ArchiveJuly 25, 2021

One Pot/Tray Cooking

While still being super careful, we’re all determined not to waste a second of this outdoor Summer and certainly even those of us who love to cook don’t want to spend any longer than necessary ‘slaving over a hot stove’ of for that matter over a sink-full of washing up.

So here’s the plan, let’s confine our meals to one roasting tin and perhaps a bowl of crunchy lettuces, salad leaves and soft herbs. Once you get on the ‘one tray’ track, it’s like a game.  It’s amazing what combinations you can conjure up – a whole meal on just one roasting tin.

So this week, I’ve got something for everyone – meat and fish lovers, vegetarians, vegans, even a pasta dish, all substantial enough to feed the family.

I’ve chosen a delicious pan roasted cauliflower from Anna Jones new book ‘One Pot, Pan, Planet’. This can be vegetarian or vegan if you choose to use vegan butter. Pine nuts are super expensive now but cashew or pistachios, even almonds work really well here too.
Another delicious vegetarian option might be a chickpea braise with kale and harissa.
For those of you who have my last book, ‘One Pot Feeds All’ (published by Kyle Books), there are a myriad of recipes for one pot, one dish, sheet pan or roasting tin. Roast salmon is cooked in just 8-10 minutes and can feed 15-20 people or how about a whole turbot or a large Summer plaice on a bed of potatoes and slivered fennel with a herb butter.
A great big dish of chicken thighs with potatoes, onions and aioli will also feed the entire family deliciously as will Moroccan lamb chops with tahini and yoghurt – supper in a dish.
How about wrapping up with an irresistible pud, apple and raspberry traybake with sweet geranium sugar.

Let me know which you enjoy most…all save time, wash up and mean you can have maximum fun in the sun…Enjoy

Anna Jones’s Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Saffron Butter

Cooking vegetables like this (pan roasting) happens a lot in restaurant kitchens but it’s a good thing to do at home too. You get the vegetables going in the pan, building up a bit of colour and texture, then blast them in the oven to cook through; they get some direct heat and char from the hob, then some more mellow-even heat from the oven. I love adding vinegar when I am cooking vegetables and it’s balanced here by the sweetness of the cauliflower, saffron and pine nuts. This recipe is inspired by the brilliant cook, Lela DeMille.

Serves 4

For the Yoghurt

a small bunch of mint and/or parsley, finely chopped

6 tablespoons thick natural yoghurt or vegan yoghurt of your choice

a drizzle of good olive oil

For the Cauliflower

olive oil

1 large cauliflower (about 800g/1 3/4lb), florets separated and stalks finely sliced

50ml (2fl oz) white wine vinegar

a good pinch of saffron strands (or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric)

50g (2oz) butter or vegan butter, cubed

a small bunch of parsley and/or coriander, roughly chopped

To Serve

4 flatbreads

a good pinch of sumac or Aleppo chilli

150g (5oz) pine nuts, toasted

Preheat the oven to 220°C/(200°C Fan)/Gas Mark 7.

Mix the mint and/or parsley and yoghurt in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, stir in a splash of olive oil, then set aside.

Heat a large oven-proof frying pan over a medium heat, add a good glug of olive oil, then add the cauliflower in a single layer (you may need to cook it in a few batches). Once all your cauliflower is browned on both sides (this will take about 10 minutes), put the lot back into the pan and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the stalks are soft and the florets crisp.

Remove the pan from the oven using an oven glove, then put it back on the hob over a medium heat, add the vinegar and saffron or turmeric then reduce the vinegar for about 2 minutes. Take off the heat, add the butter, toss the cauliflower in it to create a thick and glossy sauce, then stir through most of the parsley and/or coriander.

Spoon the yoghurt into a shallow serving bowl and use the back of a spoon to swirl it over the bottom, then tumble the buttery cauliflower in. Finish with the last bit of parsley, the pine nuts and some sumac, and serve with flatbreads.

Anna Jones’s Quick Chickpea Braise with Kale and Harissa

This is a meal in a pan, a pan full of all the things I want to eat on a cold weeknight and there is little more comforting than that. Most greens would work here in place of the kale. Jarred chickpeas are my choice – always. If you don’t have preserved lemons, the zest of an unwaxed lemon will do fine.

Serves 4

olive oil

1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

2 big handfuls of kale (about 200g/7oz), leaves roughly chopped, stems shredded

1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric

1 preserved lemon

1 x 400g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes

2 x 400g (14oz) tins chickpeas or a 660g (1lb 7oz) jar

a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

To Serve

4 tablespoons plain yoghurt of your choice

1 tablespoon harissa

tahini for drizzling

4 flatbreads

Put a little oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for five minutes.

Once the onions have had five minutes, add the garlic, kale stems (leaves go in later), and turmeric to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

While that happens cut the preserved lemon in half, remove and discard the flesh, then finely chop the peel. Add this to the pan along with the tomatoes and the chickpeas, including the liquid. If you are using jarred chickpeas you might want to add another 150ml (5fl oz) water here, as there will be less liquid than if you are using two tins.

Cook for about ten minutes, until the tomatoes have thickened and reduced. Add the reserved kale leaves and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed (the jarred chickpeas are usually already well-seasoned, so be sure to taste first). Stir in most of the parsley.

Ripple the yoghurt and harissa together in a bowl and serve with the braise, a drizzle of tahini, the last of the parsley and some warm flatbreads.

Chicken Supper in a Dish with Aioli

Tumble all of the ingredients together in a bowl, season them well and toss them into a roasting tin for an irresistible one-dish supper.

Serves 8 -10

2kg (4 1/2lb) potatoes, such as Home Guard or Vita Bella (organic)

225–275g (8-9 1/2oz) medium onions, sliced into rings

8–10 large organic, free-range chicken legs, separated into thighs and drumsticks

1 large head of garlic, separated into cloves

1–2 tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika (or a mixture of both)

2 tablespoons chopped marjoram

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 organic lemon

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

3–4 large ripe tomatoes

a dash of balsamic vinegar, to taste

a dash of honey or sugar, to taste

3–4 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley

Aioli (see recipe)

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunky wedges. Put them into a large bowl with the sliced onion rings, chicken pieces and garlic cloves and sprinkle over the paprika, marjoram and plenty of salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with the extra virgin olive oil and squeeze over the lemon juice. Toss thoroughly to coat the potatoes and the chicken in the flavourings. Spread in a single layer over a large roasting tray or a large gratin dish, approx. 35 x 40cm (14 x 16 inch).

Roast for 15–20 minutes, then reduce the heat to a moderate 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for a further 45 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and crisp at the edges and the chicken skin, is sticky and irresistible. Check the chicken is cooked close to the bone; it may take a little longer.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and place them in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper, balsamic vinegar and honey (or sugar). Stir in the parsley. Sprinkle the tomato mixture over the hot chicken just as it comes out of the oven.

Accompany with the aioli and a salad of organic leaves anointed with an extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice dressing.

For the Aioli

2 organic, free-range egg yolks

1–2 garlic cloves

a pinch of English mustard or 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

250ml (9fl oz) oil, such as sunflower, groundnut or olive oil or a mixture (I use 175ml (6fl oz) groundnut oil and 75ml (3fl oz) olive oil)

2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

*Good to know

If the aioli curdles, it will suddenly become quite thin. If this happens you can quite easily remedy the situation by cracking another egg yolk into a clean bowl and whisking in the curdled aioli, half a teaspoon at a time.

Put the egg yolks into a bowl with the garlic, mustard, salt and vinegar. Pour the oil(s) into a measuring jug. Taking a whisk in one hand and the oil in the other, carefully drip the oil onto the egg yolks, drop by drop, whisking at the same time. Within a minute, you will notice that the mixture is beginning to thicken. When this happens, you can add the oil a little faster – but don’t get too cheeky or it will suddenly curdle because the egg yolks can only absorb the oil at a certain pace.* Once all of the oil has been incorporated, beat in the parsley. Taste and add a little more seasoning and vinegar, if necessary.

Baked Plaice, Turbot or Brill with Potatoes, Fennel and Herb Butter

A very simple ‘master recipe’, which can be used not only for plaice, turbot or brill but also for other flat fish, such as dabs, flounder, sole and lemon sole. Depending on the size of the fish, you can serve this recipe as a starter or a main course. It’s also delicious served with hollandaise sauce, mousseline or beurre blanc in place of the herb butter.

Serves 2

450g (1lb) potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

175g (6oz) onions, thinly sliced

1/2 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1 x 1–1.75kg (2 1/4 – 3 3/4lbs) fresh plaice, turbot, brill or other flat fish on the bone

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Herb Butter

110g (4oz) softened butter

4 teaspoons finely chopped mixed herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, fennel and thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9.

Toss together the thinly sliced potatoes, onions and fennel in a bowl. Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and spread evenly on an approx. 30 x 50cm (12 x 20 inch) baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes while you prepare the fish.

Turn the fish on its side and remove the head if you wish; I prefer to leave the fish whole. Wash the fish and clean the slit by the head very thoroughly. Using a sharp knife, cut through the skin right around the fish, just where the ‘fringe’ meets the flesh. Be careful to cut neatly and to cross the side cuts at the tail or it will be difficult to remove the skin later on.

Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper and lay on top of the partly cooked vegetables. Bake for 17–20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the fish is cooked. To check if the fish is cooked, lift the flesh from the bone at the head: once it is ready, it should lift off the bone easily and be quite white with no traces of pink.

To make the herb butter, mix the softened butter in a little bowl with the herbs.

Just before you are about to serve, catch the skin down near the tail of the fish and pull it off gently (the skin will tear badly if it hasn’t been properly cut). Bring to the table and serve from the dish or lift the two fillets onto a hot plate and coat with the herb butter. Raise the tail and carefully lift the bone off the remainder of the fish. Break at the head and put aside. Carefully lift the remaining two fillets onto the plate. Coat with the herb butter and surround with the potatoes, onions and fennel, which should be deliciously charred at the edges. Serve immediately.

Moroccan Lamb Chops with Tahini and Yoghurt on a roasting tray

Simple, delicious and easy to do.  Swap out the spices with chopped rosemary for another version. 

Serves 8 or 4 very hungry guests.

8 centre loin lamb chops

4 teaspoons roasted and freshly ground cumin or 2 teaspoons roast and freshly ground cumin and 2 teaspoons roast and freshly ground coriander seeds

flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1kg (2 1/4lb) potatoes, cut into chunks

500g (18oz) onion, sliced into thick rounds

8 whole garlic cloves

75ml (3fl oz) tahini

75ml (3fl oz) natural yoghurt

25g (1oz) sesame seeds and sunflower seeds

To Serve

sprigs of fresh mint and coriander

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.

Dry roast the cumin and coriander separately on a dry pan over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, grind in a pestle and mortar and mix.

Sprinkle each lamb chop on both sides with the spice mix.

Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in the roasting tin on a high heat.  Brown the lamb chops on both sides for 3-4 minutes.  Remove to a plate, add the potato chunks to the pan, adding a little more oil if necessary.  Toss until they start to brown, add to the lamb.  Lay the thick onion slices on the base of the tin in a single layer.  Cook for 1-2 minutes or until they start to brown.  Flip over, add the garlic cloves, then spread the lamb chops and potato chunks on top.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the lamb is cooked and the potatoes are browning at the edges.

Drizzle with tahini and yoghurt, sprinkle with the seeds.  Scatter with sprigs of fresh mint and coriander.  Serve accompanied by a green salad.

Apple and Raspberry Traybake with Sweet Geranium Sugar

You’ll find yourself reaching for this recipe over and over again. Here I use apple and raspberries with sweet geranium, but I also love it by substituting blackberries for the raspberries, green gooseberries and elderflower, or plums. I enjoy arranging the raspberries and apples in neat lines, but if you are super busy just sprinkle them over the top of the sponge base.   

Serves 10-12

8–12 lemon geranium leaves (Pelargonium graveolens)

3–4 cooking apples, such as Bramley Seedling or Grenadier

150g (5oz) raspberries

25g (1oz) caster sugar

crème fraîche or softly whipped cream, to serve

For the Sponge Base

225g (8oz) softened butter

175g (6oz) caster sugar

275g (9oz) self-raising flour

4 organic, free-range eggs

Sweet Geranium Sugar

2-4 sweet geranium leaves

50g (2oz) caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.

Line the base of a 33 x 23 x 5cm (13x 9 x 2 inch) cake tin, or a 25.5cm (10 inch) sauté pan or cast-iron frying pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the sides. Arrange 6–8 sweet geranium leaves over the base – these give the sponge a haunting lemony flavour.

To make the sponge base, combine the butter, sugar and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Whizz for a second or two, then add the eggs and stop as soon as the mixture comes together. Spoon the mixture over the base of the tin as evenly as possible (over the sweet geranium leaves).

Peel the apples. Cut into thin slices and arrange on top of the sponge in three lines. Arrange a line of raspberries in between each row. Sprinkle 25g (1oz) of caster sugar over the top and bake for about 50 minutes.

Meanwhile make the sweet geranium sugar.

Whizz 2–4 sweet geranium leaves with the caster sugar in a food processor. Spread over a baking tray and set aside at room temperature to dry out.

Once it is fully cooked, the centre of the cake should be firm to the touch and the edges slightly shrunk from the sides of the tin. Serve in the tin, sprinkled with the sweet geranium sugar. Alternatively, leave to rest in the tin for 4–5 minutes before turning out. Serve with crème fraîche or softly whipped cream.


Past Letters