Nigella is in the house

Today we had Coralie for lunch, a young French woman who recently moved to London. Steve and Mila had met her mum and nan on the beach in Cazaux, a little village in France where we have our holidays home and he thought it would be nice to have her around to introduce her to Linda, our new (and fabulous) French au-pair. 

Au menu:  
Pan-seared Scallops and chorizo, roasted meat with sweet potatoes a a Steve and an apple tart. Needless to say that by the time we left the table at 4pm, the only thing I felt doing was having a nap but everything was so easy to make and yummy, I thought I would share it with you.

Scallops & chorizo (my job)
110g chorizo sausage, 400g small scallops (halve them to make them 2 thinner discs if they are very fat), juice of 1/2 lemon*, 4 x 15 ml tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Slice the chorizo into rounds no thicker than 3 mm
Heat a heavy-based pan on the hob, when hot, dry-fry the chorizo round until crisped on either side (the chorizo will give out plenty of its own oil), this should take no more than 2 min
Remove the chorizo to a bowl and fry the scallops in the chorizo-oil for about a minute a side
Return the chorizo to the pan with the scallops, add the lemon juice (I put a full lemon) and let bubble for a few seconds before arranging on a serving plate and sprinkling with lots of parsley.
Conclusion: Nigella doesn't do 'light cooking' but it was delicious. We had 3 scallops (could have appreciate 2 more in the plate frankly) and for me the parsley didn't add anything to the taste.

Roasted meat with sweet potatoes (cooked by Steve*)
Now my kiwi is good at a lot of things, beside being a hands-on dad, being very good at DIY, he is also a super cook! Before meeting him, I had never tasted sweet potatoes in my life but it's the kind of vege they give to babies in New-Zealand and the way he cooks it it simply divine.
He won't tell me how he does the meat because he always mix lots of sauces, ginger etc to give it a unique flavor but having been the sous-chef on several occasions, I know now how to cook the sweet potatoes...
For 4 people, please about 4/5 sweet potatoes and then cut them in big chunks. Put them in a pot filled with cold water and when the water starts boiling, drain the water and add the potatoes to the roast and let them roast for 45 min... They are to die for

Apple tart (made by Linda*)
2 large granny smith apples, juice of 1 lemon, 1 x approx 375g sheet all butter, shop-bought ready rolled puff pastry, 2 x 15 ml tablespoons of sugar, 1 x 15ml tablespoon butter
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7
Core the apples and cut them in half. Pour lemon juice into a wide, shallow dish and top up with some cold water. Immerse the apple halves in the lemony water, this will stop them turning brown.
Lay the sheet of puff pastry on a large lined baking sheet and mark a 1cm border all the way around the egde of the baking tray. 
Take the apple halves out of the lemony water and pat try. Cut each half into quarters, then slice each quarter as thinly as you possibly can.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the base, working from the inside edge, place the apple slices, closely overlapping within the border of the frame. Create neat lines of apple slice until the pastry is covered.
Heat the butter with the remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small pan and let both bubbles for a few minutes until a light caramel colour appears. Dribble this syrup over the apples and put the tart in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Super easy, super yummy and I like the thin based because frankly by then, I was already quite full but I still managed a slice with a few spoons of custard.
Now the credits: Image 1, Image 2:source Bright Bazaar, Image 3: Marjorie Taylor. Recipes 1 & 3 from Nigella Express

*You will notice my delegation skills...


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