Annabel Karmel's back-to-school family recipes

Date:03-09-2013 07:58:03 read:5

Annabel Karmel's back-to-school family recipes

Lacking inspiration for after-school suppers? Family food expert Annabel Karmel has designed five quick and healthy family-friendly meals for the new term.

Easy as ABC: chicken yakitori with noodles  

Monday – Chicken yakitori with noodles

Serves 4

3 tbsp mirin

3 tbsp honey

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 tbsp oil

4 chicken thighs, boned and cut into large chunks

125g medium noodles

1 large courgette, sliced into batons

1 large carrot, sliced into batons

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 red onion, sliced

75g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

75ml chicken stock

4 tsp soy sauce

4 tsp sweet chilli sauce

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7

Measure the mirin, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, ginger and garlic into a small pan. Bring to the boil then reduce by a third, stirring. Leave to cool.

Mix the cold marinade with the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes. Season and thread onto 6 skewers. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Brown the skewers for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides until golden, then place onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions and drain.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan or wok. Fry all of the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes, and then add the noodles, stock, water, chilli sauce, soy and seasoning and heat through. Serve with the kebabs.

Tuesday – Lasagne with spinach, cheese and tomato

Serves 4, suitable for freezing

225g frozen or 450g fresh spinach

15g butter

175g cottage cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp double cream

15g Gruyère cheese

6 sheets fresh lasagne or dried, no precook, lasagne

125g mozzarella cheese, grated

Tomato Sauce

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp tomato purée

2 X 400g (14 oz) cans of chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

1 tbsp torn basil leaves

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

To make the tomato sauce, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until softened. Add the tomato purée and sauté for 1 minute. Drain and discard the juice from the cans of tomatoes and add the tomatoes to the sautéed onions. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, to prepare the spinach and cheese layer, cook the spinach, drain thoroughly and then sauté in the butter for a couple of minutes. In a food processor, blend together the spinach, cottage cheese, egg, double cream and Parmesan cheese. Season with a little black pepper.

To assemble the lasagne, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce over the base of a fairly deep ovenproof dish measuring about 23 x 15cm (9 x 6in). Lay two sheets of lasagne on top, spoon the remaining spinach mixture on top and then cover with a third of the mozzarella cheese and a third of the tomato sauce.

Lay the remaining two sheets of lasagne on top, cover with the remaining tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and then sprinkle the extra Gruyère cheese over the top. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.

Wednesday – Cod fillets with tomato salsa

Serves 4, suitable for freezing

2 x 125g pieces cod fillets, skinned

Oil for brushing

Salt and pepper

50g white breadcrumbs

1 tbsp chopped chives

1 tsp lemon zest

25g Parmesan cheese, grated

Paprika, for topping

Tomato salsa

2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced

2 spring onions, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

A pinch of sugar

1 tbsp chopped basil

1 tbsp chopped chives

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Put the cod fillets on a greased baking sheet, brush with oil and season. Combine the breadcrumbs, chives, lemon zest and Parmesan and sprinkle over the cod and top with Paprika.

Bake for 10 minutes until just cooked, lightly golden and crisp.

Mix together all the salsa ingredients and serve with the fish.

Thursday – Thai chicken with butternut aquash

Serves 2

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 onions, sliced

15g ginger, crushed

2 tbsp red curry paste (Barts)

1 1/2 tbsp plain flour

400ml coconut milk

300ml chicken stock

2 to 3 tsp fish sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

Zest and juice of half a lime

1/2 lemongrass, bashed

110g butternut squash cut into 2cm cubes

2 chicken breasts, cubed

2 spring onions, sliced

Coriander leaves to garnish

Jasmine rice and mini poppadoms, to serve

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and gently sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until soft.

Add the curry paste and flour and fry for one minute. Blend in the coconut milk, water, stock, fish sauce, sugar, lime zest and juice.

Bring up to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the squash and simmer for another 5 minutes, covered with a lid.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Brown the chicken and add to the sauce and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes until cooked through.

Add the spring onions and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with jasmine rice and mini poppadoms.

Friday – Puff pastry pizza

Makes 4 small pizzas

250g block puff pastry

1 heaped tbsp cream cheese

1 heaped tbsp pesto

4 tomatoes, sliced

Fresh basil

100g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Roll out the pastry to a 20cm x 25cm square.

Divide the pastry into 4 squares. Place on a baking sheet. Prick the base.

Mix the cream cheese and pesto together and spread over the bases. Arrange the tomatoes on top, then add the basil and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.

For more family midweek meal ideas see Annabel Karmel’s Favourites – 10 mini recipe books covering a range of food milestones from Family Meals to Kids in the Kitchen and Lunch boxes. Available at Sainsbury’s (£4.99 for two). Sainsbury's Entertainment

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