Family favourites - Annabel Karmel's dinner recipes
Arm yourself with these fail-safe recipes and whipping up a family dinner will always be easy, writes Annabel Karmel.
Mini cheese and tomato tartlets
This recipe is bound to incite some serious lunch-box envy. With melt-in-the-mouth pastry and the most delicious cheese, tomato, onion and thyme filling, these tartlets make a great lunch or mouth-watering canapé.
Makes 24 tartlets
PREP: 25 mins, plus chilling
COOK: 15 mins (freezer friendly)
You will need
For the pastry
175g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g (3oz) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and black pepper
For the filling
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 large eggs, beaten
150ml (¼ pint) double cream
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
25g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt and black pepper
Step One Put the flour and butter into the bowl of a food processor with a little seasoning. Whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and 1 tablespoon of water and whizz until the mixture forms a ball.
Step TWO Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured work surface to 5 mm (ª in) thick, then cut into 24 rounds using a 5 cm (2 in) fluted round cutter. Line each hole of 2 x 12-hole deep mini bun tins with the pastry circles and prick the bases with a fork. Chill in the fridge.
Step THREE Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
Step FOUR To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add the thyme leaves, season to taste and leave to cool. Whisk the eggs and cream together in a jug.
Step Five Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide the cooked onion between the pastry cases. Top each with a cherry tomato half, cut side up. Pour over the egg and cream mixture and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the tarts. Bake the tarts for about 15 minutes, until golden on top and crisp underneath.
Apricot, pecan, raisin and chocolate cookies
I've developed many cookie recipes, but none as delicious as this one. You pretty much can't go wrong. If you like, swap plain dark chocolate for sea salt-spiked dark chocolate - it works really well.
Makes 20 cookies
PREP: 20 mins
COOK: 10-12 mins
(freezer friendly once baked)
You will need 100g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
100g (4oz) light soft brown sugar
1 large egg
150g (5oz) porridge oats
75g (3oz) self-raising flour, sifted
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g (2oz) dried apricots, roughly chopped
50g (2oz) raisins
25g (1oz) pecans, roughly chopped
100g (4oz) dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (70pc cocoa solids)
STEP ONE Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
STEP TWO Cream the butter with the sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, then add the egg and beat again. Fold in the remaining ingredients until well incorporated.
STEP THREE Shape the cookie dough into 20 balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, well spaced apart, and press down slightly to flatten. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden but still slightly soft in the middle. Leave to cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
One-pot chicken with spring vegetables
This tasty all-in-one meal not only saves on washing up, it's also a nourishing feast that brings together the fresh taste of spring with the intense savoury hit of roast chicken.
Makes 6 portions
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hour 20 mins
You will need 1.5-1.6kg (3¼-3½lb) chicken
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp runny honey
1 tsp lemon juice
300g (11oz) baby new potatoes, scrubbed and any larger ones halved
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
200g (7oz) baby carrots
300ml (½ pint) hot chicken stock
300ml (½ pint) white wine
100g (4oz) frozen peas
2 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
Salt and black pepper
STEP ONE Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
STEP TWO Put the chicken into a large, shallow, ovenproof dish or skillet. Drizzle over the olive oil, honey and lemon juice and season. Roast for 30 minutes until lightly golden brown, then add the potatoes, onion, garlic and carrots and toss to coat with the olive oil, honey and lemon in the dish around the chicken.
STEP THREE Pour the stock and wine over the vegetables, then put the dish back in the oven for a further 45 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through and the vegetables are tender (you might need to cover the chicken with foil if it is getting too brown). Add the peas and cook for a final 5 minutes.
STEP FOUR Remove from the oven and sprinkle with tarragon before serving.
To keep brown sugar soft, pop a couple of marshmallows in the bag and seal.