Thai Green Fish Curry

This recipe comes from Nigel Slater’s The 30 Minute Cook, a book which has yielded many successful recipes – but I can’t recommend this particular dish.

I think the first mistake was my choice of fish – plaice – which just sort of dissolved into the sauce as it cooked. The end result felt like we were just eating sauce with nothing in it.

The other problem was the creamed coconut which gave the whole dish a really gritty feel. Maybe I used an inferior brand of creamed coconut (I’ve no frame of reference). Maybe it’s because I skipped the step to strain the liquid through a muslin cloth… but to be honest if you have to do that then this is getting away from the kind of convenience I expect from a 30 minute meal.

On top of all that, my sauce split. Sad face.

Asparagus, Lemon and Parmesan Pasta

A super quick and easy recipe here from our old reliable Nigel Slater’s The 30 Minute Cook.

Super easy recipe – boil some water and add the asparagus which has been chopped into short pieces. COok for a couple of minutes and then remove from the water. Add the pasta to the water (we used conchigle). Next fry up some sliced garlic in butter, and then add the asparagus and cook for a few minutes. Add some lemon juice.

Once everything’s cooked, assemble – strain the pasta and mix with the asparagus and garlic, plus plenty of parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and you’re done. Simple and tasty -not the most exciting meal in the world, but a great result for very little effort.

Tarragon Chicken

Nigella’s recipe for Tarragon Chicken has been a firm favourite in this house for quite some time. However, Nigel Slater has a version in The 30-Minute Cook so we decided to give it a whirl.

The recipe is pretty simple – the sauce is basically just butter (that the chicken has cooked in) with tarragon leaves and double cream. A bit of lemon juice and salt adds some extra flavour.

Personally, I loved this. It’s simple, very tasty and very satisfying. Mark wasn’t convinced, preferring Nigella’s version as something a little bit lighter

Quick Lamb Curry

It’s been a while since I last made anything from Nigel Slater’s The 30-Minute Cook and whilst trying to think of something nice and spicy to cook for dinner I remembered we’ve had some other nice recipes from that book (most notably his quick chicken korma) and that led to this quick lamb curry recipe.

The recipe makes quite a dry curry and uses quite a lot of spices but the end result works. Perhaps not as tasty or authentic tasting as some of his other recipes, but certainly not bad. We mopped it up with supermarket naan breads – not too fancy, but does the job nicely.

One suggestion – Nigel says to add water to the recipe, but use stock if you have it available. We used water and thought it was a bit bland and added a fair bit of salt to the recipe. I suspect that if we’d used stock it might have reduced the need for salt and added a bit more depth to the flavours.

Salmon in a Creamy Herb Sauce with Spinach

I think I overstretched myself with this one – an attempt to mix up two recipes. The main is salmon in a cream and herb sauce from Nigel Slater’s The 30-Minute Cook. To accompany it, I thought that a spinach dish from Nigella;a Feast would fit the bill. We don’t actually have a copy of Feast, but this recipe is available on her website.

It didn’t go to plan though. In short, my salmon was thick and took longer to cook than expected which meant I had some rapidly cooling potatoes and spinach whilst my salmon was getting more and more burnt on the outside. As a result, the creamy sauce ended up being a bit of a non-starter.

That said, despite the disappointment we both managed to polish off what was on our plates, so it can’t have been too bad. I think that in hindsight I was asking for trouble, taking two recipes which are quite quick to prepare individually, but which in combination meant there was little margin of error.

Quick Chicken Stir Fry

The weather’s hot right now – certainly for us pasty English boys. A quick stir fry lets us have our dinner without getting too hot and bothered in the kitchen. This one comes from The 30-Minute Cook by Nigel Slater.

It’s very easy to make too. Chop everything and have it ready with the chicken marinating in soy sauce, rice wine, cornflour and egg white. Then fry the garlic, ginger and spring onions followed by the chicken and finally the chicken and its marinade. Finally throw in some rice wine and soy sauce before dishing up with some rice.

We rounded things out with that most English of desserts – strawberries and cream. After all, it is Wimbledon season.

Thai Green Chicken Curry

We love a good curry… I’d never managed to successfully make one until I discovered the korma recipe in Nigel Slater’s The 30-Minute Cook. The book also contains two recipes next to one another – Thai green chicken curry and, immediately preceding it, Thai green curry paste.

As ever, I had to make a few substitutions. We couldn’t quickly lay our hands on any galangal, so as per Nigel’s instructions we used lime and ginger instead; I had basil to add to the chicken dish at the end, but it had gone off so we had to skip that; and finally I didn’t have any kaffir lime leaves – an oversight.

That said, it all seemed to work beautifully. The dish tasted genuine (to us, anyway) and was mild and sweet with a hint of spice. Making the paste was hardly any effort at all (throw everything in a food processor and you’re done). Next, simmer some coconut milk and add the paste, pour it over some pan fried chicken pieces and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then dish up with rice – great stuff.

Vegetable Korma

We’ve really enjoyed Nigel Slater’s chicken korma in the past, so when I realised there was also a recipe for vegetable korma in The 30-Minute Cook I had to give it a try.

The other beauty of this recipe is that it’s chock full of vegetables so plenty of vitamins, minerals and fibre – you can almost forget about the lashings of double cream and yoghurt which go into it.

Chicken Biryani

We got very excited today because – briefly – our Instagram account hit 100 followers for the first time. Perhaps not a big milestone in the grand scheme of things, but we were very pleased! It’s fallen back down to 98 at the time of writing… but we’re not too upset because we’ve just eaten some lovely Chicken Biryani! This recipe comes from Nigel Slater’s ever reliable The 30-Minute Cook.

He’d be the first to tell you that this isn’t an authentic recipe, but it’s really easy to make and produces a hearty and satisfying meal. You need to make sure your store-cupboard is well stocked with all the required spices (ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, chilli and nutmeg) but the end result is worth it.

Pork with Tarragon and White Wine

It’s been a long week, and we can always rely on The 30-Minute Cook by Nigel Slater to deliver. I had to check a few times that I hadn’t missed some important ingredients – the recipe is almost too simple to believe it will produce something tasty.

For such a simple recipe, it produces a really deep and tasty sauce which goes beautifully with the pork. We had it with a side of new potatoes and some green beans to another of Nigel’s recipes, served with flaked almonds. And followed by more of the marmalade cake and custard from yesterday, obvs.