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Dining In Your Spring Recipe Collection (Part 2) - Chicken and mustard gratin, Beef rending, Ginger and lemongrass salmon

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3 Make Ahead Have something ready when catering for a crowd.

Chicken and mustard gratin

Description: Chicken and mustard gratin

This is comfort food at its very best – richly flavoured and a doddle to make

Easy/ Prepare ahead/ Freeze – Preparation time: 45 minutes  – Cooking time: 30 minutes – Server 4 to 6

·         12 free-range chicken thighs, skin off, and off the bone

·         500ml (18fl oz) good-quality fresh chicken stock

·         3tbsp Dujon mustard

·         2tbsp crème fraiche

·         20g (¾oz) tarragon, chopped

·         5tbsp breadcrumbs

·         3tbsp chopped parsley

·         125g (4½oz) Gruyere, grated

You will need

1-litre (1¾oz) gratin dish, 5cm (2in) deep

Place the chicken thighs into a large, lidded sauté pan and add the stock. Bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and allow to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the thighs, turn up the heat and reduce the stock by half. Chop up the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, 350F, gas 4.

When the stock has reduced, stir through the Dijon and crème fraiche, and add the tarragon. Put the chicken back in the pan, check the seasoning and transfer to the gratin dish. Scatter over the breadcrumbs, parsley and Gruyère and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes until crispy and golden, with the sauce bubbling through. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

To freeze Freeze for up to a month, but freeze the topping separately. Defrost in the fridge for 24 hours, gently reheat on the hob, place in the gratin dish and add the topping from frozen then bake at 200C, 180C fan, 400F, gas 6 until browned and bubbling, around 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with A salad of chicory leaves drizzled with a little lemon juice, to counterbalance the richness of the gratin.

Per serving: 470-3112 calories, 20-13g fat (10-7g saturated), 14-9g carbohydrate

Beef rending

Description: A wonderfully fragrant Indonesian curry, richly flavoured but not chilli hot

A wonderfully fragrant Indonesian curry, richly flavoured but not chilli hot

Easy/ Prepare ahead/ Freeze – Preparation time: 30 minutes  – Cooking time: 2 hours – Server 4

·         2tbsp oil

·         1 cinnamon stick

·         1 large onion, sliced

·         1kg (2lb 4 oz) lean braising steak, cut into large cubes

·         2 x 400ml cans coconut milk

Peeled zest 1 lime, plus the juice of 2 coriander leaves, sliced red chilli and toasted coconut flakes, to serve

For the paste

·         2 fat thumb-sized pieces root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

·         1½tbsp galangal (Thai ginger) from a jar

·         3 garlic cloves, bashed and peeled

·         2 lemongrass stalks, outer layer removed, stalk bashed then roughly chopped

·         2tsp turmeric

·         1 red chilli (hot Thai), roughly chopped

·         4tbsp sunflower oil

·         12 cardamom pods, seed only

·         2tbsp tamarind paste

To make the paste, place the ingredients in a food processor, and whizz until thick. You may need to add a little water.

To make the curry, heat the oil in a large sauté pan, and add the curry paste and the cinnamon stick. Cook for 4 minutes, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes without colouring. Turn up the heat, season the beef and add to the pan, coating in the sauce and frying for a few minutes to brown. Add the coconut milk and lime zest, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours, stirring often, until the beef is tender and the sauce is rich. It will benefit from a night in the fridge so that the flavours can come together.

To freeze Freeze  for up to a month, defrost thoroughly the reheat on the hob

To serve Stir in the lime juice, and scatter with the coriander leaves, chilli and coconut. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Per serving: 888 calories, 65g fat (40g saturated), 15 carbohydrate.

Ginger and lemongrass salmon

Description: Ginger and lemongrass salmon

Salmon’s rich taste works so well with South-East Asian spices, and buying a whole side is an excellent way to cater for a bigger group – you can marinate the dish the day before cooking.

Easy/ Prepare ahead – Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus marinating  – Cooking time: 25 minutes – Server 8 to 10

·         2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layer removed, stalks bashed and finely chopped

·         4 x 5cm (2in) pieces root ginger, peeled and sliced

·         3tbsp soy sauce

·         1tbsp Thai fish sauce

·         1tbsp rice vinegar

·         1tbsp sweet chilli sauce

·         1 whole side salmon

Handful  roughly chopped coriander, lime wedges and teriyaki sauce (from supermarkets), to serve.

Combine the lemongrass, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar and chilli sauce, stir and pour over the salmon, encased in foil to form a boat. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Heat the oven to 220C, 200C fan, 425F, gas 7. Bake the salmon in the centre of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until it is cooked through but not too flaky. Scatter with coriander and serve immediately with lime wedges and the teriyaki sauce to spoon over it, or allow the salmon to cool to room temperature before garnishing.

Serve with Boiled egg noodles, drizzled in sesame oil.

Per serving: 354-276 calories, 21-16g fat (4-3g saturated), 1.5-1g carbohydrate

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