Saturday, 2 May 2015

It's the 3pm Munchies Cure!

From the fabulous Recipes and Images from Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog, published by Murdoch Books, I have two killer recipes that will have you racing for the door and ready to get into the kitchen tonight. Or now.
Book available now. Buy it here.

 Basil & Parmesan Polenta Chips

When cooked perfectly, these chips have a lovely crunchy crust. They’re delicious on their own as a snack, or served with steak and salad. If I’m cooking polenta to eat with another dish, I make extra with a little basil, and refrigerate it, so I have some ready to go for these yummy chips.

Serves 4 as a side.



500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken or vegetable stock

190 g (6¾ oz/1 cup) coarse polenta (cornmeal)
80 g (2¾ oz/¾ cup) finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil spray (optional)

  1. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square glass or ceramic dish with baking paper.
  2. Put the stock and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Slowly pour in the polenta, whisking until well combined. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring regularly to prevent the polenta catching, for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and comes away from the side of the pan. 
  3. Remove from the heat, add the parmesan and basil, season to taste and combine well. Pour the polenta into the prepared dish, cool, then refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm. 
  4. Cut the polenta into chips and cook on a lightly oiled barbecue hotplate until golden and crisp on all sides. Alternatively, spray the chips with olive oil and bake at 180°C (350°F) for 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Serve hot.

Lamb & Herb Salad

Serves 4
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) lamb backstraps or loin fillets
3 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary 
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 g (5½ oz) cherry tomatoes
250 g (9 oz) haloumi cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves 
1 small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves 
1 small handful tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon coarsely torn basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint 
4 handfuls rocket
40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Put lamb in a shallow dish, drizzle with a little oil, add half the rosemary and thyme, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. 
  3. Put the tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and season. Roast for 20 minutes, or until soft but not falling apart. Leave oven on.
  4. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over medium–high heat and sear the lamb on both sides, until just browned. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the lamb for 10–12 minutes, or until it is cooked to your liking. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes, before slicing it diagonally.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the haloumi for 30 seconds on each side, or until golden. Remove from the pan and tear into large pieces.
  6. Put all the herbs, including the remaining rosemary and thyme, in a bowl. Add the rocket, pine nuts, roasted tomatoes and haloumi. 
  7. Whisk oil and vinegar together and season to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Divide the salad evenly among four plates, top with the sliced lamb and serve immediately.





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