. Crack the eggs, on at a time, into the creamed butter and sugar, beating well after each addition. Add the yolk in too. Pour in the melted chocolate, then chop the remaining 50g chocolate into small pieces and add this too. Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa into the mixture and fold in with a spatula until just combined. Do this gently, but do make sure you get rid of any white streaks of butter.

6. Pour the mixture into the tin, then smooth out the top. Use a spoon to drizzle the caramel over the top, then use a skewer to swirl it into the mixture. Place the brownie batter in the oven for 30 minutes. The batter will have risen a little and should have flaked on top. Remove from the oven when a skewer inserted comes out sticky, but without raw dough on it. Start checking the brownies after around 25 minutes, and err on the side of too short a time in the oven; you can always pop it back in for a minute or so, but you can’t reclaim the dense fudginess the middle of a brownie should have. Do remember that it will continue to set while cooling. Allow to cool in the tin for thirty minutes or so, then pull out and cut into squares.

Spaghettini Aglio E Olio (Nigel Slater)

January 12, 2016

Cook 200g spaghetti or the finer spaghettini in deep, salted boiling water until al dente. Drain lightly. Put a fat pinch of crushed, dried chillies, 2 cloves of garlic chopped very finely, 3 tbsp of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley and 4 tbsp olive oil into a pan. Place over a low heat and cook until the garlic is pale gold. Toss the drained pasta with the warm oil and serve immediately.

The trick

The quality of the oil is important. Go for your favourite. Heating the garlic and chilli too much will send it bitter. To keep it sweet, make sure it doesn’t get any darker than palest gold. Keep parsley quite coarse to give the correct rustic quality to the dish. Drain the pasta only lightly, so that there is a little water left on it – this will help to ensure the pasta is moist and juicy. Salt the pasta water generously – it should taste like seawater.

The twist

I like the simplicity of this recipe as it is, but you can use it as a base for a more elaborate version by adding sliced, marinated artichokes, chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped anchovies, toasted breadcrumbs, lemon zest, shavings of parmesan or shredded basil leaves.

Pappardelle with basil, parsley, lemon and pine nuts (Nigel Slater)

November 14, 2015

Serves 4
for the dressing:
garlic 3 young cloves
basil 40g
pine nuts 50g
parmesan 50g, grated
parsley 20g
lemon 1
olive oil 5 tbsp

Dust the work surface or a wooden board with a fine layer of flour. Flatten the ball of dough (the basic or herb, above) slightly with the palm of your hand and start rolling. Using a light pasta pin, roll out the kneaded and rested dough as thinly as you dare. At the start of rolling, it is easiest if you roll with one hand and hold the dough in place with the other, without pressing too hard. Roll it into a rectangle as large as you can without it tearing.

Place the dough on top of a tea towel and leave to rest for about 20 minutes until slightly dry to the touch. Cut the dough into wide strips.

To make the dressing, peel the garlic cloves and drop into a mortar with a small pinch of salt flakes. Using the pestle, grind the garlic and salt until you have a thick and lumpy paste, then add the basil leaves (torn if very large), together with the pine nuts and grated parmesan. Pound with the pestle, pushing against the sides until you have a coarse paste.

Finely chop the parsley and stir into the basil paste. Squeeze the lemon, taking care to exclude the pips (if one gets into dressing, the result will be bitter) and stir in the juice, then slowly trickle in the olive oil, mixing to a wet paste. Taste, check the seasoning and set aside, covered with clingfilm.

To cook the pasta, get a deep pan of water on to boil and salt generously. With the water at a furious boil, lower in the ribbons of pasta, making sure they are not in clumps that could stick together. Stir once, then leave to cook for 4 minutes. When the pasta is tender, drain carefully into a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water. Stir a spoon or two of the hot water into the basil dressing then add the pasta and toss together gently.

Pasta dough (Nigel Slater)

November 14, 2015

Italian ‘00’ flour 300g
salt ¼ tsp
eggs 3

Combine the flour and salt. Put the flour in a pile on a work surface or in a large mixing bowl. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat briefly. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the eggs. Bring the mixture together with your fingers to form a soft dough, adding a little more flour if it sticks. Knead firmly until the dough is no longer sticky and is elastic to the touch. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes before using.

Blackberry Ice Cream Cake (Nigel Slater)

September 30, 2013

Blackberry Ice Cream Cake (Nigel Slater)

Chicken with fennel and leek (Nigel Slater)

September 24, 2013

chicken thighs, fennel, leeks, chicken or vegetable stock, lemon, parsley

Season 6 bone-in chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then brown them lightly in a shallow pan in a little oil and melted butter. Cut 2 medium-sized leeks into cork-sized lengths, wash thoroughly then add to the pan. Separate 2 fennel bulbs into layers then add them to the chicken and leeks and leave to soften for about 10 minutes, covering with a lid. Grate in the zest from a lemon and continue cooking for a minute or so.

Scatter over 2 tablespoons of flour, then cook for a few minutes before pouring in a litre of chicken or vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil, season, then lower the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for 35 minutes, covered with a lid, giving the occasional stir.

Finish the dish with the juice of the lemon and a handful of chopped parsley. We have leeks and fennel already, so just floury potatoes, steamed in their skins, to soak up the parsley-freckled chicken juices.

For 3. Familiar flavours. A meal to nourish.

Rosemary and Honey Bread (Nigel Slater)

September 23, 2013

strong wholemeal flour 250g
strong white plain flour 250g
salt 1 tsp
warm water 350ml
honey 1 tbsp
fresh yeast 40g
rosemary 2 tbsp, chopped
dried cherries 50g
dried apricots 50g
golden sultanas 50g
rosemary stalks a few, to decorate
sea salt flakes

Put the two different flours in a large mixing bowl, add the salt and mix thoroughly. Pour the warm water into a small bowl then stir in the honey and yeast. When they have dissolved add the chopped rosemary.

Tip the yeast and honey mixture into the flours and stir in the cherries, apricots and sultanas. If you are using a food mixer armed with a dough hook (a flat paddle will work just as well) then mix for 4 or 5 minutes. You should have a dough that is really quite sticky. Cover it with a cloth and leave in a warm, but far from hot, place for about an hour until risen and lightly spongy.

Flour a large chopping board or work surface, tip the dough on to it and slice in half. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Scatter the surface of each loaf with a few rosemary stalks and a few pinches of sea salt flakes. Cover with a cloth and leave for about 20 minutes, until the dough has flattened and spread slightly. Set the oven at 220C/gas mark 7. Bake for 25 minutes, until dark brown, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. When cool, slice and serve with goat’s cheese and mild honey.

These spongy loaves will keep for two or three days if wrapped in clingfilm.

Lemon Curd (Nigel Slater)

September 23, 2013

unwaxed lemons zest and juice of 4

sugar 200g
butter 100g
eggs 3 whole and 1 egg yolk

Most lemon curd recipes instruct you to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. I find that stirring lightly with a whisk introduces just a little more lightness into the curd, making it slightly less solid and more wobbly.

Put the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter, cut into cubes, into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the basin doesn’t touch the water. Stir with a whisk from time to time until the butter has completely melted.

Mix the eggs and egg yolk lightly with a fork, then stir into the lemon mixture. Let the curd cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes, until it is thick and custard-like. It should feel heavy on the whisk.

Remove from the heat and stir occasionally as it cools. Pour into spotlessly clean jars and seal. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Coffee and Walnut Cake (Nigel Slater)

September 23, 2013

butter 175g
unrefined golden caster sugar 175g
walnut pieces 65g
eggs 3 large
self-raising flour 175g
baking powder 1 tsp
instant coffee granules 2 tsp

For the filling:
butter 200g
icing sugar 400g
instant coffee granules 2 tsps
walnut pieces 60g

You will also need 2 x 21cm loose-bottomed sponge tins

As it is made with unsalted butter, unrefined sugar and free-range organic eggs, you will have something infinitely superior to any shop-bought cake. It takes an hour from start to finish and will keep for several days, sealed and at room temperature. The ideal storage is an old-fashioned biscuit tin, one where the smell of home-baking lingers even when the tin is empty.

Beat the butter and sugar till it is light, pale and fluffy. You could do this by hand, but it is far easier and better with an electric mixer. Set the oven at 180°C/gas mark 4. Meanwhile, line the base of two 21cm sponge tins with greaseproof paper and chop the walnuts. Crack the eggs into a bowl, break them up with a fork and add them a little at a time to the butter and sugar, beating well after each addition.

Mix the flour and baking powder together and mix into the butter and sugar gently, with the mixer on a slow speed or by hand, with a large metal spoon. Dissolve the coffee granules in 1 tbsp boiling water, then stir into the cake. Chop the walnuts and fold gently into the cake.

Divide the cake mixture between the two cake tins, smooth lightly, and bake for 20-25 minutes. I have noticed mine are pretty much consistently done after 23 minutes.

To make the frosting, beat the butter till soft and pale with an electric beater, then add the sugar and beat till smooth and creamy. Stir 1 tbsp boiling water into the coffee granules then mix it into the buttercream. Fold in the walnut pieces.

As soon as it is cool, turn one half of the cake upside down on a plate or board, spread it with a good third of the buttercream, then place the second half on top. Spread the remaining buttercream on top and round the sides.