This luscious pasta from Food and Drink is comfort food at its best. Cooked pasta is mixed with crisp bacon, pepper, butter, shallots, white wine, cream and asiago cheese. Garnish with more bacon, cheese and pepper and enjoy!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for bacon preserved with celery salt instead of nitrites, butter that contains only cream and Asiago without any colour or preservatives added. I used a white wine from Frogpond Farm with a sulfite level below 10 parts per million.

This luscious pasta dish is made with bacon, pepper, cream, wine, shallot and Asiago cheese

Cook bacon until crisp

Add shallot and then cream, cooked pasta, pepper and cheese

Bow-tie pasta with crispy bacon and peppery Asiago sauce

Ingredients:

8 cups (2 L) bow-tie pasta, cooked according to package directions

Salt

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) whole white or black peppercorns

2 cups (500 ml) diced bacon, about 17 to 17 ½ oz (485 to 500 g)

1 tbsp (15 ml) butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine

¾ cup (175 ml) 35% (whipping) cream

2 cups (500 ml) grated Asiago, plus more for garnishing if desired

Preparation:

Cook pasta according to package directions in well-salted water. Just before draining pasta, collect and reserve about ¼ to ½ cup (60 to 125 ml) of the salty, starchy pasta water.

Add drained pasta to a large bowl, drizzle with about 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil, and toss to coat. Cover and set aside at room temperature. The oil will prevent the pieces of pasta from sticking together.

Add the whole peppercorns to a heavy-duty freezer bag and smash with a wooden mallet or rolling pin, to just coarsely crack; set aside.

Into a very large skillet over medium heat, add the diced pancetta; stir occasionally and fry until the pancetta is beginning to crisp up and render its fat—about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift out about one-third of the fried pancetta and set aside on paper towel to drain; you’ll use this as a finishing garnish.

Drain and save excess fat from the skillet, leaving about 1 tbsp (15 ml). Save the pancetta fat for roasting potatoes or frying eggs.

Add the cracked peppercorns, butter and shallot to the skillet; stir and fry until the shallot becomes translucent, about another 5 minutes.

Add the white wine; stir and scrape up the cooked-on tasty pancetta bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the cream, cooked pasta and reserved pasta water a bit at a time, stirring until pasta is creamy and coated.

Remove from heat, add the grated cheese, stir to combine, taste and adjust for saltiness. Serve at once garnished with a few crispy bits of pancetta and more cheese on top. Serious pepper fans can bring the grinder to the table. Serves 6.

From Food and Drink

This recipe from Simple, by Yotam Ottolengthi, is a nice break from the rich food we’ve all been eating over the holidays. Fish cakes are topped with yogurt, onion, mango and chile and served on corn tortillas. It looks and tastes great. I omitted the mango.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the yogurt and tortillas are additive-free. I make my own tortillas with masa harina flour, salt and water.

Prepare onion, chile and yogurt

Form fish mixture into round cakes and fry

Cook for about three minutes per side

Place fish cake on tortilla and top with yogurt, onion and chile

Ingredients:

1 lb (450 g) sustainably sourced plaice fillets (or similar white fish), skinned, pin-boned and cut into 1-inch (2-3cm) chunks
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 egg
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) cumin seeds, toasted and finely crushed
4 limes, zest finely grated, then cut into halves, to serve
Salt
1 cup (20 g) coriander leaves, finely chopped
½ cup (125 g) Greek-style yogurt
½ red onion, peeled and very finely sliced (use a mandolin, ideally)
⅓ mango, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 red chile, deseeded and cut into julienne strips
3 tbsp (45 ml) vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas (6-inch/15cm-wide ones)

Preparation:

Put the fish, garlic and egg in the bowl of a food processor with a teaspoon (5 ml) of cumin, three-quarters of the lime zest and three-quarters (3.75 ml) of a teaspoon of salt. Blitz briefly to a rough paste, then tip into a medium bowl. Stir in half the coriander, then form the mix into 12 round fishcakes. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (and up to four hours), to firm up.

In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the remaining half-teaspoon (2.5 ml) of cumin, the remaining lime zest and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt (0.6 ml).

In a second small bowl, combine the onion, mango and chile.

Heat the oil in a large, nonstick frying pan on a medium-high flame, then fry the fishcakes in batches for two to three minutes a side, until golden-brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Warm the tacos in a dry frying pan or in the oven and cut the fishcakes in half. Top each taco with two fishcake halves and a spoonful each of the yoghurt and the mango salsa, and sprinkle with coriander. Serve with a lime half. Makes 12 tacos.

From Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

I know you’re focused on the holiday feast today, but keep this recipe in mind for later on in the week when you are looking for delicious ways to use up the leftover turkey. Cook bacon, mushrooms and onion, add spices, flour, stock and leftover turkey, pour into a baking dish and top with a simple all-butter piecrust. Comfort food at its best.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Your butter should contain only one ingredient – cream. Look for nitrite-free bacon and a preservative-free stock such as Imagine Organic brand. I used a low-sulfite wine instead of Marsala and Eden Organic  brand red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar.

Saute bacon, onions and mushrooms

Add flour, stock and turkey

Transfer filling to baking dish

Roll out dough and place over filling

Modern turkey pot pie

Ingredients:

All-butter piecrust

1 ¼  cups (150 g) all-purpose flour

¼  (1.25 ml) teaspoon fine sea salt

10  tablespoons (150 ml) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

2 to 4  tablespoons (30 to 60 ml) ice water, as needed

Turkey filling

1  tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil

1  garlic clove, peeled and smashed

6  ounces bacon (170 g) or pancetta, preferably thick-cut, sliced into strips

1  medium onion, chopped

8  ounces (226 g) mushrooms, such as button or cremini, thickly sliced

¼  cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon (5 ml) dried thyme

½  teaspoon (2.5 ml) paprika

Salt and ground black pepper

1 pound (454 g) cooked turkey, cut into bite-size pieces

2  tablespoons (30 ml) butter

2 ½  cups (625 ml) rich chicken stock

¼  cup (60 ml) Marsala, Madeira or sherry

1  tablespoon (15 ml) sherry vinegar

2  tablespoons (30 ml) finely chopped parsley, more for garnish

1  9-inch (23-cm) pie crust, chilled

1  egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water

Preparation:

All-butter piecrust

In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms lima bean-size pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Turkey filling

Heat oil and garlic together over low heat. When it sizzles, add bacon and onions and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is golden brown. Adjust the heat so the bacon slowly gives up its fat. Remove garlic clove and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms are browned and slightly softened.

Combine flour, thyme, paprika, 2 large pinches salt and 1 large pinch pepper.

In the skillet with the bacon and mushrooms, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add flour mixture. Cook, stirring, until flour on the bottom of the pan is browned. Pour in stock, Marsala and vinegar. Scrape bottom of pan, and let simmer about 5 minutes, until thickened. Taste for salt, pepper and vinegar and adjust the seasonings. Stir in cooked turkey meat and heat through. Turn off heat and stir in parsley.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

Transfer turkey and sauce to 9-inch (23-cm) round pie dish or 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish. Roll out pie crust to desired shape and size. Drape crust over filling, making a few slits or decorative holes on top. Tuck edges down around filling and brush crust with egg wash. If the dish is piled high with filling, place on a baking sheet to catch any overflow before transferring to oven.

Bake until crust is browned and filling is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.

Let cool slightly, at least 10 minutes, before serving with a big spoon. If desired, garnish each serving with parsley. Serves 6.

Adapted from the New York Times

I was a bit skeptical about this recipe from Canadian Living, but now it’s my go-to roast turkey recipe. Believe it or not, a 12-lb/5.4 kg spatchcocked turkey (one with the backbone removed and flattened) cooks in 90 minutes. It also cooks evenly, so the breasts don’t dry out by the time the legs are cooked. And butter and sage rubbed under the skin makes the meat even more moist and flavourful. Ask your butcher to spatchcock the turkey or do it yourself with a pair of kitchen shears. It does take some brute strength, but lean hard on the bird to flatten it. I spatchcocked the turkey a day in advance so I could use the backbone to make the stock for the gravy and refrigerate it overnight.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Imagine Organic brand stock, Ace Bakery bread, Craisins, Free From breakfast sausages and Gay Lea butter.

Remove backbone, flatten turkey and rub butter and sage under the skin

A spatchcocked turkey turkey cooks quickly and evenly

Ingredients:

Turkey stock

2 teaspoons (10 ml) canola oil

Reserved turkey back, giblets and neck

1 onion, chopped

2 bay leaves (optional)

1 900 ml pkg (30 oz) no-salt-added chicken broth

Stuffing

1 loaf white bread , cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes (about 20 cups/5 L)

½ cup (125 ml) dried cranberries

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

6 small breakfast sausages , casings removed

¼ cup (60 ml) butter

1 onion , chopped

1 leek (white and light green parts only), chopped

¾ teaspoons (3.75 ml) salt , divided

2 cloves garlic , minced

½ cup (125 ml) chopped parsley leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped sage leaves

1 tablespoon (15 ml) thyme leaves

2 cups (500 ml) no-salt-added chicken broth , warmed, divided

3 eggs

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper

Turkey

3 ribs celery , cut in chunks

2 onions , cut in wedges

10 sprigs thyme

1 whole turkey (12 to 14 lbs/5.4 to 6.3 kg)

¼ cup (60 ml) unsalted butter, softened

4 to 6 sage leaves (optional)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) each kosher salt and pepper

Gravy

¼ cup (60 ml) butter

5 tablespoons (75 ml) all-purpose flour

Strained pan juices from roast spatchcock turkey

pinch each salt and pepper

Preparation:

Turkey stock

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Roughly chop turkey back and neck into 2 to 3 pieces each; add to pot with giblets and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to bowl. Add onion to pot; cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Return turkey bits and any juices to pot. Add bay leaves (if using) and chicken broth, scraping up browned bits. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

Strain through fine-mesh sieve into bowl. Skim off any fat on surface. (You should have about 4 cups/1L stock.)

Stuffing

Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Mist 13- x 9-inch (33- x 22-cm) baking dish with cooking spray or brush with canola oil. Place bread on baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Place bread and cranberries in large bowl.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausages; cook, breaking up with wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread mixture; stir to combine.

In same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, leek and ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, parsley, sage and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) of the chicken broth, scraping up browned bits. Scrape into bowl with bread mixture; stir to combine.

In separate bowl, whisk together remaining 1 ¾ cups (438 ml) chicken broth, eggs, remaining ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Drizzle over bread mixture, tossing until coated and egg mixture is absorbed. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover tightly with foil; bake until thermometer inserted in centre reads 165°F (74°C), about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serves 12.

Turkey

Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F (232°C). Line large rimmed baking sheet with overlapping foil; scatter celery, onions and thyme over pan and set large rack over vegetables.

Pat turkey dry with paper towel. Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for use in gravy. Place turkey breast side down on cutting board. Using poultry shears, cut along each side of backbone; remove backbone and add to giblets and neck. Turn turkey breast side up. Press firmly on each half of turkey breast to flatten.

Place turkey on rack on prepared pan, breast side up; tuck wing tips under. Loosen breast skin and rub butter between skin and flesh; slide in sage (if using). Brush turkey skin with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast turkey for 70 minutes, covering with foil if browning too quickly.

Reduce heat to 400°F (204°C); rotate pan and cook until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast reads 170°F (77°C) and in thickest part of thigh reads at least 180°F (82°C), 15 to 20 minutes.

Loosely tent turkey with foil; let rest at least 15 minutes before transferring to cutting board to carve. Carefully scrape vegetables and pan drippings through fine-mesh sieve into bowl; skim off excess fat and reserve pan juices for gravy. Serves 12.

Gravy

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour; stir until light brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in ½ cup of the turkey stock until absorbed; whisk in ½ cup more stock until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining stock; bring to boil. Reduce to simmer; cook until thickened slightly and reduced to 2 ½ cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

Stir pan juices into gravy; bring to boil. Reduce to simmer; cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, but taste before seasoning; if you use flavourful stock and pan juices, you may not need added salt. Serves 12.

From Canadian Living

I’m a big fan of the Barefoot Contessa, especially her chicken recipes. This one does not disappoint. Warm minced garlic in oil, then add lemon zest, juice, wine, oregano and thyme. Pour over chicken pieces, bake and enjoy!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used a white wine from Frogpond Farm with a sulfite level lower than 10 parts per million. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice.

Pour sauce over chicken and bake until done

Ina Garten's lemon chicken

Ingredients:

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

3 tablespoons (45 ml) minced garlic, 8-9 cloves

⅓ cup (85 ml) dry white wine

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon zest, from about 2 lemons

2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1 lemon

1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) dried oregano

1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts, 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, or 2 skin-on half chickens, patted dry

Slices lemon, from remaining lemon after zesting

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C.

In a small sauce pan, warm the oil over low heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, stir together the wine, lemon zest and juice, oregano, and thyme.

Whisk the wine mixture into the warm oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In an oven safe-baking dish, pour in about half of the wine and oil mixture. Place the chicken over the sauce, skin side up. Tuck the lemon slices under the chicken skin. Season the skin with salt and pepper, if using. Pour the remaining wine and oil mixture over the chicken.

Cook times: boneless skin-on chicken breasts: 30 – 40 minutes; boneless skinless chicken breasts: 25 – 35 minutes; bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs: 40 – 50 minutes; skin-on half chickens: 45 – 55 minutes. Serves 4.

From Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa

This dish from The New York Times brims with flavour from fresh herbs, lime and crunchy carrots. Marinate the pork briefly and then sear until it’s still slightly pink in the middle. Slice and add to sauce, cooked rice noodles, carrots and herbs.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lime juice and a fish sauce with no preservatives or MSG, such as Cock brand.

Make the sauce

Marinate the pork in a little of the sauce

Add the carrots to the remaining sauce

Cook the pork in a skillet until just a hint of pink remains, then slice

Chop the herbs and slice the lime

Add cooked rice noodles, pork and herbs to the sauce and toss before serving

Ingredients:

⅓  cup (83 ml) fish sauce

¼  cup (60 ml) dark, pure maple syrup

2  tablespoons (30 ml) canola or other neutral oil

Black pepper

2  large shallots, thinly sliced (¾ cup/180 ml)

1  long red finger chile, thinly sliced (⅓ cup/83 ml)

3  small garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon/15 ml)

4  thin (½-inch/1.25 cm) boneless pork chops (¾ to 1 pound/340 to 454 g total)

⅓  cup (83 ml) fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes), plus lime wedges for serving

3  carrots, peeled and julienned (2 cups/500 ml)

Kosher salt

8 to 9  ounces (226 to 255 g) thin rice vermicelli noodles

2  packed cups (500 ml) torn fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil and dill (2 ½ ounces/71 g), plus more for garnish

Preparation:

Whisk the fish sauce, syrup, 1 tablespoon oil, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the shallots, chile and garlic. Transfer 2 tablespoons liquid to a large shallow dish and add the pork. Turn to evenly coat and let stand until ready to cook.

Stir the lime juice into the sauce in the bowl. Add the carrots and toss until evenly coated. Let stand.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) oil in the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the pork and cook, turning once, until seared and just rosy in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let stand.

Put the noodles in the boiling water, stir well, and remove from the heat. Let stand until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain very well, then transfer to the sauce in the bowl. Toss until evenly coated.

Cut the pork into thin slices and add to the noodles with any accumulated juices. Toss well. Toss in the herbs until well mixed. The mixture may look a bit soupy. As it sits and cools, the noodles will absorb the liquid. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with more herbs and lime wedges. Serves 4.

From the New York Times

This baked pasta dish from Bon Appetit is a perfect weekend supper that will satisfy vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Roast eggplant and cherry tomatoes, combine with cooked spaghetti and a sauce of tomato paste, eggs and Parmesan, add capers and basil, press into an oven-proof skillet and bake. Cut into wedges and serve with a green salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

No Name tomato paste and Unico capers are additive-free.

Ingredients:

1 medium globe eggplant, peeled, cut into ½-inch (1.25 cm) pieces

2 pints (1 L) cherry tomatoes

8 garlic cloves, smashed

¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for skillet

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for sprinkling

Kosher salt

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp. (30 ml) tomato paste

4 oz. (113 g) finely grated Parmesan, divided

1 lb. (454 g) spaghetti

2 Tbsp. (30 ml) drained capers

½ cup (125 ml) torn basil, plus a few whole leaves

Cook eggplant and tomatoes until tender

The tomatoes should begin to burst

Combine tomato paste, eggs and cheese

Toss sauce with tomatoes, eggplant, cooked pasta and basil

Press mixture into oven-proof skilled and top with more basil and cheese

Baked pasta alla Norma

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425° F (218° C). Combine eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, ¼ cup (60 ml) oil, and ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) red pepper flakes in a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron. Season generously with salt and toss to combine. Roast, shaking skillet once or twice, until eggplant is tender and tomatoes burst, 25–35 minutes. Let vegetables cool while you prepare the pasta (watch out for the hot handle when you take the skillet out of the oven). Reduce oven temperature to 400° F (200° C).

Whisk eggs and tomato paste in a medium bowl until smooth, then whisk in about three-quarters of Parmesan.

Cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Immediately drain pasta in a colander and shake to remove excess water; transfer pasta back to pot.

Add cooled vegetable mixture to pot with pasta. Wipe out skillet and drizzle in a little oil; roll around in skillet to coat. Add egg mixture to pasta and toss vigorously with tongs until pasta is evenly coated. Add capers and ½ cup (125 ml) basil and toss again to combine.

Transfer pasta mixture to skillet and press gently into an even layer. Top with remaining Parmesan, a few whole basil leaves, and an extra sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

Bake pasta until surface is nicely browned, 30–35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting into wedges for serving. Serves 8.

From Bon Appetit

This recipe from Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi refers to the dish Patrick Dempsey’s character tells Renée Zellweger’s Bridget Jones that he would have brought her on their imaginary second date in the movie Bridget Jones’s Baby. “From Ottolenghi,” says Dempsey, “delicious and healthy!” According to Ottolenghi, “What sounded like a bit of product placement on our part was in fact no such thing. The recipe didn’t even exist on our menu, so this is a retrospective acknowledgement.” Whatever its origins, this is a great way to serve simple pan-fried or oven-baked salmon fillets.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The currants, pine nuts, capers, olives and saffron may contain additives or colour, so check the labels. No-Name currents and pine nuts are additive free. I use Unico capers and President’s Choice garlic-stuffed green olives. I often substitute turmeric for saffron, as the latter, depending on the source, can contain colour.

This salmon is topped with a pine nut salsa

Bridget Jones's Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa

Ingredients:

¾ cup (100 g) currants

4 salmon fillets, skin on and pin-boned (1 lb, 2 oz/500g)

7 tbsp (100 ml) olive oil

4 celery sticks (1 ¾ cups/180 g),  cut into ½ inch (1 cm) dice, leaves removed but kept for garnish

¼ cup (60 ml) pine nuts, roughly chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) capers, plus 2 tbsp (30 ml) of their brine

Large green olives, pitted and cut into ½ inch (1cm) dice (about 8/60 ml)

1 good pinch of saffron threads (¼ tsp/1 ml), mixed with 1 tbsp (15 ml) hot water

1 cup (250 ml) parsley, roughly chopped

1 lemon: finely grate the zest to get 1 tsp (5 ml), then juice to get 1 tsp (5 ml)

Salt and black pepper

Preparation:

Cover the currants with boiling water and set aside to soak for 20 minutes while you prep the salmon and make the salsa.

Mix the salmon with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of oil, 3 teaspoons (15 ml) of salt and a good grind of pepper. Set aside while you make the salsa.

Put 5 tbsp (75 ml) of olive oil into a large sauté pan and place on a high heat. Add the celery and pine nuts and fry for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the nuts begin to brown (don’t take your eyes off them, as they can easily burn). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the capers and their brine, the olives, saffron and its water and a pinch of salt. Drain the currants and add these, along with the parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set aside.

Put the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil into a large frying pan and place on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and fry for 3 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Reduce the heat to medium, then flip the fillets over and continue to fry for 2–4 minutes (depending on how much you like the salmon cooked). Remove from the pan and set aside.

Arrange the salmon on four plates and spoon over the salsa. If you have any celery leaves reserved, scatter these on top.

From Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi

This recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s new cookbook, Simple, is simply fantastic. Cut potatoes into fries and parboil. Toss with oil and salt and bake for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, fry sliced garlic in oil until golden. Toss the potatoes with the oil and bake for another few minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with dried oregano and feta and serve. So good!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a brand of feta cheese with all-natural ingredients.

Parboil potatoes and place on parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake until tender and golden, then toss with garlic oil

Sprinkle with oregano and feta and serve

Ingredients:

4 ½ lbs (2 kg) yellow potatoes, unpeeled and cut into ¾-inch- (2-cm-) wide fries

6 tbsp (90 ml) sunflower or canola oil

Flaked sea salt

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tsp (10 ml) dried oregano

5 ¼ oz (150 g) feta, roughly crumbled

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450 F (232 C).

Place a large pot filled with plenty of salted water over high heat. Once boiling, add the potatoes and cook for 7-8 minutes, until starting to soften at the edges but still holding their shape. Drain and set aside to dry out for 5 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the sunflower or canola oil along with 1 tbsp (15 ml) salt (I used less; about 1 tsp/5 ml) and mix well.

Tip the potatoes and oil onto two large parchment-lined baking sheets, so that they are not overcrowded and bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring a few times, until golden brown and crisp.

About 5 minutes before the fries are ready, heat the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry gently for 3-4 minutes, until the garlic is pale golden brown. Take the cooked fries out of the oven and pour the olive oil and garlic over them, then return to the oven for a further 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and, while piping hot, sprinkle with the oregano and feta. Serve at once. Serves 6.

From Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

This dish from The New York Times is as tasty and soothing as a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Marinate chicken drumsticks, brown them and set aside. Cook the onion and then add orzo and broth. Cook for a few minutes, then place the drumsticks on top and cover the pan. Cook until the chicken is done, the orzo is tender and most of the liquid is gone. Remove from the heat and scatter cucumber, feta and dill over the top.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Imagine Organic brand chicken stock and President’s Choice green olives stuffed with garlic. Look for a feta cheese with all-natural ingredients.

Brown the chicken

Cook the onion

Add the orzo

Return the chicken to the pan and cook until it is done

Chicken drumsticks with orzo, feta and dill

Ingredients:

2 lemons

5 tablespoons (75 ml) olive oil

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5 ml) black pepper

2 pounds (907 g) chicken drumsticks (about 6 drumsticks)

1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 cups (500 ml) orzo

3 cups (750 ml) chicken broth or water

2 small or 1 large thin-skinned (English) cucumbers, chopped

5 ounces (141 g) feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 ¼ cups/310 ml)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh dill

Castelvetrano or other green olives, for serving

Preparation:

Cut one of the lemons into wedges and set aside. Juice the remaining lemon and combine with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, in a large resealable plastic bag or in a bowl, along with the chicken pieces. Seal and shake the bag (or stir in the bowl) to coat. Set aside for 30 minutes, or refrigerate up to overnight.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and cook until lightly golden all over, turning when the chicken releases easily from the pan, about 12 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and stir to coat with the remaining fat. Decrease heat to medium and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the orzo and the broth or water. Cook until the liquid is partly absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Top with the chicken legs and cover with a lid or foil. Continue cooking until the orzo is tender, most of the liquid is absorbed, and the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes more, depending on the size of your drumsticks. Remove from the heat and scatter the cucumber, feta and dill over the top. Serve from the skillet with lemon wedges and olives.

From the New York Times

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