Working from home certainly has its perks, but somehow the day slipped right through your fingers and now you’re facing the dinner time rut. Luckily, these easy, five ingredient dinner ideas are ready to swoop in and save the day!
Chef Jackie Righi-Boyd, owner of Dolci Café, Craighall Park.
Chef Jackie Righi-Boyd’s prawn pasta
1 crushed garlic clove; 5ml finely chopped chilli (or less if you’re not a spicy food fan); 100ml olive oil; 14 uncooked prawns, de-veined and peeled; 350g spaghetti (or pasta
of your choice)
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and chilli – be careful not to burn – and fry for about three minutes. Add the prawns and cook until pink. Season with salt according to taste.
In a large pot, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in 1 tsp of salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain off excess water. Plate pasta, top with the prawns and garnish with parsley.
Chef Fortunato Mazzone, owner of Forti Bar & Grill, Time Square.
Chef Fortunato Mazzone’s Pesce all’ Aqua Pazza (fish in the crazy water)
6 fillets of fresh white fish (hake works brilliantly); half a tin peeled chopped tomatoes; 125ml pitted black olives; 2 cloves garlic, diced; 125ml dry white wine
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place fish fillets in a baking pan drizzled with olive oil. Season and top with tomatoes, olives, garlic, wine and mix well, making sure to coat everything. Place in the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, turning the fish halfway through. Place fillets on a plate and top generously with the sauce from the pan. Add a spritz of olive oil.
Serve with boiled baby potatoes doused with Maldon salt, olive oil and chopped Italian parsley. You can also add sautéed spinach seasoned with garlic.
Your new best friend in the kitchen
Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. That’s why Jamie’s 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food is sure to become your go-to in the kitchen. Every recipe uses just five key ingredients, ensuring you can get a plate of food together fast – finished and on the table super-quickly after minimal hands-on prep, with the oven doing the hard work for you. With more than 130 recipes and chapters on chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, eggs, veg, salads, pasta, rice and noodles, as well as sweet things, there’s plenty of quick and easy recipe inspiration to choose from. penguinrandomhouse.co.za, R445.
The recipes in this book delighted us so much we just had to share a few with you:
Chicken pot pie
2 onions; 600g chicken thighs, skin off, bone out; 350g mixed mushrooms; 1 bunch of fresh thyme (30g); 400g puff pastry (cold).
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place a 30cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan on high heat, with a smaller non-stick pan on a medium heat alongside. Pour 1 Tblsp olive oil into the larger pan. Peel and roughly chop the onions, adding them to the larger pan as you go. Roughly chop two-thirds of the thighs, finely chop the rest, and add to the onion pan. Cook for six minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, place the mushrooms in the dry pan, tearing up any larger ones. Let them toast and get nutty for four minutes, then tip into the chicken pan and strip in half the thyme leaves. Remove pan from the heat, add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then stir in 1 Tblsp red wine vinegar and a cup of water.
Working quickly, roll out the pastry so it’s 2cm bigger than the pan, then place it over the filling, using a wooden spoon to push it into the edges. Very lightly criss-cross the pastry, then brush with 1 tsp olive oil. Poke remaining thyme sprigs into the middle of the pie. Bake at the bottom of the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed up. Easy!
Lemony zucchini/ baby marrow linguine
150g dried linguine; 2 mixed-colour zucchini/ baby marrows; ½ a bunch of fresh mint (15g); 30g Parmesan cheese; 1lemon.
Cook pasta in a pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving a cupful of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, slice the zucchini/ baby marrows lengthways, then again into long matchsticks with a knife or julienne peeler. Place a large non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat with 1 Tblsp olive oil, then add the zucchini/ baby marrows. Cook for four minutes, tossing regularly, while you finely slice the mint leaves, then stir them into the pan. Toss the drained pasta into the zucchini pan with a splash of the reserved cooking water. Finely grate in most of the Parmesan and a little lemon zest, squeeze in all the juice, toss well, then taste and season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper. Dish up, finely grate over the remaining Parmesan and drizzle with 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil before tucking in.
Meltin’ mustardy beef
Although very easy to prepare, you have to start early as this is slow cooked for four hours. But it’s worth the wait!
900g beef shin, bone out (ask your butcher for the bone); 500g carrots; 2 onions, 125ml Worcestershire sauce; 2 heaped tsps wholegrain mustard.
Preheat oven to 160°C. Place a large shallow casserole pan on high heat, with a large non-stick frying pan on a high heat alongside. Dice the beef into 5cm chunks and toss with a generous amount of black pepper and a pinch of sea salt, then dry fry in the hot frying pan with the bone for eight minutes.
Meanwhile, wash and trim the carrots, chop into 5cm chunks, and place in the casserole pan with 1 Tblsp olive oil. Peel and quarter onions and break apart into petals, straight into the pan, stirring regularly.
When meat is nicely coloured, tip it into the casserole pan, then stir in Worcestershire sauce and mustard, and cover with 800ml boiling kettle water.
Cover, then cook in the oven for four hours, or until the beef is meltingly tender. Loosen with a splash of water, if needed. Taste, season to perfection, and serve.
Sticky lamb chops
6 lamb chops, French-trimmed (600g total); 200g baby rainbow carrots; 8 cloves garlic; 3 oranges; ½ a bunch of fresh thyme (15g)
Score fat of the lamb chops, season with sea salt and black pepper, then line them up, like a rack, and sit them together fat edges down in a large shallow casserole pan on medium-high heat.
Leave for five minutes to render and crisp up. Trim and add the baby carrots (halving any larger ones) and the unpeeled garlic cloves alongside, turning the carrots regularly.
Gently turn the chops onto their sides, to cook for two minutes on each side, or until golden but still pink in the middle. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to peel strips of zest from one orange. Sprinkle them into the pan with the thyme sprigs, and toss together for just 30 seconds to get the flavours going. Remove chops to a plate to rest, then squeeze the juice from all three oranges into the pan.
Let the juice bubble and reduce until sticky, quickly toss the lamb chops back in with their resting juices, then hey presto, time to dish up.