Mussels with garlic and parsley

A very healthy and satisfying supper with fresh crusty bread to mop up the tasty juices. You will need a large pan with a tightly fitting lid to contain the mussels.

INGREDIENTS

  • I bag fresh mussels
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 150ml/5¼fl oz white wine
  • 150ml/5¼fl oz double cream
  • small bunch flatleaf parsley, chopped

METHOD

1. First give your mussels a good clean. Wash in lots of cold water before tackling the ‘beards’. To remove the stringy bears, give them a good tug and wiggle from side to side until they come away from the mussel.

2. Discard any broken mussels or those which are open and won’t shut tight when you tap them.

3. When this has been done leave to one side while you heat the olive oil and gently sweat the onion in a large pan. When it is softened, add the garlic and cook for a further few minutes.

4. Add the white wine and allow it to come to the boil. As soon as this happens, throw in the mussels and turn down the heat.

5. Put a lid on the pan and let the mussels steam for 4-5 minutes until all the mussels are wide open. Stir from time to time to distribute the heat.

6. Add the cream and cook for another minute or so, then season with salt and pepper and scatter over the chopped parsley.

7. Serve immediately, discarding any mussels which haven’t opened.

Tangy Marinaded Pork Salad for a Hot Summer’s Day

The perfect cook ahead recipe for a hot day. This recipe was gleaned from a book called Deep France by Celica Brayfield, an account of her living in France in monthly diary form, along with seasonal recipes. This recipe is deeply savoury and very handy when you don’t want to spend too much time cooking in the heat of the day.

For 6-8

500g/1lb 2oz pork fillet

3 tsp five-spice powder

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp soft brown sugar

1 Tbsp lemon thynme leaves

3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

3 large mild red chillies, deseeded and chopped

3 Tbsp soy sauce (I like the Kikkoman low salt)

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

3 Tbsp oil

METHOD

1. Marinate the pork fillet whole in all the other ingredients for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.

2. Rub the marinade in well and turn the fillet in the marinade several times. Cover and leave in the fridge.

3. When ready to cook, allow the pork to come to room temperature for half an hour

4. Preheat the oven to a high temperature. Put the pork on a piece of foil in a roasting tin, pour over the marinade and cook on the maximum heat for 5 minutes.

5. Turn the oven down to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Baste the pork again, with the marinade  and then roast the pork for a further 15-20 minutes, basting and turning twice more.

6. Remove from the oven, baste again and allow to cool.The outisde of the meat will be a deep glossy brown. When the meat is thoroughly cold, slice into thin medallions and serve with the salad below.

SALAD

2 limes

1 tsp sesame oil and 2 Tbsp light olive oil

2 tsp caster sugar

pinch of salt

1 Little Gem lettuce or half a cos or romaine lettuce

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into fine batonms

a handful each of mint, basil and coriander leaves

4 spring onions, halved and shredded into strips

2 Tbsp toasted peanuts

METHOD

1. Juice one of the limes and mix the juice with the oils, sugar and salt

2. Peel the other lime and cut the flesh into segments.

3. Tear up the lettuce and put in a flat salad bowl. Mix in the cucumber, lime segments, herb leaves and spring onion strips. Chill until ready to serve.

4. Toss the chilled leaves with the lime dressing, Pile the slices of pork in the middle of the salad and glaze with a little of the leftover mariande.

4. Sprinkle over the peanuts and serve.

SERVE with a tray of olive oil roast potatoes.

Quick TV Supper: Quick and nutritious lunch from the cupboard

Today we were out marking the best spot to watch the Olympic Men’s cycling race tomorrow. Our plan is to walk in through the pedestrian gate, stop for coffee and bacon rolls before heading through the Olympic Circles cut in the grass in Richmond Park, then on towards the barriers. Walking at my rate will get us there in 30 minutes, but would normally take around 35-40 minutes (I am a very fast walker). Getting excited now, especially as we saw the Swiss team whizz right past us as they were practising for the big day. After all this excitement we needed lunch and this is a perfect store cupboard standby, especially if you are glued to the screen watching the Olympics….

Tuna and Cannellini Salad with lemon, flat parsley and chilli

IMG_0120

Serves 3-4

  • 1 x 410g tin of Cannellini beans in water
  • 1 x 185g tin of tuna in sunflower oil
  • 4 x spring onions
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tbs good quality olive oil
  • salt, black pepper, and chilli flakes

Method

  1. Drain the can of beans and put into a bowl
  2. Drain the tuna and add to the beans
  3. Wash, trim and finely chop the spring onions
  4. Chop the flat leaf parsley
  5. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Top with chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat, otherwise leave out
  6. Give all the ingredients a good toss before transferring to serving dishes

TIP:

Add rocket or other salad leaves, halved baby plum tomatoes, or sun dried tomatoes if you have them to hand. Serve with some toasted country bread or wholemeal pitta bread.