WITH restaurants closed in lockdown, we’ll all be eating at home for some time to come.
So when you decide to cook, why not put a twist on some family favourites? If you want some inspiration for your Sunday roast, take your cue from TV favourite Nadiya Hussain.
The Bake Off winner and mum of three is known for putting a unique spin on traditional recipes – often combining ingredients you might not expect to work, yet do.
Here, in exclusive extracts from three of Nadiya’s books, Natasha Harding shares great options for an alternative roast dinner . . . plus some tasty puds to make staying in a sweet treat.
Sunday lunch our way
I ONLY started making a Sunday lunch once my kids had a serious appreciation for a roast potato.
And I must admit that our Sunday lunches are not just limited to Sundays. If we feel up for it, we make it, whatever the day. Of course, like most meals, I don’t go entirely classic.
The concept remains but the recipe has been adapted and changed over the years and this is our favourite combination: garlic and ginger spatchcock chicken, ghee roasties, coriander stuffing balls, turmeric greens and tomato gravy.
Down with convention!
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
For the chicken
- 1 x 1.5kg whole chicken
- 25ml olive oil
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tsp salt
- For the ghee roasties
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (800g)
- 50g clarified butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
For the coriander stuffing balls
- 30g fresh coriander
- 20g pine nuts
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 40g fresh breadcrumbs
- 250g chicken mince
- 1 medium egg
- 3 tbsp oil, for frying
- For the turmeric greens
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- 450g green beans
For the tomato gravy
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tomatoes, chopped (about 450g)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 300ml boiling water
- 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
METHOD: This is a long old recipe with lots of different elements, but that’s what Sunday lunches are all about. Get everyone involved, share the load, and lunch will come sooner.
Start by putting the potatoes into a large saucepan of cold water. Turn the heat up to high and let the potatoes cook for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, spatch- cock the chicken by cutting it through the backbone and opening it up. Flatten the chicken by pushing down on the breast.
Drain the potatoes, then put them back into the pan with the lid on and give them a few furious shakes – this will help to rough up the edges.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Put the clarified butter into a large roasting tray that’s big enough to fit all the potatoes. Pop the tray into the oven to heat the butter up for about 15 minutes, until it is smoking. Put the chicken in another large roasting tray and tease your hand under the skin to create a cavity. Do this all over the chicken.
Mix together the oil, ginger, garlic and salt in a bowl. Now with your hands put this mixture under the skin of the chicken. Do this all over the chicken until you have no more mixture left. Turn the chicken skin-side down in the tray and cover with foil.
Now add the salt and baking powder to the potatoes and give them a good toss in the saucepan. Take the tray of hot butter out of the oven and gently (as the butter is hot) put the potatoes in. You should hear a really good sizzle.
Put the chicken into the oven with the tray of roasties underneath it. Cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the stuffing balls. Put the fresh coriander, pine nuts, salt, ground coriander, breadcrumbs, chicken mince and egg into a food processor and whiz until the mixture comes together.
Put a medium frying pan on a high heat and add the oil. Divide the stuffing mixture into 8, then wet your hands and shape each one into a smooth ball. Fry for 20 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally to cook evenly.
After 30 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven. Take off the foil and turn the chicken around to crisp up the skin. Put back into the oven. Give the roasties a quick stir and cook them alongside the chicken for another 20 minutes.
To cook the greens, put a frying pan on a high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and fry until brown, then add the turmeric and salt and toss in the green beans – these take about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the gravy. Put a small saucepan on the hob on a medium to high heat. Add the oil to the pan, along with the cinnamon stick and garlic. When the garlic has browned, add the tomato paste and tomatoes and cook gently until the tomatoes have softened. Add the salt, tamarind and water. Let it all cook gently while the chicken cooks, allowing it to thicken. This should only take 10 minutes. When it’s ready, remove the cinnamon stick.
Blitz the gravy using a stick blender, add the cornflour and water mix and cook for another 5 minutes, giving enough time for the gravy to thicken and the flour to cook out.
Serve the meal with Yorkshire puddings. I always have a stash in the freezer that can be warmed up just before serving. I really hope you enjoy my alternative slightly out-there Sunday roast.
- Extracted from Nadiya’s Family Favourites, by Nadiya Hussain, published by Michael Joseph.
Chicken, brie, cranberry & pink pepper pithivier
A FRENCH classic, this beautifully scored, round puff-pastry pie can be filled with all manner of ingredients, sweet or savoury. With such a reliable exterior, the inside is all to play for.
I filled mine with chicken spiced and sweetened with pink peppercorns and cranberries, around a delicious centre of melted brie.
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking time: 50 minutes. Can be assembled up to 1 day in advance then baked to serve
2 x 500g blocks of puff pastry
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp pink peppercorns, crushed
300g chicken thighs, cut into cubes
100g dried cranberries
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
200g Brie cheese
METHOD: Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Take the puff pastry blocks and roll them one by one on a floured surface. Roll to a 5mm thickness and cut using a 25cm round, then cut another circle to a 30cm round. Leave both to chill on a tray while you make the filling
Now make the filling by adding oil to a non-stick pan. Blitz the garlic and onion to a smooth paste.
Add the paste to the hot oil and cook until the mixture is thick and brown – this should take about 10 minutes over a medium heat. Now add the salt and peppercorns and mix.
Add the chicken along with the cranberries and mix and cook until you have a dry chicken mix and the chicken is cooked through, which should take around 7 minutes at most. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely.
Take the smaller round and lightly brush the edges with egg yolk.
Carefully slice off the top and base of the Brie, just to make it shorter. Pop the Brie in the centre of the round then add the chicken all around the edge and over the top of the Brie, patting it into a mound and avoiding the brushed egg-yolk edge.
Take the second, larger circle and place on top. Push down over the filling, easing out any air bubbles as you go and sealing all around the edges firmly. Brush the top with the egg yolk and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and put a tray in it to heat up. Remove the pithivier from fridge. Flute the edge using the back of a knife to create a scalloped edge and score the top. Brush with the egg yolk again, and bake for 25–30 minutes.
If the pastry looks very dark after 20 minutes, cover loosely with foil and reduce the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Serve straight from the oven.
- Extracted from: Nadiya Bakes, by Nadiya Hussain, published by Michael Joseph, £22.
Choc lime roulade
WHEN you see a swirl in a dessert it looks like so much effort has been made, when in reality it’s actually quite easy, especially in this case because the sponge itself takes less time to bake than I do to get into bed.
It’s such a simple recipe – chocolate cake, creamy chocolate filling, all with a hint of lime. Chocolate limes used to be my fave sweets and I still can’t resist them when I see them.
You can use any jam you have left over at home, but I like lime marmalade – just for recipes like this, though, I’m not such a fan of it on my toast.
I’ve given quantities for the ganache that will give you some extra chocolatey treats, but halve them if you only want to make the roulade today.
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
For the sponge
- 3 eggs
- 100g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 75g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder
For the ganache filling
- 300g dark chocolate, chips or roughly chopped
- 100ml boiling water
- 300g cream cheese
- 4 tbsp lime marmalade
- 1 lime, zest only (save the rest of them)
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3, and grease and line a medium baking tray with sides or a Swiss roll tin 35cm x 23cm.
Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk until the mixture has tripled in size and, when the beaters are lifted, leaves ribbons of batter on the surface. This will take up to 5 minutes.
Sift in the flour and cocoa and use a metal spoon to gently bring the mixture together. Keep mixing gently until there is no flour left in the bottom of the bowl.
Pour the mixture into the tin and gently tilt it to encourage the mixture to get into the corners.
When it has run as much as possible, carefully – without squashing the air bubbles out of the mixture – use a small spatula to guide the rest so that it covers the tin evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, take a large sheet of baking paper the same size as the sponge and sprinkle it generously with sugar. As soon as the sponge is baked, tip it upside-down, on to the waiting sugared paper, and peel off the lining paper that it was baked on.
With the long edge closest to you, roll up the whole thing, making sure to wrap it with the sugared paper encased in the roll. Leave to cool in the paper on a cooling rack.
To make the ganache, put the chocolate into a bowl and microwave in bursts of 10 seconds until you have just a few unmelted pieces of chocolate.
Now stir the chocolate – the heat of the bowl will help melt it until smooth. Pour the boiling water a little bit at a time into the chocolate. Don’t be alarmed – at first the chocolate will thicken as you stir. Just add a little more water and stir again. Repeat until you have a loose and glossy ganache. Divide the ganache mixture in half. Put one half aside and add the cream cheese to the other half, whisking well until you have a creamy mixture.
Once the cake has almost cooled, unroll it and remove the baking paper. Spread it with a thin layer of lime marmalade, then sprinkle over the zest. (Keep the limes, hollow them out and fill the cavity with baking powder. If you leave it in the back of your fridge, they will keep everything smelling fresh.)
Now spread a thin layer of the chocolate cream over the sponge. Then, as you did before, roll the sponge as it was until you get to the end. Make sure to have the roll seam-side down. Drizzle with some remaining ganache.
- Extracted from Time To Eat, by Nadiya Hussain, published by Michael Joseph.
Chocolate caramel flan
THIS clever dessert starts with caramel in the base of the tin, then a simple chocolate-sponge batter and finally a crème caramel mixture.
As it sits and bakes in a water bath, the crème caramel seeps down to meet the caramel and creates a beautiful soft layer that becomes the top once the cake is turned out. Just magical.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, plus cooling
Keeps in the fridge for 2 days
For the base
- 125g salted caramel
- For the cake
- 150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra (melted) for greasing the tin
- 190g soft brown sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean extract
- 200g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for flouring the tin
- 30g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp coffee granules
- 230ml whole milk
For the crème caramel
- 600ml evaporated milk
- 1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Pinch of salt
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and lightly flour the inside of a 23cm bundt tin. Find a roasting tin big enough to hold the bundt tin comfortably and deep enough for water to come two-thirds of the way up the side of the bundt tin. Pop a tea towel into the base of the roasting tin.
Put the salted caramel in a microwaveable dish and warm for just long enough to make it runny – about 20 seconds. Pour into the base of the tin, avoiding drips. Tap on the worktop to level off. Make the cake by whisking the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until you have a light and fluffy mixture. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix in.
To a separate bowl, add the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix well. Spoon the coffee into a small bowl, add a few tablespoons of the milk and heat for a few seconds in the microwave until the coffee has dissolved. Mix, pour into the remaining milk and stir.
Sift a third of the flour mixture on to the butter, sugar and egg mixture and fold in using a large metal spoon.
Fold in a third of the milk, then repeat until all the flour and milk has been mixed in.
When you have a smooth batter, spoon over the salted caramel, tap the tin on the worktop to remove any bubbles and make sure you have a level top. Put the bundt tin into the centre of the roasting tin. Make the crème caramel mixture by mixing the evaporated milk, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla and salt in a food processor until smooth and even. Pour on top of the cake batter and level the top.
Have a jug of hot water ready. Put the roasting tin with the bundt tin into the oven. Before you close the door, pour the water straight on to the tea towel in the roasting tin, making sure the water reaches at least two-thirds of the way up. Bake for 1 hour – and don’t be tempted to open the oven!
Once cooked, take out and leave to cool in the tin for another hour, then flip over on to a serving dish – and enjoy!
- Extracted from Nadiya Bakes, by Nadiya Hussain (Michael Joseph, £22)
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