From the juiciest roast ever to easy prawn linguine: 5 RecipeTin Eats dishes for Mother's Day.

With Mother's Day around the corner, it's time to think about what you'll cook while Mum sits with a glass of wine in hand.

Here are five recipes from the beloved cook, Nagi Maehashi – the woman behind the popular food blog, RecipeTin Eats – from her debut cookbook, Dinner, we know she'll love.

1. Juiciest, Easiest Roast Chicken Ever.

Image: Supplied

"A little-known secret is that pot-roasting is hands-down the best way to roast a chicken. A covered pot keeps all the moisture locked in, while uncovering it later ensures golden skin. I also rest the chicken, breast-side down, so the juices settle into the breast meat. The result? Literally juices running everywhere with every bite you take. It will blow your mind! I like to use a simple spice rub, but you can make this chicken your own. Try herb butter under the skin, harissa paste or a barbecue sauce baste. Or just go plain – it’s really that good!"


Serves: 4.

Prep: 10 minutes.

Cook: 70 minutes.


  • 1.75 kg whole chicken 
  • 400 g sebago potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes 300 g carrots (about 2 large carrots), peeled and cut into 2.5 cm chunks 
  • 75 g unsalted butter, melted ¼ tsp each cooking salt* and black pepper 


  • ¼ tsp onion powder 
  • ½ tsp dried thyme, crushed with fingers until a bit powdery 
  • ½ tsp garlic powder 
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • ½ tsp black pepper 
  • 2½ tsp cooking salt*


1. Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. 

2. Dry the chicken skin by patting it with paper towels. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the seasoning inside the chicken cavity, ¼ teaspoon on the underside, and rub the remainder on the top and sides. Tie the drumsticks together and tuck the wings under the chicken. Leave the chicken on the counter for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 210°C (190°C fan-forced). Leave a 24-28 cm cast-iron pot in the oven as it heats up (no lid). 

3. Place the potato and carrot in a bowl and drizzle with the melted butter plus the salt and pepper. Toss. 

4. Remove the hot pot from the oven. Place the potato and carrot in the base of the pot, then put the chicken on top. Loosely cover the pot with foil and bake for 30 minutes. 

5. Remove the pot from the oven. Remove the foil and baste the chicken with the juices in the pot, shuffling the veg aside to get to it (use a spoon, though a turkey baster is super handy if you have one!). 


6. Return to the oven and roast for 40 minutes, uncovered, basting twice more with the pot juices until the internal temperature in the joint between the thigh and leg is 72°C. Do not fret if you are a bit over as this recipe is very forgiving! 

7. Prop the chicken up on the side of the pot, legs up, breast-side down (as pictured).4 Baste again with the pot juices, then rest for 15 minutes. 

8. Carve the chicken and prepare yourself for the extraordinary amount of juices you will see, especially in the breast. It’s going to blow your mind! Pile the chicken pieces on a platter with the vegetables. Pour the left-over sauce into a gravy jug and serve with the chicken. 


  • Sebago is an all-purpose starchy potato. But any potato can be used for this recipe, whether starchy or waxy. 
  • This takes the fridge-chill out of the chicken so it cooks through more evenly, rather than an overcooked outer layer by the time the fridge-cold centre cooks through. 
  • The internal temperature of cooked chicken breast is 67°C and chicken thigh is 72°C. By the time the chicken thighs reach 72°C, the chicken breast will be higher than 67°C which usually means the breast is a bit dried out. But not in this recipe! 
  • Resting the chicken in this position makes the chicken juices settle in the breast so it’s extraordinarily juicy. I promise, you are going to be amazed! 

Leftovers: Fridge four days, freezer three months.

2. Restaurant-Worthy Easy Prawn Linguine. 

Image: Supplied.


"One of the key things that distinguishes really excellent restaurant pastas from home cooking is a great homemade stock. This is especially the case with seafood pastas. Store-bought fish stock is rubbish! But who has time to make stock? You do! Based around a super quick and easy stock using the shells and heads of the prawns, this is a pasta that’s dinner party-worthy, date-worthy, Mother's Day-worthy, and absolutely restaurant-worthy."

Serves: 2.

Prep: 15 minutes.

Cook: 35 minutes.


  • 350 g whole prawns* (10 pieces), peeled and deveined1, shells and heads reserved 
  • 160 g linguine (or other long pasta) 
  • ⅛ tsp each cooking salt* and black pepper 
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 large garlic clove*, minced 
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes 
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley

 Easy Prawn Stock: 

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped 
  • 1 eschalot* or ½ brown onion, roughly chopped 
  • 2 anchovies 
  • 1 bay leaf* Reserved prawn heads and shells (see above) 
  • ½ cup (125 ml) chardonnay wine* 
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) low-salt chicken stock* 
  • ½ tsp cooking salt* 


1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic, eschalot, anchovies and bay leaf for 3 minutes, mashing up the anchovies with a wooden spoon. Add the prawn heads and shells, then cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. 

2. Add the wine, turn the heat up to high, then simmer for 2 minutes until mostly evaporated. Add the stock and salt, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer gently on low for 25 minutes. Crush the prawn heads twice with a potato masher to extract their flavour as the stock cooks. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing all the juice out of the prawn shells. Discard the solids. You should have around 1¼ cups (310 ml) of stock. Don’t worry if you have a bit more or less, it will self-correct later! 


3. Bring 2.5 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan and cook the linguine according to the packet directions minus 1 minute. (Start cooking the prawns once the pasta is in the water.) Stir the pasta regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick together. Just before draining, scoop out a mugful of pasta cooking water (reserve), then drain the pasta. 

4. Toss the prawns with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the prawns for 1½ minutes on each side until just cooked then transfer to a plate. 

5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan. Cook the garlic and chilli for 15 seconds until the garlic is golden. Add the prawn stock, then turn the heat up to high5. Simmer rapidly for 2–3 minutes, stirring to scrape the base of the pan, until the liquid reduces down to about ½ cup (125 ml). (You can pause at this point if the pasta is not yet cooked.) 

6. Add ⅓ cup (85 ml) of the pasta cooking water, the cooked pasta and cherry tomatoes. Still over high heat, toss for 1–2 minutes using two wooden spoons until the sauce thickens and coats the pasta rather than pooling at the bottom of the pan6. Serve – Working quickly, toss the prawns and parsley through the pasta. Divide between bowls and serve, stat! 


3. Thai Beef Salad.

Image: Supplied.

"I’ve always been madly in love with Thai beef salad, a fixture at Thai restaurants all over Australia. With rosy-pink slices of beef, pops of sweet cherry tomato and a zesty, fiery dressing, this salad epitomises all that is great about Asian salads – big, bold flavours yet light and fresh. The trick is getting the perfect balance in the dressing. I’ve played with it a lot over the years and think I’ve nailed it. An extra tip is to chop all those peanuts really well, so you get a bit of peanut ‘dust’. Trust me, this really cranks it up a notch!"


Serves: 2 as a main.

Prep: 20 minutes.

Cook: 5 minutes.


  • 250 g sirloin beef1 (2 cm thick) 
  • ¼ tsp cooking salt* 
  • ¼ tsp black pepper 
  • 1 tbsp canola oil 


  • ½ tsp red bird’s eye chilli*, deseeded and finely minced
  • ¼ tsp finely minced garlic* 
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander stems 
  • Small pinch of cooking salt* 
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil 
  • 2¼ tsp white sugar 
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) lime juice 
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce 


  • 2 heaped cups (80 g) mixed leafy baby greens
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • ¼ small red onion, very finely sliced 
  • ½ Lebanese cucumber*, sliced into 5 mm thick half moons 
  • ¼ cup lightly packed (3 g) coriander leaves 
  • ¼ cup lightly packed (3 g) mint leaves


  • ¼ cup (40 g) finely chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts 
  • Extra coriander and mint leaves (optional)


1. Remove the beef from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Just before cooking, pat it dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a cast-iron frying pan over high heat until screaming hot. It should be smoking! Cook the beef, done to your liking. For a 2 cm thick steak, it will take 2 minutes on the first side, then 1½ minutes on the second side for medium–rare (target internal temperature 52°C). 

2. Transfer the beef to a rack set over a tray. Cool (uncovered) for 20 minutes to room temperature. 

3. Put the chilli, garlic, coriander stems and salt into a mortar and pestle, then grind until it becomes a smooth paste. Mix in remaining dressing ingredients. Taste, then adjust with extra sugar, lime juice or fish sauce as desired. 

4. Cut the beef by finely slicing it against the grain and place in a bowl. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the dressing and gently toss to coat. 


5. Place all the salad ingredients in a separate large bowl. Add a quarter of the peanuts and toss with 2 tablespoons of dressing. 

6. Divide the salad between two plates and top with the sliced beef. Sprinkle generously with most of the remaining peanuts, then drizzle each plate with 1 tablespoon of dressing. Sprinkle over the remaining peanuts, garnish with extra coriander and mint leaves (if using) and serve immediately!


  • Use any beef suitable for serving as a steak. Sirloin, boneless rib-eye, porterhouse, scotch fillet, rump, flank or flat iron. 
  • This amount of chilli makes it a bit spicy, but not blow-your-head-off. Adjust to your taste. 
  • You can find mixed baby greens or ‘Asian leaf mix’ at the grocery store. Substitute with baby spinach, or a 50/50 mix of baby spinach and rocket. 
  • Peanuts are traditional but can be substituted with cashews. 
  • No mortar and pestle? Make the paste by finely chopping the ingredients, then smearing them against the chopping board with the side of a knife. Scrape into a jar and shake with the remaining ingredients. 

Leftovers: You dress it, you eat it! This salad really needs to be served straight away as the dressing wilts the salad leaves.

4. Baked Salmon.

Image: Supplied.


"This festive holiday main was an instant hit with my website readers! Many tell me they even make it year-round because it looks so great and pays off so well for minimal effort. Featuring a honey butter glaze, this whole side of salmon is baked in foil before being slathered with creamy dill sauce and topped with a rubble of colourful festive toppings. It’s a celebration of flavours, textures and the holiday season that’s as pretty as a picture!"

Serves: 8–10.

Prep: 25 minutes + cooling.

Cook: 25 minutes.


Creamy Dill Sauce:

  • 1½ cups (300 g) sour cream (full-fat essential) 
  • ½ lightly packed cup finely chopped dill 
  • ½ eschalot*, finely grated 
  • 1½ tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp cooking salt*


  • 1 cup (250 ml) orange juice2 
  • 1 cup (140 g) dried cranberries 
  • 1 cup (80 g) slivered almonds, toasted
  •  ⅓ cup (7 g) roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley 
  • ¼ tsp each cooking salt* and black pepper 
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 


  • 1.2–1.5 kg salmon side1, skin on, pin-boned 
  • 2¼ tsp cooking salt* 
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Honey Butter Glaze:

  • 150 g unsalted butter 
  • ½ cup (175 g) honey 
  • 3 garlic cloves*, finely minced

To Serve:

  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate* 
  • ¼ cup (5 g) roughly chopped parsley 
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) lemon juice 
  • 2 lemons, each cut into 6 wedges  


1. Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Refrigerate until required. 

2. Heat the orange juice in a saucepan over high heat until hot, then turn off the heat and add the cranberries. Cover with a lid and stand for 15 minutes so they plump up, then drain (discard liquid) and cool. Mix the cranberries with the remaining tapenade ingredients. Set aside until required. Preheat the oven to 180°C (conventional and fan-forced). 


3. Cover a baking tray with two layers of foil, then top with baking paper. Place the salmon on the paper, then fold up the foil sides a bit so the glaze won’t run onto the tray. 

4. Place the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium–high heat. Once the mixture starts foaming, turn the heat down to medium. Let it foam for 2 minutes to thicken, then remove and pour it straight over the salmon. 

5. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper, then cover with a piece of baking paper, then foil. Crimp to seal the sides to enclose the salmon in a parcel – it doesn’t need to be 100 per cent tightly sealed. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. 

6. Remove and discard the paper and foil on the salmon. Fold the base paper and foil sides down to expose the salmon surface, tucking any exposed paper edges under the foil to ensure it won’t catch fire when grilling. Switch the oven to grill on high. Place the salmon on a shelf 30 cm from the heat source and cook for 7–10 minutes until you get caramelisation mostly on the edges and a bit on top (keep an eye on it). Check to ensure the salmon is cooked – the target internal temperature is 50°C for perfect medium–rare4 (the flesh should flake easily). 

7. Use the foil overhang to transfer the salmon from the tray to a serving platter straight away (otherwise it keeps cooking). Slide the foil, then the paper out from under the salmon, allowing the juices to pool on the platter (this stuff is gold!). Loosely cover with foil, then leave to cool for at least 15 minutes, up to 2 hours. This dish is great served warm or at room temperature. 


8. Spoon big dollops of the creamy dill sauce across the salmon surface, then thickly spread (about 8 mm thick). Pile the tapenade over the top, scatter generously with pomegranate seeds and parsley, then drizzle with lemon juice. 

9. To serve, cut the salmon into pieces. I use a cake cutter for serving. Serve with lemon wedges so people can add more to taste. Encourage people to squidge the salmon into the honey butter sauce that will be mixed with the semi-melted creamy dill sauce – it’s so good! Serve with a big bowl of tomato, cucumber and red onion chunks tossed with a lemon dressing.


  • Get a whole side of salmon with the skin on, for ease of handling. The recipe also works well on a smaller scale for salmon fillets. 
  • Use store-bought pure orange juice with no added sugar, or squeeze your own. 
  • To toast almonds: Preheat a small frying pan over medium heat (no oil). Add the almonds, then stir for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Keep them moving as they burn easily! Transfer to a bowl straight away to cool. 
  • Though 50°C is the target pull temperature for optimum juiciness, it can go as high as 60°C (even slightly over) and the flesh will still be juicy as salmon is an oily fish. 
  • Make ahead: Prepare the glaze, tapenade and creamy dill sauce in advance, but cook the salmon on the day.  

Leftover: Fridge three days, but best served immediately once assembled. Not suitable for freezing.  

5. Italian Beef Rice Pilaf.

Image: Supplied.


"Everything you love about risotto and bolognese, all in one pot! Never mind authenticity, the nonnas of Italy would love it too – if only they’d thought of it first (wink)."

Serves: 5.

Prep: 10 minutes.

Cook: 40 minutes.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves*, minced 
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, diced into 5 mm cubes 
  • 1 celery stalk, diced into 5 mm cubes 
  • 1½ tsp fennel seeds 
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes 500 g beef mince 
  • 1¼ tsp cooking salt* 
  • 1½ cups (300 g) long-grain white rice 
  • 400 g can crushed tomato 
  • 2½ cups (625 ml) low-salt beef stock* 
  • 1 bay leaf* 
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges, then halved

To Serve:

  • ¼ cup (5 g) roughly chopped parsley (optional) 
  • Parmesan*, finely grated (not optional!)


1. Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. 

2. Add the beef and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, breaking it up as you go, until it changes from pink to brown. 

3. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, then once it comes to a simmer, cover with a lid (do not stir again) and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 22 minutes or until the rice is tender (there should still be a layer of liquid). Remove from the stove and rest, covered, for 5 minutes – the rice will soften further. 

4. Remove the lid. Add the chopped parsley (if using) and gently stir, then serve, sprinkled with as much parmesan as you desire!



  • This is the secret ingredient that adds a special touch to this otherwise simple dish. Don’t be tempted to skip it! 
  • Pork or lamb mince would also work well in this recipe. 
  • Medium-grain rice, jasmine and basmati rice can be substituted. Please don’t use brown rice, sushi or other short-grain rice, wild rice (or any other ‘gourmet’ rices for that matter), quinoa or cauliflower rice! You can’t use risotto rice either because it’s not actually a risotto! 

Leftovers: Fridge three days. Not suitable for freezing.

Recipes from Dinner by Nagi Maehashi, published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $44.99, photography by Nagi Maehashi.

Image: Supplied.

Feature image: Supplied.

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