Three meals you've got to try this week

Three meals you've got to try this week

Posted 11th Oct 2017 by Peter Byrne

Food, family and Denmark are Caroline Fleming's first loves, and that prompted her to celebrate the best of Danish cuisine, as well as revealing her nurturing and personal approach to life. Here, we share three recipes from Cook Yourself Happy, which we're sure you'll love

Rainbow chicken curry

I don’t remember exactly when I first tried this, although I do remember it was with my late and deeply adored cousin Knirke. It was very early on in my childhood and was the first time I had tasted something so ‘exotic’. It is interesting how ristaffel has really made its way into the homes of many Danes, with the recipes varying in which spices or meats are used. I adore it with chicken, others love it with turkey, or you can use ham or pork. This is a great everyday dish and also super for when you are entertaining as you can prepare most of it in advance. I also find this version is particularly popular with children, and you can be as creative as you like with your toppings – there are no limits.

Serves 6

For the chicken curry

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp tomato purée (paste)
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
2 tbsp curry powder (or 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp ground turmeric and 1 tbsp ground cinnamon)
1 small sweet apple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
1 banana, cut into small cubes
500ml (18fl oz/2 cups) coconut milk
200–300ml (7–10fl oz/generous ¾–11/4 cups) chicken stock
600g (1lb 5oz) skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips

For the side dishes

300g (101/2oz/1½ cups) basmati rice
1 tsp salt
6 rashers (slices) of smoked bacon
2 tangerines, peeled and finely chopped
1 banana, thinly sliced
20g (3/4oz/1/4 cup) desiccated coconut
30g (11/4oz/1/3 cup) almond flakes
30g (11/4oz/3 tbsp) raisins
1 sweet apple, peeled, cored and cubed
100g (31/2oz) pineapple, cubed
Mango chutney


1 In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil, then gently fry the onion and garlic. Add the tomato purée (paste) and salt and stir well. Now add the curry powder and allow it to ‘burn off’, then add the apple and banana.

2 Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat, carefully pour into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

3 Return the curry sauce to the saucepan and slowly add the chicken stock, stirring – the sauce should be nice and thick. Now add the chicken strips and cook for another 10 minutes over a medium heat.

4 While the chicken curry is cooking, rinse the rice under cold running water, then place in a saucepan, cover with water, add the salt and bring to the boil. Boil for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a frying pan (skillet) until crispy. Drain on kitchen towel, chop into chunks and put in a small bowl.

5 Put each of the remaining side dishes into small individual bowls. Serve the chicken curry on a bed of rice. Place all the side dishes on the table so everyone can help themselves to the accompaniments they want.

Tomato Soup with Kale Pesto

Serves 4-6

My darling daughter Josephine fell so in love with my homemade fresh tomato pasta sauce that we decided to make it into a soup. This soup makes a great warming meal for grown-ups, and also works really well for children, especially if you add small cooked pasta shapes to it.

For the soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tsp tomato purée (paste)
800g (1lb 12oz) tomatoes, roughly chopped
500ml (18fl oz/2 cups) water
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
5 basil leaves

For the kale pesto

200g (7oz/3 cups) kale, leaves only, stalks discarded
100g (3½oz/4 cups) basil
2 cloves of garlic
200ml (7fl oz/generous ¾ cup) olive oil
100g (3½oz/⅔ cup) pine nuts
80g (3oz/¾ cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1 First make the kale pesto. I like quite a coarse consistency so I blend the kale, basil and garlic first with the olive oil, then I add the pine nuts and Parmesan and pulse a few times so it’s chunky. If you like a smooth consistency, then blend all of the pesto ingredients together until combined and smooth. Set aside until needed.

2 To make the tomato soup, in a large, deep saucepan, heat the olive oil over a low heat, then add the onion and fry for 1–2 minutes, then add the garlic, and after cooking for 1 minute, add the tomato purée (paste).

3 Continue to cook over a low heat, and when the colour changes to slightly orange, add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for a couple of minutes. Now pour in the measured water and add the salt. Leave to simmer for about 15 minutes, then add the basil, tearing the leaves, and cook for another couple of minutes. Take off the heat, pour into a blender and blend until you have the desired consistency.

4 Serve the soup immediately with a spoonful of the kale pesto in the middle of the bowl, or with some type of pasta for your children.

Baked Salmon with Asparagus and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6

I caught my first salmon on a line in Ireland when I was 18; and my first on a fly in Scotland when I was 25. That was when my feelings for fishing grew to become a great love. I have since fished in Iceland, New Zealand and the Seychelles, as well as the Okavanga Delta, where I wore out my socks ‘fighting’ to land a fish. Salmon has become such a popular fish for the Danes, especially in the last two decades. A great way of serving it is with asparagus – the flavours complement each other so well – and I even enjoy this for breakfast on a regular basis. I prefer to use sweet potatoes rather than normal potatoes because of their wonderful taste and the fact they are much higher in vitamin C.

For the salmon

1 tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
12 green asparagus spears, bottoms trimmed
800g (1lb 12oz) skinned salmon fillet, cut into 18 x 1cm (½ inch) slices
Olive oil, to drizzle

For the sweet potatoes

6 small sweet potatoes, white or pink fleshed
100ml (31/2fl oz/scant ½ cup) olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp sea salt

For the green sauce

4 large tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
1 tbsp finely chopped chervil
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tarragon vinegar (you can make your own by infusing fresh tarragon in vinegar)
½ tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp crème fraîche
½ tsp salt

To garnish

Fresh herbs such as dill and parsley


1 Mix all the ingredients for the green sauce together and set aside in the fridge. This is best made a few hours before serving.

2 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

3 Peel the sweet potatoes, cut off wedge-size ends, then cut the rest of the sweet potato into wedges and place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle over the oil, and sprinkle over the thyme and salt, then massage the potatoes so they are well coated. Place on a large baking tray (sheet) and bake in the oven for 50 minutes.

4 While the potatoes are cooking, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the salt and asparagus, cook for 2 minutes and then drain.

5 Lay 3 slices of salmon next to each other, then put 2 blanched asparagus in the middle across the slices of salmon and wrap the salmon up around the asparagus in a roll (tie with cooking string if it won’t stay in a roll). Repeat with the rest of the salmon and asparagus, put in an ovenproof baking dish, drizzle with oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

6 Serve the fish, potatoes and green sauce together, garnished with fresh herbs of your choice.

Recipes from Cook Yourself Happy by Caroline Fleming, published by Jacqui Small. Out now.


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