Nothing But Onions

Nothing But Onions

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Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food

Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food

I like Nigel Slater’s recipes. They’re invariably uncomplicated, straightforward and tasty. I have a good few of his books, so for this meal I opted for Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food. The inside cover describes this book as: Just straightforward, delicious cooking.For the…

Blue Ginger

Blue Ginger

I have no recollection whatsoever of buying Blue Ginger, but I clearly did. Flicking through it, it’s easy to see why I picked it up – it’s packed full of delicious-sounding Asian-style recipes. Published in 2004, it’s sat forgotten on a bookshelf for many years…

Chicken with Miso, Ginger and Lime

Chicken with Miso, Ginger and Lime

Yotam Ottolenghi is well represented in my cookery library; I have a good few of his books. In fact I think I have all but one of them. For some reason I never got around to buying Plenty. I should probably do something about that. His recipes are invariably good, and his weekly Guardian column is a must-read every Saturday.

There are some who complain that his recipes contain too many uncommon ingredients, but I don’t find this to be generally true. Mind you, I suspect my pantry is probably better stocked than most when it comes to obscure ingredients. This recipe comes from his Ottolenghi Simple – a book designed to provide easier recipes containing less ingredients than he might normally choose.

Ottolenghi Simple

I looked at this recipe last week when I was looking for something to do with my chicken legs, but in true Ottolenghi recipe style, I was missing one of the main ingredients – the white miso. This week I’m ready.

I’ve not made this one before, but it sounds good. The recipe is for six (bizarrely as it requires eight chicken legs). There’s only two of us though, and I only have two chicken legs. That sounds plenty. Looking at the sauce ingredients, it sounds a bit scant for eight legs and I decide to go with the full quantity of sauce. More sauce is always good, right?

So, I score the skin on the legs and mix them with some oil and a little salt and set to one side.

I heat a frying pan, and once hot, I add the chicken legs, skin side down, and sear. After about five minutes, I turn them over – one of the legs has stuck to the pan and a hunk of skin tears off. That’s annoying. I push it roughly back in place and cook the other side of the legs for another five minutes.

Sear Chicken Legs

Now for the sauce:

  • 2 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 80g white miso
  • 30g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lime, zest and juice

I whisk all these together to mix and then add the chicken, stirring until well-coated.

Next, I take a small roasting tin and layer the rest of the ingredients on the bottom.

  • 40g coriander stems
  • 2 red chillies, sliced in half lengthways
  • 10 spring onions, 8 sliced in half lengthways, 2 finely sliced, to serve
Onions, coriander, chillies

The chicken then goes on top, skin side up (well, what’s left of it).

Sauced Chicken

I cover the roasting tin with foil and cook at 200˚C. After 20 minutes, I remove the foil, turn the legs over (skin side down) and cook for a further 15 minutes uncovered. Finally, turn the legs back over and cook for a further 15 minutes. It’s smelling good.

The chicken is done

I serve it with some salad leaves and tomato, springing with the sliced spring onion.

Chicken with Miso, Ginger and Lime

This is really tasty. Sticky, tangy, savoury, full of flavour. It’s absolutely delicious and certainly one I’ll be making again.

I have a pile of chicken wings in the freezer. I think this sauce would work wonderfully with those. That’s one dinner for next week sorted then.

Wild Garlic and Cashew Pesto

Wild Garlic and Cashew Pesto

It’s wild garlic season – one of the most delicious free foods you could imagine. We’re lucky to have two decent sized patches of it in the garden, and so I love this time of year. I regularly pick the leaves and add them to…

Lamb, spinach, chickpeas

Lamb, spinach, chickpeas

Hugh’s Three Good Things takes a very simple premise – make a dish using just three ingredients – and produces a large array of very tasty looking recipes. Of course, the three ingredients thing is a bit of a cheat – pretty much all the…

Chocolate Drops and Coconut Biscuits

Chocolate Drops and Coconut Biscuits

Sue wanted biscuits. In fact she demanded biscuits. She even went out as far as digging out the cookery book and leaving it open in the kitchen with a post-it note stuck on the page saying Make these with a large arrow pointing to the required recipes.

The Dairy Book of Home Cookery

The book was The Dairy Book of Home Cookery. It used to belong to my mother – she got it originally from the milkman. There have been various editions of this book, this particular copy was printed in 1978. Somehow, we ended up with two copies of it, so when I left home, this one came along with me.

It’s a pretty eclectic book – and was probably reasonably adventurous for late 70s British cookery. It covers all of the basics that you’d expect, and a fair few more esoteric dishes. None of the dishes are particularly complex, and instructions are short and to the point. One area in which it excels, however, is baking. Recipes for biscuits, cakes and pastries abound, and the vast majority are simple and straightforward, and more importantly, they just work.

Sue selected two recipes: Chocolate Drops and Coconut Biscuits. So, Chocolate Drops first.

  • 100g softened butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 90g plain flour
  • 15g cocoa powder

Cream butter and sugar, with the vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Stir in the sifted flour and cocoa. Drop teaspoon sized dollops onto a greased baking tray. It’s quite a stiff dough, so I end up just rolling it into small balls with my hands. The recipe says it makes 18 – 20. I forgot to count as I made them and we’ve eaten some now. I guess it probably did make around 18.

The recipe is very precise about baking – bake for 17 minutes at 190˚C. I dropped that to 180˚C, as I have a fan oven, but stuck rigidly to the time. 17 minutes later, they came out of the oven and I transferred them to a wire rack to cool.

On to the Coconut Biscuits.

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg, beaten

Sift flour and salt into a bowl and rub butter in finely. I confess, I cheat and use the food processor to do this. I have no shame. Add sugar and coconut and mix. Add egg and vanilla essence and mix to a stiff dough. Knead gently until smooth, wrap in cling film and put in fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out fairly thinly and cut into rounds with a 5cm biscuit cutter. The recipe claims you’ll get about 30 biscuits out of this – I manage closer to 50. Maybe I rolled too thin?

Place on buttered baking trays and prick well with a fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 180˚C. I went for 170˚C; I’m pretty sure fan ovens weren’t much of a thing in 1978. I check after 12 minutes and they look like they’re done so I take them out, leave them a minute to cool slightly and then transfer to a wire rack.

Chocolate Drops and Coconut Biscuits

The Chocolate Drops are very nice, but it’s the Coconut Biscuits that steal the show – they are delicious. Very nice texture, and just the right buttery coconut flavour. They’re a keeper. Not bad for a 42 year old book.

Piri Piri Chicken with Patatas Bravas

Piri Piri Chicken with Patatas Bravas

I was looking for a recipe to make use of some chicken I had. I found quite a few things that I liked the sound of, but there always seemed to be a key ingredient that I didn’t have to hand. Then I picked up…

Ricciarelli

Ricciarelli

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend. We’re in lockdown. Some baking is in order. I scan the shelf for a suitable cook book. We need comfort food, and who better to provide that than Nigella. I pull out my copy of How to be a Domestic…