Halloumi med sweet chilli sauce

There is something so compelling about this squeaky cheese, and my fridge is stocked with it at all times. Most regularly I treat it as vegetarian bacon, dry-fried in a hot pan then dolloped with a peeled, soft-boiled egg. But the idea for this recipe came to me one evening when I felt the need to counter the siren call of the halloumi’s saltiness with some sweet-and-heat.

By Nigella Lawson
From Simply Nigella

3 fresh red chillies
2 tbsp runny honey
1 lime, halved
225g/8oz block halloumi cheese, sliced into 8 pieces
To serve
salad leaves of your choice
extra-virgin olive oil to taste

Slice 2 of the chillies, leaving the seeds in, then de-seed the third and chop it into fine dice (this is for full-on fieriness; you may de-seed more cautiously if you wish) and add to a small pan – ideally, the sort sold as a butter-melting pan – along with the honey, and squeeze in 1 teaspoon of lime juice from one half of the lime. Put the pan on the smallest ring on the hob and bring to a bubble, then turn the heat down low, and let it foam away for 4 minutes. Stir frequently and do not leave the pan unattended, otherwise it will foam over the hob. Remove from the heat.
Before you turn to the halloumi, arrange a few salad leaves on 2 plates, and pour as much or as little oil over them as you want. Cut the remaining lime half into wedges, and pop one on each plate if so wished.
Heat a cast-iron or heavy-based frying pan. When it’s hot, add the halloumi slices and cook them – without any oil in the pan – for 30–60 seconds until they are tiger-striped underneath, then turn the slices over and cook until the underside is patchily bronzed, too.
Remove the halloumi to the salad-lined plates and spoon the lipstick-red pieces of chilli in their honeyed glaze over the cheese. Eat immediately. Not hard to do.
Recipe Tips
I use a copper pixie-pan for the quick sauce – which takes all of 4 minutes – but if you don’t have one, just use a larger pan to make more and keep it afterwards in a sealed jar, heating up what you need on further occasions. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Tamarindmarinerad flankstek

Skirt or flank steak is eaten a lot in America, and in France, but hardly at all here in the UK. This is madness, as it is so much cheaper than any other sort of steak and so rich in flavour. I think what has put people off in the past is that, in Britain, it has been cooked in low and slow braises, which turns it into shoe leather. Bavette is the external part of the skirt (onglet being the internal connecting tissue) and all you need to do to cook it is, as my butcher puts it, “sear the hell out of it and serve it rare”. I find 2 minutes a side on a very hot, ridged griddle optimum, but this does mean it’s only for those who like their steak blue.

By Nigella Lawson
From Simply Nigella

50g/1¾oz tamarind paste
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp hot water, from a recently boiled kettle
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp runny honey
750g/1lb 10oz (whole piece) bavette steak

Put the tamarind paste, soy and hot water into the smallest saucepan you have, and stir over a low heat to dissolve the tamarind. When it’s as smooth as you think you can get it – the tamarind paste I use says it’s without stones, but I do find the odd one, and I don’t bother to get rid of them – remove to a bowl or jug, whisk in the oil and honey, and leave to cool. Do not use until it is cold.
Put the bavette steak into a resealable freezer bag, pour in the cold marinade and squelch it about so that the thin steak is covered on both sides, then seal, lay on a plate and put in the fridge overnight or for 1 day.
Bring it back to room temperature, prepare a large piece of kitchen foil, then heat a ridged griddle till very, very hot. Lift the steak out of its marinade, letting any excess (and there will be a lot) drip back into the bag and then slap the meat on the griddle and cook for 2 minutes a side.
Immediately (I use tongs for all this) transfer the steak to the piece of foil and make a tightly sealed but baggy parcel, and let the meat rest, on a chopping board, or any surface that is not too cold, for 5 minutes. Then unwrap the foil, transfer the steak to a board, and carve in thin slices against the grain.

Recipe Tips
The other key point is how you carve it: it must be sliced against the grain. That holds true with all steak, but with a cut like bavette, it will be inedibly chewy if you disobey. Luckily, the grain is very distinct so it’s very easy to identify and then cut across it.

You don’t have to get the whole piece. I don’t like cooking individually cut steaks, as it’s all in the fine slicing as far as I’m concerned, but a 500g piece will be plenty to feed 4, and is the size I often go for, cooking it for exactly the same amount of time as overleaf.

The tamarind and soy marinade tenderizes the meat, but also gives such a glorious tanginess (I have a sour tooth). I keep Thai tamarind paste, which is condensed almost into a brick, in my fridge, and that’s why I proceed as below. But if you are using tamarind paste out of a jar (and which tends to be runny), then use 5 tablespoons and simply add it to the rest of the marinade ingredients, without cooking it or adding water. Either is fine, but it just so happens that the genuine article is better, and less expensive.

I serve this thinly sliced, as if it were a joint of beef, but it would also make for fantastic beef tacos, and is wonderful cold, stuffed into a baguette or tossed into a salad, so leftovers are a real boon.

Svartpepparstekt tonfisk

Svartpepparstekt tonfisk

Svartpeppar stekt tonfisk med rostad vitlök- och pepparrotscreme, spenat och brynt soyasmör.
4 portioner.

600 g tonfisk, färsk
2 vitlökar, hela
1 broccoli ,långa buketter
1 bit pepparrot, finriven
0,5 dl kapris
2 msk rapsolja
200 g färsk spenat
1 ask vattenkrasse
100 g smör
1 dl soja
2 schalottenlök, finhackade
1 dl rostad lök

How to:
Kör in vitlöken hel i ugnen och baka den på 175 grader tills innehållet blir mjukt, ca 30 min.
Vänd runt broccolin i lite olja, salta och kör in i ugnen ca 20 min.
Pressa ut vitlöksmoset och blanda med rapsolja, kapris och riven pepparrot, smaksätt med salt.
Bryn smöret och tillsätt soya samt finhackad schalottenlök.
Peppra tonfisken och stek den snabbt på alla sidor i olja i stekpanna. Salta.
Ta upp den från pannan och låt vila 5 minuter.
Skär den i tunna skivor.
Lägg ut broccolin på ett fat, spenaten och krassen ovanpå.

Häll över det brynta sojasmöret, lägg på tonfisk skivorna och klicka ut vitlökscremen.
Strö över rostad lök.

Källa: Tommy Myllymäki, Karin Andersson
Mitt kök, TV4 2012-05-25